At 4:59 a.m. (local time), the Lord visited St. John of God Hospital, Pasay City, Philippines, to invite to the eternal wedding banquet our sister: GORNIS FELIPA – SR. EUGENIA MARIA,born in Maasin (Leyte), Philippines, on 4 April 1935.
Sr. Eugenia Maria was a very trustworthy sister who made a competent and generous contribution to the apostolic development of the Filipino province in the economic sphere (a field in which she had completed a cycle of studies while still at home) and also in the sphere of communications.
She entered the Congregation in Pasay City on 26 November 1955, following the example of her twin sisters, Sr. Fatima (now deceased) and Sr. Giacinta. Sr. Eugenia herself said that she was attracted to our Institute by the witness of life and above all the simplicity of the Daughters of St. Paul she had known.
After a few years of formation, she was sent to Rome to make her novitiate, which concluded with her first profession in the Queen of Apostles Sanctuary on 30 June 1959. She then returned to the Philippines, where she was immediately placed in charge of the bindery and typography in Pasay City, while also teaching at the Queen of Apostles Institute in Pasay and attending the University of the Philippines, from which she obtained a degree in social communications.
In 1973, she was transferred to Cebu to work for the Catholic radio–an apostolate she continued part time even when, two years later, she was appointed superior of that community. At the end of her rich Cebuano experience, she returned to Pasay, where she was once more placed in charge of the technical apostolate and, immediately afterward, of the audiovisual sector–a field in which she was a true expert.
From 1985-1989, she served as director of the Diocesan Social Communications Office in Davao. After participating in our Institute’s 6thGeneral Chapter, she was assigned to the provincial administration office and was also asked to oversee the maintenance of the Province’s immobile goods (property and buildings). Except for a brief time in the community of Papua New Guinea, she spent the last 30 years of her life in Pasay City, either in the provincial community or other communities in the area, where she was often called to duties of responsibility such as councilor, group leader and coordinator of audiovisual production.
With her innate common sense and specific preparation, she made a very competent contribution to various constructions in the Filipino province. She was a very hard worker, a “jack of all trades,” ever attentive and precise, prompt to respond to the needs of the sisters and the different apostolic sectors. We also remember her as a skilled translator, especially on the occasions of Fraternal Visits. She was truly the “faithful and wise” administrator spoken about in the Bible, always ready to open the door of her heart to the various calls of the Master, always guided by the desire to carry out the will of her Lord as perfectly as possible.
It was with this attitude, without ever complaining but continuing to perform the services still possible to her, that she accepted her malady–a form of acute leukemia, which emerged in the last year and obliged her to be hospitalized frequently. In the last few days, she continued to say: “I am ready to do whatever the Lord asks of me.” And when the hour she longed for drew near, she surrendered herself to him wholeheartedly, expressing her desire to see God face to face with the words: “I am happy that I will soon be meeting my Lord.”
As we approach the Feast of the Divine Master, may the intercession of this dear sister revive in us the conviction repeated so often by our Founder and that she embodied: “Jesus speaks, hears and communicates in us…he is active and wants us to be loudspeakers that proclaim his words” (FSP55, p. 271.).