Make every moment a moment with God… This is how we are trying to make use of our time during this period of pandemic. Even though we are under General Community Quarantine, we spend our days in “the new normal” with gratitude, creativity and enthusiasm.
We celebrate the Eucharist online but every now and then, we invite our good neighbors, the Redemptorist Fathers to celebrate the Eucharist in our chapel. And thanks be to God, starting October 7, there will be daily mass at Divino Amor Shrine. The practices of piety are done according to our community schedule and community project. To have a well-balanced life, we are faithful to our community day or celebration of life every month.
The Paulines Media Center, which is open from Monday to Saturday is visited by the faithful. As the new school year begins, the diocesan and religious seminaries are taking books from us. But it is very interesting to listen to people who share with us that during this General Community Quarantine wherein they cannot go to Church every Sunday, they become more prayerful as a family. They buy Bible, Prayer books, rosaries, medals, candles, sacred images and statues. According to many of them, they are making altar in their home or improving it as it becomes a venue for them to pray together.
The community is also engaged in packing rice and canned goods, rosaries and prayerbooks every time we receive donation for our less fortunate brothers and sisters. We are reaching out to parishes and twice already we gave packed lunch to the children in SOS sponsored by families of our sisters. We also prepared 565 food packs for the relocated families displaced by the eruption of Taal volcano. They are now residing in a housing in Ibaan and we reached out to them with the help of the Lipa Archdiocesan Social Action Commission. The fund came from the parishioners of St. Mary’s Parish in Northcote, Auckland, New Zealand. Needy people are also knocking at our gate everyday to ask for food.
When the remains of Fr. Socrates Montealto, ssp was interned in Lipa cemetery, we were one with our SSP brothers in prayer. We also prepared a packed lunch for them. Same thing when our sisters brought the ashes of Sr. Michelina Brondial to Lipa cemetery to be entombed; we also prepared a packed lunch for them.
To help us raise funds for our reach out program, we grow ornamental plants and sell them. We also ask the help of those who can give us rice, eggs or cash. Every time we receive donation from generous people, we immediately share them to the needy ones and to frontliners. We are also happy to share the providence we receive to our communities in Pasay. According to Dana Arcuri, an author and a speaker, “We each have the power to give. By reaching out to help another human being you’re sending ripples of positive change.”
As a way of lessening our expenses during this time of pandemic in solidarity with our people, we are raising vegetables and native chicken in our backyard. Thanks be to God, we have a supply of fruits from our trees and from our benefactors. We are also receiving rice from our generous friends around.
This is how we live our gift of life and vocation. We received these blessings freely, and freely we give them away. As we use them to serve others, we experience the blessed life; always aware of our moments with God. – Sr. Yolanda Dionisio, FSP