The last week of June has always been an eventful week for the Daughters of St Paul here through the years. Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, this year 2021 was no exception.
First was the renewal of vows of seven Juniors: on June 26, Srs. Aemy Soo and Laurin Kowal renewed their vows in Iloilo and Lipa respectively followed by the renewal of vows of five Juniors – Srs. Lourdes Cabuguas, Santa Conde, Ana Maria Casayas, Analyn Pantojan and Kayla Ventura – on June 27. The other two Juniors had renewed their vows earlier this year: Sr. Judith Ma on January 25 in Tuguegarao and Sr. Manassanan (Phim) Chantharathongkham on May 29 in Bangkok, Thailand.
Second was the silver and golden jubilee celebrations held on June 29 and 30 in three different communities. In Pasay, the silver jubilarians were Srs. Catherine Bacay, Shirley Chong and Erlinda Escoto while Sr. Clothilde de las Llagas celebrated 50 years of religious profession. In Legazpi, Sr. Romina (Mennen) Alarcon and Sr. Monina Baybay marked their 25th and 50th anniversaries respectively. In Pasay and Legazpi, the silver and golden anniversaries were celebrated on June 29 while in Davao, the golden jubilee of Sr. Federica Dalaguit was held on June 30.
Although the travel restrictions imposed by the government to curb the spread of the coronavirus Covid-19 resulted in the event being celebrated only among the sisters themselves in Pasay, it did not dampen the joy and festive atmosphere of the celebration. The event was live-streamed through the institute’s Facebook page Paulines Radio PH.
The thanksgiving Mass was presided by Fr. Rollin Jean Marie Flores, Provincial Superior of the Society of St Paul, and concelebrated with Fr. Paul Marquez, ssp.
After the homily, the jubilarians renewed their vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. At the rite of peace, representatives of the community pinned a corsage on each jubilarian. After the communion prayer, Sr. Clothilde gave a thanksgiving speech on behalf of the jubilarians before inviting the congregation to sing the Pauline theme song: Scio Cui Credidi (I Know Him in whom I have believed cf. 2 Tim 1:12)
It ended with a simple agape meal in the open air outside the chapel.
The third event was the first profession of religious vows of Novice Joy Ingrid Montes of Maydolong, Eastern Samar on June 30, Solemnity of St. Paul Apostle, patron of the Pauline Family, in Lipa. Some sisters of the Pasay communities including the Provincial Government went there to witness the event. The rite of first profession was held after the homily. The vows were accepted by the Provincial Superior, Sr. Delia Abian.
The neo-professed gave her thanksgiving speech after the post-communion prayer followed by the rendition of a song composed by her and sang by her brother, which delighted those present.
The Eucharistic Celebration was presided by Fr. Rollin Flores, ssp, with Fr. Gil Alinsangan, ssp, Fr. Paul Octubre, ssp and Fr. Ariel Lubi, cssr (Joy’s spiritual director) as concelebrants. Two SSP seminarians served as acolytes. The celebration was enlivened by the beautiful singing of the Pauline Choir with SSP Seminarian Ronel at the keyboard. The neo-professed’s parents, Jessie and Felomina Montes, and a relative were able to make it to the event. The event ended with a reception at the convent.