JUNEWS - December 2021

Page 1

THE Vol 3. No.3

Juniors UNited in Evangelizing, Witnessing, and Spreading the Good News


Official Publication of the SPC-Juniorate Philippine Province

Christmas 2021

Incarnation: Incarnation: God's Abounding Grace Made Visible

in Jesus

WHAT'S INSIDE COP Series: Spiritual Healing

Getting to know the artist behind SPC Phil 2022 Calendar

PCNE 8 held Online

"Maka-Pilipinas" A Voters' Education Module



God’s Abounding Grace in Jesus By: Sr. Therese Romanillos (JP1)

In this second year of the COVID-19 pandemic, we often find ourselves asking, “Where do we go from here?” This question comes with a realization that this is not how we imagine the world situation to be. Apart from Covid, there are other crucial things to take into consideration like the volatile economic status, calamities, dirty politics, joblessness, and hunger among others. Many people become so jaded with reality to the point that social media like Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter are peppered with news about depression, suicide, and the state of mental health. No nation is spared, and there is a handful who – regardless of race, creed, and social standing – seem to be in the verge of despair. Yet despite all the challenges, there has not been a more hopeful generation of humans than we in this time. More importantly, the season of Advent is a reminder of God’s abounding grace as the anticipation of the coming of the Messiah allows us to experience HOPE. Our sins became the suffering of Jesus, thus saving the entire humankind’s souls from the impending grips of hell. This is God’s greatest act of LOVE for us and the JOY of Christmas is that Jesus Christ the Messiah was born and will forever be with us. This is the will of the Father. This is His abounding grace. As Sisters filled with hope, we are one with the world in living out this grace.

Digital Painting by: Sr. Ann Ilyan Yao (JP4)

nov. 24 RED-LETTER Day by Sr. Donnalynn Marie Morta (JP2)

The SPC Congregation was shaken by the news of Sr. Gemma Lucie KIM and Sr. Martha PARK, SPC Korean missionaries from Seoul Province, being detained in Nepal since September 1, and accused of proselytizing and enticing the people to the Catholic faith while ministering to the poor in Pokhara. It just dawned on me, however, how real the challenges facing persecuted Christians is. Suddenly, the modern-day martyrs had a name and from complete strangers, now they are my Sisters. The two of them only represent the many people experiencing the same or even worse oppression because of their faith. Red Wednesday never became this meaningful to me. It is such a shame that it had to take people connected to me to undergo such harassment before it dawned on me that the fight for our faith is far from over. I feel in my heart that there are more people who think that persecuted Christians are a thing of the past. On November 24, the Wednesday after Christ the King, churches and institutions all over the Philippines became one with the rest of the world in highlighting the injustice suffered by Christians and urging people to stand for their faith, and their religious freedom. Our institutions: St. Paul School of Aparri, St. Paul College Balayan, St. Paul College Island Park, St. Pau College Paranaque, St. Paul University San Miguel, St. Paul College Pasig, St. Paul University Manila and St. Paul University Philippines took a stand by making that day RED by illuminating or decorating the façade of their schools or chapels red and offering Mass and special liturgies both on-site and online. It was no holiday, but it certainly was a day that was pleasantly noteworthy and memorable.

I strongly agree with the caption used by the ACN--Aid to the Church in Need-- for this year’s celebration of Red Wednesday: There is no 500 years of jubilee without 500 years of suffering. NO 500 YEARS OF GRACE WITHOUT 500 YEARS OF SACRIFICE.



GO WITH THE FLOW: UNBLOCK YOUR MERIDIAN TOWARD HEALTH By: Sr. Anna Concepcion Naval (JP1) On September 4, 2021, Dr. Charisse Raneses was the Resource Person on the talk, "Go with the flow: Unblock Your Meridian Toward Health." The input was the first in a series of three for Phase 1 of the Council of Province (COP) 2021 that prepared the Sisters for the actual COP 2021. According to Dr. Raneses, Meridian points are areas of the body where energy flow. Dr. Raneses talked about the benefits of Natural Healing Modalities, particularly Tapping, also known as EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique). Tapping is based on the combined principles of ancient Chinese acupressure and modern psychology. It interests me to know that meridian tapping can relieve stress and expels long-standing emotions. It is also good to understand the negative emotion creative cycle where Dr. Raneses explained how a negative emotion, such as fear, affects the kidneys and the bladder, or how hate and impatience affect the heart and the intestines. This session made me realize that acknowledging my emotions is important. Facing and accepting emotions are fundamental to mindfulness. Without these natural healing modalities, like EFT and “Meridian point tapping”, the identified negative energy that is stuck stays stuck. I am grateful for this opportunity to learn techniques to de-stress, restore body’s energetic balance, and maintain health.

The SPC Philippine Province was very generous to consider the Sisters’ health that they came up with a series of talks before meeting everyone for this year’s Council of Province (COP). One of the sessions was with Dr. Fatima Fareda Flores on Psycho- Emotional Healing held on October 2, 2021. I have always been fascinated with the Amygdala part of our brain. Dr. Flores explained clearly that the Amygdala helps us respond to the things happening around us because it helps regulate our emotions and encode memories. We sometimes need strong emotions, such as fear and anger, in order to respond appropriately to dangerous situations. Learning about this also helped me in discerning my actions in our community and in the apostolate. Being assigned in the hospital is very challenging. It is difficult to give healing if you yourself need so much of it. But God, in His power and great mercy, has a means to convert this limitation into something useful in the apostolate. Healing the Healers can result to Wounded Healers, armed with the grace to continue Jesus’ ministry of healing.


By: Sr. Maria Teresa Apistar (JP2)

When I think of laughter, one of the first memories that come to mind were the times when we, the formands, were dancing and singing the “Dadaanin ko na lang sa kanta”not just because it transports me back to the fun times, but because of the lessons of positivity that resonate from the song. Regardless of what mood I find myself in, it magically brings a smile to my face and laughter to my heart. Life isn’t always fun. There are ups, downs, and a vast array of times in between, especially this time of pandemic. But if we remember to infuse each day with a bit of laughter, finding our own unique way to make light of oftentimes very difficult situations, we don’t magically transform the situation, but we allow ourselves to push through and seek out the reasons to laugh. The more we laugh, the more our lives become filled with happiness. The more the happiness, the more we’re merrier and positive! In my community, the “Laff Day” gave us a brief moment to put our occasional hardships on pause. We realized that laughter is spiritually uplifting gift and an affirmation that celebrates our humanness. It clears the mind, invokes flexibility, and allows imagination to stretch – a good laugh is always the best way to end the day!

Beating the

"B.E.A.T.S" By: Sr. Erlyn Marie Cudiamat (JP1) Healing is an essential part of one’s life, but is impossible if we do not know our wounds. But the hardest question is, "Am I ready to be healed? On November 6, 2021, Fr. Jerry Orbos, SVD., gave the last in the series for Phase I of the Council of Province 2021 on “Spiritual Healing.” The talk was centered on unresolved childhood issues which affect us in one way or another. Fr. Jerry summed up the five issues in an acronym - “BEATS” or “Beginning issues, Entitlement issues, Authority issues, Trust issues, and Self-worth issues.” I realized that these were the issues I have been working on since my initial formation. The talk of Fr. Jerry helped me to look back to my journey towards the healing of my issues and wounds. My issues were hidden wounds that I did not pay much attention to. I learned that humility and ICU or “Intensive Care and Understanding” will help me to heal. The wounds in us will continue to cause us pain if we allow our pride to overpower us. Beating the “BEATS” in our life leads us to experience freedom. Certainly, healing is a long process but it is possible if we beat the “BEATS” in our life so that we may find the authentic spiritual healing that we have been longing for.

The Power of Encounter: Synod on Synodality By: Sr. Marie Kristine Joy de la Vega (JP 3) “Participating in a synod means placing ourselves on the same path as the Word made flesh. It means following in His footsteps, listening to His word along with the words of others. It means discovering with amazement that the Holy Spirit always surprises us and to suggest fresh paths and new ways of speaking.” On October 10, 2021, Pope Francis launched the two-year global consultation process leading to the 2023 synod on Synodality with the theme: "For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation, and Mission." "This Synod is not so much by organizing events or theorizing about problems, as in taking time to encounter the Lord and one another. Everything changes once we are capable of genuine encounters with Him and with one another, without formalism or pretense, but simply as we are," Pope Francis said. He encouraged all Catholics not to soundproof their hearts but listen to one another.

The call to walk together in becoming experts in the art of encounter was participated by some of our Junior Sisters, namely: Sr. Genevieve Cenit, Sr. Maria Teresa Apistar, and Sr. Donnalynn Morta in the parish synodal consultation process in their respective parishes, online or onsite. Our participation will help the Church bring together people and channel all to voice their thoughts. Parish Synodal Consultation at Immaculate Conception Parish Balayan, Batangas

Thus, this synod directs us to listen and discern, guided by God’s word and the Holy Spirit to a SYNODAL CHURCH: The Church that is not afraid to encounter and to participate and is ready to be sent.

#PCNE 8 held Online By: Sr. Jessa Louise Rosal (JP 4)

The annual Philippine Conference on New Evangelization (PCNE) was held online this year, from October 22 to 24 with the theme, “FOR A SYNODAL CHURCH: Encounter, Participation, and Mission.” It was a timely event in preparation for the "Synod on Synodality" of the Church in 2023 that calls for attentive listening and encounter so that like the Apostles we can say, “We cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard.” (Acts 4:20) Had Jesus performed his public ministry in this age, He surely would have His own social media accounts and be sought by millions of followers eager to listen to His words. The question now is, "Will you follow Jesus and be ready to go forth and share the good news and sing,

'Only in Jesus do we move. Only in Jesus we are changed. Only in Jesus’ love, we can heal the world's pains.'” We were given the privilege to take part during the PCNE 8 Series 3 as in-charge of the Opening Liturgy for Day 2. Sr. Maria Consuelo Celis, Sr. Maria Althea Alfonso, and several Junior Sisters joined the online conference via Facebook, Zoom, and YouTube. The participants were led to reflect on the theme “MISSION: From God to the ends of the world – missionary disciples, builders of peace!” Then, followed by the various concurrent sessions in the Zoom meeting, each chose one of the following topics: (1) Social Participation (2) Transforming Parish through Alpha (3) Culture and Faith (4) Mental Health (5) Family Mission. While on the main session,

Getting-to-Know the Artist behind the

SPC PHIL 2022 CALENDAR By: Sr. Genevieve Rose Cenit (JP4)

God’s grace truly abounds in the giftedness of our Sisters. We are proud to present the SPC Philippine Province 2022 Calendar, whose unique and original art masterpieces per month were crafted by the hands of our Junior Sister, Sister Ann Ilyan Marie Yao, SPC. Sister Ann Ilyan is a 4th year Junior Sister. Since the Aspirancy, she has been sharing her giftedness through arts, especially in making board works, paintings, and caricatures which she humbly and generously shares with everyone. You might be surprised to know that this talent was enhanced inside the convent.

Since when did you start to paint? I think the first time I held a paintbrush was when I was 3 or 4 years old. I remember my late father telling me that there is no such thing as “bad art” and that the most expensive art are the ones that are hung upside down unintentionally by its buyers (abstract art). For some reason, I believed him and so I grew up making artworks without being stressed out with how they would look like. It started with pencil sketches, then pastels and acrylic paints during high school. I only learned how to use watercolor, chalk, and digital art inside the convent, thanks be to God!

Where do your inspiration come from? In meaningful encounters with Jesus in prayer, especially during recollections and retreats. It makes me believe all the more that it is not readily in me, but just a grace that I receive from Him. I also admire painters like John Singer Sargent and Rembrandt in terms of their use of deep shadows. They don't use very vibrant colors, yet their paintings always speak to me as if they are telling a story.

Among the 13 paintings in the 2022 Calendar, which one is your favorite and why? The Portrait of the Sacred Heart. My Lolo, who stood up as my father after the death of my papa, just had Quadruple Heart By-pass last November. Even though he was literally given a new heart and a second life, Jesus also restored in him a “heart of flesh and feeling," that always seems to recognize God's mercy. He, who strongly disagreed with my entrance in the convent before, is now a changed soul. He thought I wouldn't be able to take care of him during his old age, but it is not just I who took care of him during his heart attack but the whole community of Notre Dame de Chartres Hospital and the Congregation. He thought I wouldn't be able to practice my degree that he himself worked hard for as an OFW, but Jesus ended up giving me to be his personal "nurse" who was by his side in the hospital. Jesus' real presence in his life became very much alive in his heart. Whenever I gaze at that painting, I am reminded of God's unfathomable wisdom and His unfailing hand over one's conversion of heart. Sister Ann Ilyan used the graphic design application 12 Procreate™ for the digital art paintings.

Experiencing God's Healing Mercy Through



“Every scar is a lesson. We are learning to be brave.” On October 24-26, 2021, the JP 5 Sisters underwent the Embodied Spiritual Process (ESP), facilitated by Bro. Ildefonso De Castro, OH and his team from the La Colcha Hospitaller Center for Pastoral Care, Quiapo Manila. ESP provided the Sisters an avenue to journey towards embracing the truth of their humanity, taking the road of the inner self leading to freedom and authentic personhood.


“Take away” or Impressions on the ESP:

“Magandang karanasan na masarap na balik-balikan. Ikay’ tunay na biyaya galling sa Maykapal.”

SR. MARY JOANNIE BOLISAY, SPC #ESP Salamat sa bagong programa, naging daan ng bagong pag-asa “Masarap balikan ang sugat ng nakaraan, 'pagkat bukas ang puso sa paghilom na nakalaan.”

SR. MARY MAY SALVORO, SPC # From knowing to loving: “ESP is a road worth travelling. I took an inward journey to myself towards self-becoming: “From knowing the truth of my humanity towards embracing and loving my true self.” Thank you ESP, you helped me to be free!

SR. CHERRY MARIE MAITIM, SPC Sugat at luha dala ng nakaraan Binigyan linaw upang matutukan. Ngayon ay aking mas naunawaan na ang kahinaa’y pwedeng malampasan Pinagtagpi-tagping kwento ng buhay binuo at binigyang kulay. Mga sugat ng kahapon ay unti-unting naghilom. Salamat ESP, lalo’t salamat Panginoon.

SR. SHEILA FRANCES FELIPE, SPC Mood Check: “Pinagpala" Pinaubaya: Sugat ng nakaraan binalikan, pagyakap tungo sa kalayaan.

BY SR. RICHIE INES MAKIL (JP5) I am grateful to God and to the Congregation for the opportunity that was given to me to grow as a person and consecrated person through the Formative Intervention through Accompaniment toward Transformation (FIAT) from September 2-October 30, 2021. The in-house FIAT at the La Colcha Hospitaller Center for Pastoral Care is an intervention program designed with essential components in order to provide a formative structure. Such structure supported my objective to be holistically disposed for a lifetime commitment as a consecrated person. I have been blessed by God thru FIAT, through the Congregation, through you dearest Sisters. Thank you very much!

How much do you know about your


By: Sr. Ann Ilyan Yao (JP4)

Did you know that the image we call “Our Lady of Chartres” is actually more known as “Our Lady of the Underground” or ”Notre Dame de Sous de Terre” precisely because the statue is placed in the crypt or underground of the Chartres Cathedral?

This amazing history unveils not only who our Mother is as Our Lady of Chartres, but also our eyes, each time we gaze at her. A prophetic image that foretold the coming of the Messiah through a virgin.

Did you know that this may be the oldest image of Our Lady that was ever made? Legend says that it already existed 50 years before Christ’s birth! Pagan Celtic priests, or druids, heard of Isaiah’s prophecy about a virgin who will give birth, "Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin will be with child and bear a son…"(Isaiah 7:14). Wise men as they were, they believed that the prophesied son is divine and the one true God. A prince in Chartres then was said to have heard of this and asked an image to be carved.. Not knowing their names, he simply referred to it as Virgini Pariture, which means “to the virgin who will give birth.” Only generations later that the druids came to know that the prophetic image refers to Mary and Jesus. The image where the druids used to worship this image is the exact spot where Chartres Cathedral was built. That spot is kept as the basement of the Cathedral. Did you know that the original image was burned on an execution pyre during a Revolution in 1793? It was replaced in 1857. However, since it was far from the original image, it was then replaced again in 1976. It is now the current image closer to the original statue: 80cm, natural pear wood.

Typhoon “Maring” Relief Operation By: Sr. Mary Ethel Despacio (JP 4)

As reports started coming in about the intense flooding caused by the Typhoon “Maring” on October 12, 2021 in the areas of Cagayan, Isabela, Benguet and La Union, the SPCEM LINGAP PAULINIAN called for a donation drive for the victims of the said typhoon to all Paulinian students, alumni, and other benefactors. With much urgency, the SPCEM LINGAP PAULINIAN coordinated with St. Paul School of Aparri - Christian Formation Office through Sr. Mary Ethel Despacio, SPC. The relief operation of those affected by "Maring" in the town of Aparri, Cagayan, was thus facilitated The SPCEM Lingap Paulinian and SPSA Community Pantry deployed the relief operation to the four barangays in Aparri who were most badly affected by the flood. They were able to provide 100 packs of goods which included rice, sardines, instant noodles, egg, biscuits, assorted condiments, face masks, and others. Coupled with lockdown measures and other restrictions due to COVID-19, the extent of the typhoon has become a challenge, but it never stopped but motivated us to pursue the activity because the affected families experienced dual devastation: the effect of COVID-19 and the typhoon. Many lost their livelihood which their families were dependent on. This opportunity has given us strength to do the mission of God and proclaim His greatness -- that in spite of the situation, I saw the hope in their faces and gratefulness for the blessings they received. Journeying together, we can!

“I chose you to bear fruit that will last” -John 15:16 By: Sr. Maria Salvacion Bautista (JP 3)

As a third-year Junior Sister, I can compare my journey to the story of the fig tree that does not bear a fruit. Jesus begged and asked the owner for one more year to dig and manure it and continued to hope and patiently wait for the fig tree to bear fruit.

ar Mid-Ye

ion Recollect 2021

Our four-day mid-year recollection with Sr. Inigo Joachim, SSA, on September 15-18, 2021, was an opportunity for me to have a “selfie-with God.” I was led to contemplate on my journey in religious life as a "fig tree." As such, I was able to recall and relish my experiences in life where Jesus continues to hope and patiently wait for me to grow and bear much fruit. There were times in my life when I felt useless and worthless because of my insecurities, limitations, and weaknesses. There were also moments when I felt incapable of doing the things I have seen our congregation doing. But God continued to pour out His blessings every time I needed His help to give myself to the congregation, the apostolate, and the people I encountered where I can use and share my gifts. I always fell grateful to the congregation for all the learnings and opportunities to grow and mature in the different aspects of my life and to be more faithful in loving and serving God through the gift of my vocation.

MY COVID-19 JOURNEY By: Sr. Gloryedda Alda Agas (JP 1)

Sore throat, colds, tiredness, body aches, cramps and fever are the symptoms I had when I contracted CORONAVIRUS-19. The first time to do my mission in my first assignment in St. Paul Hospital of Tuguegarao, I was eager to be of service to the patients. This is now my chance to serve, to be in the frontline after being locked up in the convent because of the restrictions of the pandemic. I was assigned to have my duty in the Emergency Room where the patients were to be initially assessed and treated. All the patients who were in the emergency room were yet to be identified if they have Covid or not that’s why there was a high risk of me being infected. After a few days of duty, I got infected. I was blessed that I only had mild symptoms and there was no need for me to take antiviral and other expensive medications. I just needed to be isolated for 14 days so to prevent the spread of the virus. More than the anxiety of developing serious physical symptoms, it was the feeling of being isolated, bored, uncertain, and inadequate that was much more stressful. As a young Sister, I felt inadequate because I just arrived in my first community and yet I got sick and was not able to be of help to them and to do my duty. These negative feelings of inadequacy and discomfort made me realize how I’ve been being invited by God to be humble and to learn to depend on Him and my Sisters. Being infected by Covid-19 is a humbling experience, there I realized my nothingness before God. I was reminded by God to be more grateful for my life, the people I live with and encounter every day. I learned to be in solidarity with other people who are sick especially with Covid-19, those who lost their loved ones in this pandemic. God wants me to entrust my life only to Him. The isolation days also became an opportunity for me to be with the Lord. I was so preoccupied with doing my mission and not having silent time with Him. He made a way to talk to me and take away all the things that were distracting me because of my eagerness to do things on my own. In my vulnerability and nothingness, God asked me to open my heart to Him and others. In difficult and challenging times God will only be my consolation, and His presence is always with me, in seeking God I was be able to survive.

MY COMMUNITY d n u o r G ealing My H

By: Sr. Maria Christine C. Engalgado (JP 3)

We are grateful to Sr Lilia and Council for another opportunity for us Junior Sisters to join the on-line Council of Province (COP), for the 2nd time, with the theme, “Jesus, the Healer, Leading SPC Communities towards Wholeness” on November 28-Dec 1, 2021. I learned a lot of things, from the Welcome Remarks of Sr. Lilia Therese Tolentino, our Provincial Superior and the updates presented by the Provincial Assistants from the ministries. I was filled with gratitude to God when I heard Sr. Adelina's report on the status of our Health Care Ministry when she said that we rely only on God’s abounding grace WHO sustains us in facing our mission amidst this Covid-19 pandemic. Another was the talk of Msgr. Noel Deslate on the “Healing Experience in Community.” It brought me back to the ups and downs our community had been through this past year of pandemic, mostly in facing the challenges of our mission in the apostolate. It brought me back to a lot of our community dialogues to sort out things in dealing the challenges of our ups and downs, including our personal issues and conflicts that affected our relationship. I really appreciate this experience. My healing experience was when my mother got infected with the Covid-19 virus and eventually died. Losing a mother was very painful, especially that I was on her side. My community helped me a lot in my journey towards healing. Praise God, I was able to recover sooner as I expected and bounced back because of their support, understanding, and love. It was where I appreciated most the beauty of our community life and confirm that my community is my healing ground where I have grown to accept my mother’s death.

"Maka-Pilipinas" - A Voter's Education Module by Sr. Marie Jamie Gem Serquiña (JP 3)


The Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV), a non-partisan, non-profit organization, and the arm of the Roman Catholic Church in safeguarding the Elections in the country, has recently launched their Voter's Education-Values Formation Program, in preparation for the May 2022 National and Local Elections. Amidst the difficulties posed by the COVID Pandemic, PPCRV continues to strive to fulfill its mission to ensure a peaceful and credible elections. Their new Voter's Education Module, "Maka-Pilipinas" is based on the 16 Good Citizenship Values that are enshrined in the Philippine Constitution. These will serve as a guide to every voter on how to choose good and credible government officials of our country. These 16 Good Citizen Values are divided into four (4) main categories, namely:





1) Faithful to God 2) Respects Life 3) Lives Orderly 4) Industrious 5) Concerned for the -


maka-Dyos maka-tao't may respeto sa buhay at pamilya makabuluhan at matino ang pamumuhay masigasig tumulong na makaahon ang bawat isa Future- malinaw ang pananaw sa makabagong bukas


6) Loving 7) Protects Freedom 8) Peace-loving 9) Honest 10) Just


- makalinga at maaalalahanin - maka-kalayaan - maka-kapayapaan, ayaw ng karahasan - maka-totoo - makatarungan


11) Inclusive and United - makakasama ang lahat, hindi nang-iiwan 12) Fair - makatuwiran at patas makisama 13) Law-abiding - maka-batas 14) Patriotic - makabayan 15) Promotes the Common Good- makapagtataguyod ng kabutihang panlahat



16) Environmental Concerned - maka-kalikasan May we, as voters, use these values as criteria in choosing our future government officials. Likewise, we are also invited to imbibe, live out, and share these values, so that we may achieve our dream to have good governance in our country and improve our moral standards in the government and society.


Mother Maria Goretti Lee, SPC and Members of the General Administration Sr. Lilia Thérèse Tolentino, SPC and Members of the Provincial Administration Formators and Sisters