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June’s Triple Blessing

July 31, 2022

The Province of St. Louise de Marillac – Asia awaited with joy the month of June as it anticipated abundant blessings, three of which came in “rainbow colors.”

May 31 ushered the month of June with the designation of Sr. Maria Ana Rosario G. EVIDENTE as Visitatrix for another 3 years. Amid the political, economic, social uncertainty and seeming hopelessness in world events, this has brought incomparable hope and a sense of continuity and commitment for the Province.

June 4 is the Province’s 6th anniversary after its reconfiguration: one Province, nine countries. As we raised our hearts in thanksgiving for God’s love and mercy, we also praised Him for sending us a new Provincial Director, Fr. Gerardo VIBAR, CM.

June 21, in bated, prayerful breath, after the cancellation of the original flight schedule, Sisters were in the lobby of the Provincial House in the Philippines, as we welcomed towards midnight Sr. Francoise PETIT, Superioress General. Sisters representing those from Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Papua New Guinea, Taiwan, China and from the different regions of the Philippines joined Sister Françoise as she offered a bouquet of flowers to the Blessed Virgin and sang Her Magnificat!

Sr. Françoise could visit only a few Communities and their mission in the Philippines; two memorable ones were the Anislag Vincentian Family Village and the “Ati” Village.

Anislag was a project spearheaded by the Daughters of Charity in collaboration with the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, the other members of the Vincentian Family in varying ways, and the Association of Major Religious Superiors in the Philippines,  which aimed to build homes for 330 families who lost loved ones, houses and farms during the devastating typhoon in 2006. Today, it is a self-reliant faith-community.

The “Ati” Village is a deeply fought-for and hard-earned ancestral land of the Indigenous People called Ati. Three Daughters of Charity continue to live in this village with the Ati, struggling with them as they claim what is theirs by right: land, income and life.

Sr. Françoise was also witness to two celebrations: the silver jubilee of 6 Daughters of Charity and the passing to eternal life of Sr. Francisca SANCHEZ.

Sr. Françoise left the Philippines on June 28 and flew to S. Korea where she visited Bono Social Service Center whose major services include the day care for elderly persons (feeding and recreational activities) as well as the accompaniment of migrant families that aims to ease their insertion into the Korean community (socio-cultural activities, cooking and language studies). The St. Louise Sanctuary is a home for wives and children who suffer violence from Korean husbands.  The Home, in collaboration with the government, provides psychological, cultural, health and legal accompaniment. The last visit was to the St. Vincent’s Home, an institution for elderly persons; owned by the Daughters of Charity, it passed government standards and enjoys support from the government.

Fr. Gerardo’s homily on the solemnity of St. John the Baptist may very well summarize what Sr. Françoise’s presence meant for the Province:

“Sister Françoise, please forgive my boldness, but let me say this to our Sisters in the Province of Saint Louise de Marillac-Asia:  these days, an angel of the Lord is visiting you (…). She comes with a message from God. (…) we are truly filled with joy and gladness at your visit and we shall await more of your message to us, of God’s message to us.”