Pope invites Capuchin Sisters

by: Deborah Castellano Lubov-Vatican News

Pope to Capuchin sisters: ‘Let the Holy Family inspire you’

Pope Francis invites Capuchin Tertiary Sisters of the Holy Family to learn from the Holy Family, to embrace littleness and to have a massive impact by listening silently to God’s voice, maintaining a strong personal prayer life, and living out synodality together.

Pope Francis has called on religious sisters to be powerful prophets of humble listening, so that by listening to God’s voice they might be empowered to go against the current and ‘noise,’ to bring God’s love to all without distinction.

The Pope gave this encouragement as he addressed members of the Capuchin Tertiary Sisters of the Holy Family on Monday in the Vatican.

According to their website, the Congregation was founded in 1885, in the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Montiel, Benaguacil, in Valencia, Spain, and was approved by Pope Leo XIII in 1902.

What was born as a small family of sisters is now present in 34 countries located on four continents, full of young women worldwide “joyful for their call and happy to be consecrated to the service of others.”

Pope Francis told the nuns on Monday morning that it was a joy for him to welcome them, especially as they celebrate their 23rd General Chapter.

with the Generals

God Took Pity on Me

by: Sr. Sharon Garzon, tc

       Before I finally heed the call of the Lord, in a way, I can say that I thought I was already okay by the world’s standard.  May you not take this as boasting because what I gave up is nothing compared to what the rich and the famous who followed our Lord gave up, including that of the princes and princesses who left everything just to serve Him… but, if one is asking for a secured job, car (though vintage), privileges and favors, a little investment, wonderful friends and loved ones, several suitors, pleasant entertainments and hobbies, a promising future, what more can I ask, I had them all.  Not in exaggeration, but I remember friends would call me, “The envy of Murcia.” (Murcia is my hometown).

       What was puzzling however was:  After a busy day of work or even during the very busy day at work, or in the leisure time, I felt blissful and yet I also felt incomplete.  Thinking that what was lacking was my prince charming, I started opening my door to the possibility of finding the man of my dreams. However, the Lord had His plans for me that He did not permit me to commit myself to anyone, because He knew when I commit myself to something or someone that will already be forever.   

       Looking back, when I was small, I remember putting half-slip on my head, pretending to be a Religious Sister while singing and dancing in front of the mirror.  But as I was growing older, I told myself that I do not like to be a Religious Sister upon seeing and experiencing some not so good examples from some cranky Sisters, though I met and are friends with other nice and kind ones at school. I told myself, we could be holy outside too, so why enter?  It is very funny, it is ironic, and I am here now, a contented happy Religious Sister.

       There was a point in my life when I was in the middle of diligently doing my task, I asked the Lord, “Lord will I do this for the rest of my days, just to count and count and to balance this and that? I think there is more to just working and earning.” I think, there and then that the Lord had awakened again the seed of vocation that He planted in me since I was in my elementary years in our beautiful mountain where the Salesian Missionaries are there present to share the faith to the people where I and my treasured family actively participated.                     When I considered again the likelihood of “the Call”, I started knowing a little more some Congregations.  Nevertheless, it only took a “bata” (the daily clothes worn by the Sisters) when He tried to get my attention to my present and much-loved Congregation.  When I first saw the Capuchin Tertiary Sisters in Bacolod City, near our place of work, I found their “bata” nice because it seemed light and cool even if you exert effort, especially in our scorching hot country, Philippines.

      I asked the Sisters about their Congregation and in response, they told me who they are, they invited me for a search-in and it is there that my inexplicable journey to Religious Life had begun.

       When our Lord definitely called me some 15 years ago, I thought I was giving Him a great favor of giving up my family, friends, dreams, plans, what I had and what I was, because it was not at all easy. It was painful when I asked my dear ones’ blessings and for them I will be leaving them behind. In the same manner that it was heart crushing to think that, I will not be there when they need me. In addition, the thought that in times of jubilation, get together and celebrations, I know I will no longer be there, was hurting.  Next, the letting go of my plans of having a nice family of my own, to let go of all of my dreams, to let go of the desire to fulfil my passions and to do the things that I really love doing – remunerated or not, and the list goes on and on…

       When it dawned on me that the Lord commissioned me to give not just a hundred, thousand or even millions in the collection box or in charities if I had the chance, and when I knew that He asked me to give not just a part but the whole of myself,   I was thinking it was me who was giving Him my best by giving Him my all when I said YES to Him, but, I realize I was wrong.  “He cannot be outdone in His generosity”.  He is always giving back to me all the favours, or to rephrase, the favours are all for me.  I am always at the winning end.

       His promises in Matthew 19:29, “And everyone who has left houses, brothers, sisters, father, mother, children or land for the sake of my name will receive a hundred times as much, and also inherit eternal life”, have been unfolding right before my eyes.

      As for the people I care the most, God knows how much I love them, but He lets me see that He loves them more and that He can take care of them much, much more than I can. Furthermore, He was teaching me how to be truly generous by expanding my capacity to love. He asked me to love not just a group of people I can call “my family or my own” but to consider making “all family my own” to love not just a few but to love all, “fratelli tutti” (brothers/sisters all), to be inclusive rather than exclusive…

       He taught me that an authentic love goes beyond borders, goes beyond time and space so much so that what I should be offering my dear ones and everyone, should be far more than just what is banal and material, much more than mansions here on earth where moth and rust will just destroy and will just perish, instead,  to offer the kind that lasts forever – eternal life.

      I remember walking back home to our Community in Quezon City one afternoon when a mentally deranged man touched my arm, made the sign of the Cross and knelt in front of me, and I froze.  I was stupefied not for fear of him, but because I realized the great responsibility that was laid on me:  If a crazy man sees the image of God in me, using His consecrated garb, I should be more conscious that my way of living reminds people of the presence of our Lord (…so, help me God…).  

      The way I perceive and understand things now, my priorities that were far different from long ago, how I have grown, knowing my capacities and limitations, the experiences I enjoyed or cried over and seeing His hands in the events that gave me the faith and trust that He will always be there to see me through… all these and more are priceless and amazing and can never be traded for anything else.  These I consider graces that only He can give. Even so I am still a “work in progress”.

      I can conclude that I am a better Sharon than 15 years ago and that for sure I will never discover these without Him calling me to this kind of life.  I can’t thank God enough – HE TOOK PITY ON ME by consecrating me to Him through Religious Life so that I can change my goals and transcend, knowing that without Him, I am nothing.

       I was not living a sinful life back then, in fact, I was also trying my best to be good and follow His precepts as I understand it, but He opened my eyes to see that “to be good is not good enough” to enter His Kingdom. It is in knowing His will, and following it. If the Lord did not call me to Religious Life, I fear I could have been carried by many distorted ideologies to my perdition and that of others that I may have influenced.           

      Now and for always, I wish to put this line in a song, a reality in me: “I’ll shout it from the mountain top, I want the world to know, the Lord of Love has come to me, I want to pass it on…” 

Sr. Leslie, Sr. Sharon, Sr. Emily, Sr. Clara with the Bishop and Priests on their Perpetual Profession

My Encounter with God

by: Anjaneth Lobedica 

           Knowing and meeting the Capuchin Tertiary Sisters is a blessing and a gift. I am BLBBC scholar graduate and am fortunate enough to know the Sisters for almost 5 years.

            Now, as a young professional living and working with the Sisters makes me more mature and helps me broaden my perspective. I could differentiate the potential alignment of personal values with professional activity. And working here unveils two important things between the professional role (work engagement) and the personal role (flourishing at work). Receiving formations since I was a scholar until now turned me into a better version of myself, I am not the immature and low-spirited person I was and I can now manage myself well and knows to control my emotions. I am thankful to the Sisters for they are there always to guide and correct me if I made mistakes.

What I appreciate more is that they help me draw closer to God. I was not a prayerful one, a church person and I always questions God before but thanks to the bible sharing and other formations imparted by the Sisters to us that made me realize how much God loves me and that help me strengthen my faith. If I am the same as I was and problems or trials strike, maybe I get easily stressed, down, or depress but by God’s grace I am much better now and strong enough to face any hardships. As my faith grows deeper the happier I become for I worry less now knowing that God will not let me down and will not give up on me. I was also influenced by working with the Sisters through engagement in social activities like serving the poorest and most disadvantaged people. I like to give with the capacity I have since then and living with the Sisters made me realize that I can still do more every day and in the future. Being kind is always a choice.

              The morals, values, and virtues that I learned from the Sisters are already engraved in me and will not be a waste for I now live with them and I will surely share them with the people around me.

Vocation Guidance

Young People!

Take time to listen to what God wants you to be and to do.

Begin to explore who you ae, your purpose, and your CALLING.

Join our Vocation Guidance. Discover the life that God has called you to realize.

Your happiness depends on your choice!

Newly Elected General Government

        With joy we share that in the recent session of the General Chapter held on September 21st at the General Curia in Rome, Sister Blanca Nidia Bedoya Salazar, Colombian, has been elected as the XV  General Superior of the Capuchin Tertiary Sisters of the Holy Family for the six-year term 2022-2028. She is part of the community of Colegio Nuestra Señora de los Ángeles, in Manizales, Colombia.

            Thank God for the gift of her life and her generous YES to accept this service which, in the words of our  Father Founder Luis Amigò, is the “head and guide of the entire Congregation and above all the mother of all the sisters in it.¨ (Cfr. OCLA 2319)

          And on the 22nd of September, the Congregation welcomed the newly elected Councilor sisters that will form the General Government for the coming six years.

The newly-elect Councilors are:

Sr. María Luisa García Casamián, 1st Councilor and Vicar (Spain)
Sr. María Anabelle Céspedes Morales, 2nd Councilor (Costa Rica)
Sr. Bilma Narcisa Freire Chamorro, 3rd Councilor (Ecuador)
Sr. Sonia de Fátima Marani Lunardelli, 4th Councilor (Brazil)

       We rejoice with are grateful for their generosity and taking the words of the Psalm, “May the goodness of the Lord come down to us, and make the works of our
hands”.

newly elected sisters of the General Government

Echoes of the XXIII General Chapter

        On September 8th, the Feast of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary, initiated the celebration of an ecclesial and congregational event of great importance for our Congregation: the XXIII General Chapter.

We reap abundantly what we have sown with love, dedication, and responsibility. We thank God for giving us the strength to continue making our way, attentive to the voice of God and the reality that invites us to listen, participate, decide, and act. This voice must resound in every Capuchin Tertiary Sister and committed to Jesus and His Gospel, we truly want to live the motto of our Chapter: “We listen with humility to advance in synodality”. (from the letter to the whole congregation regarding the Chapter)

Entrance to the Aspirancy

Beginning a new life!
 
Sheena E. Pala from Sultan Kudarat, Philippines has begun her vocation journey as she formally initiated her formation, the entrance to the Aspirancy.
 
Aspirancy is the stage where the young woman is continued to be accompanied in order to discover the project of God in her life, by deepening the baptismal commitment in order to discern the invitation of Jesus to follow Him more closely. (TC Plan of Formation)
 
May the young people of today continue to heed God’s call to work in His vineyard. 
Sheena receiving her Tau
with the celebrating priest, sisters, and postulants

Opening of Luis Amigò Academy

The Capuchin Tertiary Sisters of the Holy Family, Vice-Province of Asia, celebrates God´s abundant blessings as it opens the Luis Amigò Academy, in Brgy. Cabug, Bacolod City, Negros Occidental. With the efforts and sacrifices of the community of Holy Family Home-Cabug, the support and guidance of the VP Council, the prayers of the sisters, and all those who selflessly took part in this project, what has been an “idea” now becomes a reality.

This project is a new venue not only for education but for evangelization, working with families, and for protecting children.

 

Franciscan Way of Sharing

By: Fr. Norbert,OFMCap

When we lived in the village, we used to share. If we had delicious food, our parents were sharing it with our neighbors. We also often received something from them.

The practice of sharing is also implemented in the life of the Capuchin Order. “Option for The Poor” significantly became the main topic. In the name of the Capuchin order, I’m willing to help children from underprivileged families. Our Minister Provincial is always encouraging the members of the Capuchin communities to give more attention to the poor.

In Vietnam, sharing practice exists.  Every Saturday, we and the Legion of Mary (Community of Tanda Parish) visit and give Holy Communion to the sick.  Besides that, we also help the poor, the suffering, and the disabled. In 2018, our community moved to Fatima Parish next to the community of the Capuchin Tertiary Sisters of the Holy Family, and our relationship is strengthened. The practice of sharing between our two communities is getting real. We often receive food largess from benefactors and then we share with them.   Through this experience, the aspirants and the postulants are learning that we, as Franciscans need to share.   Our Capuchin Sisters are generous. They are also willing to help us and share with us.

It’s indeed a beautiful grace that since the local police in our ward know we share the same spirituality, the sisters can celebrate the Holy Mass without any problem.

COVID-19 is a huge disaster for the whole of humanity. However, this pandemic also gives grace to the Vietnamese. The practice of sharing in society is getting better. Several parishes in Saigon received plenty of food largess and are being shared with the needy.

 Jesus said, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink” (Mt. 6:25) This, we experienced during the pandemic, especially during the lockdown. We have received more than enough and all for free.  These abundant blessing received moved us to share especially with our Capuchin Sisters.  This is my humble story about sharing in Vietnam.

New Aspirants

“We may be called for something that seems unnatural for us, but when we listen and heed to God’s calling, it will connect us to inner desires. GOD WILL NOT CALL US FOR SOMETHING HE HASN’T WIRED US TO DO– C.E.Ibanez

 “Every vocation is born of that gaze of love with which the Lord came to meet us, perhaps even at a time when our boat was being battered by the storm. Vocation more than our choice, is a response to the Lord’s unmerited call. We will succeed in discovering and embracing our vocation once we open our hearts in gratitude and perceive the passage of God in our lives”.

Yes with this desire in their hearts we had the entrance of our three candidates JESCILLA. S, SUJITHA. M, and MAHIMA SORENG to their Aspirancy on Sunday, 24th of July. The ceremony of their entrance took place during our Morning Prayer where Sr. Emily Soliva, community-in-charge of Montiel Illam Anugraha received them joyfully into our family.

  • Jescilla is from Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu and she is 24 yrs old. She came to know us when she came to attend a course in Anugraha. She expressed her desire to work for the youth and moreover she liked our charism.
  • Sujitha is from Namakal, Tamil Nadu and she is 20 years old. She is in contact with us for three years and she studied her Bachelor degree in Anugraha.
  • Mahima Soreng is from Salangabahal, Odisha and she is 17 years old. We came to know her when we went for a vocation camp organized by the Diocese of Rourkela. It was really a surprise how we came in contact with her and how she was eager to come to be with us. Her family was also very open.

They have begun answering God’s call despite all the insecurities that they have yet they believe in the God who had called them. As we thank God and their family for their generosity, let’s continue to accompany them through our prayers and fraternal support.

The Apirants with Srs. Emily and Asha
The Aspirants with Sr. Princy
Giving of the Tau