Vocation Promotion, Philippines

S Josephinevocation2  Vocation Month of Palo Diocese,  Tacloban City, Philippines.

 

September every year is Vocation Month in Palo Diocese, Leyte, Philippines. On September  13th–  Vocation Sunday this year, the Sisters of St Clara community presented power point talk  about our congregation after Masses in our own Parish to encourage youth to consider their vocation.

 

This Month is always very active for us. On September 14-18th  again we joined the vocation campaigns. We went to different public schools in Tacloban City to give talks about our own congregations. We were joined by vocation promoters from different congregations and seminaries. Though filled with enthusiasm we were tired from the hard work of giving talks either before a student assembly or in groups by sections. We answered the students’ questions and shared our experiences of our own vocation.  In turn, they told us about their difficulties and their life desires. We found that many students wish to know the truth and the real path that God wants them to go. We learned and enriched each other. In the whole process, we experienced the leading of the Holy Spirit. When we did not know how to answer the students’ questions,  it was the Holy Spirit providing the answers. Sometimes we were touched by our own response to the students. Sometimes tears fell down on our faces. The event was called vocation campaign and it is understood that  every congregation tries to get more vocations for their own group. Great was the collaboration among each of the promoters. We tried our best to tell the values of being a religious. Let the students known the great work that God did for each one of us and for each congregation. We believe the activities have inspired a lot of students to change their lives. For this, we were moved and full of gratitude.

 

Philippinos are very friendly and hospitable, easy to please and always relaxed. During the campaign speech I told them that our SMIC sisters now have missions in 9 countries all over the world. I also shared my own vocation story. I also taught them to sing short Chinese songs; and taught them a few simple Chinese words adding to feelings of excitement. During the campaign I mentioned that as a foreign missionary, I have to study Tagalog. But I think Chinese is the easiest language in the world. (laugh)“Do you believe? Let’s try, only one minutes, I can teach you 5 Chinese sentences….(I chose some of the following: Hello, how are you, thank you, goodbye, very delicious, I love you, you love me, and God loves you: 你好,你好吗?谢谢,再见,好吃,我爱你,你爱我,天主爱你)

 

When the time allowed I also taught deep breathing to experience God…. I asked them “Have you ever experience God?” “Ok, would you like to experience HIM now?” “Ok, Close your eyes and relax…..”……

 

I told the students that the most important thing is not to chose our congregation but that, if you are called, to pray and ask God to guide you to choose one to live in and through it to serve the church, fulfilling God’s plan to you.

 

How do you know you are called? Never say “I am not good”; “I am not worthy”; No one is worthy, we are all sinners. Vocation is a free gift, it is a ministry, God has his plan for you and wants to use you as his instrument. Because the time limits I encourage them to contact us if they have any more questions about our congregation and about my own story. If they have any interest to join us, you can visit us.

 

On Oct 31st we had a really good start by having a few girls joining us in activities at the St. Clara