Posted on 5 December 2013 by FDZ Australia
I came to Italy in September 2012 for the International Juniorate. When the formation was over (August 2013), I was sent to San Pier Niceto for a mission and community experience. I was warmly welcomed by our sisters in the community and by the locals of the place. They were very happy to see a young sister among them, as I am literally the youngest member of the community. The sisters have been given much affection and concern.
As I journey these past months, I have discovered the marvelous things that the Lord have traced on my path, through these experiences amidst my elderly sisters. Their enthusiastic witnessing of ROGATE in continuing the works that our beloved Padre have left to us his spiritual daughters, their unceasing concern for vocations, and seeing the scarcity of workers in the Church particularly in this community, have moved my heart and have challenged me to put all my efforts, love, commitment and responsibility to the works I am doing. Each and every day, I come to a deep reflection and realization of the necessity to truly give my life as a continuous offering for vocations, for I wonder “what will be the future of the Church without vocation at this present generation?”.
Seeing the reality in this community, have taken me to a greater concern and brought me closer to the Lord, pleading Him every day without ceasing to send more holy vocations in our congregation. This is a call to bend my knees in prayer and to implore Him to grant me and all of my co-sisters all over the world the grace of holy perseverance in the vocation we are called to live. I also remember and pray for all our formands in all stages of formation, that we may be like these sisters I am living with in this community. With this prayer, I turn to the source of my Call, the Lord of the harvest that He may grant my heart’s desire for the glory of His name. On my part, I commit to give myself totally to Him as I embrace Him every day with love and trust. Thank you Jesus for leading me the way to fidelity in the example and life witnessing these sisters have shown to me.
Sr M Adelfina Se fdz
Filed under: General | Tagged: community, experience, reflection, vocation | Leave a Comment »
Posted on 28 November 2013 by FDZ Australia
With the words of St Hannibal: “When the family cannot fulfill, we must provide a place to welcome them!” These words are enough to remind us that each child entrusted to our care is a living legacy of our Father Founder. Each child gives life to a history that gave birth to us. Each child enkindles the fire of a history that revealed the scarcity of holy labourers. Each child is a harvest that sets our history in the heart of the Local Church of Ilocos Norte through Tahanang Carmela D’Amore.
Thus, we would like to give thanks and praises to GOD, the Giver of all good gifts as we celebrate this year the 25th Foundation Anniversary (1988-2013) of Tahanang Carmela D’Amore. Twenty-five years have passed but God’s faithfulness has never abandoned us. Grace after grace has been experienced by the past and present community and has been expressed in taking care of the children of various ages and backgrounds entrusted to the care of the Daughters of Divine Zeal.
It was indeed a rich tradition which was started by Father Hannibal in Avignone Quarter on 1882. It is a tradition that characterises the mission of the Institute that offers, especially to the children, a home, affections, education and various programs towards building a strong character in Christ. Thus, at the end they can have a dignified involvement in the larger society and be a holy labourer in the vineyard of the Lord.
Sr M Connie Borjal fdz
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Posted on 21 November 2013 by FDZ Australia
Sisters is a one-hour documentary film that takes us into the lives of five American Catholic Sisters.
It is a film about faith and hope, love and death, seen through the eyes of five women who have committed their lives to the service of others in the deepest way. Without narration, their stories are told in the honest words and actions of the women themselves.
Filed under: General | Tagged: call, calling, community, God, Jesus, journey, sister, spirit, spiritual, spirituality, vocation, women | Leave a Comment »
Posted on 14 November 2013 by FDZ Australia
It was 4 April, Easter Thursday, when Fr Joel Castillo invited us to the Parish of St Anne in Piddig for a simple Easter gathering and to join him in thanking the Lord for the graduation of seventy students of St Anne’s Academy, where he is the Director. Two of the graduates were his scholars. There was also the blessing of a small building adjacent to the school intended to be a Chapel in the future for the teachers and students. The Chapel is to be built in memory of Hanna, his niece, who died at a very tender age. As he said in his introductory remarks, it is a way to revive and inculcate among the teachers and students – and possibly for all those in the vicinity – the spirit of prayer.
After the blessing, lunch was served and a short program followed; some songs were rendered with the accompaniment of musical instruments by the graduates, there was a showing of their pictures, and a faith-sharing experience from the parents of the two scholars of Father Joel who were present at that time. They shared their life and the experience of how God helped them through Father Joel. In spite of the difficulties they had, particularly financially, they never lost faith and hope in God – they had tried to find ways to send their children to school. God saw the pureness of their heart and their sincere desire to give their children a better future through education, so He sent help through the person of Father Joel who was ready to support them. The parents were very grateful to God for this and were truly happy and proud for the success of their sons.
As a sign of their gratitude to God, they generously offer their sons to Him as they gave their full consent for them to enter the seminary. Through the guidance and assistance of Father Joel, two vocations to the priesthood had been nurtured. We are grateful for this priest, he touches the life of people, he brings people closer to God. We, the novices are blessed to have him as our confessor and we are fortunate to have participated in this simple gathering that gave us the opportunity to give praise to God as we listened to the different sharing and witnessing of this simple harvest in the Parish of St Anne, Piddig in the Philippines.
Filed under: General | Tagged: convent, God, Jesus, novice, priest, priesthood, seminary, vocation | Leave a Comment »
Posted on 7 November 2013 by FDZ Australia
Yes, we come from God and are called to continue the mission of His only Son. This is to live in communion with the Father. To the world, we are commissioned to spread Christ’s love to humanity. Through our simplicity of life and with Christ who is present in us, the world may see the figure of love, come to know and encounter Christ – who is LOVE.
I was previously a young person with a confusing future. But now I am in the guidance of the One who has called me. He is the Lord and He has never abandoned me. In times of trial when I felt like sinking, He showed His power and proved that He is always at my side. As a candidate for religious life, sometimes I look at the world with discouragement, especially at the youth who don’t value the simple things that they have. They never stop asking for more. There are those in extreme poverty and they cannot go to school and have life’s basic needs. But God is patient and compassionate. He shows that there is always hope for a new life for all. Humans give up but certainly not God!
Last year we were invited to the Easter graduation celebration by Father Joel Castillo. During the celebration, the students, parents, teachers, friends and Father Joel shared their experiences as well as their dreams for the youth in his care. Three of these young people who graduated had had no chance to go to school because the family could not afford it but by God’s Will, they were helped by Father Joel. They have finished high school and they plan to enter the seminary this coming school year. What impressed me most with this meaningful experience was the faith of Father Joel and of the few people who wished for a peaceful society by helping young people fulfill their dreams and the heart-moving scene of happiness expressed through the tears falling on the faces of these boys.
“For I come from heaven, not to do my own Will, but the Will of the one who sent me” (John 6 – 38)
This episode presents to me a clear message that God makes the simplest people his instruments and calls many but only a few listen to his invitation. Father Joel is known by the people to have the simplicity and zeal of a shepherd. There is still much to be done. Let us then continue to hope and pray to God for a better world, for more sensitive, attentive and generous persons like Father Joel who work for God’s kingdom.
Filed under: General | Tagged: mission, prayer, seminary, vocation, youth | Leave a Comment »
Posted on 31 October 2013 by FDZ Australia
In the world today, many perhaps forget the unfeigned quintessence of our spirit. Power and possessions reign in the hearts of every person who longs for nothing but to live a life lacking for nothing, be it on material bits and pieces which people have the utmost need of. What is now the value of man in his life? The Beatitudes that Jesus taught then now simply becomes a plot of route, helping instructions on our ascent to God. They are skewed as virtues in so much as a believer of Christ can achieve. “They guide. They point. They teach” declared one of the writers I encountered in one of my readings. What simple yet eloquent and insightful words to describe the Beatitudes! Three links of passionate adjectives that express what the Beatitudes are:
- Guide: each soul is given the preeminent avenue into a direction of blissfulness, contentment and a spirit that sees beyond what the world can momentarily proffer.
- Point: an underlying essential idea is conveyed to all that longs to be in the kingdom.
- Teach: a grounding goal is provided – not only imparting simple instructions to us but spiritual directives that each one of us must eruditely learn in the simplicity of our souls and the uniqueness of our beings.
The Beatitudes disclose the value of Christ and unto what He truly cares. And if these values are adhered to by many religiously, they offer a state of peace and happiness and to enjoy the inherent right to dwell in the Kingdom of God when the journey on this earth is over.
Principles of Christian teachings that lead to self-awakening, and any experiences here on earth are all refiners – purifiers of one’s soul. The Beatitudes hand over a pristine series of Christian paradigms that simply give an emphasis on humility and love. They single out that when one knows how to humble one’s spirit and learn the real language of fraternal love he/she may attain happiness that her/his soul longs for. They endorse an utmost essence of the teachings of Christ about mercy, compassion and even on spirituality. What matters most is that everyone may learn to value the uniqueness of each another, respecting each one’s limitations and pave a way to be a person with dignity of life in the spirit of equality. There shall be a lived-through spirit of hope that renders a positive outlook in life, an ultimate joy that springs up from the heart of each person. In hope and joy, the profound silhouette of happiness, abides Jesus, no matter what the consequences are.
Henceforth we have a reminder that we are simply nothing and in our nothingness we cling to what is not worldly but instead heavenly. All of these are simple teachings of Jesus. In his Sermon on the Mount, He gives us the Beatitudes that we might see beyond what our human nature craves for, namely the inner values, the real treasure, and things for eternity. These are contradictory to what the world highly regards.
So that is a candid, unpretentious makeover of one’s inner person, all of these must be lived in the truest sense, taken not just as a choice but with sincere and heartfelt sentiments in wanting to be drawn closer to God. These golden rules guarantee a salvific life and not just insinuating ‘a way of life’ but giving clear-cut tenets of how Jesus wants us to be and to sentient a life that is simply blessed. We are in the world and the challenge of living all of these is on us. God respects whatever choices we make and yet the Beatitutdes do not require anything but faith. It takes a resolute discipline to observe a rule or teachings but the Beatitudes need but a fecund heart. Our model is Jesus Christ himself, leading all of us to the road of sanctity.
Sr M Glenda D Galanido fdz
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Posted on 24 October 2013 by FDZ Australia
The simple caravan that we had, as we concluded the 125th foundation anniversary of our congregation last year was a grand remembrance of the first seed that fell on the ground where Fr Hannibal was called. This is a continuous voyage that we take to cultivate an immense harvest that God has entrusted to us since the foundation of our small cavalcade. As I journeyed with some sisters, children and co-formands I reflected back on those years when Fr Hannibal started to be sensitive to the need of the Church for HOLY WORKERS and how he started with much prayer and devotion, courage and faith.
It was a great privilege for me to be part of this life journey of our Institute, as if I was journeying with the people of yesterday. Even though there were obstacles to reaching our destination on time, these turned out to be a prayer in my heart as we travelled silently. It was an enormous experience indeed because we started with a prayer and we ended with a prayer. Looking at this religious family, I reflected that as we prepare for religious life we are called to do as Fr Hannibal did years ago, and I believe that I am one of the products of his prayer to be a Daughter of Divine Zeal in the future. The places that we visited were reminders for me when Fr Hannibal knocked at the doors of every house to ask for alms for the orphans and because of this the Daughters of Divine Zeal were born and continue to knock at people’s hearts for the harvest of the Lord.
Novice Ronabel Leones
Filed under: General, St Annibale | Tagged: call, calling, celebration, faith, fdz, God, harvest, Jesus, journey, Lord, love, novice, pilgrimage, vocation | Leave a Comment »