I never thought I could be present.
It was in the morning of 23 January 2012 when I got a phone call from Sr Floriana informing me that my flight in the evening of that day was moved to February 7, so I could take part in the celebration of the Grand Supplica to be held in Laoag, Ilocos Norte, Philippines. Yes, I was going to remain to represent my community (Richmond Australia) in this once in a lifetime event! How privileged I was to be able to be part of the joint celebration of the Grand Supplica. Attending were the Daughters of Divine Zeal, Rogationists and Lay Collaborators in the Philippines and delegates from Indonesia and Vietnam. We were to be blessed by the presence of RCJ General Superior Fr Angelo Mezzari and other members of the General Council. The feeling and excitement was so great.
The Grand Supplica was overwhelming. It started with the solemn procession from the convent to the conference hall in the midst of the camp site. It was an atmosphere of reverence, prayer, piety and silence that filled the whole area. There was a deep longing and expectation on the faces of all while waiting for the Eucharistic Lord to come and be mounted on His man-made throne amidst the crowd. Songs were sung as a sign of welcome. The Grand Supplica commenced and the petitions were shared by different representatives from the RCJ, FDZ and UPV. It was indeed a joyful celebration of God’s manifold graces.
Indeed, to be there present was so different. It was full of rich experiences. I was in great admiration of the organizers of the event, of the collaboration of each one, of the active participation of all and of the hospitality of the FDZ communities in Ilocos Norte.
I was amazed to see and realize how we could be unselfish when we had to think of the wellbeing of other people. In every activity we participated in, it was a combination of fun, sacrifice, race, winning, despair and losing, but at the end of it all, it’s not about us! It’s about HIM who is the reason why we were there.
I was present, I participated, and I was nourished! What else can I ask for? My heart is besieged by wonder, awe, gratitude and praise for this wonderful gift of fraternity, unity and communion among us children of St Hannibal Mary Di Francia.
Sr M Elvira Plazuelo fdz