50th Golden Jubilee of the Religious Profession of Sr. Monica Manipol Moreno, SSJ

SR. MONICA, SSJ AND HER BROTHER, DEACON JUAN MORENO


On the 19th of April, the SSJ in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, together with their guests gathered at the Mary Help of Christians Shrine Chapel at 5:45 p.m. to celebrate God’s love… God’s fidelity… marked in and through the person of Sr. Monica Manipol Moreno, SSJ who for 50 years lived her consecration to Jesus in Nazareth as a woman-worker-religious in the Congregation. 



SR. MARCIE, SR. MONICA AND SR. YOLANDA


Bishop Rolando Santos, CM was the presider. Together with him at the altar were Deacon Juan (Nonoy) Moreno (the brother of Sr. Monica), Bishop Pedro Baquero, SDB and other SDB priests, namely, Fr. Alfred, Fr. Roger, Fr. Joseph and Fr. Jorge while Fr. Jun, O’Carm and Fr. Justin, SM were present in the assembly.




Fr. Alfred was the homilist and below are excerpts from his Homily:


“We celebrate 50 years of consecrated life of Sr. Monica. Life totally fused into the project of life of Saint Bonifacia Rodríguez so that she may give herself totally to sanctified work and the providing means of livelihood for poor working women. Sr. Monica gave 50 years of her life imitating the way of life of the Gospel traced out by Mo. Bonifacia. Our celebration this evening is our gratitude for 50 years Sr. Monica spent weaving not only dignity into the lives of countless working women, but also weaving work and prayer in her very own life.

After 50 years I believe that Sr. Monica will confirm the veracity of the Lord’s words: “whoever loses his life for my sake will find it” (Mt. 16, 25). Pope Paul VI once said: “if religious life is not a holy life, there is no reason for it to exist at all”. As we join Sr. Monica in thanking God for His grace and gift to her, we, married or single women and men, young or old, consecrated persons or ordained ministers, are all challenged by this celebration to heed the words of Pope Francis: “we are all called to be holy by living our lives with love and by bearing witness in everything we do, wherever we find ourselves” (Gaudete et Exultate, 14). We are challenged by Mo. Bonifacia to discover our path to holiness in our ordinary daily work, sanctifying it by offering any kind of work for God’s greater glory.”

Among the faithful gathered are our hostel residents, collaborators, Lay Josephines, Filipino friends and benefactors, Religious Men and Women of different Congregations, other invited Papua New Guinean friends and SSJ. Their presence showed their love and support to the SSJ.



To capture the sentiment of Monica, who celebrated with joy her Golden Jubilee, below is her Thanksgiving message:


“Good evening to each one!  God loves us and He calls us continually.  He invites us and waits patiently for us to respond to His calls ready to accept the challenges enclosed with His invitation.  He is always with us and He never leaves us alone.  In our ups and down in life He is present.  For fifty years, we journeyed together, that is the reason of celebrating my fifty years with you this significant day of my life.  Let me invite you for a while to listen to my mini story.

On June 1965, my family and friends conducted me to the airport for my trip to Jaro, Ilo-Ilo to join the SSJ.  A four-year-old boy was with us and when he saw me entering the plane he cried and he made everybody cry…and that little boy is here with us Deacon Juan, my brother.  He wanted to be a priest but God called him to get married and blest with four kids and a loving wife.  He was given also the blessing to serve God and fellowmen as a Permanent Deacon.

DEACON JUAN
Half of my life as a religious was spent in the school as a teacher and with some big responsibilities on it.  As a young and energetic religious I used to get sick, too.  One of those times of my hospitalization, I met a young lady who was then having her internship and she took care of me. In short, she is with us now, Sr. Yolanda Pugal, SSJ our present Cluster Coordinator. 

I was also assigned in Silay City, Negros Occidental and we had a couple friend whose children all studied in our school Sta. Theresita’s Academy.  How small the world is and I never thought of meeting one of the children of this couple here, Mr. Ramon Garay, our Choir Leader.  I would like to thank and acknowledge still one of our graduates in STA, Fr. Alfred Maravilla, SDB our Homilist tonight.  He is the present Provincial Superior of Don Bosco here in PNG and Solomon Islands (SI) as well as the nephew of our former SSJ Provincial Coordinator Sr. Milagros Maravilla, SSJ.

After retiring from school work, I was involved in Vocation Ministry and assisted in the Aspirants formation for few years before coming to PNG.

On August 7, 2002, I stepped on the holy ground of PNG.  Wow, another challenging life!  My first assignment was at Loreto Hostel and in 2006-2014 I was at Milne Bay Province.  My eight years in Alotau were full of surprises and challenges but I enjoyed a lot.  In one of those Islands that I go for Leadership Trainings for Family Life Apostolate, I met a village lady who happened to help in the preparation of the training.  She asked me how to become a nun?  I told her to pray to God every day to guide you in your intentions and decisions.  I promised to pray for her and said to her, ‘When I come back next year for follow up sessions with the FLA leaders, I will ask you again’.  In short, in June 2012, we celebrated our twenty five years of SSJ presence in PNG and we received a special gift from God, that young village lady I met became our first SSJ PNG Vocation from Budoya, East Ferguson Island -  Sr. Wilma Kepa, SSJ.  She is with us now for her holidays and to join us in this Golden Jubilee celebration.


I needed to review my life for fifty years and I spent 30 days in prayer and reflection with the guidance and journeying with Fr. Eduardo Revilla, SDB. 

Padre muchas gracias! He aprovechado mucho bien.  A special thanks to Fr. Roger and the community who adopted me for 30 days and for allowing us to use this place.

I am also very happy for the presence of our Provincial Coordinator, Sr. Marcie Sta. Cruz, SSJ, who came for our Cluster Assembly and to grace this occasion.

For the Bishops who I came across and worked with in my journey and mission… For all the reverend Fathers, Brothers and Sisters present, a heartful thanks and most of all to our Staff, benefactors who assisted us to make this occasion possible, together, of course, with my beautiful sisters: Yolanda, Ping, Minerva, Lucy, Concep, Liza, Wilma and Marcie.

MARAMING, MARAMING SALAMAT PO!"

Reception followed at the Valeriano Hall within the Don Bosco Technical Institute (DBTI) Compound in a familial atmosphere. Our generous sponsor who provided the food catering FOC is Chow Masters through Nanette and Ringo and children! 







Yes, the Golden Jubilee Celebration was, indeed, an outpouring of God’s Abundance! 


3 comentarios:

  1. Me da mucha alegría saber de ti, siempre te recuerdo con cariño.
    FELICIDADES Y UN FUERTE ABRAZO

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  2. Rosario Hernández11 de mayo de 2018, 23:55

    Querida Mónica: Enhorabuena grande de todo corazón por estos 50 años como Sierva de san José. Que Jesús llene tu corazón y tu vida de gozo y fidelidad. Siempre te recuerdo con agradecimiento y cariño. Un abrazo muy fuerte, Rosario Hernández

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