Opening the Doors of Mercy in Tacloban City, Leyte Philippines
On 13 December 2015 the Religious Sisters of Mercy, Community in Tacloban City, Leyte Philippines highlighted the Third Sunday of Advent with the opening of the Holy Doors of Mercy at the Sisters' Convent and at the Mother of Mercy Hospital.This was spearheaded by Sister Mary Camela N. Cabactulan rsm, Superior General and Sister Maria Lourdes G. Amascual rsm, the Hospital Administrator.
Sisters assigned in Tacloban
Standing: L-r: Sr. Gabriel, Sr. Augustine, Sr. Evelyn (Novice), Sr. Vianney, Sr. Elsie, Sr. Justin, Sr. Grace, Sr. Margaret, Sr. Blasé, Sr. Luke and Sr. Elizabeth
Seated: L-r: Sr.Esther, Sr. Carmela, Sr. Lourdes and Sr. Patrick. Photographer: Sr Raphael
The ritual events took place around 9:00 o'clock in the morning and 3:00 o'clock in the afternoon respectively. These were participatedin by the Sisters and Lay Partners and Friends in Mercy and some Youth Associates. The Ritual prepared by Sr. Sheila Carney rsm as well as the article written by Sr. Elizabeth Davis rsm entitled "The Doorkeepers of Mercy" created impact in our prayer reflections during the day, including the powerful message of Pope Francis' Misericordiae Vultus.
Rev Fr. Benjie Pantas, one of the Priests of the Archdiocese of Palo, graced the event in the afternoon by celebrating the Holy Mass, highlighting in his homily the grace and blessings of the Jubilee Yearr of Mercy, as well as its challenges.
As a Mercy community in the Philippines we had been greatly blessed by God's loving rnercy and compassion with our resiliency as Filipino people and as Servants of Mercy. We were once victims of the ravages of climate change at the onslaught of Typhoon Haiyan. We grieved, we wept, we suffered, yet we survived, trusting in Divine Providence. It was for us the strongest test of our faith and endurance. God had been our refuge and comfort, our source of consolation, courage and strength in the midst of hopelessness, anxiety, fear and despair. However painful the experience, something good has emerged. It has become the source of conversion and transformation to many and the way to restoration and recovery was to build back more strongly through the generous support of the international communities, particularly the Mercy International Association.
We hope and pray God will continue to inspire, protect and sustain us as we face the challenges of our future initiatives and directions as a congregation in relation to our accountability as stewards of God's creation. We look forward with optimism to the end-results of what has transpired during the COP21 Process in Paris and the Mercy International Reflection Process.
We pray most especially for leaders of nations that they may remain true and faithful to whatever agreement they have arrived at to help save our common home as what Pope Francis envisions for us and for the generations to come.'
Messages to: M Raphael Amante rsm