Gospel Gifts of Hope

June 2012

The school year has come to an end in the west and everybody is getting ready for their deserved vacation. In this part of the world summer has ended and our more fortunate children and youth have returned to school. I say “fortunate” because unfortunately there are still so many who, for various reasons, including financial ones, do not have access to education.

7A precious guest

8At the orphanage - Chiny, with little May Julia

10Sr. Cristina visits a family in need

We know very well that there can be no progress or emancipation of a people unless it is through education and culture. For this purpose, this year we are committed again with all our strength to send to school a large group of our children and youth who live on the streets. We understand it is not an easy thing to do. There is often no cooperation from the families; this would be indispensable in supporting the children and accompanying them in their educational journey.

We have difficulty entering into dialogue with the local institutions and, most especially, we do not always have the needed resources to address needed expenses. We do not become discouraged and we keep going ahead, trusting in a loving God and in the generosity of those who support us from a distance, offering their trust and confidence.

Gospel Gifts of Hope

6Chiny with Jan Ivan, her son

It is with joy that we are already in the position of giving you some numbers:

  • Approximately ten children are in grade school, some of whom are already older than twelve years of age.
  • Seven children are attending alternative or remedial schools to prepare them for the high school entrance exam.
  • Four children are already attending high school.
  • Ten are attending college. The latter are young men and women who had to quit school for financial issues, but are willing and fully intend to complete their studies.

Some of them come to do volunteer work at our Shelter of Hope Center. This is really a wonderful opportunity to experience the Gospel life of reciprocity: “Give and it shall be given to you.” It is interesting to see how through their service, these youngsters discover the miseries and the hurt of their own city and their own people.

We continue with our project to save the younger children from a dangerous life on the streets. Since we do not yet have a shelter where we can receive them, we work to direct them to various already existing institutions in the area. There are five children between four months and eight years old who are now integrated into these environments, receiving a formation and a healthy lifestyle. Is this not simply wonderful? Sometimes these truly seem like little miracles to us.

2Group of our volunteers and students

1Volunteers and friends help out in the garden

4Bishop Du and the Mayor of Dumaguete begin work to house the evacuees

Blessed with Recovery and Renewal

3Here is our new SFP house!

In the March 2012 Dumaguete Diary, we told you about the damage, loss of life and property caused first by Typhoon Sendong and then by the earthquake. Unfortunately there remain many visible signs of these catastrophes. People still live as evacuees, left to their own devices. However, we are happy to tell you that the Diocese of Dumaguete, in cooperation with the local administration, has decided to  build about 160 dwellings for the families that have nothing left.

On May 3 in the presence of civil and religious officials as well as a large number of people (especially those hit by Sendong), our dear Bishop John Du blessed both the laying of the first stone and the land granted by the City to build a small village that would host the evacuees. Attending as Franciscan Sisters of the Poor was a great joy and a wonderful grace.

5The work is nearing completion

This land is not far from the property where we are building our own “house.” We immediately felt like neighbors and realized we have a new place for our work and spreading of the Gospel. Speaking of “our house,” we are pleased to communicate that in a couple of months we may be able to move to the new house. The opening will mark a new step in our Mission in Asia, a new phase of the incarnation of our healing charism in the Philippines. Please join us in thanking God and all those who followed and supported us with love and passion during the first three years of our presence in this wonderful Asian land.

 Dearest ones, a huge thanks to each of you. Without the support of your prayers and the offerings of the suffering that every day visits the life of each, which is an indispensable investment for any growth, our Mission would have already failed in all respects.

On our part, we commit to always remember in our daily prayers whatever you have in your hearts for yourselves and for your loved ones.


In loving gratitude
Yours truly,
Sr. Armi Sison
Sr. Maria Atorino
Sr. Cristina Di Nocco

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