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August 2012

God provided a glorious day in Dumaguete on August 18th, 2012, for the blessing of the new convent residence for the Sisters. Archbishop John Du, now the local Ordinary of the Archdiocese of Palo, who had initially extended the invitation to the mission for the Congregation, freed his calendar for this significant occasion.

1The Uymatiao Family, donors of the land site with Archbishop Du and Sisters in the chapel


Two hundred people -- friends, donors, collaborators and local religious joined in the celebration which began with a house blessing, including the formal dedication of the chapel within the context of a Liturgy to Our Lady of Divine Hope.

2Srs. Maria and Marilyn welcoming local religious

4Liturgy of the Word

3The cutting of the entrance ribbon

CONVENT RESIDENCE OPENS WITH THE GENEROUS SUPPORT OF FRIENDS
Special guests for the occasion were the Uymatiao Family, who had generously provided the land site for the residence. The land originally belonged to their Aunt, Petra Elizaga Uymatiao. A memorable moment for all was the sharing by Gilbert Uymatiao, nephew of Petra, who spoke of his aunt as a person dedicated to the education of the young and who possessed a tender heart to those in greatest need. The chapel was dedicated to her memory and now bears a dedication plaque that reads: "In this chapel as in the hearts and hands of the Franciscan Sisters of the Poor, the enduring concern and love of Petra Elizaga Uymatiao for the poor are prayerfully entrusted."

In the homily Archbishop Du shared his earliest rich encounters with the Congregation and how God provided the way one step at a time for the development of the mission. He also acknowledged the courage and trust in God of the first pioneer Sisters Cristina, Maria and Armi and the living hope of their lives and those to follow.

6Unveiling of the plaque in memory of Petra

5Archbishop Du during the Eucharistic celebration

FESTIVE LITURGY AND LUNCH

7Sr. Cristina providing thanksgiving acknowledgements

8Blessing of the convent residence


Following the Liturgy all were invited to a traditional Filipino luncheon buffet (including roasted pig!) provided under the protection of a large tent. The atmosphere was festive -- with green and yellow decorations on the table settings and large native flower arrangements surrounding the entrance and chapel areas. One could not escape the excitement in the air of this new beginning!

Informal self-tours of the new convent residence spilled into the afternoon. The overall layout of the residence consists of a chapel, guest rooms, office and meeting rooms, an open air kitchen with an extended dining area, a utility room and bathrooms on the ground level. The second floor has bedroom accommodations for the Sisters and future discerning women along with a community room with an extended covered balcony.

The grounds are yet under development but they are already blessed with several mango and banana trees through the generosity of donors. Even in these earliest of days there are visible signs supporting and contributing to the community of life!

The entire atmosphere of all who gathered was one of support and care expressed through hugs, embraces and words of congratulations and blessing. All were assured from the initial opening remarks that they are ALWAYS welcomed by the Franciscan Sisters of the Poor.

 

Sr. Marilyn Trowbridge, sfp

 

Many ask how you can send your support to us:

support

or you can send a check to:
Franciscan Sisters of the Poor Foundation
708 Third Avenue,
Suite 1858
New York, NY 10017

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