Star of the sea
Our mission in the Philippines began on 16 July 2016 with three Sisters coming from three different Continents: Lilia (Colombia), Leela (India) Miriam (Italy).
His Grace, Mons. Gabriel Villaruz Reyes wanted to seal the end of his episcopal mandate by welcoming the Daughters of the Church in the Archdiocese of Antipolo, Manila. The city, with more than 12 million inhabitants, is divided into several dioceses. With immense joy and gratitude, we participated in the warm and affectionate function organized by the ecclesial community for its outgoing Shepherd and for the reception of his successor, Mons. Francisco Mendoza De Leon.We placed our mission in the hands of Mary and sought her protection, as we were providentially assigned to the Parish and Shrine of Our Lady of Aranzazu in the city of San Mateo (Rizal).
We see how much the Philippines love and venerate the Mother of God. In September, the Novena began in preparation for the 300th anniversary celebrations of the founding of the Shrine. Every evening there was procession, followed by prolonged vigil service, led by a large team of animators who would then have dinner together in the Parish premises. During this first year of our stay in Philippines, we took interest in learning the language, getting to know the territory, the people and the culture of the place. Besides Fr. Lawrence Paz, we met many friends who willingly help us: a missionary from Parma who lives in Manila since many years, religious men and women of the diocese and lay people of our Parish community.
“Our Lady of Aranzazu” is a large Parish with 16 substation chapels entrusted to lay ministers who animate the life of the Christian communities. Accompanied by the lay ministers we have started visiting these centres and meeting the families. We marvel at the great dignity and peacefulness of the people and the joy of the children, who often come to us asking for a "blessing".
May the Virgin Mary help us to make our presence in this wonderful corner of the Pacific Ocean, a blessing to all.