when my mom picked me up from the airport in june [from my NY plane ride, marking the end of my mission year in NY], she greeted with me with flowers, and this:
this indeed, became a phrase that we left many of the students with, during vocation week at SLU. follow your dreams. as i sit here in baguio city, i think to myself, wow! i did that. and God helped pave the way. i’m really glad i snatched the bird and stuck him in my handcarry, during my “did i leave anything else?” last run into my house before leaving for LAX to head to my mission here in baguio. 🙂
such a blessed week it was! after daily mass every day at 5pm, commuting between two campuses (baguio city & bakakeng), vocation talks to 8 classes (tag-teamin’ it with sr. b), talking with SO many sisters, brothers, and priests, singing with the capuchins, eating meriendas in the “canteen” with sr. terezinha and loving the religious life community here in baguio city & manila…this girl is tired.
during one of the forums this week (a panel of religious & a married couple – they should have also had a single person on the panel!), a student asked them, ” do you ever get tired of what you’re doing? ” one of the sisters answered, “napapapgod, pero hindi ako nasasawa” (i’m tired, but i’m not tired of it). and that, my friends…is my feeling from this week. i’m tired, but i LOVED it – loved the conversations, loved listening to life stories, being enlightened by sr. bernadette’s vocation story each time i heard it in each of the 8 classes, and the masses were absolutely beautiful!
*some key things/questions i brought with me from the week:
– one of the daughters of st. paul said that she became a sister because she found that that was the best way for her, to express the gratitude and JOY for what God has given to her. and so i ask the question, what is the best way for you [me] to express the gratitude and JOY for what God has given you [me]?
– “trust God, and take the trust walk.” – sr. bernadette
– the call of God did not start or end when we said yes to our vocation…really cool, when you think about it 🙂
– “God is never outdone by generosity…follow your dreams” – sr. bernadette
– when asked, “do you ever get attracted to other people, even as a religious? what do you do?” the capuchin brother responded: we acknowledge that person as, “a beautiful creation of God.” haha!
– “masaya ka ba? meron kapayapaan sa puso mo? is there something more?” [are you happy? is there peace in your heart?]
– “the harvest is great…but the workers are few.” ~ book of matthew
during the classes, sr. bernadette and i decided that we wanted to have interaction between us, as presenters, AND the students…soo, we asked the students, to also think, and eventually share…”what brought you to SLU, into your field of study? AND, what is keeping you here?” while at some points we had to literally PICK students to speak and share, some freely shared, and said, “it is not my choice to do nursing [accountancy], but, my parents pressure me to, so i’m here.” or “i realize it is my mom’s dream, and not mine” or “i’m not happy in my field, and i want to change, but i think i’m here studying, just because of fear.” or “my parents pushed me into this, and now i’m learning to like it.”
i acknowledge the difficulty, especially with the students who face pressure from parents, and also, who go to school 6 days a week, work in their spare time, and help support their family and take care of their younger brothers and sisters…and so, perhaps it may not be easy for some to follow their dreams? well, maybe, but also, i don’t have an answer for that, and that is not why sr. bernadette and i went to the classrooms. instead, we wanted them to think about it, and listen to their own hearts, and be familiar with the discernment process – no pressure, but simply serving to lay a foundation, or maybe even provide them with some helpful and hopeful thoughts as they reflect on their journey. it has all been really fruitful. no expectations, but i do believe we gave each class, our all! 🙂
the closing mass stands out in my mind pretty clearly (since it was last night) – it was sponsored by the school of medicine and school of natural sciences. each school that sponsored each of the masses this week, was in charge of organizing the music and their own choir. well, the closing mass was AWESOME! would you believe that the schools which sponsored this particular mass, all dressed in their uniforms, served as the entire choir for the celebration? it was SO powerful! the unity, the conductor [super talented!], the beautiful song choices…it was like, the holy spirit was soaring through the pews. really.
here is a video of the drama that the SLU seminarians put on, during the pentitential rite [the audio is kinda difficult to understand…but you can get the picture!]:
and so, it was a great week! the cabrini love has been shared, and will continue to thrive, here in baguio city. 🙂 aaaaaaaaa-men. 🙂