TRIBUTE TO THE SFICs - San Narciso PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Wednesday, 11 February 2015 07:12


Magsaysay memorial college

San Narciso, Zambales


This was the original school building where the Sisters spent their lives with dedication and love for God’s people. Five decades and three years ago, the Congregation of the Franciscan Sisters (the then CFIC) arrived in San Narciso, Zambales upon the request of the Society of the Columban Fathers, Father O’Brien and Fr. Vincent Lyons. The Pioneers were Sr. Teresita Lardizabal +, Sr. Scholastica Rambayon+, Sr. Augustine Bautista+, Sr. Dorothy Ortega, Sr. Redempta Navalta, and Sr. Regina Tabaniag.


As they are now reaping their golden harvest, Fr. Roque Villanueva, the incumbent Parish Priest of San Narciso invited the Sisters to come over to San Narciso on January 20, 2015 on the solemn feast of San Sebastian for this tribute to the SFICs. Our General Superior, Sr. Maria Lourdes Santos, who has also been assigned in San Narciso, Zambales travelled all the way with Sr. Luz Espiritu, Sr. Mary Francis Borje, Sr. Junetta Jimenez, Sr. Isabel Benitez, Sr. Teresita Babaran, Sr. Feliza Sylvino, Sr. Ancilla Cabula, Sr. Marie Teresa Espiritu, Sr. Lucia Gumiran, Sr. Theresia Reyes, Sr. Celestine Vigilia and Sr. Redempta Navalta in joyful response to the said invitation. It’s always good to bring to memory nostalgic moments of experiences both the pleasant and the painful ones because all these realities add up to the spice of living life to the full. It was a joy for the parishioners to see the Sisters. Some were whispering, “Babalik na ba sila? What a consoling thought! So, the day began with the solemn


Here’s the statue of SAN SEBASTIAN whose feast is celebrated on January 20, 2015, majestically enthroned on a conspicuous place in front of the altar. All the parishioners and government officials were there in the Church in a festive mood as the mass went on.

Sr. Mary Francis Borje who works for our Indigenous brothers and sisters in Nibangon, Subic took charge of the First Reading.

Sr. Junetta Jimenez, the incumbent Local Leader of St. Francis Learning Center had her turn for the second Reading.

Sisters Marie Teresa Espiritu and Teresita Babaran were the offerers .

Sr. Teresita Babaran, Provincial Board Member who heads the Commission on Prophetic Minstry of the Congregation received the Trophy from Fr. Roque Villanueva. May this simple token of gratitude from the parish of San Sebastian, San Narciso be likened to a pebble thrown into deep waters that will produce ripples as we pray for more vocations and the goal of our Congregation to widen its horizons and boundaries.


On behalf of the parishioners, Ms. Vilma Espiritu Minguez, the sister of Sr. Luz Espiritu, sfic gave her message of gratitude recalling those times when she was lavished with care and love from the Sisters when she was a young student at MMC (Magsaysay Memorial College). It was a sincere affirmation and testimony of the commitment of the Sisters in the discharge of their duties. Lastly, with a note of appreciation for the SFIC Congregation, on behalf also of her family, she expressed her gratitude for the support accorded to them when they were much in need of the presence of their sister, Sr. Luz Espiritu, sfic at a time when their mother was ill.

It was no less than our very own  General Superior, Sr. Maria Lourdes Santos, once  assigned also in San Narciso who gave a very touching message for the Parishioners. The Congregation listened intently to every word she uttered. It was really a nostalgic moment as  she gladly thanked the parishioners for their kind and thoughtful remembrance of the Sisters and mentioned with utmost respect that some of the Sisters who have been affirmed have already gone ahead of us. Once again, even if sisters may be physically gone, memories are never forgotten.

After the mass, everyone went outside to witness the blessing of the Statue of St. Francis which has been erected as a TRIBUTE in remembrance of the SFIC presence in the school and parish cognizant of the role of the SFIC (then CFIC) in the Christian formation of the people. Sr. Maria Lourdes Santos, General Superior, graced the occasion cutting the ribbon prior to the blessing as Sr. Lucia Gumiran, Sr. Isabel Benitez, Sr. Luz Espiritu, Sr. Theresia Reyes and Sr. Teresita Babaran  held their lighted candles as the Parishioners reflectively savored the significance of the ceremonies.

The blessing was then followed by the "Agape". The sumptuous lunch must have been meticulously prepared by the Parishioners which was enjoyed by everybody in this spacious hall which is used by the HRM college students for their practicum.

What a rejuvenating experience to be with people who have become parts of our lives!


In joyful remembrance then of the SFIC Presence in this parish of San Sebastian in San Narciso, Zambales and the Magsaysay Memorial College, the statue of St. Francis now stands on this conspicuous place on the right side of the Church. It was blessed on that same day by Fr. Roque Villanueva in the presence of the parishioners, the SFIC Sisters and Rev. Fr. Danny Lopez.















Last Updated on Monday, 16 February 2015 09:30
Greccio Event Tagaytay PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Monday, 09 February 2015 08:16


Come to Bethlehem and See!


You’re right! With Sr. Julie Saguibo, sfic, our Provincial Superior on the lead, we were in Bethlehem last Saturday, January 10, 2015 for the annual Greccio Event which was carefully planned by the Inter Franciscan Ministers’ Conference of the Philippines, IFMCP. Was this in JERUSALEM? No! It was held this time at the beautiful convent of the Franciscan Missionaries of the Infant Jesus, FMIJ a convent which is nestled comfortably in one of the rolling hills in Tagaytay City. You won’t get lost.


The Main Entrance of the Chapel

On this day, take note that the leaves of the coconut trees around the convent were swaying and dancing with Brother Wind. It was a cold and chilly day but not gloomy despite the absence of Brother Sun. Sr. Lou and Estee were enjoying their “paseo” without being dampened by the chill.

Brother Wind indeed asserted his presence but the participants clad in jackets, sweaters and bonnets enjoyed strolling on the pathways circumventing the convent and the chapel area. Of course Franciscans would always feel at home with any kind of weather! Sr. Jane Frances Pablo, Sr. Malou Razon and Sr. Ofie Tabing obviously were also enjoying the clean verdant garden and the fresh air.

The Magnificently Etched Stained Glass on the Wall of the Altar



The Infant Jesus was laid at the foot of the altar table in a solemn morning prayer where one of the FMIJ Sisters beautifully sang the narration of Jesus’s birth in full accompanied with the interpretative dance rendered by the Brothers and Sisters.

The morning prayer ended with the unique tableau of the arrival of the three “Queens” instead of the three Kings. Then the Baby Jesus was lifted high by the Blessed Mother in an act of blessing for the entire Congregation as each of the participants put themselves in the presence of God.

Srs. Marie Teresa Espiritu,sfic; Grace de Guzman, sfic; Luz Espiritu,sfic; and Susan Esmile, sfic with all the SLA seated behind braced themselves for the next part of the program.

Then Sr. Mercy, FMIJ (Sr. MERCY) and Rev. Jose Eduardo, OFM Cap, (Fr. COMPASSION), the EMCEES for the affair immediately set the tone to start the program of the day.

Sr. Alma, FMIJ, the Superior of the Community was then called to give her hearty welcome for the Congregation.

The SFIC Novices kept their cheery mood as the program began.


The Most Rev. Joseph Nacua, OFM Cap, D.D.,

Bishop of Ilagan was the Guest Speaker.

Salient points of his Message:

1. The historical background of Greccio focused on:

The manger, the hay, and all the animals brought there transformed Greccio into a new Bethlehem. The holy man Francis stood by this manger; his reflections just centered on the poor Babe in  Bethlehem.

2. When we think of Greccio, we are reminded of many things in life as Franciscans. Greccio had become a new Bethlehem, one of the many manifestations of God’s love.

3. Bethlehem means: House of Bread. Jesus is the man for our hunger and our thirst.

4. The Incarnation points out that Jesus related to the sinful human being. If God would not act on our world today, it would make no difference at all whether we believe in Him or not. Christ makes us see things as He himself saw them. Jesus became man. We believe this when we pray our Creed. Mercy and Compassion became real in the Incarnation; God dignified human history. The Incarnation is not a historical event. It is on-going. It gives us a new way of living our life. It is not just a memory. It gives meaning to our Eucharist.

5. From Exodus:

· God made man and said, “it is not good for man to be alone.” He gave him a woman. They were naked but not ashamed. Later, sin came in.

· Food (good to eat); Desire (gives power); Attractive (it’s beautiful).

· Lessons:

It is not good to be alone, thus we need community/fraternity.

Although Adam and Eve were naked, they were not ashamed.

This points out to TRANSPARENCY.

6. Mercy and Compassion

Bethlehem is the concrete form of the mercy and compassion of God. “I have heard the cry of my people”. He has spoken to us through his Son. Our redemption is the reality of God’s coming as man. Isaiah said, “ Can a woman forget her child?” The quality of our relationships speaks of our faith and spirituality.

Compassion means sympathy, to have eyes to see others as Jesus did.

7. Evangelization is reminding people of what God does to us. It is our duty to be grounded in the words of God. To remember is to enter in our history.

At this point in time, the Congregation was divided into small groups for the sharing. The good Bishop gave the following points for further reflection and sharing:

· Seven Corporal Works of Mercy – Connect them to the Incarnation.

· Response to this Year of Consecrated Life

i.e. Is our poverty joyful?

Is our money spent more for buildings or for people?

· Ecological Concerns

· Involvement in women and children’s issues.

GROUP SHARINGS and REPORTS : The SFICs joined the different groups.

Sr. Leoncia Manongdo, sfic

Sr. Ofelia Tabing, sfic


Sr. Jane Frances Pablo, sfic and Fr. Cielo, ofm

Sr. Ofelia Tabing, sfic and Sr. Christine May, sfic

Sr. Agneta Lauzon, sfic

Sr. Marie Faustine Mendoza, sfic

Sister Julie Saguibo, SFIC Prov. Sup. and Sr. Luz Huertas, sfic

Sisters Analiza Cabrera, sfic, Luz Espiritu, sfic, & Teresita Alo, sfic

Sr. Sheryll Bueno, SFIC Novice was one of the vibrant Reporters. She did her job well!


Ms. Reina Mendoza, SFIC POSTULANT from the South Province  did well in  her Introductory Reading for the Bishop’s Message, the historical account of GRECCIO. She also rendered a spectacular report. Good job!

Sr. Lucia Gumiran, sfic, Sr. Susan Esmile, sfic & Sr. Lou Panganiban, sfic

Sisters Lou Panganiban, Susan Esmile and Lucia Gumiran were in the first group with some Secular Franciscans and other Franciscan Sisters and OFM Formands. With Sr. Lucy as the Reporter, the following practical points surfaced:

1. Real happiness does not come only from material things. The dumagats in Isabela are very happy people in spite of their poverty.


2. In buying properties for the community, discernment is important considering the life style of the poor people and our poverty as Franciscans.