Written by Administrator   
Tuesday, 30 June 2015 10:38






May 14, 2015
Sto. Nino Chapel
Violago Homes, E. Rod. Sr. Ave.
Quezon City


Panghabambuhay na

Pagtatalaga sa

Buhay Relihiyosa


Sr. Christine Fabul May, SFIC

Sr. Ernilyn Malihan Aquino, SFIC
















"Hindi ninyo ako pinili, kayo ang pinili Ko."
San Juan 15:16

Indeed these  words  from  our Lord came  alive  on May 14, 2015  when
Christine  May   and  Sister   Ernilyn   Aquino  responded   to   this
call  in  the  presence  of   the  Congregation of  the  Franciscan  Sisters 
of   the   Immaculate   Conception  of  the  Holy  Mother   of    God,  their
Relatives  and  close  friends.The two brides pose by the statue of St.
Michael, the Archangel inside the Sto. Nino Chapel.

The Brides were over flowing with joy! Exuberant feelings! Empowered
by God’s  love, the  day  of waiting  has  come  into fulfillment. This  day 
may   have   been   an   ordinary  day   for   some,  but  for   them,   they 
exclaimed,“This  is  what  I   wish, this is what I want, this is what I  long
to  do  with all my heart!”



















The Provincial Board and the General Board Members led the whole
Congregation for the Processional.
















The Clergy

















Sr. Christine with her Parents

















Sr. Ernilyn   with  her Loved Ones

























His Excellency Most Reverend Socrates B. Villegas
The Celebrant and Homilist

The good Bishop began his homily stating  that the reason to celebrate

is  God's  bountiful love.  He  also stirred the Congregation  addressing
Sr. Julie if the two young sisters were sure that they'd be able to keep
their   vows   of   chastity, poverty and obedience. There were subdued
whispers of course from the Congregation. The point he was driving at
was the issue of fidelity in the midst of a very challenging world.

Sr. Ernilyn's reflections:

"It   was   a   joy   from   within   to   feel   God’s   assurance   of   love. 
cannot   express   how   I   felt.   The   homily  of   Bishop   Soc
struck   us all especially when he asked,  "Nakatitiyak ka ba?” Indeed,
not  one   of us  has an inkling of  what will  happen in the  future, but
I am sure
of HIS great love no matter what.

A   day   too, to   thank  God  once again for being  in  my  journey, for
everything  that  has  been.   Indeed, it  is  a throwback assurance of
love  from  the  beginning  and  surely  till  the  end.  Again  I realized
that I may be faltering someday, can  be  unfaithful  to  Him,  cranky at
times,  but  I  am assured  only of one thing - that  God will  be   there
waiting for me . I am much  loved."

Sr. Christine's Reflections:

"My faith  in  following  Christ  may  not  have  been  smooth  all along
my formation years what with the ups and downs, pains  and  sorrows,
positive  and  negative  realities  in  my  religious  and  personal   life.
experiences and  events in  life  molded  me as He wanted  me  to
be. I can say that at this point in  time, I  have  learned to  be  attuned
to where God wants me  to be, and  finally  I am  His  own  now, to  be
shared to others too.
Time  flies so fast not  knowing  what  awaits me.
Recalling what  I've been  through,  I made  it   through  the rain. With
God  on  my  side, I   would feel the rain run  through  my  body. I  may
have  been fragile  at times but there's  always  strength after , to  be
whole   again. God gave  me  the courage  to  move  on  in  facing the
different   realities  of   life,  as   a   Franciscan  religious, as  an  SFIC, 
allowing  me to feel his encompassing embrace.

How sure am I that  after committing  myself perpetually  to   God,  to
the Church, to the Congregation and to God’s people, that I   will  be
faithful? Will I obey my superiors? Won't I  grumble over  things  that
I do not like or that are  not in accordance with  my  own  standards?
Will there be  loneliness? Will   I   remain  in  God’s  love? To  these
queries, all I know is that  nothing is certain, as what  Bishop  Soc  in
his homily told us. But  what I  am  sure  of,  is  that,  God   loves   me!
When  the time comes that I  may be  far  from Him,  He  will  still love
me. God’s love will always  remain even  if  at  times I  cannot  fathom
the   depth  of  his  love  and  mercy.
I   have   been   tested   by   fire
through   the  years,  and   yet  I   remained   to  respond  to  His   call
everyday. I know deep in my heart and  mind  that  it  is  not  I,  but  it
is  God's  hands  holding  me  so  tightly  so as  not  to let   go  of Him.
Challenges  occur every now and then  but  God  is  always  with  me,
nothing to be afraid of, just do it and He  will  do  the  rest! Though  I
am not  worthy of God’s love, God  has shown  His  great  love and to
the   those   whom  I   love. I  did  not  choose  to  be   a   religious,  to
be  a  humble servant of  Christ  but  God calls  and  indeed   He   has
chosen me! How blessed I am to be one of the  chosen ones ! "


The Congregation was listening  attentively to the Bishop while he was
delivering his homily.

















Sr. Henriette A. Sambile, SFIC
First Reader

















Sr. Amabelle Amihan, SFIC
The Psalmist

The angelic voice of Sr. Amabelle  has put everyone to a meditative
mood as the   song,  "Pag-ibig   Mo  Yahweh" captured  the   magic
spell of the moment.
















Sr. Dreena Guerrero, SFIC
"Tawag at Kahilingan"
















Sr. Lourdes Panganiban, SFIC read the Third Order Rule of Life for the

















"Ang Pagsusuri" : The Bishop cross - examined the Brides to be sure
that they were ready to pronounce their vows for life.

















A  very  solemn  part  of  the   Mass   was   the  "PAGPUPUGAY 
Shiela  Cayomo   sang  beautifully   and   solemnly   the   Litany  of  the 
Saints.  Her  voice   must   have   soared  to    the    highest  heavens 
inviting  the Saints to  intercede  for  us.  That  was  a  breath - taking
moment.  How    could   the    Saints   ignore   our   prayers   and  with
such an awe-inspiring  atmosphere?















The Brides  on their knees  ...















Sr. Christine solemnly pronounced her vows for life.
















Sr. Ernilyn likewise expressed her vows for life with sincerity and
















Sr. Julie Saguibo, the Provincial Superior joyfully accepted the vows of
the Brides.

















As soon as the vows of the new Brides were accepted by Sr. Julie,
the two sisters were   immediately endorsed   to   Sr. Jeanne Luyun
who will take charge of their  on-going formation in Level I.
















It's the Lord, the Groom who signs the covenant with Sr. Julie signing as
the witness  being the incumbent Provincial  Superior.
















And, finally, the Most Rev. Celebrant affixed his signature as He stands
for Christ, the Groom.
































The Sisters  sincerely  expressed their greetings and prayers!















Mother Foundress, Sr. Teresia Van Miert was invoked to bless the















Then followed the gesture of love and devotion to our Blessed
Mother. The Brides offered flowers to her.
















Such occasions like this always brings forth the beautiful note of saying
THANK YOU! Sr. Christine and Sr. Ernilyn took turns on the podium to
express their gratitude to all those who have touched their lives and
who became part of their vocation.













Most Reverend Socrates Villegas and Clergy
















The General Board Members : Sr. Adriana Tony  and Sr. Fransiska
Nurhayati, both from Indonesia.
















Members of the Board - Phil. North Province : (left to right) Sr. Teresita
Babaran,  Sr. Lourdes  Panganiban,  Sr. Julie  Saguibo, Sr. Maria Aurora
Simon and Sr. Ann Cayabyab

















Members of the Board- Phil. South Province  (left to right) : Sr. Editha
Radam, Sr. Evangeline Labanda, Sr. Catherine Serafica and Sr. Josefina
















Former Novice Mistresses:  Sr. Josefina Moran and Sr. Anna Liza Cabrera






























Magandang Buhay

Sr. Christine at Sr. Ernilyn !


Last Updated on Saturday, 04 July 2015 04:49
First Profession 2015 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Monday, 15 June 2015 00:36


First Profession 2015



Sr. Felicisima M. Ibay, SFIC


Lubao, Pampanga

















Responding  to   God’s  call   in   the  SFIC   way   of   life,  “tinawag  kami   ng
ng  Diyos sa kanyang   kagandahang -  loob  na  Siyang  nagbuklod  sa   amin”,
together    with   Sister   Nanette   D.    Espiritu   from   Cordon,   Isabela,  and  
Sr.  Maricon  Q.  Rigor  from  Sumisip,  Basilan,   we   had  our First Profession
of  Vows   on   May 12, 2015   at   St. Gabriel  Parish  of  our Lady of  Sorrows,
Marikina Heights.

















St. Gabriel Parish

Marikina Heights


The  Spirit-filled celebration  was  solemnized  by Fr. Generoso B. Pastidio, OFM, 
with   Fr. Cristino Pine, OFM,  Fr. Aristotle Dela Cruz,  Fr.  Ama  Cumbaga, CMF, 
Fr. CJ Mortela, CMF,  and  Fr. Gilbert Quinones,  CMF  as  con- celebrants. The
presence   of   Sr. Julie  Saguibo,  PNP   Provincial  Superior  and  Council,  and 
Sr. Catherine   Serafica,  PSP  Provincial  Superior  and  Council  has  deepened
our confidence which made us feel that the SFIC way of life is really for us.












This  logo beautifully set at  the  altar  speaks  of  our vocation with  God  doing
the initiative. The dove, a symbol of the Holy Spirit  overshadows  the  Sister as
we joyfully embark on our new way of life.
















The  Introduction:  "As  this  Year   has   been   designated   as   the   Year   for
we   are   greatly  blessed   with   the  opportunity  for  a  formation   of   holistic 
commitment  to  a   more  conscious   and  vigorous  adherence  to  God’s   call.
This captures the whole journey of our Novitiate Life that has laid the foundation
of the life we want to embrace."
















Sr. Josefina  Moran, a   Provincial  Board  Member  in   the  Phil. South  Province 
did  the  First Reading. The  letter  of  Paul   to  the Galatians  reiterates  that our
vocation is from God which has begun from the moment of our conception.
















The Psalmist, Sr.  Maricon  Rigor has moved the attendees to  a   reflective
mood with her  angelic  voice  as  she  meditatively  sang  “ Pinupuri   kita, 
O  Diyos ko,  dahil  ako’y  nilikha mo", arranged  by   no  less than our very
own musician, Sr. Cecile Belen SFIC.

















The Profession Rites started with the "Tawag at Kahilingan". Sr. Analiza Cabrera,
our Novice Mistress formally called our names  and asked us our  earnest desire 
where  we  responded that  we  want to  live  the  SFIC way of Life  to  the  full.

















At  this  point  in   time,  in   consonance  with   our  above -  mentioned   request,
Sr.  Lourdes  Panganiban, a  Provincial Board Member in the Phil. North Province
reminded  us  then  of  the  Franciscan  Way of  Life that we have chosen  to live.
She read the Franciscan Rule of Life for us.

















The most awaited moment when Sr. Julie signed our acceptance as
members of  the SFIC fold . . .























The  Veil,  a  symbol  of  our  vowed life was  donned on  us  as  a  part  of  the 
Profession  rites   within  the  mass.   The  Provincial   Board   Members   easily
came  up  to  assist  us.   Sisters  Cathy, Evangeline and Aura are seen pinning
our veils on.
























Assisting me then was Sr. Anne as Sr. Julie looked on.






















The Ceremony of the Entrustment of Symbols:

The   veil,   the   ring   and   the  Constitution   symbolize   that   we   are  now
members   of    the    Congregation   of    the    Franciscan    Sisters   of    the
Immaculate   Conception   of   the  Holy  Mother  of God.  Sr. Julie A. Saguibo,
Provincial    Superior  of  the  North  Province    entrusted  the   symbols  to Sr.
Nanette   and   me,  likewise,   Sr.  Catherine  Serafica,  Provincial  Superior of
the  South  Province  has entrusted the same to Sr. Maricon. The symbols  will
serve  as  our  guide  and  inspiration  as  we'll  journey on to tread the path of
religious life.The  veil symbolizes our  commitment  and  attachment  to  Jesus
Christ. The   ring   will  always  remind  us  to  remain  faithful  to  our  promise.
In  like manner, the Rule  of   Life  will  guide  us  to  follow our Franciscan Life 

















The  Rule  of   Life  was  solemnly entrusted  also to the newly professed Sisters,
a    very   symbolical    and   most   appropriate  gesture   from    the   Provincial
Superiors, Sr. Julie Saguibo and Sr. Catherine Serafica.


Another  touching   part of the profession ceremonies was   the "PAGHAHABILIN
AT PAGBIBIGAY  PANANAGUTAN"  to   the  Junior   Directress  and   the   Local
Leaders   of   the   respective    communities    where   the   young   Juniors   are
assigned.   Sr.   Catherine  Serafica   entrusted   Sr. Maricon  to  Sr. Dreena  and 
the  Leader  of  Mactan,  while  the  other  two  Juniors   of   the  North  were also
entrusted  by  Sr. Julie  to  the  same Junior  Directress and the Leaders of LFRH,
Baguio for Sr. Nanette and Community. C, Central  House for Sr. Fe. Sr.  Nanette 
will  serve  as    the   bookkeeper   at   Little   Flower   Retreat  House  in   Baguio 
City.   She  was  entrusted  to Sr. Agnes  Frias;   while  Sr. Fe will be  a   Christian
Formation  Facilitator  at    St.   Joseph’s   College in Quezon City. She will stay at
the   Central    House -  Community   C   which   was   represented    by   Sr.  Ma.
Teresita  Bravo,  SFIC.   Sr.  Maricon  of  the   Phil. South  Province  was   tasked
to  be the Christian Formation Facilitator at St. Joseph’s College in  Mactan, Cebu.
She was entrusted to Sr. Agnes Labitoria.


















Sr. Nanette   Espiritu   thanked   the  whole congregation for their most valuable
presence.   It  is always a  thrilling   moment   when  the heart  remembers  with
gratitude  the goodness  that  springs  from the depths of the soul.
















Grateful appreciation and thanks was acclaimed for Fr. Gene  Pastidio,  OFM, the
HOMILIST. He really gave a wonderful homily with a lot of  points  for  the  young
professed to  mull on as they are in the spring of their Religious Life.


The  newly  professed  sisters  will  grow  in their awareness of their responsibilities
not only to  themselves, their  friends, and their  families, but  also their  immediate
community   and   society  in   general. At  this point in  their formation,  they  may
have   had   several  opportunities of  professional growth and  other  involvements
but   it  is  important  for  them  to  be  grounded  in  their  relationship  with  Jesus
Christ,   the   perfect   exemplar   of   loving submission to the will of  the  Father in
simplicity and in humility.

















With   the   Junior   Mistress,  Sr.  Dreena  Guerrero on the keyboard, it  was a
delight   to   see  the  young  Sisters with  her,  singing  out  their   hearts  and
souls which  made  the  affair  a very solemn one.
































and Sr. FRANCISCA of the General Board

















Once again, Congratulations

to our dear

Sisters Fe, Maricon and Nanette!

















Last Updated on Tuesday, 30 June 2015 10:36
retreat 2015 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Friday, 29 May 2015 01:01

























“A house is made of stones, but a home is made of hearts.” Yes, this is our own
Home   Sweet Home. Every summer, the Sisters come home to the Little Flower
Retreat  House  in  gratitude  for  all  the  blessings  received  for  the year, and
be  more  prepared  for  what  the future has in store for each and everyone.
This is the goal for RETREAT 2015.



























Behind this   Little   Flower   Retreat   House is a beautiful garden that does not
only  attract   the   butterflies  and  other creepy creatures; this is always given
priority by  visitors  where  they take a walk and capture the moment’s mood in
their IPods  or cameras. Here in, one can see the scenic horizon of the  Country
Club, the well-trimmed  lawns for the golfers  to display  their competitive skills
and the winding roads   enjoyed  by the horse-riders as they roam the beautiful
spots around.
















Every corner of the garden speaks of the glory of God in his creation!





















Sr.  Esperanza  Vistro  enjoys  basking  under the sun on this beautiful morning
as part of the  silent  contemplation  in  this  Retreat.  Peering  into the colorful

shrubs  and  flowers, one  can just imagine  the joy given to this God’s creation
whose  beauty  is  in  itself  a  purpose  to  exist. The enticing flowers can’t  be
ignored  as  Brother  Sun stoops down to grace them all  with his morning  kiss.
Indeed, “be praised my Lord for Brother Sun and Mother Earth…”




















Fr.   Cristino   Pine,  ofm,   gladly  accepted   the  task  of  being  the Retreat Master for
this year with  the over-all  theme ,“  Inflamed  by  the  Fire of  God’s  Love: Authentic
Witness in  the  Life and Mission  of  Christ  in  the  World”.  Considering  the  Francis
Clarean  Spirituality  of  the  Congregation  as  the umbrella of the SFIC Plan of Life, a
particular theme was set for each day as follows:

Day 1 - FCSJPIC: Love, the Soul of Spirituality for Ministry

Day 2 - FCSJPIC: Sharing the Gospel of Joy in our Life of Prayer

Day 3 - FCSJPIC: Making God’s Word Alive in our Life and Mission as a

Community of Disciples

Day 4 - FCSJPIC:  Proclaiming God’s Mercy and Compassion in Today’s World

Day 5 - FCSJPIC: Stewardship: A Treasure of Life and Love with Gifts

for Service

Day 6 - FCSJPIC: The Role and Challenges of New Evangelization in the

Post-Modern World

Day 7 - FCSJPIC: Mutual Solidarity and Growing Collaboration in the

Service of the Church

Day 8 - FCSJPIC: SFICs as Spirit-Filled and Authentic Evangelizers of

the Good News

Salient Points to mull on:

a. Fruit of our prayers should exude a joyful disposition wherever we
are. The quiet joy of love should be felt by the people around us.
Resentment, anger and listlessness block the Good News.

b. On Pope Francis’ visit to the Youth in UST
Sometimes we are so locked up in our petty quarrels that we don’t
see any more the signs of the times. Have we forgotten that we are
also beneficiaries of God’s mercy and compassion?

c. We are only A PART of God’s creation. We are not the center of the

d. God’s creation can be with our pains. As God taught Job how to bear
his pains, he believed that God is really good. He fights with us, but
he is always on our side.

e. Jesus had only one focus, to go to Jerusalem where he met his death.
Pope Francis also said, “Bring back our people to Jerusalem…” Let us
not be afraid therefore of our Jerusalem. “Stay with us …” means
that we have the opportunity to penetrate the lives of people in

f. Building pyramids is dangerous. Many times, our pyramids become too
high and fortification so strong that we are afraid if it crumbles. Instead,
do we allow the Holy Spirit to work in us?


Ps. 27: One thing I ask of the Lord, that will I seek ...

God’s   faithfulness   is   evident  in  our lives. The Retreat is the most
opportuned   time   to  spend  time   for  the Lord to acknowledge his
faithfulness to us even if  we go unfaithful.   As  our Lord  told Martha,
there is   only one thing that matters, and Mary chose  the better part.
To be poor in spirit is to submit one’s will to the Father.














Praise the LORD!!!



























On   April 26, 2015, Sr. Eden Benavidez was the “queen” of the day. She was
flanked  by  her  well- wishers. On  Retreats  like this, everything has its own
season;  time   to celebrate life and rejoice with love ones. The silence was not
broken, the  celebration  was in tune with the theme, “ Stewardship: a treasure
of  Life and Love with  Gifts for  Service! True  enough, we  thank  and praise
God  for  God’s  wonderful  Gift of  Life for Sr. Eden as she herself is a gift to
our Congregation and to the Church.

















Sr. Marie Teresita Bravo,  gladly   volunteered   to   give the synthesis
of  the  entire   retreat after the last session on the last day.   It   was
well  prepared,   concise   and much  appreciated by the body. Gifted
sisters like Sr. Ching  (as  she is  fondly  called) are  indeed sources of
inspiration for the Sisters!
















The  most  important  part of the Retreat is the renewal of vows which
was done within  the  mass. This is also an annual rite that the Sisters
have to articulate publicly  the vows that they want to live. The sisters
and the Celebrant are  there as  witnesses.  In  turn, the  vows  of  the
Sisters have to  be  accepted  by the  General Superior. In the absence
of   Sr.  Maria  Lourdes   Santos,   the   General   Superior,  the   Local
Superior of the LFRH  Community, Sr. Josie  Tan was given the honor
to accept the vows of the Sisters.
















Sisters received communion in both species.















Sr. Mercy, FMIJ and a Co-sister of hers joined the SFIC in this Retreat.
















The Offertory Procession


















Sr.  Lucia  Gumiran who  welcomed  Fr. Cris in  the  beginning  of   the
completed her  task expressing  GRATITUDE to him for  having
been   an   instrument   of   the   Lord to  bring  the Good News to the

“Father Cris, your efforts  in  this retreat won’t go in vain. May we
always  see   God’s   face when the  times  of  pain and trials come our
way. We  don’t  know what fate awaits us in our new communities and
new  assignments, but  with courage, we dare to accept the challenges
again  and  with  renewed  vigor, in FAITH we  journey  with the LORD
as we go down to the valley…”















Gratefulness   springs   from   the   heart!   Sr.  Lucia
awarded   the  Card  of  Thanks  as  Fr.  Cris  likewise
beams  with  joy!



Heartfelt   gratitude   is   due   to  Sr.  Rose  for her well
appreciated   guitar   accompaniment  in  the   liturgical
celebrations   in   the  chapel.  Thank  you  Sr.  Rose  for
sharing one of your most valued gifts.


Grateful  acknowledgment  is  also  due to Sr. Susan for
her  well  prepared  “power - point”  of  the  songs  and
prayers  used  in the liturgy. It was kind of her to assist
the   groups   most   especially   during   the   special
celebrations. Thank you, Sr. Susan!





















The “AGAPE” was enjoyed by everyone! The Retreat
is not over, we have to go down now to the valley as…





Sr. Grace Abejo, Sr. Lucia Gumiran, Sr. Teresita Babaran and Sr. Rosal







Last Updated on Friday, 05 June 2015 01:06
Level III Renewal Program 2015 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Friday, 05 June 2015 01:23


Level – 3 Renewal Program

















Upon reaching forty years  in  the  Congregation,
the Sisters  need  to  be  renewed  after long years
of  having been  in  the ministry  in the  service of
God's  Kingdom. Indeed,  it  is  a  great  privilege 
to  go through   the  renewal  program  as offered
by the Congregation  for the welfare of each  one. 
The  program  took   place  at   the Audio -Visual  
Room of  the Central House  on May 4 - 10, 2015.

















Direction Setting : Sr. Agnetia Naval

In the absence of Sr. Julie Saguibo Sr. Agnetia also read the WELCOME MESSAGE
the Provincial Superior. Quoting from Lewis Richmond, a Buddhist writer and teacher,
Five Best Practices for Aging   are worth remembering:

1. Gratitude - How do we pray our "thank you" prayers?
2. Generosity - Giving back and helping  others make us happier and more content.
3. Reframing - Aging includes its shares of reverses, losses and sorrows.
4. Curiosity - Curiosity is an important attitude to cultivate as we age. It keeps us young.
5. Flexibility - Every reversal comes with new opportunity, no matter what happens.

A spiritual perspective on aging  is  not  just  for  personal transformation; it  is  medicine
for LONGEVITY and HEALTH. We  deserve  to  enjoy  our  aging; it  is our reward in the
continuing adventure of living a wholesome life.
















Sr. Virginia Embuido introduced the first Speaker.

















Dr.   Farah   Arsenia    Agustin    Bunch    was   the   first   Guest   Speaker.   Sr.   Virginia
Embuido has    been   a   long-time   patient of  hers.  As  Sr.  Virginia  is  holding  a  jar of 
coconut oil in   this  picture, Dr.  Bunch    focused   her   lecture  on  the  medicinal  value 
of  one  of  our  own native products  in  the Philippines,  the Coconut.  She underscored
that Coconut  Oil  isthe Drug Store in a Bottle" which can cure a lot of diseases.

















Sisters   were   very   enthusiastic   listening  to Dr. Bunch.  Sr. Immaculee was one of the
zealous  sisters who asked a lot of questions during the session.
















It  was a blessed  day  indeed! The  sisters  bestowed the  solemn  blessing  of  St. Francis
for the couple   in   gratefulness   for   the graces received for the day through them. The
sisters' added  knowledge   on  the use  of coconut oil  and other tips for treating maladies
was  the beginning of renewal.
















Sr. Ana Malapitan,RC was the second  Resource Speaker with the theme,

Salient points from  her presentation were:

1.   We are God's work of art, we are gifts. The second half of our lives should be spent in
partnership   with   God  (interiority)  and   quality  relationships   recognizing   our  LIMITS,
DIMINISHMENT   and   ACCEPTANCE.   It   is  celebrating the gift of years, not as burdens.
The second   half  of   life   makes   our true identity and we find the person  we CHOOSE
TO BECOME. To  be  authentic   in   the   afternoon of life is to be integrated. Goodness is
beauty, and beauty is love made visible. Aging comes in with   generativity,   a  culmination
of the journey. It  is  a  stage in  life,  "the  wear  and  tear..." It  is  a  slow  process . The
challenge for aging   and  the   task   is   how   to   embrace  the blessings of our time and
overcome  the burdens. The trajectory is always toward communion.

The "Wear and Tear"  Theory
Our bodies gradually wear out after a period of time. The   parts   break   down   and  we
eventually cease to live. No matter how often we are fixed by medical   treatment,  there
comes a time when the fixing is no longer possible. We experience a gradual   breakdown.
God uses this ordinary human process of aging to invite us to let go and turn over  control
to God and to trust that God will provide.

The "Program" Theory
This  offers  insight  that no matter how good our health is,   there is a   cap   on   human
longevity.    The  theory   postulates   that   according   to   our    understanding   of  cell
reproduction, our   bodies   are   programmed   for   some   120  years of life. The day will
come   when,   no   matter what,  we will go to God. Longevity offers us the opportunity
to reflect on how our life is and put it in order for the Lord's coming.

2.  Realities to accept:

Time slows   down   in   aging.     There   is   a  lot   of  empty  time  that can bring on
loneliness.   But   this   too   can   be  an opportunity for intimacy with God. Boredom can
be a   burden   when   we   miss   the   point  of  slowing  down as grace. The rhythm of
old   age   may   be   slower   than  that  of  youth but it can reveal a new kind of beauty,
one refined by experience.

Dependence is    one   of    the   challenges of aging. It  is  a call to compassion. It is an
invitation   to   a   new   way   of   loving,  by  embracing one's vulnerability and need for
others    and   gratefully   receive   love.   This   also   opens   to the christian vision of an
interdependent community.

Losses occur   in   our    lives  throughout, but they often come at a faster pace in the
last   years.   We   grieve   not   only   for   our   losses   but  for the ultimate loss of self.
Facing    losses  opens   one   to   enter  the   darkness   of suffering, to blessed grieving
and letting - go in faith.

Memory -  Old   age   is   memory   incarnate.   Aging   is   a   time  of storytelling  of our
lives. We   experience   the   fear   of   forgetting.  It's good for us to be with someone
old   even   if   we   are   not   remembered.   When  we   die,  we  become a memory.
That's interconnectedness.

Love and Friendship - There   are   dimensions   of   love   that  can only be experienced
in   later   years. The   ripening of relationship into a familiarity  happens   with  a   sense
of   mystery   and   reverence,   a   love   that  transcends   trials   and   which   reveals
the   fidelity. It   is   at   this   stage   that intimacy heightens because of multiple losses.
Relationships give meaning to our lives.

Dying -    Death   is   the   final   moment   of  life. Dying is a journey a person must take
in   the   last   phase   of   life.   It   can   sometimes   be a  long journey  of progressive
suffering,   but   we   often  fear   weakness,   pain,  physical  dependence  and mental
deterioration more than the cessation of life.

Redemptive Diminishment means    finding   God  in   the   midst   of   the  varied  and
constant   passivities   of   diminishment:   the   crushing   failure,   sudden   accident  or
illness, etc.   Recognizing   the   capacities   of   such    experiences   can  transform  us.
Struggling   and   accepting   them   in   faith   as   a   share in the redemptive suffering
of Christ in us and in the world which opens up to the gift of the Resurrection.

Legacy -  Reflect  on your whole life. Think  of  yourself as God's work of art meant
to be a blessing to others.

REFLECTION :    What is the legacy you want to leave behind?
How do you want to be remembered?
















Sisters shared in between sessions.