Archdiocesan Shrine of Our Lady of Loreto Parish Chapter

WESTB2C Cluster


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CALLING ALL PRISOnaries!!!

We are sooooooo back!!!

Join us this SUNDAY (8:00-1:00pm) at Sampaguita Camp, New Bilibid Prison, for another humbling and fulfilling service.

Meet up at DLTB bus terminal, LRT buendia @ 7:00am.

If you are interested, kindly submit your full name to bro Jay @ 09067884055 not later than THURSDAY night for the waiver.

Masaya Magserve sa PRISON! Tara na!!!:)

OPEN TO ALL!!!


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One-to-ones in Transformation (June Prison Ministry Service)

I would like to share what happened on the weekend of June 16 to 17, 2012. Upon waking up on June 18, I really felt like a different person. I thought I came from a retreat. The transformation from the inside has been very evident. I’ve learned in the book, The Purpose Driven Life (which I’m reading right now, and yes, only now 🙂 ), that changes spiritually and emotionally don’t necessarily mean they can only happen on retreat, recollection, powerful talks, seminars and conferences. But also through every day experiences, through a nice conversation with a person, number of persons or a group of people, through watching an inspirational show, through serving and other means.

On June 16, I attended the chapter’s CLP Talk 11 and 12. It was a very rewarding night for the speakers talked about the Mission of the Couples for Christ and the Transformation with Christ. It was also a chance to be with the CLP participants and the service team. After the CLP, Sis Cath, Bro Kimm, Bro Milo and myself headed to the house of Sis Jophine to prepare the things we will be using for the Prison Service the next day. The house was quite far, then we realized distance is not a hindrance to a person who really wants to serve, and I truly honor Sis Jophine for that and the other servants who also live from afar.

It was a nice conversation with the team and with Sis Ipay during the preparation of the things we will use for the service. What’s nice about it is the sense of maturity of everyone. It was evident that we don’t talk as girls and boys, but as young adults, men and women. What I learned from the night is that, life is not really perfect for anyone, but if one understands that life is a blessing and that everything that’s been happening has a good reason, he/she will have an optimism to carry on even if it’s hard. We have our own struggles and questions in our personal lives, in our faith, in our service and in our everyday experiences. As what was stated from The Purpose Driven Life, this life is a test of faith and a test of trust of our Almighty God. And through this, our relationship with Him will grow deeper each day. With our frequent communication with Him, I know He is smiling down on us from heaven.

After the entire tasks were done and some chit chats, we finally slept. We woke up at 5.30am to pack the food that we will serve.

Upon arrival at the entrance of Medium Security Camp, we found out that we will be serving with Singles for Christ from the chapter, West C2-B. Two different chapters but with one desire, and that is to serve, all for the glory of God.

The program for that day was the one-to-ones of the participants and the facilitators from West B1-A and West C2-B. The activity is in preparation for the Baptism the following Sunday. As the one-to-ones was occurring, the Music Ministry of West B1-A sang in one side and became the background music, which helped the participants reflect and think of the areas in their lives they want to be prayed for. The other service team became the prayer warrior and some served the lunch for the participants and service team.

The facilitators were overwhelmed and touched because of the trust given to them by the CLP participants in their one-to-ones. We all know it’s really hard to open-up what’s inside our hearts and mind. It takes guts. But the inmates willingly shared part of their lives to their facilitators which humbled the latter.

The whole service team was much fulfilled and smiles were present in our faces especially during the short sharing outside the Medium Security Camp.

But wait! There’s still more!

Bro Kimm, Bro Berl, Bro Avel, Bro Jherwin and Sis Majane returned to Bilibid the following Sunday, June 24, to serve for the Baptism. I truly honor them for their tireless effort because the night before the service, June 23, was our Chapter’s CLP Lord’s day in St. Jude. As what Sis Majane wrote in the caption of this picture, “Passion for my Mission”.

I’ll forever be grateful to God for all the experiences, realizations and learning He has given me. My life has been unfolding with every second and every minute that’s passing by. And I am just so positive about life.

Thank you SFC community for the tremendous impact in our lives. And with the power of the Holy Spirit, spiritual transformation can be achieved.

Happy Service! 🙂


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Through Education Anything Can Happen

This is a late post, but I hope this will inspire us to serve in Cornerstone.

Cornerstone – a CFC program in partnership with the Ateneo Center for Educational Development held its first TEACH Expo last May 12, 2012 at Singson Hall, Ateneo de Manila University. This whole day affair gathered more than 250 volunteers from CFC Singles for Christ, and 41 passionate partners from the CFC Handmaids of the Lord and Couples for Christ (CFC) – all of which were brought together by the same fire to share God’s love to young learners.  JQ Quimpang led  our Cornerstone volunteers to an opening worship by alluding to our Lord Jesus Christ, as the greatest teacher of all – one who patiently makes known to us ‘the way, the truth and the life’.

The expo’s battle cry, Through Education Anything Can Happen was laid out by Cornerstone’s Project Director, Bernie Cuevas.  This year’s thrust was to cater to 100 schools for the upcoming school year 2012 – 2013. Mel Oracion, Executive Director of Ateneo Center for Educational Development (ACED), in her opening remarks defined poverty as a monster with many hearts – killing just one at a time will not be enough. Cornerstone, in its commitment to mentor the young, provides us with a concrete and sustainable way of getting rid of the monster.  By raising the quality of education that students in public schools have, we can assure good future for this younger generation of Filipinos.

The whole event was dedicated to sharpen the skills of Cornerstone volunteers, and equip those who don’t have prior teaching backgrounds. The first session entitled, Building Awareness of Learning Disabilities was given by Jenny Tapales, co-founder and a member of the board of directors of Ed Link Foundation and Link Ed Incorporated. Tapales’ session roused awareness and deeper understanding of the students’ feelings by tapping into classroom situations they usually go through. Workshops soon followed to boost the creativity and passion of all the volunteers. The workshops include Learning Fundamentals, Classroom Management and Discipline, Creative Teaching, Preparation of Instructional Materials, Child Psychology, and Parent Formation Program.

This event was made successful through the combined effort and generosity of Cornerstone full time workers and our partner ADMU, whose fruitful collaboration provided new platforms for learning to all the volunteers. As the expo came to a close with worship by Nic Escalona, the volunteers came home with their minds full of new discoveries, and their hearts ignited to serve and begin anew.


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Fear and the Grass Beyond the Fence

Prison Min – April Post

In the past, I’ve have been invited to serve in the Prison Ministry but all the persuasions and encouragements fell on my deaf ears. Actually, I can switch my hearing to on or off most of the times, especially in “bumili ka nga ng suka” moments. 🙂

So why did I refuse to serve in Prison in the past? The answer was just plain and simple – fear.  It is the fear of the unknown; the fear of failure and the fear of rejection.

 It is the fear that I felt when I accepted to head the Prison Ministry, knowing that I have a lot of things on my hand. It is the same fear that I felt when I first visited Bilibid Prison and saw these people with strong personalities and loud voices.  Right at that moment, I told myself: “How can I control a program with all these people?  How could my voice be heard when there are a lot of loud voices?” It is the same fear that I felt when I had to lead the talk, be a host and speaker for the first time outside of the Parish of St. Jude.

I just had no other choice but to go forward, let go and let God.

Facing those fears lead me to the other side of the fence, to explore areas outside my comfort zone. Yes, those fears are still present but something other than that fills my cup and makes the fear overflow. It is the feeling of service that is one of a kind. It is service that pushes you to the limit, physically tiring, financially draining but emotionally fulfilling. As they say, true love hurts and similarly, true service hurts in a way or another.

But I think that there is a Great Source of all of our courage and Isaiah 61:1 says it all:

The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me,
Because the LORD has anointed me
To bring good news to the afflicted;
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to captives
And freedom to prisoners; 

This is exactly what we felt in our service last April 2012. We came at the prison service expecting to just support their program. To our surprise and due to some reasons, we became an instant music ministry, speakers and sharers. We had to call SFC friends for the lyrics of the songs for praise and worship, and have instant meeting for the morning’s program.

But everything we needed was there.  We had friends who were available to answer our calls and tell us the exact lyrics of the songs. We had a guitarist and an instant music min as some members of the WESTB1A Music Ministry were present. We had a great host in Majane. I also had a stock knowledge on the topic which I shared with the inmates. My partner also has an appropriate sharing for the talk. Everything just went well and connived for our cause. It’s like the universe conspired with us. God did provide for us.

Indeed, the spirit of the Lord is upon us. When we face our fears and trust in the Lord, all will be well. And after facing those fears, we can now enjoy playing in the grass at the other side of the fence.

Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you. – Deuteronomy 31:6

We would like to invite our brothers and sisters to join us serving the Prison Ministry this coming June 17, 2012. Kitakits!


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PUTTING THE PIECES BACK TOGETHER. (SFC West B1-A February Prison Service)

It was my first time to attend the service of the Prison Ministry.  It was Sunday, Feb 9, 2012. Call time, 7.30am in DLTB Bus Terminal in Buendia.

Being able to serve inside the Bilibid Prison, Medium security camp is something I would never thought as, possible. But God is really great in making things happen.

The highlight of the service was the activity prepared by the West B1 A Prison Ministry head Bro. Kimm. Our fellow SFCs inside the Bilibid were asked to make a dream board of how they would perceive themselves in the future. I saw in their faces the excitement in working with their dream board. One drew a house in a farm, free and living simply with his loved ones. Some made use of the pictures cut from newspapers and magazines.

They shared with their discussion group what were in their dream board.  After sharing with one another, the facilitators were asked to collect the dream board per group. Then with the instruction from Bro. Kimm, the facilitators tore all the dream board. Not only the inmates were shocked by the action but also some of us, service team who were not aware that it will be done.

Why?

All would like to know the reason why the dream board has to be torn. For sure, there must be a great explanation behind the action. It was disheartening for the inmates to see it torn into pieces.

The implication….

This was it. The inmates have visions in their mind of a good life in the future. But those dreams were destroyed because of the different circumstances that made them went inside the Bilibid. But being an SFC, and having a deeper relationship with God gave them realizations to put the pieces of their dreams in life back together, and likewise, the pieces of their dream board back together. It was a lesson for everyone. One’s life doesn’t need to stop because he/she has committed a mistake. It is not yet the end and that we can always start from where we are now. Everyone is entitled for that second chance.

Bro. Kimm’s explanation, “Sa pagpasok nyo dito, nasira ang mga pangarap nyo, pero sa pagmamahal sa atin ni God at sa second chance na binigay Nya, buuin nyo ulit ang mga pangarap nyo, at panghawakan hanggang sa paglabas nyo dito”.

The inmates were touched at the moment. That is something that ALL of us will never forget for the rest of our lives. The service team of SFC West B1-A went home inspired and blessed because of another heartfelt service done for the glory of God.

P.S. Come and join the Prison Ministry serve inside the Bilibid, Medium Security Camp every 3rd Sunday of the month. Next service, on June 17, 2012. See you there!


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Cornerstone is AGAPE

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“The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; by the Lord has this been done, and it is wonderful in one’s eye.” –  Mark 12:10-11

It’s been months since I joined the Cornerstone Program. I must say that it is an accident how I get myself into this program, because then I don’t like it. Here’s how it happened, one of my member wanted to attend the Cornerstone training at Ateneo, I gave her name but unfortunately the registration had closed. For some reason, there’s a misunderstanding and my name was listed so I decided to attend the said training with other two SFC sisters from our chapter. I came there without knowing what it’s all about. During the training, the program was clearly discussed and I was overwhelmed of its good effect. However, I can say that teaching is not my cup of tea; it’s outside of my comfort zone. Ever since I hate English subject especially as a mode of communication. I never envisioned myself being a teacher, I even remember telling my family before that I can take any course in college except education so I struggled being an accounting student just to evade that.

Days passed by and we spent every Saturdays doing tutorials for Cornerstone program, we handled the bottom 30 students of San Francisco Elementary School. Those 30 students struggled on reading and comprehension, some are even repeaters. Being a tutor, I learned a lot, met new friends and most importantly developed patience to our little brethren. I made a lot of adjustment but it was very fulfilling and we are joyful every time we teach them, knowing that they will somehow learn from us. I am thankful for this opportunity to be of service to all our little brothers and sisters. Time flies, I just realized that the school year just ended but we are fulfilled because our students passed. As tutors we are now looking forward on the coming school year with this chant in mind:

“I am, I am a cornerstone with you, with you I’m not alone. Together we will build this nation. Cornerstone is our foundation.”

Hope to sing it with you guys soon…..

By: JOY MARASIGAN (Cornerstone Volunteer Tutor)