Philippines: Closing of the 13th International Formators Course
Ready to be a Bridge for Formation
“The course is closed, but the way for formation is open,” were the joyful words of Sr. Maria Theresia Hörnemann, our Congregational Leader, as she addressed the newly graduated formators at the closing ritual of the 13th SSpS International Formators Course (SIFC) on the first Sunday after Easter, also known as Divine Mercy Sunday. After nearly one year of formation, the ten participants from as many provinces and regions ended their program in the Arnold Janssen Spirituality Center-Philippines (AJSC-Phil.) with a Eucharistic Celebration themed: “In God’s love, my heart is ready to be a bridge for formation.”
Not an easy motto – as acknowledged by Fr. Antonio Gilberto Marqueses, SVD, who presided the Eucharist. However, being a formator himself, he encouraged the new formators to tune their hearts’ beat with Jesus’. “You will be in charge of giving a testimony that Christ is alive!”
Sr. Maria Theresia congratulated the Sisters for accepting to be formed before taking over the service of formation. She reminded them that formation is a process and that it asks for love, patience, listening, deep respect for the individual person and courage. She wished them the experience of joy in accompanying people on their journey, as well as continuous growth as a person in the service for others. Together with Sr. Leonisa Andino, the Coordinator of the Course, she gave each a symbol of the Holy Spirit, made of Lahar ashes from Mount Pinatubo’s eruption in 1991. This is meaningful in two ways, as she pointed out: first, for being truly from the Philippines, and second, as a symbol that ashes can turn into something beautiful.
The Eucharistic Celebration was followed by a festive meal with the more than 40 sisters from nearby Communities who had come to join the Sisters of the 13th SIFC in their gratitude and joy.
The next and 14th Formators Course will start on the Feast of Pentecost and is coordinated by Sr. Milagros Sandoval, SSpS, from Philippines South (PHS).
Sr. Michaela Leifgen, SSpS – Philippines North