2 nuns start ‘graveyard’ evangelization

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PASAY City, May 8, 2014 – A pair of nuns, whose congregation is known for its apostolate of evangelization, set out early this year to help bring hope among cemetery settlers by bringing them the Word of God.

Daughters of St. Paul Sr. Evangelina Canag, who was thrice elected Provincial Superior of the congregation, and Sr. Divinia Declaro began conducting Bible seminars for graveyard colonists in this city last January.

Daughters of Saint Paul (FSP) Sr. Evangelina Canag, former Provincial Superior, and Sr. Divinia Declaro on Bible mission at a cemetery in Pasay City. (Photo: Daughters of Saint Paul)

Graveyard evangelization

“There [is] such a delight when the they stop at something to hear the Gospel, the septuagenarian nun, Sr. Canag, said.

The audience consists of men and women of different ages, especially children, who gather at a large tomb to hear the Good News.

They place the Holy Book on the tomb, she said. The visual aids used to facilitate the lectures are stuck on the tomb’s sides.

“The departed must be pleased the Bible is enthroned on his tomb and he is hosting the Bible study,” Sr. Canag said, describing the experience. “Some children run around, stopping from time to time to listen.”

They embarked on re-evangelizing graveyard settlers in coordination with the Sta. Clara de Montefalco Parish Church, and through the assistance of “Ka Jojo,” a parish lay person, who is the contact person between the nuns and the families who call the cemetery their home.

The Good News in us

The sisters believe the Gospel is similar to staple food in the sense that it is incorporated into the inner self when the person takes it in.

“Just like the nutrients of the food that becomes part of the body, the Word of God also becomes part of the body when ingested,” she said.

The graveyard settlers are among the poor families who annually receive the P1, 000 gift packages from the congregation during Yuletide season, Sr. Canag said.

They also receive free copies of Bible from the Daughters of St. Paul.

According to Sr. Canag, cemetery settlers can be self-sufficient if the government and non-government organizations help them find home and jobs.

The two nuns are planning to conduct future Bible studies for the cemetery settlers at the Daughters of St. Paul Central house in the city.

The former Provincial Superior, however, expressed sadness over Catholics’ general lack of attention and effort to bring the faithful back into the Church. Other churches conduct Bible studies at the cemetery, she said.

She once asked a child what the Good News is, who said in return “Gospel.” “Who told you so?,” Sr. Canag asked. “Pastor said so,” came the reply. (Oliver Samson)

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