MATI, Davao Oriental, Oct. 25, 2011?Three Sisters from the Oblates of Notre Dame were sent as missionaries to the diocese of Naha, Okinawa in Japan to serve in the pastoral care ministry for Filipino migrants.
The three OND missionaries, Srs. Stella Marie “SM” LLerin, Teresita Caytor and Rochelle Caminse were sent off in a ceremony held at Our Lady of Hope Chapel in the OND Novitiate Grounds in Tamontaka, DOS, Maguindanao.
OND Superior General Sr. Rose Susan “RS” Montejo and Sr. Stella Marie had visited the diocese last year, upon the invitation of the bishop of Naha, Most Reverend Bernard Oshikawa, OFM Conv. to discuss the new ministry to be opened in his territory.
The OND sisters were recommended to the bishop by Fr. Alfie Africa, the current Moderator of the Mission Society of the Philippines (MSP), a group with whom the ONDs had been working closely in Papua New Guinea.
After the visit, Sr. RS told her sisters the great pastoral need to accompany our Filipino migrants, as well as the heartwarming hospitality and generosity of the Okinawans.
She also shared how “the three misioneras got to study and are trying to be proficient in the Japanese language to enable them to integrate effectively into the Japanese-Okinawan culture, as they also aim to develop an inculturated Christian Formation program for Filipino wives and their succeeding generations, while also attempting to develop a self-sustaining center.”
Moreover, the sisters will be familiarizing themselves with the customs, food and climate and other realities of the new culture, discerning how the mission engagement in Miyako can become a venue for ONDs to make alive ‘Missio Dei’ so that, as Sr. RS said, “we may be for the people of the Diocese of Naha and for the Filipinos there an experience of a God who comes into the lives of all people and into the world in new ways.”
The General Team further expressed their joy of entrusting the new mission into the loving and caring hands of Mary, our Mother and Patroness, accompanying our missionaries in their journey of “pleasing God always” (OND motto). (Sr. Marietta Alo, OND)