Congregation goes ‘online fishing’

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MANILA, June 29, 2015 – The Sisters of St. Francis Xavier (SFX) community of San Pedro, Laguna, three of whom are Myanmar nationals and one Filipina, are discovering the wide reach of vocations promotions via social media.

Second row L-R: Sr. Carmela, Sr. Rita, Sr. Marie, all three Myanmar nationals, and Sr. Venus. Front row: The six future Sisters of Saint Francis Xavier. (Photo: Oliver Samson)

Through Facebook connectivity, the community was able to inspire six young women in the last three years to undergo formation, said SFX formation directress Sr. Venus Marie S. Pegar.

“The congregation just used Facebook and mobile phones,” she said. “We did not really go to places for recruitment.”
The young women hailed from different provinces, like Leyte, Samar, Negros Occidental, Davao del Norte, Capiz, and Antique with ages ranging from 16 to 25-years old.

Four of them are aspirants (pre-postulants), one postulant, while the others are novices.

Two more, one of whom is currently employed in Hong Kong as an overseas Filipino contract worker OFW), will start undergoing formation in December, Pegar said.

The OFW wishes to earn and save for her family before going through vocation formation, she revealed.

Both were also recruited by Pegar through the online social network Facebook.

Gina S. Genosa, a 19-year old novice; and Ingelyn B. San Juan, an 18-year-old postulant, said they did not feel “any pressure” to enter the SFX.

The congregation just waited for their preparedness to undergo formation, the two ladies said.

The longest period of recruitment through Facebook took three years because the aspirant had to finish high school and work to support for her family for a while, Pegar said.

According to Pegar, the congregation requires aspirants to meet the minimum age of 16 and be at least high school graduates.

“We have the simplicity of life here, she said. “There is joy in the religious life of each member.”

The congregation, which has its mother house in Myanmar, is committed to a four-fold mission, namely, praying, evangelizing, educating, and nursing, Pegar said.

Meanwhile, the new Myanmar nuns who arrived in the country in April are attending courses on speaking and writing in Filipino.

They need to learn the local tongue in order to take care of the 18 residents of the Mother of Mercy Home for the Abandoned and Elderly, which the community runs. (Oliver Samson/CBCPNews)

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