COTABATO, April 21, 2015 – Thank you. This is the simple sentiment the Archdiocese of Cotabato wants to express to three religious women who helped in the archdiocese’ pastoral ministries and who will be moving to new missions, ending years of service in Cotabato.
As they embark on their new journeys, Sr. Marivic Ratilla, OND, Sr. Alice Original, OND, and Sr. Ma. Susan Flores, SNSP were honored by the Archdiocese on April 16 with a simple thanksgiving party. Attendees included Auxiliary Bishop Jose Colin M. Bagaforo, DD, priests, religious sisters and the working force of the Pastoral Office and the Curia of the Archbishop Mongeau Center.
Ratilla has served for 7 years in the archdiocese, from May 2008 to April 2015. She was a coordinator of the Archdiocesan Catechetical Ministry, assisting in the formation of catechists in the different parishes. Original served for 1 year, from May 2014 to April 2015, as the coordinator of the Lay Leadership Program. She especially helped in the formation of the lay ministers or the “Kaabag”. Ratilla and Original are both from the Oblates of Notre Dame, founded in Cotabato City on November 10, 1956 by two missionaries of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate (OMI) who arrived in 1939: Fathers George Dion and Gerard Mongeau.
The congregation is engaged in different ministries either in parishes or in diocesan offices. The OND sisters also manage schools or serve as campus ministers, especially in Notre Dame Schools in the Philippines. Several sisters are involved in the ministries of the Church such as Justice, Peace and Integrity of creation or JPIC; Reconciliation; Child Peace Learning Center; Migrants and Itinerant People; Dialogue of Life; action and religions; particularly with Moro communities in Mindanao and Sulu, advocating alternative education and the promotion of indigenous peoples’ rights.
Flores, who is part of the Siervas de la NuestraSeñora de la Paz (SNSP), has served for almost 2 years, from June 2013 to April 2015, in the Hospital Apostolate of the Archdiocese of Cotabato and particularly, in the Bahay Maria, Home for the Aged. Flores will be transferred to Ilocos.
The SNSP is a religious congregation of sisters of the Diocesan Right founded in Cebu in 1935 by a layman named Exequiel Barangan. Grounded on its vision and inspired by the spirit of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Handmaid of the Lord, the sisters help bishops with diocesan work, health ministry and visiting the sick. (Rachel F. Ayupan, Cotabato Archdiocese/CBCPNews)