CEBU City, Jan. 25, 2016 – Marian devotee Sally Pepito has committed to praying for more conversions on the next few days of the ongoing 51st International Eucharistic Congress (IEC) in Cebu.
“With this IEC, I pray that many more people will get converted,” the 54-year old mother of four told CBCP News in an interview.
Herself a convert, Pepito said at her age she was no longer interested in praying for her own intentions, but for others’, especially when their salvation is concerned.
“Whenever I’m inside the adoration chapel, I ask God that more people will be saved,” she said.
Deepening of faith
According to her, IEC will enable her to do precisely this as well as to pursue what she considers to be the “deepening of my faith in Jesus Christ,” calling the event the “peak of my experience.”
As a member of the World Apostolate of Fatima (WAF), she regularly visits the Blessed Sacrament.
“We have overnight vigils once a month. We must devote time to the Blessed Sacrament at least 15 minutes a day. As part of our First Saturday devotions, we are also required to spend time before the Blessed Sacrament,” shared Pepito.
Jesus within one’s reach
According to her, being inside the adoration chapel facing the exposed host is one of those treasured moments she feels the Lord actually present.
“It’s like Jesus is just within my reach,” she noted.
Pepito, a secretary to the president of the University of Cebu, described her own conversion as a 180-degree turn.
“I was a non-practicing Catholic before. I got really converted in 2005. At first, I had so many illnesses. I was so sickly before I got into this organization,” she explained.
“When I got into this into this org in 2005 I have already forgotten about my sickness. It’s as if nothing happened, like everything is back to normal. There must have been a miracle somehow, but only God knows,” she added.
Pepito and fellow WAF members were tasked to serve as collectors for the opening Mass of the IEC as well as other IEC Masses henceforth.
“I contribute whatever I can. We are mobilizing the WAF as collectors. In all events of IEC here in Cebu we take charge in the collection during Mass,” she said.
For middle-age Catholics like her, attending the religious gathering is something she cannot afford to miss since she never knows for sure when it will happen again in Cebu.
“We are very privileged that for the first time we are able to experience this kind of event. But this would be the first and last time that I would attend the IEC. The last IEC held in the Philippines was in 1937. And that was 79 years ago. I don’t think I will be able to reach 79 more years,” she said.
Pepito, meanwhile, called on fellow Cebuanos to share their time and energy for the success of the IEC and to grab the opportunity it presents to be better Catholics.
“We have to get involved in whatever activities in our parish and in our organizations,” she said. (Raymond A. Sebastián / CBCP News)