MANILA, Oct. 2, 2013—The Congregation of the Daughters of St. Paul (FSP) in the Philippines marks a milestone of its existence in the country with the celebration of its 75th anniversary on October 13, 2013.
Themed “Celebrating fidelity, counting blessings, reinvigorating service” the anniversary celebration will be an occasion for the Philippine province to look back with gratitude to God and to the many people who have been part of its life since its foundation in the country in 1938.
Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma, CBCP president, will be the officiating prelate of the jubilee Thanksgiving Mass at 9 a.m. at the Queen of Apostles Sanctuary in Pasay City.
Other highlights of the day’s events include a video showing of the congregation’s journey in the Philippines for the past 75 years, a Pauline concert, and a telefest.
Noting the popularity of “telenovelas” among Filipino audiences, the FSP sisters launched a jubilee initiative dubbed Paulines telefest 2013, to acknowledge and commend the worth-watching “telenovela” and promote the advancement of stimulating and formative broadcasting.
“[Our] aim is to encourage our local scriptwriters and directors to come up with wholesome ‘telenovelas’ which can uplift the moral standards of our Filipino people,” Sr. Cloth de las Llagas, in charge of Mobile Literacy program of FSP’s Paulines Institute of Communication in Asia (PICA), said.
Two awards—the Jury’s Choice Award and the Paulines Citation Award—will be given to winning “telenovelas” chosen by a group of jurors.
To come out with a winner of the most-watched “telenovela”, a survey in a sample population of 3,200 was conducted to find out the most watched telenovela by adults and children between 10-11:30 a.m. and 2:30-11:00 p.m. on ABS-CBN, GMA and TV5 in 2012-2013.
De las Llagas said survey results were discussed, analyzed and evaluated by groups of parents and teachers from selected schools in Luzon and group of media educators from the PCC.
She said the Paulines Citation Award will be awarded based on Christian values that are present in the “teleserye.”
De las Llagas also said that a Commendation Certificate will be given to the Cast and Production Crew of the 3 TV Networks with TV serials that help strengthen family relationships, boost the morale of children, promote search for truth and happiness unoccupied with material pursuit and TV productions that are value-laden and faith-enhancing.
Since the opening of the jubilee celebration last year, the FSP sisters have launched various projects and intensified other media activities to commemorate the occasion.
Among the activities are the “Biblia sa Bawat Pamilya” project – biblical animation and diffusion of subsidized Bible to poorest families; reach-out project to street children/juvenile youth offenders/women inmates and poor children of Our Lady of Sorrows Parish in Pasay area through teaching of catechism and film showing on the bible; media animation to families, professionals and youth; Bible catechism and seminars on personality development to lay collaborators; and teaching catechism to youth and children, and the elderly of Sta. Rita and Our Lady of Sorrows Parish in Pasay.
FSP Sisters in the Philippine province
Numbering almost 200 hundred sisters and 19 communities in various cities nationwide, in Malaysia, Thailand and Papua New Guinea, the FSP Sisters carry out the work of evangelization through various initiatives using the means of social communications: publishing, media centers, pastoral involvement, media animation and production of AV, radio and TV programs.
But the congregation is also experiencing a shortage of vocations—a phenomenon that seems to be afflicting many religious institutes in the Church today.
“At the moment, our Congregation in the Philippines is suffering a demographic winter due to the scarcity of vocations and the ageing, sickness and death of members,” Sr. Evangelina Canag, a member of the Jubilee executive committee said. “Nevertheless, the apostolic passion has not waned, it is still vibrant, even and especially among elder sisters who have borne the heat of the day.”
With the media penetrating all aspects of human life, she noted how the congregation’s charism has become ever more relevant today.
She said, “For me, three major challenges stand out for us: first, to be holy, because God does not need our work, he wants us to be intimate with him and reveal his face as the God of love to our brothers and sisters; second, to use all the forms and means of communication, especially the social media, to bring the Word of God, with special attention to the poor and the ‘far away’, with all the ardour of our being ; third, to open our hearts to humility, simplicity and compassion, so that in our evangelization we will not be self-righteous Pharisees but wounded healers who need ourselves to be saved.”
Founded in 1915 in Alba, Italy, the Daughters of St. Paul is the second of the 5 religious and 5 aggregated institutes founded by Blessed James Alberione that comprise the Pauline Family. These are the Society of St. Paul, Daughters of St. Paul, Sisters Disciples of the Divine Master, Sisters of Jesus the Good Shepherd (Pastorelle), Institute of Mary Queen of Apostles; Our Lady of the Annunciation; St. Gabriel the Archangel; Jesus the Priest; Holy Family and the Association of Pauline Cooperators. (CBCPNews)