Prelate: Zambales nuns ‘flee’ to fight

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Novaliches Bishop Emeritus Teodoro C. Bacani expounds on the need of contemplatives like the Carmelites of the Holy Spirit of Zambales to “flee” the battle in order to win it for others. (Photo: Raymond A. Sebastián)

CASTILLEJOS, Zambales, April 12, 2016 – Novaliches Bishop Emeritus Teodoro C. Bacani has assured the Iba faithful that the decision of the Carmelite nuns of their diocese to move from their old home in Subic to a place farther up the hills of Castillejos does not mean an escape from battle but a plunge directly into the thick of it.

“They [Carmelites of the Holy Spirit] distanced themselves not in order to flee [the fight] but to get involved [in it] all the more,” stressed the prelate in his homily on Saturday, April 9, in Zambales.

Bacani was in the province to take part in the blessing and dedication of the newly-built Carmel of the Holy Spirit Monastery in Barangay Looc, Castillejos town presided over by Cáceres Archbishop Rolando J. Tria Tirona.

Fleeing = fighting

“Perhaps some of you are asking why these sisters had to leave Subic or didn’t choose Olongapo instead given that all the temptations are there,” he said.

According to Bacani, who served in the then Prelature of Iba from 1966 to 1979 as a young parish priest, there is a kind of fighting that needs withdrawal.

“They went to Looc to fight in the most effective and important way possible,” he added.

Quoting the Letter of St. James, the bishop said the “prayer of a just man is of much avail.”

“Our sisters here are trying to make themselves just before God for the sake of us all, especially us priests,” he explained.

Prayer of the just

Bacani went on to point out that the faith of the nuns gives strength not only to members of the clergy but to ordinary Catholics as well.

The Carmelites of the Holy Spirit moved to their present location from their original monastery in Barangay Mangan-Vaca, Subic which they occupied since the 1970s.

But due to constant flooding in the area which has grown worse over the years, the nuns have decided to find a more conducive place where they can live their vocation without trouble.

Expression of gratitude

“On behalf of my community, the Carmel of the Holy Spirit of Looc, Castillejos, Zambales, and the whole Carmelite order, we thank God for His mercy and love,” noted Prioress Mother Marianne Binarao, OCD.

For her and her fellow contemplatives, the new monastery is a “concrete expression of thanksgiving to the greatest gift of all,” Jesus Christ risen, the Eucharist.

“We will continue to speak about Jesus Christ, to praise Him, thank Him, and worship Him. It was He whom we have heard, seen, and touched,” the Bicolana Carmelite added. (Raymond A. Sebastián / CBCP News)

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