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2015年1月

2015年1月31日 (土)

上智大学神学部「奉献生活者」の学期打ち上げ

まだレポート提出とかいろいろあるようですが一応、期末試験も終わり、学生たちはほっとしている様子。上智大学神学部在籍の「奉献生活者のみなさんの打ち上げ」がありました。

7_n

「収穫は多いが、働き手が少ない。だから、収穫のために働き手を送ってくださるように、収穫の主に願いなさい」(ルカ 10/2)

Ruby-the Typhoon Challenged my Faith by Joyce (Ruby 台風)

“My lord yahweh, where are your promises”

 

For the last three consecutive years, the Philippines was struck by super typhoons –Pablo in 2012, Yolanda in 2013 and Ruby in 2014. Thousands of people died and the devastation caused was beyond words. The religious of the archdiocese of Davao responded to these calamities in a prophetic way.

Under the guidance of the St Alphonses’ Theological Mission Institute (SATMI), the religous  organised a relief program which was a unique way of responding. The program was called “ Pilgrimage Ground Zero” (PGZ).

Vision of the PGZ

Continuing our mission of hope and charity.

Mission of the PGZ

To harness the potential of the religious in response to disasters, to be partners in the healing ministry of our Lord and Master.

Introduction

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We are all wounded persons. Our Savior Jesus became wounded in order to heal us. We wounded healers healing wounded persons. When disaster – either manmade or natural  happens  we attend to the visible realities. The invisible realities like trauma, despair sadness, anxiety, fear, insecurity etc are often unattended and their effects last longer sometime for a life time.

As pilgrims when we enter the affected area, it becomes a sanctuary. In the sanctuary one encounters the Holy of Holies and we get transformed. The task that we take up is a privileged mission.

With these sentiments we , fifty three religious both men and women belonging to twenty three congregations set out for our pilgrimage.

Activity

On 13th Dec after spending a day in prayer , reflection and training (psycho social integration), around 7.30 pm, we started our pilgrimage to the highly devastated islands of the country. These islands  are not easily accessible. We traveled about twenty seven hours by land and sea to enter the sanctuary.

It was unbearable to see the devastation caused. Neither any help was received  nor anyone visited them after the destruction caused by the Ruby.

We were divided in to three groups and each group left for different islands. We were seventeen in our group. We arrived in the island which was designated to us. The people were thrilled to see us. Their eyes and the friendly smile spoke to us about their unshakeable faith and gratitude to God. This time the typhoon took their possessions –their houses , plants ,trees especially coconut trees and banana trees which were the source of income but not their lives and spirit.

20141208300x199_3 About 95% of people lost all they had. The school buildings collapsed. Churches and big houses turned out to be rehabilitation centers. The hospitality extended by those who have to those who lost everything  was amazing, inspiring and challenging. I felt so small before their strong ,unshakable faith and goodness.

In one island where we spend the night, I was greatly surprised by their witness. When we arrived there it was raining heavily . The sea was rough and the wind was blowing strongly. The sky was filled with black thick clouds. We reached there about 11.45 am. We saw few children dressed up well and the people assembled in the church waiting for the priest. We asked them what was the. They told us with beaming smile that these children are going to receive first holy communion. The priest may arrive at any time.( They had earlier planned to have it on the 8th Dec but due to typhoon they could not) At about 1.00pm ,the priest arrived by boat but he was drenched fully. So they had the Mass for the first communicants and another Mass followed just to thank the Lord that no one in the island died by the typhoon Ruby. What gratitude and hope in spite of all the calamities and hardships! Yes I bow down before their great faith and graciousness.

Our group visited five islands. I was able to visit two islands. We met the people and expressed our concern for them. Then we divided the group into three categories- children, youth and adults. We first build up a rapport with them by playing games, singing, dancing and then there was trauma counseling followed by prayer  and distribution of relief goods.

We spend almost two days with them. I had always a desire to live one day at least in my lifetime to live exactly like the poor of Yahweh  who depends entirely on God. I am grateful to God and to Saw. and the novices who made it possible for me to experience this at least for some hours. I was also confident of the prayerful support of Carmen, Mary, Noriko and the entire SEA province for which I am grateful.(Rosa J)

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