August 11, 2015 –
Our community of Clarisas Capuchinas Sacramentarias here in the Archdiocese of Lipa celebrated with gratitude and joy the Solemnity of our Holy Mother St. Clare last Aug. 11. This year’s theme was “St Clare Mirroring The Poor: Christ and the Poor”,. This 2015 year’s theme was also influenced by the ‘Year of the Poor’ launched by the Philippine Church as the 3rd year preparation for the 5th Centenary celebration of the advent of Christianity in our country on 2021.
Through the powerful intercession of St. Clare, our Most Generous Benefactor and Provider gave us a very special gift just before the start of our Novena. Last Aug. 1. Aspirant Edith Erada of Iloilo City, entered our monastery, hoping to be a full pledged Capuchina in the future. Fruit of the prayers of the sisters, she got to know the CCS thru the internet, a proof that social media has a positive impact on the religious.
Beginning Aug. 2 the festive mood began. That day, the novena started until the 10th, and daily celebrations of novena masses in our small monastery chapel were attended and participated by numerous devotees of St. Clare, some of them coming from far places.Celebrations like these show the need to have our chapel renovated to make it bigger in order to accommodate the growing number of visitors and devotees of St. Clare. Introductions were read before the start of every Eucharistic celebration to present the day’s topic, relating or associating St. Clare and the poor with the day’s readings. The invited priests on the other hand, showed themselves prepared and ready, they nourished the people with new spiritual insights and understanding of the poor in the Scriptures, accompanying it with few details about our Mo. St. Clare. The homilies were inspiring, we believe that a number of people were stirred to the heart. The choirs also gave an added beauty to the liturgy, we appreciated much the songs they carefully selected and their voices which resonated inside our chapel. St. Clare must have smiled, hearing for 10 consecutive days the “maningningka”, a song which is dedicated to her.
August is considered a ‘wet’ month when strong rains or typhoons usually visit our country. For this reason, the sisters kept on praying and imploring our Good Lord for good weather during the days of the novena and the feast day itself, and He truly listened! It would rain hard during the day, and sometimes the whole night but during Eucharistic celebrations, sister rain hid herself for a while.
Three Eucharistic Celebration were held during St. Clare’s Fiesta, Fr. Cecil Arce, Parish Priest of San Sebastian Parish where we belong, presided the celebration at 6:30 am. Before the homily, our simple professed sister, Sr. Maylin de Sta. Clara, renewed her vows for 12 days, as preparation for her perpetual profession on Aug. 22. At 10:30 am, Fr. Provincial, Fr. Eugene Lopez, OFMCap, presided the celebration together with Fr. Alfonso (Venezuelan Capuchin guest priest at the seminary) and Fr. Doming Velasco, OFMCap. The procession of the statue of St. Clare at 4:30 pm was not hindered by rain, our Capuchin Brothers (postulants and post-novices) led the people in prayer. This was followed by Holy Mass at 5:30, presided by our very own Archbishop Ramon Arguelles, archbishop of Lipa, assisted by Rev. DeoQuinto, OFMCap, and Fr. FlavioLacson, OFMCap, and a diocesan priest. As our thanksgiving to the Lord and to our families, friends and benefactors, and devotees of St. Clare, meals (breakfast, lunch and supper) were served to all those who came.
– Mo. Rosario, CCS
Mother Superior of Clarissas Capuchinas Sacramentarias, Lipa City