Cutting edge ministry in San Andres Bukid, Philippines

Photo above - Good Shepherd lay Mission Partners with Sr Nenet Dano (in centre, wearing white) after a paralegal training held at the Lyceum of Makati College of Law.

 

The ministry of Sister Maria Juanita ‘Nenet’ Dano in the San Andres Bukid slum area in Manila is vividly described in an article by Ma. Ceres P. Doyo, a journalist in the Philippines.  She writes features, special reports and a regular column, Human Face, for the Philippine Daily Inquirer. The article was published in Global Sisters Report, A Project of National Catholic Reporter, USA, 20 July 2017.

 

Article by Ma. Ceres P Doyo, published in Global Sisters Report

Read article and see photos - click here - Article by Ma. Ceres P Doyo published in Global Sisters Report

 

Background

In 2011 Nenet, a social worker, returned from Senegal where she worked as a missionary for eight years.  She joined the team at Welcome House/Tahanan, which is one Good Shepherd community with two locations.

 

Tahanan (home)

Welcome House specializes in crisis intervention among women and girls, and Nenet works there part of the week as a counselor.  She spends the other half of the week in San Andres Bukid where the Sisters of the Good Shepherd have established Tahanan (which means ‘home’).  Tahanan is an outreach center located in a low-income tenement building built by the archdiocese.  It serves as office, meeting place and Nenet's sleeping quarters when she is in San Andres Bukid, She is the only Good Shepherd sister working in that area.

 

In the midst of the anti-drug war

Before the drug war and the killings, Nenet was busy with grassroots work in the area's Basic Ecclesial Communities, small Catholic communities whose members participate in the church's evangelical mission.  Now she is increasingly involved in the lives of people affected by drug issues, including families of drug suspects who become victims of the government’s ongoing anti-drug war.

 

Team of lay Mission Partners

Assisting Nenet in her ministry is a group of Good Shepherd lay Mission Partners. These women are residents of the area, resolved to serve the church and improve the lives of their fellow residents.  With Nenet’s guidance, they have begun to help families of the victims of the killings assisting with funerals and joining protests.

 

Paralegal training

The women, mostly middle-aged, have undergone paralegal training so they can document cases, and help grieving families.  The Free Legal Assistance Group, composed of human rights lawyers including a law dean, has conducted a seminar for them.

 

Church leaders speak out

The Association of Major Religious Superiors in the Philippines and the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines have issued statements and a pastoral letter denouncing the extrajudicial killings and expressing solidarity with the victims of human rights violations and their families.