Above - Jerson is welcomed to Good Shepherd, Baguio
Click here for more photos - Photos of community & ministry experience - by Sr Veronica Nobleza
I am Jerson Hiponia, a Eudist seminarian going on second year Theology in August 2019. I was sent to the Good Shepherd Baguio community for a one month community and ministry experience, from June 15 to July 15, 2019. I am grateful for this time of peace and quiet as I continue discerning God’s will for me.
I worked for one month at Mt. Maid Training Center in the different sections. One week each in making ube and fruit jam, in the cookies section, bread section, stockroom, finally one week in the store serving customers. I admire the commitment and patience of the staff in training the student-workers to produce quality products that customers line up to purchase.
I have high hopes for the youth of the Cordillera. At a young age they are far from their homes and families. They work part time to be able to send themselves to college. We shared stories about their families, studies, work and plans for their future. I know how they feel about their situation as I too was a working student in high school and college.
What touches my heart is the mission of Jesus the Good Shepherd in bringing fullness of life through the sisters and lay mission partners (staff). They are salt and light especially to those who cannot afford a college education. Through values formation, counselling, career guidance, retreats and recollections, with justice, peace and integrity of creation inputs the youth are trained to be productive citizens and better Christians. The student-workers learn how to manage their time and savings. They value hard work and live in dignity.
Having lived with the sisters for one month, joining them for meals, prayer and occasional outings, I admire their joyful zeal for the mission. Experiencing community life with the sisters who are in their 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s, I never heard any single remark like ‘I am tired’. Instead I heard only words of wisdom and encouragement from them. My heart tells me that I must persevere and work hard like them.
Thank you Sisters Cecile, Guada, Rose, Suzanne, Rita, Gemma, Veron, Michelle, Jeanette, Vitalis, Veronica, Ann and Sr. Lourdes (RIP). Your vowed lives are a continuation of the life of Jesus. Your spirituality, passion, energy, love and care make me experience the love and care of St. John Eudes and St. Mary Euphrasia.
Finally, thank you for the healthy and nourishing meals from ‘garden to table’. As I write these reflections, I am moved to tears. Thank you and I love you all. Please pray for me as I do for you.
July 16, 2019 Feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel