April 2, 2023, Graciela Francovig began her canonical visit to some houses in the Philippines, in the Indico-Pacific Province, as she told us in her last letter.
The second of April is always a significant date, the memory of the Rosarillo for the M. Candida Family. But, in addition, this year it coincided with Palm Sunday. The trip began in Rome in the evening. She arrived in Manila after twenty-four hours, taking into account the time change due to the time zone difference.
A familiar welcome, full of affection, of “at last, we know each other personally”, or “how much we have longed for this moment to come” are traits that are repeated in one country and in another, not to mention those bonds that are strengthened. There is also an invisible glimpse of what could have been Mother Candida’s meeting with the sisters of other languages. The encounter of Mother, poor as she knew herself to be in so many ways, with a Congregation so widespread, with educational and pastoral works that were so important to her, and with a Congregation that was so far away from where she moved. look at Jesus as she taught and wanted him to be.
What could be different here? Above all, a kind of added delicateness, a subtle finesse that marks a thousand details.
Shortly after the arrival, following recent changes, the meeting with the old government ends and with the one that begins. From that moment I keep the simplicity of the “turnover” We should know that we are on a mission, whatever the office we may be asked to perform at any given moment, and that we should help one another so that things of God may go forward.
Then, the visit to Mater Dei, the provincial house, in the midst of the Easter Triduum; the trip by plane to Iloilo, accompanied by the Provincial, and the joyful presence of the community; the affection of the Hijas de Jesus’ School, which became a song and dance “Laudato Si”. And one interview, and another, and another, talking about our vocation with each sister.
Neither the Tahanan house, infirmary, nor Manresa, retreat house, nor the East Asia Novitiate was visited the days we were in Manila, but we also enjoyed seeing each other and shared the Eucharist, which is a lot of sharing, and on days like this you realize that.
Let these notes serve to sustain one another and unite us in prayer: what these
sisters live on as a time of grace.
Maria Teresa Pinto FI