The year-long celebration of the 50th founding anniversary of Manresa School with the theme “Golden Years: Grateful. Faithful. Hopeful.” had concluded with the Closing Thanksgiving Mass last Saturday, December 11, 2021 at the El Rosarillo Chapel of Manresa School. The Eucharistic Celebration was presided by His Excellency, Most Rev. Jesse Mercado, DD, Bishop of the Diocese of Parañaque. Celebrating the Holy Mass with him were Fr. Carmelo Estores, Fr. Lamberto Legaspino, Fr. Firmo Bargayo Jr., SJ, Fr. Dave Domingues, MCCJ, and Rev. Kevin Joshua Cosme, an alumnus of Manresa School.
The Holy Mass, as our highest form of celebration of thanksgiving to the Lord had been attended by the big family of Manresa School. Gathered as one big family were the Hijas de Jesus sisters from the different communities in MetroManila and the representatives from the Manresa School Faculty and Staff Organization (MSFSO), Manresa School Parents Auxiliary (MSPA), Blessed Candida Maria Foundation (BCMF), and Manresa School Alumni Association (MSAA) with representatives from graduates of Batch 96, celebrating their 25 th silver anniversary. Also present in the thanksgiving celebration were the former officers of the
different organizations, benefactors, collaborators, and the retired administrators, teachers and staff who had been part of the Manresa’s journey for the past 50 years.
Bishop Jesse Mercado DD, in his homily emphasized the fidelity of God to us. God has been faithful to us that made us gifted. He mentioned two important events that would challenge us as an educational institution. First is the synodality in the Church, which as he explained, is asking us to walk together with all, with inclusivity, and to be in touch with the least, the last and the lost because that is God’s way. Further, he said that the fruits of synodality is when we discover God in our daily lives through discernment. He believed that Manresa School’s contribution is teaching young people how to discern and be able to recognize the presence of God even in the ordinary events in their lives.
The second event that Bishop Mercado mentioned in his Homily is the coming election in the country. Hopefully, he said that those whom we have given Christian values and formation would be able to utilize their talents and giftedness, and be able to discern and choose the kind of leaders the country needs. At the end of his message, he reiterated that the 50 years of our existence is the 50 years of God’s fidelity to us. When we recognize God’s blessings in life in the spirit of gratitude, it would lead us to a life of generosity – we want to give more for others. Then, we can look at the future with hope.
Sr. Nelida A. Penaflorida, F.I., the Legal Representative of Manresa, in her words of thanks conveyed the same message of God’s fidelity for 50 years of Manresa. Through the inspiration of our Mother Foundress, Saint Candida Maria de Jesus and the charism she transmitted to us, Manresa School came about. The golden jubilee is also a celebration of collaboration, cooperation and working together. She expressed her heartfelt thanks to all the guests and visitors who became part of the school’s journey for 50 years, particularly the first benefactors, and companions who supported the pioneer sisters and those who embraced the mission of evangelization. She ended her thanksgiving with the words of the Mothers Foundress, “Blessed be God who loves us so dearly.”
After the Holy Mass, in a very festive spirit, Manresa family captured the moment by cheerfully taking pictures, by warmly greeting one another other, (following the IATF protocols), and by excitedly spending a little more time for a catch-up talk. Coming together in a thanksgiving celebration has been a great time for those who have been part of Manresa for the past 50 years to reminisce wonderful moments, to celebrate friendship and relationship, and to appreciate all God’s blessings and gifts to us.
Indeed, the golden jubilee of Manresa School is not just a celebration of success stories and achievements but a celebration of God’s love and fidelity to us, of God’s wonderful blessings. We believe that this is how our Mother Foundress would want us to celebrate. Blessed be God be God in everything!