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Virtual Congress of Teachers in FI. Schools in the Philippines

July 18, 2021


 “Seek God in all things”, is a quote of St.  Theresa of Avila that resonated much with Mother Candida’s words, “In Jesus, we have everything, without Him everything is lost.”  Powerful words of two saints that Fr. Hansel Marasigan, a former teacher of Manresa School, used as points for reflection during his homily in the opening Mass of the first-ever FI Teachers’ Virtual Congress, with the theme, “Conversations in the Family of Mother Candida in the Time of New Normal #Hope ChallengesSuccess.” 

The F.I. Teachers’ Congress was participated by almost 300 faculty and staff from different Hijas schools in the Philippines. The resource speakers represented specific areas and shared their personal experiences and reflections: The speakers had been very generous in opening themselves to the rest of our F.I. sisters and lay educators.                 

Indeed the conversations showed that God is ever-present in all circumstances amidst the challenges brought by the pandemic. It was astounding to note how each speaker, having distinct work and coming from the different Hijas de Jesus centers, testified their experiences of the grace of God pouring upon every person they encountered and every situation they were in. The resourcefulness, creativity, ingenuity, and resilience were developed and enhanced as they faced the realities in their different schools or apostolic center.  The devotion and love of Mary and dependency on the compassionate God gave comfort to those who almost gave up, lifted the spirit of the lowly, and showed that joy and success can still be achieved no matter how tough life is. 

It is consoling to note that many saw a glimpse of hope despite the difficulties of physical interactions, economic instability, and uncertainties of the future. It is very heartwarming to see how positivity replaces fear, how the openness of the heart bears opportunities, and how compassion saves the weary.  Challenges, therefore, are merely instruments that allow us to see God and recognize Him to be in everything.

Thank you, Indico-Pacific provincial government, especially to the Provincial Superior Sr. Emelinda Falsis, F.I., together with the Academic Committee on the Team of Educative Action for this opportunity to converse and connect with the members of Mother Candida’s Family. This manifests our oneness in living out the charism of our dear Foundress. 

The pandemic had changed our lives, the way we do things in the schools, in our outreach areas, and even in our very homes, but it had also given us rich opportunities for growth in the charism of Mother Candida. We may have slowly embraced the New Normal of doing things but what is constant is the fact that filiation-fraternity is very much alive among us, believing in faith that God is our Father and all of us are brothers and sisters. God is always with us and will never abandon us.

Profesora Brenda Garces, Sacred Heart School- Hijas de Jesus, Cebu City