VOCATION DISCERNMENT WORKSHOP
Fr. Palau Province, Philippines
Following God’s call is never easy. It takes full trust and a leap of faith. Last October 24-28,2010, seven young courageous ladies attended the Regional Vocation Discernment Workshop at Carmelite Missionaries Center of Spirituality, Tagaytay City.
They attended the Discernment Workshop with fears and doubts. At the same time, they want to follow God’s call with open hearts and willingness. Fr. Marlon Lacal, OCARM, open the workshop with an inspiring homily, encouraging the participants that Carmel is a conducive place for prayer and encounter with God. He wished them all to enhance Carmel within them.
We had different priest presiders during the daily Holy Eucharist for our five days discernment; yet, all of them emphasized that there is peace and joy in following God. It impels them to become loving persons. They exhorted the participants that if they happened to hear the voice of God, then listen to it . Take the risk and answer Him even in doubt.
The support of our sisters from different communities, especially Sisters Teresita Alferan, Jackie Caligner, Chriseluz Talaroc, Mavie Valladares, Joy Rosalin, Lolita Beo, Dodgie Gil and Ma. Jean Jordan, Councilor in Charge of Vocation Ministry, helped them discover God’s call and the true path toward the religious life.
Daily Masses, Confession by Fr. Jerry Paat, SVD, Individual Consultation, Group Sharing, Silence, and Community Prayers drove them to move forward with total trust and confidence in God’s love.
The visit to the different communities and formation houses and the warm welcome of our sisters made a big impact on them. They witnessed the joy and fulfillment of each one of us amidst all the difficulties we had encountered along the way. Moreover, they felt the sense of belongingness and a home away from home. Witnessing really struck them. They found out that if we sisters were able to leave our families, career, material possessions and even boyfriends, then, there is no question that they could not answer the call of God.
October 28, the most awaited day finally came. All of them, despite their fears and doubts, decided to respond to God’s invitation “Come and follow ME.” However, at present only the following were accepted: Marianne Sumang (Cavite), Laarnie Lukban (Bicol) Norlyn Arnaldo (Angono Rizal), Julie AnnPadilla (Quezon City), Lanie Inovero (Bulacan), and Katherine Jane Santos (Zamboanga City). Fr. Leonardo Elleazar, SSP, presided over the Mass.
Religious Life, may not be clear to them but only one thing is clear: “God will always be with them, ‘till the end of time” Mt. 28:20.
Sr. Dedith B. Moralde, CM