REMEMBERING SR. REMEDIOS, R.A.
From Sr. Estela Marie Roceles, R.A. for the Funeral Mass of Sr. Remedios Carmen, R.A., January 25, 2023.
For the last 45 years, Japan was HOME to Sr Remedios. I think many of you would agree if I say she actually looked more Japanese than Filipino. Many of us, especially the younger generation of Sisters in the Philippines, never really had a chance to get to know her up close. But I had one chance of having a glimpse of her life in Japan when I went with the students for the exchange program in 2006. I met her in Tokyo (we still had a community there)…she was at the Shinkanzen station to meet me…I had only 24 hours with her and she maximized every minute of it…first she treated me to lunch letting me taste her favorite shrimp sandwich. Then we went to a Church where she introduced to me the Filipinos she was working with. Then we went to several houses for block rosary. And she also made sure I had a “quick tour” of the place where some Filipino women ended up after being recruited by agencies, sort of like a “red light district”. That short time and exposure made me see and feel her passion and love for her Mission in Japan. And I felt her joy of being able to have shared it with me.
Fast forward….June 16, 2022. Sr Remedios arrived here in the Philippines…she had come HOME for good. The Emmaus Community was happy to welcome her! I know it wasn’t a very easy JOURNEY back to her HOME COUNTRY. It is never easy to leave a place and a people whom you have grown to love…a country and a people she has given so much of herself to as we have been hearing from the stories these past days.
I will never forget the word she gave as contribution when me made our community plan. It’s from Paul’s letter to the Corinthians:
“…we are not discouraged. On the contrary while our outer being wastes away the inner self is renewed from day to day.” (2 Cor 4:16)
It was to become the heart of our Community Plan…. embracing our physical diminishment with grace and joy. And this she lived until the very end. When her trips to the hospital were becoming more frequent she became very aware that her journey home to her Creator has started. I feel blessed to have witnessed closely how she quietly, graciously and gracefully prepared for this last journey every step of the way. And these last days my thought has been, Sr Remedios had come home to prepare for her journey to her eternal home.
In behalf of the Emmaus community, thank you to all who have been constantly present during these last months….thank you for all the prayers and the support, especially her friends and former students who organized zoom prayers. Thank you to Andy, Mailin, Tito and Kristine and all her relatives who have shown special affection and support these past months and last days. Thank you to our sisters who took time to visit her and say a prayer with her. Thank you, Fr Favie for saying “yes” to say mass this morning. Special thanks to her doctors: Dr Rivera, Dr Gisbert, Dr Gary Lopez, Dr Lu and Dr Roxas.. And to her caregivers and nurses who patiently took care of her 24/7 to make her comfortable until the end: Maricel, Leizyl, Anngean, Rona and Kristine – Thank you.
Sr Remedios you are finally HOME…and I’m sure you were met by Jesus and Marie Eugenie and your brothers and sisters as you entered your eternal home! Rest now in the eternal Peace and Love of God!