BRING THEM HOME
BY ANA DE VILLA – SINGSON | Proud to be HS 1983
BRING THEM HOME! It’s the purposeful and destination-driven name of a project that fills my heart…and hearts of many fellow Assumptionists too!
BRING THEM HOME is a hope and a prayer to bring our beloved Assumption Nuns back to homes rebuilt to erase the ravages of time and equipped with medical facilities needed to properly care for them. Previously residing in the EMAUS and CANA buildings within the Assumption San Lorenzo compound, their homes have been eroded by the wear and tear of long term use and pesky, unwanted termites. They need upgraded facilities too, most urgently illustrated by a funny but poignant story that Dr. Ola Regala, AC’s uber charming and capable President, told us. She told us that the elevator is too tight that caregivers would guide a nun in the elevator, then lacking space to join her, would run up to the destination floor to meet her. I experienced the elevator situation too, though I didn’t fully understand its relevance at that time. The AAA was hosting a Christmas party for the nuns in 2022, our first face-to-face post-pandemic party in a long time and we were so excited to play parlor games and dine with our beloved purple-clad “mothers”. But as it turned out, the elevator was out of commission and only a few of our guests could join us. The four floors from their temporary homes in PCFC were too difficult to navigate; the downward descent and upward climb would have been too exhausting.
The Assumption nuns who saw us grow from children to women, whose smiling faces welcomed us daily to campus, who made Christian discipline rote for all of us, who saw us fall and scrape our knees and get back up again, who listened to our stories of hurt, anger, jubilation, loss and victory, who clasped their hands in prayer and eternal hope for us…they need us now
They never asked. They never complained. Happily leading their lives in alternative locations with the dormers and the upper floors of the PCFC building, they are unbothered by having left their homes. But while they are not…we, their students in school and now still their students in life, we are bothered. Because we want to care for them. Because we want to show them that their lifetime of love is returned a hundredfold. We want to BRING THEM HOME.
It will cost approximately Php 32 Million to remodel the Emaus and Cana buildings and to build new medical facilities that will address their health and wellness needs. It’s a large sum, especially in a post-Covid environment when others are still struggling to get up on their feet. But we have learned, through our Assumption education and through the Bible too, that anything is possible. A giant oak tree is grown from a single acorn seed, a vast magnificent field is made out of many single blades of grass, an epic novel starts with one word. Pondo ng Pinoy, a project championed by our country’s pride, H.E. Cardinal Tagle, built schools and hospitals from humble donations of 25 centavos each. We have many stories to inspire us and show us that this can be done. More importantly, we have love to build their homes brick by brick, one square meter at a time!
It will take 2000 square meters to BRING THEM HOME. And each square meter will cost Php 18,000. Already, Assumption San Lorenzo and the AAA have partnered in reaching out to alumnae who have responded with so much resounding love. As of this writing, we have raised over Php 4 Million, raising enough for 225 square meters of construction. Any donation, of any amount, open-heartedly given, is joyfully received. We have donors of all ages, one is Nathalie, an 8 year old Grade 2 student, who opened her pink wallet and pulled out all her “bookstore money” to donate. We have families of siblings, all schooled in Assumption, who generously pooled their funds. I call them the SISTER ACTs…sisters bonded in love for our Assumption nuns. We have alumnae from across the world sending hard earned currency. We have batches taking up this cause because the nuns have a profound and lasting effect on their lives.
Yes, I am writing this in the hope that you, the reader, will be moved to join our cause to BRING THEM HOME.
No, this is not just a story of donations and funds raised. It is much larger than that. It is a story of LOVE. Love by “mothers” who cared for us and of students who reciprocate that love, who have learned from that love and have amplified it many times over in all our corners of the world. Because in the end, it is love that conquers all. It is only love that can build a strong home.
This is BRING THEM HOME. In its telling, I would like to share some stories of alumnae from across the world who joined our cause with gratitude…and with love…so much love. In their very own words….
THE ROMAN SISTERS
“The Assumption sisters are a big influence on my foundation and growing up years. They are part of who I am as a woman today.” – Paula HS’88
“We maintain our own homes, so of course we will help maintain our sisters’ homes! They are family!“ – Marnie HS’85
“We help those in need and even more especially those dear to our hearts . Assumption nuns play a big role in our foundation as students and even now as parents.“ – Loudette HS’86
“Our AC sisters have always made us feel that Assumption is our home.“ – Peebee HS ‘92
“Our Assumption sisters are the living spirit of the school that raised us and welcomed us home everyday. Taking part in the “Bring me home” project was not only a no-brainer, but a great privilege for an Old Girl like me.“ – Judy HS ‘83
HIGH SCHOOL BATCH 1977
“How do you say thank you to the Assumption Nuns who invested their knowledge, time and care during our formative years? You Bring them Home! I may not be able to eradicate world hunger, poverty, nor the pandemic, but I can definitely play a part in providing a loving home for the sisters of the Assumption who have played a major role in shaping the person I am today. I am grateful!” — Denise Tambuatco | HS 77, Section 5
“My memories of my 16 years under the auspices of our AC San Lo nuns bring back warm feelings of care and nurturing. Even if the rules were sometimes rigid and strict, they were lovingly enforced, and I always felt that someone was looking after us. I am only too happy for this opportunity to help our beloved nuns.” — Anonymous HS 77 Donor
“I decided to donate to honor two RA sisters: Isabel Villacarlos and Fidelis (+) Estrada. I never met them back in HS, but as an adult, in my personal need, they were like mothers to me. That’s what’s very special about Assumption nuns: teacher na, nanay pa!” – Anonymous HS 77 Donor
“Because they are our beloved purples!”—Anonymous HS 77 Donor
“Why donate? We do what we can, with what we have. The RA nuns are my reminders and minders of what is home.” – Anonymous HS 77 Donor
“The sisters helped us during our formative years so this was a small way to return the favor. It may not have been apparent then, but now I see how they influence my adult life. And for that I’m grateful” – Anonymous HS 77 Donor
“Happy to do this for a group of ladies who do so much for so many without being asked and likely without receiving the thanks that they richly receive”. Anonymous HS Donor
“I consider it an honor to help the sisters who work hard in shaping us to be good and moral citizens of the society. God bless them!” – Anonymous HS Donor
8 years old | Assumption Grade School 2, Section 1
“I decided to give my bookstore money to the sisters as a little bonus to the donation“
ASSUMPTION GRADE SCHOOL, GRADE 2 SECTION 1
“Our daughters chose to hand over their contribution to Sr Maria Paz because she is the sunshine that never fails to welcome and bless the girls as they arrive on campus for face to face classes…We have two reasons (for donating)
“… it is for the RA nuns and we saw a perfect opportunity to educate and develop our girls into women of action. “ — Cathy Gregorio, Grade 2-1 Class Parent Representative:
ROSARIO CHAM YU, HS 55
“The Assumption nuns have given so much of themselves to the community, and it is only right that we take care of them during their retirement years. They have molded generations of students who have become very successful mothers, wives, businesswomen, and professionals. A contribution to the “Bring Them Home” project is but a small token of our appreciation for all the good works they have done.
The RA nuns are very dear to me. I still remember Mother Marthe, Mother Esperanza, Mother Carmen, Mother Milagros, and Mother Rose, among others, who nurtured us when we were students and who continued to pray for us when we needed prayers for our family. A cousin of mine, Mother Miriam, was with Assumption Iloilo for a long time and she eventually joined Assumption San Lorenzo. My sister-in-law, Sister Regina, was also an Assumption nun. Both Mother Miriam and Sister Regina kept my family intimately connected to the other nuns until they passed on. Later in life, I had the good fortune of meeting Sister Fe Emmanuel, who gave our batch a wonderful spiritual retreat. These wonderful nuns have been such a blessing to me and my family, and this is the reason why they are so dear to me.“
THE CONSUNJI SISTERS
“[We are donating ] to give the RA nuns a home because they helped us feel at home when we were away from home. So in giving, we are letting them know that they have not been forgotten.
The RA nuns are our second mothers especially when we were in school. They are sterling examples of courage and compassion for all of us.“
LIZA C SZAZ | HS 82| Chicago, Illinois. USA
“Sometimes, it’s difficult to explain why our hearts get pulled in a certain direction. This was just such a moment for me at first, but upon reflection, I realized it was the loving guidance of the Holy Spirit. I had nearly lost my own home a number of times, but God came to the rescue. Our RA nuns were a part of a wonderful time in my life, and they will need every bit of help to bring them home (and keep their home) too.”
NIKKIE HONORIO SALGADO | HS 1980 | San Francisco, USA
“… the Assumption nuns deserve a home where they can live in dignity and in comfort. There are many causes to share one’s resources. I felt drawn to assist those who have shaped and formed me through my education and continue to influence my life.
The RA nuns mean a great deal especially when I look back at my formative years. My love of reading and literature was because of my high school Literature teacher who was a nun. Their presence on campus elevated the atmosphere not just in a spiritual sense but also in the classroom. It gave a sense of peace, safety and balance. It allowed an atmosphere of learning and for making strong female friendships.”
WE THANK ALL THOSE WHO HAVE CONTRIBUTED TO BRING THEM HOME. We would like to mention each and every one of you but are governed by rules and regulations on Data Privacy. Please know that we are grateful from the very bottom of our hearts.
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