HS 1983 | Proud to Be!

With my adorable students, Vietnamese postulants, Misses Nga and Huyen. I teach them English Familiarization in AAA Outrreach Club’s program in San Juan Nepomuceno, Malibay.

MARCH 2024.  It is the Lenten season.  It is also on March 10 that we celebrate the death anniversary of St Marie Eugenie. 

LENT.  A time for sacrifice.  But what is sacrifice?  St. Thomas Aquinas observed that the Latin word sacrificium is rooted in the words sacer (holy) and facere (to do or to make).  Taken together, sacrifice means to make something holy. He also said that when we sacrifice, we make something holy, because it is our way of returning to God. Sacrificing is a way of acknowledging our humanity and our brokenness then making that brokenness holy again so that we can return to God. What sacrifices can we then make to heal our brokenness and return to God?  St. Marie Eugenie shows us one way when she said that “Every act of self-denial makes room for God.” There are many things I can deny myself. Shopping online denies me the unnecessary sometimes frivolous expense of buying things I already have an abundance of.  It is also an invitation to channel the superfluous spending towards more meaningful expenditure like that of helping out our staffers who make life comfortable for us at great personal expense or sharing those frivolous redundant purchases and redistributing them to those who have scarcely anything.   I can deny myself the pleasure of googling Prince Harry, Lebron James and Lewis Hamilton, my trifecta of celebrities whom I admire for their grit (No judging please!  Deny yourself that indulgence!) and whom I follow everyday.  Denying this daily social media habit can make me focus my efforts on more worthwhile social media learnings like learning a new language, reading daily stories of inspiration, taking a wellness course or simply spending the time on doing more worthwhile things.  I can deny myself sweets and deserts, the daily pockets of happiness that I look forward to and in stead offer those to others who have nothing to eat.  In self-denial we find room not just to give up but also to find a better use for the time or resource given up.  It is the yin and the yang of taking away something and giving it back in a form that is kinder, more generous, more self-aware. And in doing so, we make something more holy and find our way back to God. 

Prayer is also finding our way to God.  As our love offering and as our invitation to prayer, wecompiled a special flipbook “The Daily Habit…Daily Reflections with St. Marie Eugenie.”  It is a compilation of SME quotes curated by the AAA trustees who offered up their favorite SME quote and also a favorite quotation of another alumnae.  From March 1 – April 3, journey with St Marie Eugenie and let her words inspire, provoke thought and even respond to little personal turmoils. One night in February, I called my mother and had an almost 20 minute harangue of how I was too busy, how I was too stressed, how I had too many things on my plate.  My mother, as she always does, listened silently until I was spent.  She told me that to whom much is given, much is required.  But I was too harried by a plateful of converging deadlines.  So that night, I decided to streamline and listed down which advocacies I was going to give up. I even prepared my resignation speech for one of them.  The next morning, at my usual wake up time of 5 a.m., a message pinged on my phone.  It was Gladys Zafra, a former candidate for the AAA Board and one whom I firmly believe should be an AAA trustee, sending me her favorite SME quotation for the flipbook that I was compiling.  Her favorite SME quotation is “God gives to everyone all that is necessary to carry out one’s duty.”  A scant five minutes after, another message came in, this time from Tinette Nisce, my co-trustee in AAA and her favorite SME quotation is “ When our own is exhausted and our hearts become almost bitter…and suffering seem to have taken all our strength away, let us approach Him and He will show us that none of our efforts should be the last, and that zeal, no less than the divine love from which it comes, can ever say: “It is enough.” The message from above was crystal clear. Remorsefully,  I prayed to God to ask pardon for my weakness, to say Thy will be done and that I understand that I must go on without giving up any of my advocacies because all these were sent to me by Him.   In the quotations of Saint Marie Eugenie, I found a very clear response to my momentary weakness.  And so, no more resignation, no more scaling down of advocacies, only renewed resolve to go on.  I found answers to my prayers in our little flipbook “The Daily Habit…Daily Reflections with St. Marie Eugenie.” I hope your prayers are as clearly and unequivocally answered as mine were. So hurry, flip the book and meditate daily on our Mother Foundress’ quotations! (the flipbook is a digital e-book.  Simply click to open it then swipe the pages left or right to flip the pages backward or forward.  I had much fun compiling…and am so excited for you to read it.  It fits in your phone so it’s an anytime, anywhere, all the time e-book!)

This edition of the Assumpta was crafted in partnership with HS 1984.  They share many beautiful stories of alumnae making their corner of the world a better one.  My very special thanks to the super organized and uber efficient Peachy Talanay who burned the midnight oil with me in collating and editing her batch’s articles. Many thanks also to Pudgy Carcereny-Garcia , AAA Treasurer, who readily said “Yes!” when I requested her batch, HS 84, to collaborate with Assumpta.  

Lent. Sacrifice. Self-denial. To heal what is broken.  To return to God.  To make prayer a daily habit. And then…Easter’s glorious resurrection!

Remembering St. Marie Eugenie most especially on March 10. 

All Hail! 

THE CLASS OF HS 1984…partners and collaborators for this edition of ASSUMPTA!

Editor-in- Chief
HS 1984 | Proud to be! 

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