Heavenward Two-gether

Last July 11, we brought to their final
rest the ashes of our two dear sisters who said goodbye to us one after the other. Sr Mary Socorro Galvez, a contemplative sister passed on last July 8 and
Sr Mary Herminia Mendoza, an apostolic sister, last July 9. Fr Ross Kapunan,
OMI presided the Mass of the Resurrection before the inurnment. 

Tributes to Sr Soc and Sr Hermie at the beginning of the Mass by Sr
Mary Lourdes Fabia


In the Church, among Religious Congregations, our
stands as a rare case, only one of three  - a Congregation with both
apostolic and contemplative members, one mission, one government, one

Sr. Soc, among us, is also a special example of one RGS who has
lived both apostolic and contemplative lifestyle – with love and zeal and joy!
After 17 years as an active RGS, she asked for a definitive transfer to the
Contemplatives – the first in our Province and in the Congregation! It was a
beautiful coincidence -- or providence? That at the 2003 General Chapter, when
the Integrated Constitution with the all-important Article I was presented, Soc
was there as a Contemplative delegate to the Chapter and her vote was with the
unanimous vote of approval. For most of us it is either apostolic or
contemplative. For Soc, it has been both! Even in death, she is with a beloved
RGS apostolic, Atchi Hermie! Complementarity, mutuality, unity!

Yesterday, Srs.
Mar, Boots and Luz shared their thoughts of Soc. In their words: “As a
contemplative, and apostolic sister for 17 years, we know Soc as:  a
Sister who lived a deep life of prayer, silence and solitude, with a deep
desire to love God as witnessed by her day to day life; generous, kind and compassionate
to others, concerned and sensitive to the needs of the Sisters, especially to
the members of the community she is entrusted to care for as Local Leader,
Apostolic and Contemplative; imbued with zeal for the mission; creative in
implementing new changes in community activities such as recreation, outings
and others for the well-being of the Sisters; willing and flexible to face new
challenges of today’s world and in the Church; able to tap talents and gifts of
Sisters, as she was also aware of limitations and shortcomings; deep love for
her family, relatives, friends and grateful for their goodness and generosity.

She is an image of the true RGS Contemplative. 


Last night, at the sharing of memories and
tributes for our two Sisters, the many recollections about Sr. Herminia, Atchi
Hermie, painted a composite portrait that showed her realistically from many
angles. Noteworthy was the remembrance of her former name in Religion. At her
clothing and reception to the novitiate in Los Angeles, she was given the name,
Sister Mary Caritas. Caritas. Charity. Love. In varied and interesting
examples, our Sisters shared personal stories about how Sister’s name became
her way of life. In the ministry, she showed love and concern for the girls and
women in our care, for the poor in the outside communities, for priests and
families. In the community, her love for the Sisters took creative and even
totally unconventional and surprising ways of doing our practices – prayer,
liturgy, celebration. Her love for her family was obvious and touching – in her
tender care for Sr. Eugene when they were both in the MDWC; her concern for
Guilly and Baidy in Labrador whom she went to visit in Labrador when she could
do so even by bus; her interest in the wellness and doings of Kuya Maxi and his
family. She was a devoted Auntie to her nephews.

Atchi Hermie loved Labrador her birthplace
and Pangasinan, her home province and spoke their dialect when there was
someone who knew Pangasinan. Sister loved our country and came elections, she
would be active not only in voter’s education but participation in the actual
voting process.

She was born on October 20, our titular
feast of the Divine Heart, which she celebrated as her feastday. That, plus her
name, Caritas, became the touchstones of her life of love and zeal. When Atchi
left us early morning of Friday, July 9, our devoted caregivers at the MDWC
said of her “She was always so grateful and kind. When we’d leave her, she
would say “Thank you. I love you.”

Thank you, Atchi. We love you too! Pray
for us, bring us close to the Divine Heart of our Shepherd God!

WORD OF THANKS by Sr Mar Bool 

In behalf of our Apostolic and
Contemplative Sisters, I would like to express our deep gratitude to all who
have been part of Sister Soc’s journey in her earthly life.

To the family and relatives, who
loved and gave loving support until the very end of her life, we thank you… 

To friends, students, staff of
different communities she was missioned, for the availability and faithful
service  you gave her in collaboration
with our mission as Good Shepherd Sisters … we thank you.

To Dra. Ida Sibayan, Dra. Zenaida Uy
and others Doctors, Honey , our Nurse and all caregivers, who helped maintained,
gave comfort, and loving care each day she needed, especially in time of pain, until the end… we
thank you.

To Cardinal Rosales, who, unable to
come because he is sick himself and Sr, Soc in bed, prayed with her and gave
her his last blessing virtually… we thank you.

To all her nieces, nephews, cousins
and relatives , here and abroad, who  were able to pray, visit and talk personally
and virtually, to support her with your love and prayers… we thank you.

To the Eudist and Jesuit Priests and
other Priests who were most available to render spiritual services for Sr, Soc…
we thank you.

To the Bishops, especially Bishop
Manolo, Priests, Deacons and Seminarians from Virac… we, thank you.

To the lay mission partners,
benefactors, staff  and friends, for your
availability,  generosity and
collaboration to our mission as Contemplatives in Virac, Catanduanes…we thank you…

To Sr. Boots, who daily keep
constant watch, was there, praying with her, and being present on behalf of the
Sisters who are not able to be with her at this time… we thank you…

We thank our celebrant today Fr.
Ross, OMI and all those celebrating with him at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass
for Sr. Soc’s Inurement Mass… we thank you.

Last but not least, with much gratitude, we want to thank all who journeyed
with her in this life,  in joys and in her
sorrows, in sharing faith and belief in the God Who Loved and called her to be
His  very own for 59 years.  Now, at last,  Sr. Soc is happy  with Him, the One , she chose and loved… Amen.  Thank you. (Sr Marie Goretti Bool)


WORD OF THANKS by Sr Amy David


We thank Achie Hermie
for the impact she has left in our midst.


Many of us,
 have somehow experienced  Sr. Mary Herminia’s  zest
for life, deep faith in God,   her boundless compassion and her
perpetual sense of awe and wonder, even at the ordinariness of events. We
marvel  at how  the window of Achie
Hermie’s soul  can always perceive 
that which we cannot see  and
comprehend.  She has the eyes of a
mystic, ever grateful for life!  Thank you Achie for this


Thank you, dear loved
ones of Achie… all have gone ahead of her… 
mama, papa, her brother Max, 
sisters  Guilly, Baidy, and  sr. Mary Eugenia, RGS,  whom they called,  Mory.

Achie was in constant
conversation with them in prayer.


And also, we thank Nachos, nephew
of Sr. Mary Herminia, who took effort to be present today.

Thank you Sr. Mary Lydia
Ebora,  and all dear sisters,  caregivers and all our staff,  who
through the years   have given Achie much comfort and consolation. We
are grateful for your tender loving care, your presence and availability to the
needs at hand.  


To Dr Ida Sibayan who
faithfully attended to the needs of Achie, we cannot thank you enough!

To Sr. Sansu and the
province leadership team, maraming salamat po! 

To Sr. Soc, who
gently led Achie to be her companion in her journey to meet our Shepherd God,
manifesting a congregational value of partnership in mission on earth and
in eternity. Thank you very much Sr. Soc! 


Maraming salamat din
po! Fr. Ross Kapunan, Oblates of Mary Immaculate.   Amen. (Sr Amelia David) 





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