Beloved brother and sisters:
My name is Santiago Beneito. I work in Carmelite’s school in Tarragona (Spain). In 23 years of my experience in the Center, there were many informative talks of the sisters about their work in the Philippines. Basically, from our part, the collaboration consists in being “godparents” for the children of Lucena with the purpose of covering their basic needs.
At the beginning, my “grain of sand” consisted in being a godparent of one girl. Nevertheless, as time went by, my curiosity grew and also my desires to observe directly the work of the sisters.
Because of that, this year I asked for leave for some months in my work and I took advantage to displace myself to the mission in the Philippines.
If I had to make evaluation of my time there, I would need to confess that it was really worth of it.
In Lucena the work of the sisters doesn’t consist only in the program of feeding for the group of children between 3 and 5 years old, but they also take care of their medical needs (through volunteers doctors), teaching them habits of hygiene, giving education (through volunteers teachers) and supporting whole families (social work). In the house of the sisters, there are few students in situation of social marginalization who receive a shelter and financial support so they could study. All this without forgetting the work in pastoral of vocations. There in the city, there is also the housing project for some families of Saint Dominic (Calumpang, Tayabas). It is indeed worthy to notice the work of education and socialization among the children of that place, without forgetting the activities of evangelization.
I was able to spend also some days in Manila, where I could experience the excellent work made by the Sisters, guiding young novices who desire to focus their life in sharing teachings of Father Palau and Saint Therese. We cannot forget the contribution for the Parish and for all this population at risk of extreme poverty.
Lastly, I visited and shared experiences in the island of Mindanao (Pangantucan, Bukidnon). Basically, in the parish school and other schools and public institutes, but also completed by the work of supporting fathers and mothers. Special deserved mention for the Residence dedicated to help the young girls in situation of poverty.
For sure I forgot to mention some of the persons committed in all those projects who collaborate voluntarily, and who felt attracted by the charism of the sisters towards collaboration with them.
I am truly thankful to each community for their hospitality and attention that they showed me. They allowed me to join in many of their activities, so I could also share my small contribution in those great projects (classes, visits, talks, feasts, celebrations).
Just like Father Palau said: “All of us we are the Church”.
Tarragona, 28 November 2019.