The Sr. Teresa of Sto. Niño Center celebrated its 25th founding anniversary last February 26, 2023 (Sunday) with the theme “Ika 25 Taong Anibersaryo ng Sr. Teresa of Sto. Niño Center: Sama-samang Pagtugon sa Tawag ng Misyon” (Walking and Responding Together to the Call of Mission). The celebration started with the Holy Eucharist presided by the Bishop of the Diocese of Lucena, Bishop Mel Rey Uy, D.D with co-celebrant priests Fr. Ryan Israel Martinez, Fr. George Vargas, Fr. Edwin Panergo and Msgr. Domingo Edora. The homily of Bp. Mel Rey talked about Lent which is 40 days of preparation for the resurrection of Jesus. This preparation is anchored in the deepening of our spirituality to be a good steward, where recognition and trust in the Word of God must be strengthened.
The mass was also attended by former and current family beneficiaries, staff, volunteers and former volunteers, volunteer doctors, sponsors, benefactors, friends and neighbors of the Center in Pleasantville Subd., religious sisters and CMT sisters from Manila, Pangantucan and Vietnam community. The Voces Dei Choir from Our Lady of Lourdes Parish lend their voices as choir for the mass. After the mass, snacks were served before the program began. The program was led by Ms. Camille Rose Tacazon and Sr. Sharon Villafranca as the masters of ceremony. Sr. Chrezann Angulo gave her welcoming message of thanks and gratitude to everyone who continuously support the Center’s mission. This was then followed by an inspiring message from Sr. Gloria Alonso, reminiscing the days as one of the founding sisters of the center.
Afterwards, the selected Nursery 2 and Kinder pupils showed their talent in dancing. This was followed by the giving of awards and recognition to the sponsors, benefactors, volunteer catechists and volunteer doctors who have been with the Center for the past 25 years in responding to the call of mission. The Gilbuena family was also honored as the outstanding family of the Center because of Mrs. Gilbuena’s hard work as a solo parent who worked hard to give her children education and finish their studies.
In a chilling performance, the scholars of the Center showed a mini drama that revolves around the theme, “Who is the Church? I am the Church” this was then followed by their interpretative dance. Later then, it was followed by the performances of the youth and adult beneficiaries who won the dance competition held last February 18. After this, an award and certificate were awarded to the active father and mother who were actively participating in the activities of the center, as well as a Teresa Mira award to one of the Kinder pupils for her simplicity and humbleness observe like Sr. Teresa Mira. A plaque of appreciation were awarded to the staff and volunteers who served and dedicated their services for more than 5 years. A special Honorary Lifetime Award was bestowed to the foundresses of the Center as an expression of our recognition and gratefulness to them – Sr. Gloria Alonso, Sr. Asuncion Ciuraneta and Mrs. Luz Marquez received this award, as well as the CMT General Animator, Sr. Ma. Jose Gay, for her significant contribution to the Center. Last but not the least, the CMT sisters, staff, volunteers and drivers of the Center showcased their talents in dancing a modern folkdance.
Mrs. Luz Marquez, also gave her greetings and message of appreciation to everyone who attended the celebration and been part of the Center, with bright hopes that the Center will continue to operate for another 25 years and more. In a short yet meaningful thank you message, Mrs. Bibiana Reyes, Directress of the Center gave her heartfelt thanks to everyone who’ve been part of the Center and to everyone who will continuously be part of the Center. The celebration capped off with the blessings of the food led by Fr. Merlin Las Piñas, and with the final blessing of Fr. Angelo Brucal.
Rain or shine, this didn’t stop the celebration in commemorating the twenty five years of walking together in responding to the mission of love and dedication in serving the poor. Truly an unforgettable day filled with history made of joys, trials, and unwavering support from everyone, the Sr. Teresa of Sto. Niño Center hopes to continue and be an instrument of hope and change, with Jesus, from Him and like Him, to go to others to “do good to all.”