P. FRANCISCO PALAU COMMUNITY
In response to the call of the Holy Father, Pope John Paul II, to be heralds of the Good News to other countries “Mission Ad Gentes,” the Carmelitas Misioneras Teresianas, Province of San Elias in Spain, decided to have a foundation in the continent of Asia, to incarnate the Palautian Charism. The Philippines was the first chosen country, since it is the only Christian nation in Asia.
On January 26, 1989, Sr. Asuncion Ciuraneta and Sr. Ines Fernandez arrived in Manila, Philippines. They took the challenge as daughters of Blessed Francisco Palau, a man of profound ecclesial experience, tireless missionary and eager to go where the glory of God calls him to respond to the needs of the Church.
The sisters were received and accommodated by the Religious of Mary Immaculate for several months.
Nine months later, the sisters transferred into a rented house in Project 8, Pugad Lawin, Quezon City. Later on, Sr. Mercedes Perez incorporated in the community. On October 22, 1989 was the canonical erection of “P. Palau” community whereas Sr. Asuncion Ciuraneta served as the first local superior. On January 16, 1991 the sisters moved to #20, 5th Street, New Manila, Quezon City as their permanent residence.
On February 7 of the same year, Fr. Bonifacio Solis, OP presided the first Holy Eucharist in the community. Sr. Asuncion and Mercedes became Spanish professors at Adamson University while Sr. Ines underwent the Clinical Pastoral Care in National Kidney Institute, Quezon City.
The community opened part of the house as a dormitory to receive college students. In November 1991, Sr. Gloria Esther Alonso arrived followed by Sr. Maria Alonso the following year, both joined the community.
On July 16, 1992, the community was established as “P. Palau Formation House” and the sisters started to accept ladies in discernment. Sr. Ines Fernandez served as the formator. In 1993, Sr. Raquel Sanchez arrived and became part of the community.
As the year goes, vocation increases and Filipina formandees began to commit themselves at the service of the Church as CMT. The sisters and formandees were involved in different apostolic works like: home visitation in the slum areas, catechism for children and adults, giving of pre-baptism seminar, serves as lector and commentator at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish, facilitates the sharing of the Word of God – BEC group, and pastoral health care in National Children Hospital, CHILD HAUS/HOUSE and St. Lukes Medical Center. Moreover, several sisters worked and practiced their respective professions over the years.
Sr. Ma. Jose Gay became part of the community on the 5th of January 2001.
In response to the increasing numbers of out-of-school youth due to poverty in the year 2008, the community started to accommodate two scholars whom they called “Palautian students” receive college education, forming them in human and Christian formation, helping them achieve their dreams in life. Along the years, this mission continues and currently, they have five scholars.
At present, the community welcomes and accompanies young women in their vocational discernment from Vietnam and in the Philippines. They also collaborate in the Social Service and Development Ministry (SSDM), Scholarship Program and Parish Youth Ministry at the Basilica of Our Lady of Mt Carmel. The sisters continue to engage themselves in the welfare of others, for to take care of others is to take care of God. (cf. Letter 6, 4)
From just one community in Metro Manila, a good cause to help those in need has cascaded into a unity of different communities in the different cities and provinces across the Philippines. “Magbigay ayon sa kakayahan, kumuha batay sa pangangailangan,” or in...
There goes a testimony of the experience... Sr Rae Ann Ramos, OP, has written this one: