A Filipino archbishop expressed his gratitude to the Sister-Servants of the Holy Spirit of Perpetual Adoration, popularly known as Pink Sisters, as they celebrate a century of presence in the Philippines.
Lipa Archbishop Gilbert Garcera called them a ‘priceless and indispensable gift to the Church’ during a Thanksgiving Mass on November 25 in the Province of Batangas, where the Philippine ministry of the Pink Sister began.
“You are beacons of torches that guide and accompany humanity in our Synodal journey,” said the prelate. “You are sentinels of the morning, showing Christ to the world, as our Way, Truth, and Life.”
Archbishop Garcera thanked the Pink Sisters for their unwavering dedication to their contemplative life centered on the perpetual adoration of Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament.
“My dear sisters, persevere in the good works the Lord has done in and through you,” he said. “Persevere with trusting joy in your heart that overflows so that we can see how beautiful you are always with the Lord.”
The congregation of the Pink Sisters was founded by German priest Father Arnold Janssen in Steyl, Netherlands on December 8, 1896.
At present, they have six houses in the Philippines: Baguio (1931), Manila (1965), Cebu (1973), Davao (1983), Aklan (1986), and Tagaytay (1990).
Despite not having a Pink Sister community in Batangas anymore, Archbishop Garcera recalled how they began their ministry to the Philippines in this province after the First World War.
According to the prelate, his predecessor, Bishop Alfredo Verzosa made initial efforts to “extend the aroma of prayers, sacrifices, and love for the Eucharistic adoration” to the country.
Bishop Verzosa offered the Pink Sisters two hectares of land “with a beautiful chapel, convent, and fence garden.” He also offered his own estate to serve as a temporary convent for the nuns while these buildings were being constructed.
“He also deeply appreciates that through perpetual adoration, the sisters pray for good and numerous priestly vocations from God because these are especially needed in our country after the war,” said Archbishop Garcera, quoting a letter written on behalf of Bishop Verzosa to Mother Mary Michael, Co-Foundress and the first Superior General of the Pink Sisters.
Upon the approval of this request, five Pink Sisters traveled to Lipa to establish their first community in the Philippines. They were joined by several nuns from the city capital Manila.
The chapel where Archbishop Garcera led the Thanksgiving Mass for the congregation’s centennial is the exact birthplace of their Philippine ministry. Redemptorists are now managing it under the name Divino Amor Chapel. - Luke Godoy
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