On April 17, RGS in the Philippines celebrated its first Open House in the occasion of the Good Shepherd Sunday and the World Day of Prayer for Vocations. Attended by hundreds of families, staff, mission partners, benefactors, and friends, the Open House is a thanksgiving effort of the province to recognize the invaluable support of everyone involved in the ministries and to thank the Lord for the gift of vocations to the congregation. The Open House was held in the Good Shepherd Convent compound in Quezon City.
A thanksgiving Mass was presided by His Eminence Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales, archbishop emeritus of Manila, along with Eudists and priest-friends of the sisters. In his homily, Cardinal Rosales recalled childhood memories with the RGS sisters who shaped his vocation and the zeal of the sisters, both apostolic and contemplative, to give their lives totally to the shepherding the most abandoned. He further reminded the faithful that all Christians are called to be compassionate and merciful regardless of their condition and stature because it is only love that ultimately saves.
The Mass ended with the launching of the “What’s Your Good Shepherd Story?” campaign that aims to strengthen the local resource mobilization and promote vocations. It was followed by a lunch prepared by sisters from different communities of the province and an afternoon bazaar showcasing handicrafts, accessories, religious items, farm produce, and delicacies. During the lunch, three people shared their stories: Mrs. Ching Daclan, a long time lay affiliate; Sr. Ma. Marcia Mercado, RGS, province secretary; and Mrs. Gloria, a staff from Bahay Pastulan.
The Open House was concluded with an Evening Prayer for Vocations. Sr. Ma. Regina Kuizon, RGS, province leader, read the message of Pope Francis on the occasion before the service started. Dozens of religious men and women from several religious congregations, RGS sisters, vocation contacts, and youth groups gathered in the chapel to venerate the Blessed Sacrament and recite the vespers to pray to the Lord of the harvest to send holy men and women into the Church.