Ministries and lives in Legazpi
Legazpi City is the capital of the province of Albay in the Philippines. It is used to be a small farming and fishing village but is now a thriving city and one of the Philippines’ top adventure tourism destinations. It is the home of the world-famous Mayon Volcano. It is also called as “The City of Fun and Adventure”. Aside from stunning views and outdoor adventures, Legazpi City also showcases the tastiest Bicolano dishes that are known for using local ingredients like coconut milk and chilies. Bicolanos, locals of the region, love spicy food so much that they even have ice cream made from it.
In the context and signs of the time, we discovered, with the grace of God, the potentials, the energy that drives or empower us to live the message of Christ and impart this on to individuals, families, communities, in the society where we are today. Structures in the society such as the economic and political emerged greatly as the needs of the people became so complex and has equated into material development. “This is not just a story but our sojourn as instruments of God to His chosen ones…our “metamorphosis” by being here, may we become the witnesses to God’s Kingdom on earth.
We are community-based here in Legazpi and the beneficiaries are from the indigent families. Many of the residents here are engaged in pre-marital /common law relationships, teenage pregnancy, prostitution, homosexual relationships, drug addictions, substance abusers and domestic violence/abuse. Moreover, there are an increased number of beggary, theft and common law relationships. Most of them are suffering due to poverty and starvation, unemployment/underemployment, and malnutrition and lack of family planning or birth control. That’s why our programs include Praying with the Children/Families, Catechism, Educational Assistance, Supplemental feeding, Visiting the Sick in Homes and Hospital; Assistance to Crisis situation and Candle-making/Piggery as Income-Generating projects; Advocacy on The Rights of A Child; on Prevention: Teenage Pregnancy And Drug Addiction, Individual And Family Group Therapy; And Clean-Up Drive/Clean And Green Activities.
In further account, every year, people experienced from weak, mild, strong and to a devastating typhoons, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, landslides, rainfall, storms and even fire. Several calamities had occurred here and the latest was the Typhoon Tisoy (Kammuri) which made its landfall in Gubat, Sorsogon at around 11pm of December 2, 2019. Packing maximum sustained winds of 175 kph, gustiness reaching 240 kph and moving westward at 15 kph, it left trails of devastations in many parts of Bicol Region and in the provinces of Sorsogon, Legazpi- Albay, Camarines Sur and Catanduanes. Typhoon Tisoy flooded roads, felled power poles and knocked down trees, swift off houses, boats, and vehicles. Most of the people were at the evacuation areas especially those who are living in the coastal areas. There were no electricity and water. Thanks be to God at least we had home – made candles and rainwater for our daily sustenance. The two IAN novices Anna and Theresa, were with us. We prayed and entrusted everything to God. We had sleepless night and fear that the wind might break all the windows and roofing; and the heavy rain was just like waterfalls inside the convent. At that moment, we felt anxious and fear- for ourselves and for the people who would have lost their lives. Thanks to the Disaster Risk Reduction Team for their care, effort, time and courage to warned all of us about it and they too were prepared in times of rescue and emergency calls. Prayer is the only solution.
Again, life begins where we thought, our end. We still celebrate Christmas, by sharing gift, groceries and blessings to the Triest Children, their Siblings and Family. We received donations and gifts from the local sponsors, individuals and families, and shared among the needy. The year still ended with a smile of hope and joy as Jesus is the greatest gift we all received in our hearts and in every home. Another year opens up for all of us, a new beginning, and a sunrise to behold… However, Philippines was caught up with the Taal Volcanic eruption between the months of January-February this year, which caused its neighbouring places “a ghost villages”. People have to move from one place to another, to seek refuge, shelter and get their basic needs. It was another opportunity to have a helping hand and an open heart to receive the needy. Another news that really shocked the whole world is the COVID19. President Rodrigo Duterte, Philippine President announced Manila Lockdown, and the rests of Luzon including Bicol from March 15 to April 14, 2020. The rests of the islands had their preventive measures and lockdown arrangement after several days. It’s a heartbreaking pandemic disease that locked down many people to the grave and our mourning and prayers to those who died with it. No one is spared from the threat and no one can escape. We can only once again turn to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Human Rights Workshop for Priests and Religious – February 2020 ( Srs. Nichola and Sylvia have engaged).
Meth Mihira Special Education Centre, Koralawella, Moratuwa. Activities taken place in 2019.
Opening for the New year
“Meth Mihira” Special Education Centre was reopened on the 07th January 2019, the students were so happy to come after Christmas vacation. The assembly began with a small prayer and then Sr. Devika Perera (Superior) and Sr. Anne Niroshani (Sister In charge of the center) were welcomed by the teachers and the students.
On the 08th August 2019 had the soft ball Cricket Tournament organized by the Ceylon Association for the Mentally Retarded. Our children took part in it and were able to be the runners-up.
- 0n the 4th February we celebrated Independence day in the center.
- Children went to Daya Mina for their 30th anniversary 0n 18th March 2019.
- On 23rd July had the children’s Day out organized by Mrs. Shymanthi and the team at Jetwing Hotel Panadura. Our children enjoyed the day with games and swimming.
- On the 1st of October we celebrated children’s day and children spent the day with games and activities and on the 7th October celebrated the teacher’s day. Each student’s, teachers’, sisters’ and donors’ birthdays were celebrated in the centre.
- Every first Friday of every month our children participated in the Holy Eucharist in the parish. We had our Thanks Giving Mass for this year at the Centre on 06th December.
- Moksha : – 19.02 .2019.
- Nadini Madushika : – 22.02.2019.
- Shevan Nethuka : – 12.03.2019.
- Sanketh Gimhan : – 26.03.2019.
- Rashmini : – 17.07.2019.
- SinethSupriya : – 23.06.2019.
- Kaviru : – 06.11.2019.
We had our first parents meeting on 27th February 2019, and then on the 10th May, then on the 10th July, and lastly on the 04th September.
- Our children were happy to do gardening, cooking, dancing, and hand work. On the 24th November two teachers and a sister took part in the sale that was held in Immanuel Church, Rawatawatte.
- 2nd and 3rd December we had “our world Exhibition” at Lionel Wendt Art Gallery.
- Our annual Concert “PremayePahansilu” was held on the 4th December at the centre. Our students were happy to show their talents and it was great.
The final day for the year was on the 06th December 2019 and will be reopening on the 13th January 2020.
Ministries for differently abled children
We, Sisters of Charity of Jesus and Mary know and hold firmly to the belief that our founder Rev. Fr. Peter Joseph Triest was convinced that the care and education of the child, youth or adult with an intellectual challenge, was a very sacred and important ministry. As a result the Congregation is involved in this ministry in different parts of the world.
The sisters are challenged to see the face of Christ in the young people whom they serve. They commit themselves with dedication to this field of education, care and training of the person with different abilities. It demands also that they keep abreast with the new trends and the latest forms of thinking and so aim at the highest and best possible service. In Sri Lanka the Sisters of Charity have cared for and trained the differently abled since 1964; over 55 years!
The special centers run by the sisters of charity of Jesus and Mary in Sri Lanka.-
Day Centre for young people with learning difficulties in Embuldeniya
‘’Dayamina’’ offers educational, social and vocational training skills to young people. This programme provides services for young people over the age of 14, who need further training and places an emphasis on providing vocational skill training.
Home for the differently abled children
The “Garden of Love” is a residential home and training center in the southern province of Sri Lanka for children with mental disabilities. The children grow up in an environment of love and support based on a cottage system, based on the concept of any home or family group. Supem Uyana cares for girls and boys of ages varying from 3 to 25 for girls and up to 12 or 13 for boys providing them with social and independent skills with which they can be appropriately inserted and find their rightful place in society.
Special education Centre
Meth Mihira provides day care and early intervention for differently abled young children and persons up to the age of 25. This includes speech and physio therapy. This centre is situated in Moratuwa.
Special education Centre
Clarendon provides day care and early intervention for differently abled young up to the age of 13 . Situated in Mount Lavinia, it is the latest service of the Sisters of Charity..
Residential care for the older person
Daya Sevana is a residential care home for the older person who is intellectually challenged aged above 40 and is situated in Kegalle. Daya Sevana provides a variety of services to enable the young people to fulfill their true potential in life with dignity and independence.
Ministries in the Community of Mathagal– Jaffna.
- Teaching in School.
- Teaching in the Montessori Pre-School.
- Evening classes for Children.
- Visiting families.
- Distributing Holy Communion to Elderly and Sick.
- Religion Classes in the Parish.
- Marriage Counselling.
- Working with Asipa groups and taking part in other activities in the Parish.
- Sharing the Word of God, and the Rosary.
- We avail ourselves at the door to listen to all who come and accept their request for special prayers.
A New Mission of the Sisters of Charity in the North
The Ays Gnanam Elders’ Home for the destitute in Sillalai is a beautiful building meticulously planned and constructed by the generosity of Mr. &Mr. S. Rajaseelan Gnanam and his family. This is a celebration of their personal and social transformation from egoism to selflessness. Today we live in an egoistic self-centered society which is bent on amassing and accumulating wealth for themselves and their families oblivious of the transient nature of human existence in this world. Many are caught up in this direction but here we have a family that has a change of direction which focuses on humanity and its needs.
This home for destitute was declared open on the 4th of May by the Bishop of Jaffna Rt. Rev. Dr. Justin Gnanapragasm and Venerable Samuel Ponniah Archdeacon Diocese of Jaffna. The occasion also was graced by the presence of Rev. Sr. Ajitha Fernando Provincial Superior, Rev. Sr. Anastasia Perera, many priests and sisters of charity from the Northern Communities.
As the situation in the country was very tensed after the Easter Sunday attack on some Catholic Church and hotels there was tight security on the opening day. There were more servicemen than invitees.
The vision and purpose of this home for destitute, was distinctly expounded by Rev. Sr. Ajitha and Mr. Rajaseelan Gnanam.
The pioneers of this new mission at Silalai are Sisters Ahalya Subramanium, Sr. Jacintha Gabriel and Sr. Dominica Swampillai. The Sisters also help in the parish by visiting families taking communion to the sick, teaching in the Sunday school and also in the Major Seminary of the Diocese.
This Home is situated far away from the town and the rustic nature in its unpolluted existence provides ample food for reflection and prayer. The chirping of the variety of birds in the hours of early morning has a soothing auditory effect which is a total contrast to the hooting of the horns in the city.
All the invitees enjoyed a delicious “Yal” lunch and dispersed immediately as many had come from Colombo.
CDI Activity in the North- Sr. Nichola
CDI (Child Development Initiative) is a voluntary organization registered in Vavuniya DS Division on 25th January 2012 and began to function since January 2012
The Goal: Enhancing the quality of life of Children, Women and the war affected by creating a Peaceful and Safe Environment to life with dignity and freedom.
Mission: Enabling the traumatized and war affected especially children and women to have security and self reliance with their needs fulfilled and rights protected, so that they can live in familiar circumstances freed from all harassment.
Education Programs implemented for Children:
“Education is vital to lasting positive change in children’s lives. Main focus of CDI is on the education of children in order to provide lasting benefits for the children.
350 children have been provided stationery, clothes, and toilet requisites with the help of a voluntary organization from Australia. This is a yearly program for Christmas. Children have been selected from the war affected schools of Valaippadu, Puthukudiruppu, Kilinocchi, Vavuniya, Jaffna and Mannar. 3 nursery schools in Cheddikulam and one in Kiranchi, Valaippadu were provided nursery items, toys and stationary
Over 500 children have been provided with stationery with the help of an NGO “Lend a Hand” in Colombo.
100 children have been provided with shoes including 30 children of the disappeared family. Quite number children have been assisted with tuition fees, training on computer and season tickets to travel to school.
Livelihood Projects for FHH:
An organization from Australia aided Rs. one million for livelihood project of single headed women providing, poultry, animal husbandry, sewing machine, house renovation and gardening. 30FHH (Female Headed Household) including a disable man on wheel chair have been assisted livelihood activities. Activities involve poultry, animal husbandry, business, water pump and gardening. The women are able to maintain their families to some extend and to educate their children.
Participation at the protest of the families of the disappeared and memorialization of Mullivaikkal
Memorialization; Every year May 18th a Memorialization ceremony takes place at Mullivaikkal the place of the last stage of the war. Thousands of mourners come to pay their tribute to those who have died at the end of the war. Memorialization is a healing process to the families.
Families of the disappeared are on the street asking for their dear ones who have been surrendered to the government. They are now on the street for more than 800 days. From time to time they stage a fasting and at the end of the fasting they are given water. However they the government has turned a blind eye and a deaf ear to their request as to what has happened to their dear ones surrendered. They want to know the Truth so that they can be reconciled.
CDI Activity in the North
Activities of CDI (Child Development Initiative) by Sr. Nichola
Livelihood Projects for FHH:
Single Headed Women were given assistance for Livelihood project providing, poultry, animal husbandry, sewing machine, small business and gardening. 50FHH (Female Headed Household) including a disable man on wheel chair have been assisted for livelihood activities. The beneficiaries are able to maintain their families to some extend and to educate their children.
Education Programs implemented for Children:
“Education is vital to lasting positive change in children’s lives” (SCF UK)
500 children have been provided stationery, clothes, shoes and toilet requisites with the help of a voluntary organization from Australia. Children have been selected from the war affected schools of Puthukudiruppu, Kilinocchi, Vavuniya, Jaffna and Mannar. Quite number children have been assisted with tuition fees, training on computer and season tickets to travel to school.
Besides this, over 500 children have been provided with stationery right through the year with the help of an NGO “Lend a Hand” in Colombo.
The Ministries of the Sisters in Nilaveli,Trincomalee.
The community was started in 1997 with four sisters. At present the four sisters involved are mainly in the field of Education and pastoral work. Two sisters are teaching in two different schools and one sister is in charge of the Nursery. And because of education ministry there is a hostel with 25 girls from grade six to Advanced level (grade 6-12).
For the pastoral work, sisters teach catechism to the children of the parish St. Joseph’s Church and prepare them for the sacrament of reconciliation and Holy Communion. One sister prepares couples for the sacrament of matrimony. Besides these there are Asipa groups in the village where the families are divided into five groups and the sisters go into one family where all gather for the breaking of the word of God and share the message and experience they receive. It is in one way preparation for the Sunday Holy Eucharist. The sisters also take part in the preparation of the liturgy. One sister also goes to help the elders legion of Mary meeting. These are the ministries the sisters are involved in the Nilaveli Community.
“Meth Arana” community wanathawillu wa
Date of opening: 2015/6/24
Bishop of chilaw Rt. Rev. Valence Mendis, after a prayer service opened the convent. Priests from the diocese , government officials and parishioners were present at the occasion. Our provincial superior Sr. Deepthika Silva and her councillors and from different communities sisters were present too. The pioneers of the community were sr. Bernadine,sr. Nidoshini and Sr.Priyananga. Sisters are engaged in 12 sub stations of the parish : doing catechism , counseling, family visiting and adult catechism and education at Serakkuliya government school. In 2016 January community started a montessori answering the request of the catholic parents ,in the goat shed. Sr Priyadarshini with the help of the parents and donors started the montessori with 45 children.