Month: December 2014

Filipino Christian Families of Today

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His Holiness, Pope John Paul II has mentioned in Familiaris Consortium that, “the family, the primary cell of society, increasingly menaced by forces of disintegration on both the ideological and practical planes”pope-john-paul-ii

From our own experience, we know that this crisis is true in the Philippines.

Since the family is the primary cell of the Philippine society, it symbolizes the kind and characteristics of the society in which we are living in.

Due to the excessive poverty among the poor and consumerism among the rich, parents are concern about the material well- being at the expense of the Christian formation of their offspring.

This neglect of Christian parenting is especially serious during the crisis of adolescence.

This distortion in the priority of values create dysfunctional families.

One of the early signs of  dysfunction in a family is the severity of the power struggles parents and children experience.  If these struggles are not being resolved satisfactorily, ill effects will penetrate the behavior of children.  Children are like strings; they tend to resists when they feel pushed or forced into doing something they do not wish to.

The more you push, the more powerless the child feels, therefore, the more rebellious they become.  Rebelliousness often results when children allow their emotions to control their behavior.  This is because they want to get back at the persons whom they feel are controlling them, they want revenge.

Children copy the way they see parents deal with their emotions.  If parents expect them to be more controlled in their expressions of anger, they must first see it modeled by them.  Effective parenting is usually done by action, less by words.

Our country at present has a vast number of dysfunctional families.  However, we must never lose hope.  In this perplexed world, God wants us to depend upon Him and not on human resources alone.  He desires that we have a new heart.  Let us always remember that parenting is non-formal education without graduation.  But with God’s help and our Christian conversion, our Filipino dysfunctional families can be healed.

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A Visit to Cherish

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Moments spent at Missionaries of Charity Home of the Sick and Undernourished Children was worthy to be cherished. I was with a group of teachers from Doña Carmen Denia National High School.  I could never be thankful enough to my sister for leading me to this place three years back.

It was my third time to do a charity visit to this orphanage. It was also the second visit of the Samahan ng mga Guro sa Edukasyon sa Pagpapakatao [SGEP].

I saw for myself how “special” these children are and the reason I keep visits. The sight of the sick children was heartbreaking.  I tried to look tough and not to show emotion in front of the sick, special and undernourished children.  We were moved with such mercy and compassion.  We tried to hold on our emotions.  Few found the best thing to do is to give way to emotions in obscurity and discreet. Others entertain themselves by cuddling, caressing, carrying, showing affection, making face to make the children smile. One male teacher in awe at sight was amazed how the children were reared by the institution.

The “Missionaries of Charity Home of Sick and Undernourished Children” caters special children, sick, undernourished, poorest of the poor, and abandoned. When you visit them, the nuns (Sisters of Charity) will encourage you to “really be with the sick children”.  To talk, touch and take care of them.  It was really an eye opener for all of us to personally experience how it is to be with them. We found that the more you stayed with them the more you will find they need so much compassion.  As heartbreaking it was to see and touch these sick children, the more it was heartbreaking to part with them.  They get attached to their temporary friends and refused to be left behind or to return to their beds/cribs.  They really are longing for human touch and attention.We brought to them rice, milk [Bonna], can goods, biscuits, and eggs from the kindhearted and generous Denian students and teachers.

1897814_758567654178673_7046839680935306027_n I remember observing the children in the play pen. One child trampled at play and the other quickly caressed and consoled him. Another one had her top mangled in play then one quickly hold her and fix it.Their actuations made us realize that they were being taught how to love and care for each other. I deeply appreciate the nuns doing such mission.  Short chat with them strengthens my faith that the One up there is really sending His angels to take care of His favorite children. The nuns were accommodating.   They told us that the children are lucky during Christmas season (charity season) because there are many visitors and donations.  They said that they have less stock during the low charity season and so they are encouraging visitors to come back.

10169436_880636191946960_3780429889279105150_nHere are some facts that may be helpful in visiting the Home for the Sick and Undernourished Children:

  • Taking photos is only allowed at the gate, terrace, kitchen, and grounds. Strictly no taking of photos at the nursery, ward, infirmary, play pen and playground when children play.
  • They follow an early schedule starting with an early breakfast, lunch at 10AM, snack at 2:00PM, dinner before 5:00PM and lights off at 7:00PM. This schedule gives ample time for the children to rest early and to save electricity.
  • (During our visit) They house around 42 sick children with 4 nuns and volunteer helpers attending to the sick children and house chores.
  • They also take care of sick but not abandoned children from poorest of the poor families who bring their sick children to the nuns. The nuns take care of them and provide them food, medicines including medical attention. Parents can visit and take their kids back home once cured.
  • When a child reaches school age, the institution will endorse them to the Department of Social Welfare and Development [DSWD] for follow through.
  • The Missionaries of Charity is the order of Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta.  They are located at: Juna Subdivision, Matina, Davao City. Their telephone number is 296-0577. You may give a ring anytime of the day.

In these tough times most of us are dealing with our different problems and adversities that sometimes we feel that we also need some compassion and charity.  Despite our struggle, hope we still find time to spare and visit them. They are within our reach and waiting!