LIVING BY FAITH … A MEANINGFUL EXPERIENCE OF GOD’S LOVE

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A TRIBUTE TO SAINT JAMES CATHOLIC HIGH SCHOOL – HIJAS DE JESUS       

Saint James Catholic High School – Hijas de Jesus which is administered by the Hijas de Jesus Congregation from SY 1971 – 1972 to SY 2016 – 2017 remain faithful in answering the call of the church on evangelization for forty five (45) years of loving service through Catholic Education as inspired by the charism of Mo. Foundress Candida Maria de Jesus.

 

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Maasin which is a fourth class municipality in the province of Iloilo is a homey place where Saint James Catholic High School is located.   The close partnership of the school and Saint James the Greater Parish is a real asset of Saint James Catholic High School as regards evangelization and transformation of the youth.  The students’ strong service to the church as altar boys and servers in the masses and the generosity of the volunteer students taking the lead in the Wednesday novenas and masses is a real manifestation of how blessed we are by God having these volunteer students who would willingly serve the church and the community.    We feel blessed as a community because God’s presence is very much alive through the gift of Faith we strongly lived in our hearts.  Yes, living by faith is what guided us in accompanying the youth in their Christian formation and in our service to the school and the church.

As I integrated myself in the shared mission at Saint James Catholic High School, I had witnessed the strong desire of the school personnel, parents, students and alumni in helping the Hijas de Jesus Sisters of Maasin community truly   realize its vision – mission and goals for the common good.     

It was God’s grace indeed that we have been blessed with the   simplicity of people; the dedication, patience and commitment of the teachers  and F.I. Sisters in their service and accompaniment to their students is one contributing factor in helping us achieve our goals; the generosity of the parents, benefactors  and alumni to reach out to the school’s needs for the common good is edifying;  and  the openness of the students to become  better persons and better Christians drives us to carry on our commitment to serve in the educative mission.

It is a humbling reality that we encountered challenges as we journeyed with the school’s educative mission, but  in our strong and deep faith in God, at the end of the day we  feel  fulfilled of what we have contributed to the  students and the school’s endeavor.  As a poor school, we catered to the students whose formations need to be well grounded since they all came from public schools and with different family orientations. The present scenario of facing the demands of the new K- 12 Basic Education Curriculum and  aligning it with our school’s core values challenged us to be more passionate in reaching to the different needs of the  students  and some families.  In facing this context in the school, we never waiver in our faith because God’s divine providence is so strong through the love and care of the F.I. Sisters; the loyalty of the tenured teachers and staff; the active   collaboration of the parents, alumni and benefactors, and the assistance of the government and Department of Education, Hijas de Jesus Congregation and benefactors in supporting the scholarship program of the students.

 My personal reflection of my nine  months stay at  Saint James Catholic High School and living with the F.I. Sisters in Maasin community  brought me to a deeper appreciation of God’s   unconditional love  as I journeyed with faith in Him .  God is love and He blessed me tremendously with that strong faith and conviction that He is present in us all the time.  

As a community and one family of Mo. Candida, we felt God’s love and mercy as we encountered and confronted the different realities of our students.  Seeing them who come from   poor families with a lot of orientation that needs to be provided was a challenge to us. Understanding the  students who come  from disintegrated families  and  who  need  close accompaniment  and pastoral care was also a priority  concern for  us which the F.I. Sisters  generously accompanied.  These situations made us all members of the community understand and accept our roles as Catholic educators.  Our trust and confidence in God moved us to be loving and passionate in our mission on evangelization.

I am grateful to God our Loving Father that I became a part of the service in the mission of evangelization in Maasin, Iloilo . I am indeed joyful that with God who intervened in all our efforts in bringing Christ in the lives of the students through the Catholic Education at Saint James Catholic High School, we were able to attain our vision – mission and goals.  Our Lord Jesus granted us with courage and deep faith in Him. He blessed us with the humility and simplicity to face the educational endeavors that was centered on the transformation and evangelization of the youth. Above all, God our Loving Father showered us with countless blessings and His love and presence every day is the most significant blessing we have received. With thankfulness to the Almighty Father, living by faith in this apostolic journey is a meaningful experience of God’s love which will always have a special place in my heart.   As we say in our school hymn, Saint James Catholic High School – Hijas de Jesus is a school of the hearts and with the inspiration of our dear Mother Foundress Saint Candida Maria de Jesus in the shared mission,  the Catholic Education of Saint James shall continue to flourish for the greater glory of God and the good of the neighbors.

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