“Forever I will sing the Goodness of the Lord!   (Ps. 89) 

My vocation is one of the most precious gifts I received from God. In my years of commitment, the year 2020 is a milestone, a fitting time to look back, to celebrate the “now”, to leap forward, to foreshadow…

The first day l stepped on the grounds of Missionary Dominican Sisters of the Rosary in Baliwasan, Zamboanga City, l marked it as my birthday to the convent and its lifestyle. The congregation numbered each one who entered in the process of formation, meaning, we were assigned a number to newcomers to the formation community.  Then I decided to continue, do my profession of vows to live in poverty, chastity, and obedience. Last 29 April 2020 was already the silver anniversary of what I, along with my batch mates, uttered those words of consecration to God thru this Congregation. I am truly amazed; this is now the 25th year!

As my batch mates and I regarded this as our day of joy and thanksgiving for reaching this far, we had our initial planning on how this celebration will take place. It was 12 months away from this date when we gathered (after our annual retreat). Must have been one peculiar sign that we were so excited, hopeful and so happy waiting for this day of Thanksgiving.

We are assigned in different apostolates, so we were away from each other and to notice time flew so swiftly that every detail of the celebration was ready as early as February. Then, it was at that time, the news of an epidemic in China were aired to the public. Admittedly, l was not affected by it yet, however, when March 15th our country was highly alarmed with this Covid-19 pandemic as it was spread worldwide. Yet again, I was hopeful for this event since it was still more than a month that this virus to affect our celebration. But March 16th was a dreadful day, the whole Philippines was placed on a total lockdown and unfortunately, our day of Thanksgiving was at the peak of our country’s quarantine! With all restrictions on every man’s life, even churches were closed, with all those preparations, invites, tokens, guests…

But, for a grateful heart, nothing can stop us to thank God on this most awaited day, a once-in-a- lifetime celebration. Plans turned a 360 degrees twist and had it the simplest event, only a community celebration done during Lauds. Our commitment was renewed in the presence of our community. Am so thankful to God that l can utter the same vows in a different perspective as it was 25 years ago because l have experienced God’s faithfulness to me, though I fail at times as I had been unfaithful. So thankful that God never gave up on me, specially the times I doubted myself, He is always there lifting me up. His generosity is ever felt especially when all I have had to offer was, my simple service and talent. I am so thankful for His love. I am confident to face the years beyond this silver jubilee for He is always faithful. Every day, “I will” as psalm 136 put it: … “give thanks to the Lord for His love endures forever.”                                                         Sister Ma. Reyna D. Jalon, OP

Reina de la Paz Community

Baliswasan, zamboanga City

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