By John Michael D. Pineda
Umatuna Si Yu’os
Seventy years is a milestone in life. It’s a length of lifespan which many people do not accomplish. Much more than that is doing something for 70 years, upholding a holy covenant with God that was entered at a young age.
Through the grace and mercy of our Lord, this is the accomplishment of Sister Evelyn Muna, Sister Mary Celeste Fejerang, Sister Mary Angelica Perez, and Sister Mary David Richard. The four religious Sisters celebrated their platinum jubilees as Sisters of Mercy on Saturday, April 29, 2017, on the feast day of St. Catherine of Siena.
Their platinum jubilee (70 year anniversary) was celebrated at the Sister Roberta Center, in Oka, Tamuning amid members of their Sisters of Mercy community, relatives and friends.
“As we celebrate the founding of our community, almost 61 years ago now, we celebrate the second wave of women who came to the doors of Mercy in 1947,” said Guam Mercy Administrator Sister Marian Arroyo in her opening remarks.
Sister Marian and the Mercy community also gave tribute to the jubilarians who celebrated in memoriam: Sister Carlos Marie Torres (died 1966); Sister Marie Mierre Martinez (2015); Sister Mary Callista Camacho and Sister Joseph Marie Perez (2016) – as well as a member in absentia, Sister Mary Alma Pangelinan who now resides in Belmont, North Carolina.
The four jubilarians on Guam were honored for their work in the formative years of many men and women they taught in the past.
In addition to being lauded for their teaching, each jubilarian was recognized for their contribution in specialized areas. Sister Mary Angelica was honored in the area of music, especially in the area of piano instruction; Sister Mary Celeste was honored for her love for local culture arts of song and dance and in ministry of elderly service; Sister Mary David was honored in the area of math and artistic design and photography; Sister Evelyn was honored in the area of business and administrative leadership, and building the regional Mercy Community in Guam and North Carolina.
The four Sisters received recognition and appreciation for their many gifts and contributions to building the Mercy community and their faith in God.
“As we celebrate our elder sisters who continue their journey to God in their frail and tender years, they remain ever-so-precious to us and in the eyes of God,” Sister Marian continued.
“Their ministry at the evening of life is one of simply being in the presence of our loving God who has called them to be mercy all the days of their lives,” she said.
Fr. Romeo Convocar celebrate Mass as part of the jubilee celebration. “The perseverance in religious calling for 25 years, 50 years, or 70 years – in the case of our sisters – is not an individual achievement,” said Fr. “Romy”.
“It is above all, God’s grace, for which we need to be filled with gratefulness,” continued Fr. Romy. “What we do in our ministry as His disciples are all for God’s Glory, not ours.”