Miriam College, through the Miriam Identity, Spirituality and Mission Office (MISMO) and in collaboration with the BEU and HEU’s campus ministry offices, paid tribute to the Maryknoll Sisters in the Philippines and celebrated the Golden Jubilee of Sr. Teresa Dagdag and Sr. Aida Manlucu.
Held last October 7 as part of the school’s 90th anniversary celebrations, the event opened with a Mass presided by Fr. James Kroeger, MM who shared the challenging journey of the Maryknoll Sisters so they may be able to plant the seeds of their mission here in the Philippines. Student representatives from the different units took part in the celebration of the Mass to honor the Maryknoll Sisters who were present, namely, Sr. Virginia Fabella, Sr. Helen Graham, Sr. Nenita Tapia, Sr. Marvelous Misolas, Sr. Imelda Bautista, Sr. Nora Maulawin, Sr. Marisa Lichauco, Sr. Lourdes Fernandez, Sr. Genie Natividad, and Jubilarians Sr. Teresa Dagdag, and Sr. Aida Manlucu.
The Mass was capped with a message from Sr. Dagdag who likened the Maryknoll Sisters’ “crossing” to that of the crossing of Mother Mary to her cousin Elizabeth. “Crossing over and leaving one’s comfort zone is part of Mary’s life and so is ours,” she said, adding, “crossing over is how we connect with Christ.”
After the Mass, a program was held at the Miriam College-Henry Sy, Sr. Innovation Center (MC-HSSIC). Gracing the event were former Miriam College presidents Dr. Loreta Castro and Dr. Patricia Licuanan; former vice presidents Dr. Glenda Fortez, Dr. Angelina Galang, and Rose Bautista; and current Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Maria Lourdes Baybay.
In her message read by Dr. Castro, Dr. Rosario Lapus said that the school is happy to be hosting the tribute “for our noble Sisters who constantly light lamps of kindness, love and compassion that ultimately teach our students to make God’s love visible.”
She also wished for Sr. Dagdag and Sr. Manlucu, “to continue to be sources of inspiration and strength to other Maryknoll sisters and to the entire Miriam community.”
On behalf of the Maryknoll Sisters, Sr. Graham thanked the Miriam College community for the tribute and congratulated the school on its 90th year. She gave credit to the trailblazing Maryknoll founders for their contribution to the school. “We say thank you, first of all, to these pioneering women who blazed the trail for so many more to come over the ninety years since their arrival.” She added that Sr. Dagdag and Sr. Manlucu are two of the many “fruits” of the Maryknoll Sisters’ mission presence in the Philippines.
In between heartfelt messages, the school’s homegrown talents serenaded the Sisters and guests. Among the performers were the Miriam College Middle School Chorus, MC High School Glee Club, MC Aria of the HEU, Cynthia Guico of the Music Center, and Mirma Tica of the Center for Peace Education. A highlight of the night was a piano number from Sr. Nenita Tapia who gamely played the song “If” by Bread.
The night ended with messages of gratitude from Sr. Dagdag and Sr. Manlucu. This was made special by the offering of red long-stemmed roses by members of the community to the Maryknoll Sisters present at this meaningful event.
Contributing to the success of the tribute were Dr. Gail Galang who was the program emcee; Boyette Fernandez, Lower School Administrative Officer who took care of the physical arrangement; and the Department of Leisure and Tourism for providing the students to help welcome the special guests at the chapel and at the MC-HSSIC.