May 31, 2013 was the day of my Temporal Profession, I can feel that I am so blessed by the Love of God through the gift of vocation I have recieved. Our theme was “I have love you with an everlasting Love, I have called you and you are mine”- Jeremiah 31:3 this passage reminds me of the love of God regardless of my unworthiness He stills calls me to serve him and to the Church.
In my first month after my profession I doubted if I can handle the task which was instrusted to me. But God comforted me of his promise: “I am with you always even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:20 that He is with me to accompany and help me in my apostolate. All I need to do is to submit to Him with full trust for me to be strong. The moment I say Yes to God i lift up to him everything especially my plans , my future and my family. I said Lord you will be the one to take care of my life. The three vows that I made before God and to the church was not only for that day but for my daily living and daily encounter to God through my service in our mission and apostolate. I need to be faithful of my committment to God.
My first mission assignment was in Sta. Rosa de Lima ladies Residence Dormitory, Manila. It was a good experience that i was able to serve the young ladies by praying with them and listening also their joys and struggles in life. Indeed God is so good because he strengthens my life through ups and downs that i encounter along the way. I’m thankful to my sisters in the community for the support and opportunity to study Theology at Pontifical University of Santo Tomas, Manila. I was able to apply the learnings I received from my professors.
After three years of Serving in the dormitory i was assigned in Zamboanga City for teaching ministry at St. Joseph School. It is a Filipino-Chinese Catholic School. I thought Cristian Living Education or Religion Class from grade one, grade two and grade four. I was able to exposed myself to the young children and taught them the basic prayers, cathechism and teaching them to be thankful to God for all the graces recieved everyday. I was also assigned in Campus Ministry in that School, teaching the Altar Servers basic formation in serving the Lord during mass and also to be a good example to their classmates.
I realized that while I was teaching them i am also learning for myself . It was a great challenge for me to live the word of God to be faithful as followers of God. I find joy and contentment in serving the school. It enhance my skills and talent to do my best and learn to accept new learnings. Humility is very important in order for me to succeed. Dealing with the students from different family backgrounds, stories, their joys and success was a great help for me in order to understand them better. By the grace of God I was able to overcome all the challenges and feel blessed by the love, concern, and gratitude from my students as well as their parents too. It is true when we give we will recieved more than what we dont expect not only material things but good relationship.
I am thankful to God for the two years fruitful I have been assigned in Teaching Ministry indeed God is my model being a good teacher.
During the Provincial Chapter i received a news from my provincial council and general council that we are going to have an Inter-congregational Juniorate which will be held in Madrid, Spain. I asked myself. Am I ready to go to a foreign mission? But I took it positive for me to grow and to widen my horizon. Thanks to my sisters and people who helped my papers in order for me to get the VISA. After long months of preparing my papers I received my VISA.
Last June 1, 2018 Sr. Angel and I arrived safely in Madrid. I was happy to meet my sisters especially from Europe and some Spanish sisters who were assigned before in the Philippines had been missionary for many years. I was blessed for their kindness and love.
In the first week living in Madrid I find it difficult due to culture, language and the change of weather. But those were the basic part of my difficulties. To go out from my comfort zone and to adopt the culture is a great challenge for me. A times I feel lonely. I miss the aspostolate that i used to do. I need to adjust and accept that I am no longer in the Philippines. My daily communication to God and being open of my feelings to him including my struggles and joys helps me to be strong and God comforted me that I am not alone.
My batchmates and I have the privileged to study Spanish Language in Eureka. I met new people coming from different continent. Some from Asia, Latin America, Europe, Oceania and etc. In order for me to be able to communicate to other people it is important to learn thier Language. I met good friends in Eureka who are also religious some from the Order of Carmelite and some from other religious order. It was a memorable experienced that I was given a chance to talk and share with them during our class.
Last September 2018, we were sent to study Pastoral Teology at Pontificia Universidad de Salamanca, Campus de Madrid, Instituto Superior de Pastoral. One of the formation plan in our Juniorate formation to study as preparations four our mission and apostolate. For me it was of great help in my life to nurture and interiorize what i have learned and study. To apply in my daily living and also to be a good religious sister. Our profesor said :When we evangelize and preach the word of God when we ourselves don’t do it and apply the word of God in our life we made a false witness. It was great challenge for me because being a Dominican i need to live the truth. As a missionary i need to live the charism of our congregation to preach the word of God in all peripehries
My batchmates and I were able to finished the course through the help of our sisters in the community. My doubts before if I can make and if Im ready for new mission was banished through the mercy of God who proves his love and power to me. For him nothing is impossible all i need is trust. I feel His love and forgiveness in all the weaknesses and failures I made in my life. I will continue to serve Him because His love never ends. May God continue to bless me in my journey and mission for the service of the church and for the reign of God. Like Prophet Isaiah I will continue to serve God by answering His call. “Here I am send me.
– Sister Vanesa S. Alanano, OP
20 de Mayo de 2019