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The DC Pastoral Ministry Today

 

 “You must be ready to serve persons who are poor, wherever you are sent... since that is your purpose.”
                                                             (SVP: Conference 71, Coste IX)

"Mobility and availability to the needs of poor persons are essential to the Vincentian charism. Saint Vincent consistently imparted this to the first in words that have now become their Magna Charta:

                     “…for monastery, only the houses of the sick…; for cell, a hired room; for chapel, the parish                      church; for cloister, the streets of the city; for enclosure, obedience, with an obligation to go                      nowhere but to the houses of the sick…”

                                                               (SVP: Conference 10, Coste IX)

The inspiration to be more available and closer to the life of poor persons in depressed areas of the country may have been occasioned by two significant events that deeply marked the DC mission in the Philippines: the Second Vatican Council and the declaration of Martial Law in the country.

Attentive to the calls of the Church and the signs of the times, the DCs responded by immersing themselves deeply into the life and struggles of the poor especially in rural areas. The first major breakthrough in this direction was the establishment of the pastoral community in Basilan, Mindanao in 1983 amidst life-threatening conditions. It focused on organizing Basic Ecclesial Communities.

From 1987-2011, a total of 24 pastoral communities have been established, with 12 still existing today. They are present in several regions of the country:

NORTHERN LUZON:         Baguio City

                                         Tagaytay City

                                         Mindoro
                                         Ilagan

BICOL REGION:                  Masbate

WESTERN VISAYAS:        Aklan

                                         Boracay

MINDANAO:                     Marawi Bongao

                                         Ipil

                                         Ozamis

                                         Basilan

Today, they are engaged in a diversity of pastoral works:
            campus ministry, ministry among indigenous peoples, organizing BECs,
            campaign against human trafficking, ministry among street children,
            interreligious dialogue, education and evangelization.

Teams of Sisters likewise engage in community organizing work to populations affected by disasters.