ISA organizes a Medical Mission

“At times we are called to gaze even more attentively
on mercy so that we may become a more effective sign
of the Father’s action in our lives.”
— Pope Francis —

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Responding to the call for reaching out to the poor, sick and outcast in society as well as for doing theology without borders – the Institute of Spirituality in Asia (ISA), in partnership with Tahanan ng Pag-asa, Batang Redemptorista and (LAPAMARU) – and in cooperation with Hon. Marlon B. Zingapan and the Barangay Council of Mambugan launched a medical mission on June 4, 2016.

We held the activity at St. Camillus Day Care Center in Sitio Ruhat 3. Our venue was very appropriate for being named after St. Camillus, who had founded the Camillian order and dedicated his life to caring for the sick.

We began the morning in prayerful adoration of our loving and merciful God. We then held the welcome remarks from Fr. Rico Ponce, O.Carm, executive director of ISA, the recognition of each group, and the welcoming of the community.

We were able to serve at least 250 individuals through the help of doctors from Sacred Heart Hospital in Malolos and doctors from the Redemptorist Medical Program in Baclaran.

We also worked with volunteer nurses and medical technologists from Condo and Office Cleaning Services (CMDA) and with community health workers from Bgy. Mambugan.

We offered the beneficiaries initial treatment for their illnesses, medications from United Laboratories (Unilab), used clothes from Give Shop, and some snacks.

The medical mission was successful because of the wholehearted generosity of various groups and of the community members of Brgy. Mambugan. Afterwards, we had a  sharing of experiences, expressions of appreciation, and messages of thanks from the  volunteers and doctors for being able to extend their love and to witness to the call of Pope Francis when he declared the Jubilee Year of Mercy last year.

Our Pope has called on us to put mercy before judgment and condemnation, just like our God who was and is merciful to all of us.

Pope Francis said in his declaration, “This Extraordinary Holy Year is itself a gift of grace. To enter through the Holy Door means to rediscover the deepness of the mercy of the Father who welcomes all and goes out to meet everyone personally.”[1]

Our medical mission in Sitio Ruhat 3 was indeed one way of reaching out to the community. Even though we had spent just a short time with the people, we are hopeful  that they had experienced the love and mercy of God.

As Pope Francis also said in his declaration, “On that day, the Holy Door will become a Door of Mercy through which anyone who enters will experience the love of God who consoles, pardons, and instills hope.”[2]

We concluded the day with a bountiful lunch prepared by each group. After sharing our time, talents, skills and presence we enjoyed having the meal together.

We left the place filled with gratitude to all the people who had made it possible for us to extend love and mercy towards the sick and the poor in Sitio Ruhat 3.

We pray and hope that “God will dry every tear from their eyes” (Revelation 7:17)[3], knowing fully well we cannot totally remove sufferings and cure sicknesses. Why is this? We could give only initial treatment and basic medicines when some of the residents are in  need of continuous medical attention and maintenance medicine.

However, deep in our hearts we believe that our merciful and generous God will keep sending good-hearted individuals and groups who will respond to their needs. And above all we thank God, who calls us to witness that He indeed abounds in kindness and mercy.

Sr. Arlene Casas, NDS