FIRST PROFESSION OF VOWS OF CECILIA SISON DE CASTRO, PIONEER MEMBER OF THE ASSOCIATION OF THE MISSIONARIES OF THE ROGATE IN THE PHILIPPINES. 7 Decemeber 2013—Today, the whole family of the Rogate rejoices as it witnessed and welcomed the First Profession of Vows of Ms. Maria Cecilia Sison de Castro as a lay consecrated of the Associazione delle Missionarie Rogazioniste (Missionaries of the Rogate) held during the Holy Mass at the Father Hannibal Formation Center- Manila, at 10 o’clock in the morning. Fr. Herman Abcede, RCJ, who presided the Eucharistic celebration and rites of Profession, officially welcomed her in the Association. Her profession marks a milestone for the Missionaries of the Rogate because Ms. Cecilia is their pioneer member from the Philippines.
At the start of the Eucharistic celebration Fr. Herman expressed his admiration of Cecilia’s courage in committing herself to this vocation. Meanwhile in his Homily, Fr. Jessie Martirizar, RCJ, described the Church as a garden filled with various beautiful flowers, which represent the different vocations and charisms. He explains that the vocation of a lay consecrated has its own beauty and splendor just as the other vocations in the Church: priests, religious and married people. Taking the rarity of this occasion, he dedicated some points in presenting the nature, life, spirituality and commitments of the Missionaries of the Rogate. He also emphasized that, by professing her vows of Poverty, Chastity, Obedience, and Rogate, although still completely immersed in the world, Cecilia will now witness, in a special way, to the Kingdom of God by her whole life, making it a continuous imploration to the Lord of the Harvest, that he may send more and numerous workers into his vast vineyard. Then, particularly taking note that having the Gospel of the Rogate in the proper readings of today’s Liturgy, is a providential sign of God’s election of Cecilia.
Just right before the final blessing, Cecilia gave her message of thanksgiving to God and to all the people who had been very instrumental in leading and accompanying her towards the realization of her vocation, considering that she has actually discerned this for more than a decade, most especially during the time when she was yet working in Vietnam as a missionary. Afterwards, Fr. Rene Ramirez read the message of Stefania Robledo, the President of the Missionaries of the Rogate, followed by that of the Superior General, Fr. Angelo Mezzari, read by Fr. Jessie.
After the celebration everybody shared in the agape prepared by the Seminary community, while the religious brothers, novices, postulants and seminarians took turns in entertaining the crowd with their showcase of talents as they danced and sung Christmas carols with all their skills. Drawing the program to its end, Cecilia once again thanked the people for celebrating with her and accompanying her in her vocational journey and finally invited everybody to continue praying for her and the whole Family of the Rogate in their mission of spreading the Gospel and making the Rogate Universal.
Aside from representatives of different Rogationist communities of the Quasi Province, the event was also attended by her parents and siblings, colleagues in the Company where she is currently working, the Daughters of Divine Zeal and the Daughters of St. John Borromeo, some members of the UPV and numerous friends.