Our Work in the Philippines
Our Work in the Philippines
Explore the tabs below to learn about the many ways our donors dollars are at work in the Philippines.
Create a Dignified Environment for Seminarians
Create a Dignified Environment for Seminarians
The Manila Theological House
The Manila Theological House in the Philippines is home to brothers a part of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit who desires to spread God’s love and strengthen the Church’s presence in Asia. As they study and spiritually uplift their surrounding community, YOU can give them a safe and dignified environment that encourages prayer, fellowship, and spiritual growth.
This special and blessed home has positively affected brothers throughout the years including Father Aying Gavino. While pursuing his theological formation in 2010, he was able to have a one-of-a-kind experience living in the Manila Theological House.
“In the community, we worked, we ate, we laughed, we prayed, we played, and we studied,” – Father Gavino gladly recalls.
The house currently hosts nineteen brothers who strive to serve the Church by creating bridges between people and provide for material and spiritual care. Being able to live in an encouraging and diverse environment fosters the passion for loving one another even more.
“To live in an international community allowed me to discover [a] new culture[s]…my companions gave me courage and strength, so as to persevere in my religious life. This missionary spirit already experienced during my years of formation, still gives me strength and joy today.” – Rev. Fr. Aying, Gavino Jr. L. CSSp
As these men pursue their divine calling YOU can help fulfill their mission so they may have the facilities they need. Your generosity will go directly toward adding bathrooms in the seminarians’ dormitories. These young men’s families support their formation as much as they can, but they simply do not have the money to cover major costs like these.
“To spend four years in the Formation House Community in Manila … shaped my attitude of service, respect for others, and missionary spirit.” — Father Joseph Phùng Mạnh Tiến
By giving these seminarians a stable living environment, they are able to achieve initiatives in the surrounding Manilla community including:
- Ministering to people suffering from illness
- Encouraging underprivileged children and teenagers to pursue God and earn an education
- Serve the urban and rural poor
We have the opportunity to give nineteen brothers dignified living spaces in the Manilla Theological House.
The Spiritans have been working in the Philippines for more than twenty years.
Missionaries, including the Spiritans, serve the Church by creating bridges between people and providing for material and spiritual care.
Currently there are 2600 members in The Congregation of the Holy Spirit and work in 60 countries all over the world.
St. John Paul II wrote that the people of Asia display “an intense yearning for God” that “can only be fully satisfied by Jesus Christ.” By giving these seminarians a healthy and stable living environment at the Manilla Theological House, you are helping them be able to uplift souls longing for the Lord.
Improve the Quality of Life of Orphans
Improve the Quality of Life of Orphans
Compassionate Franciscan Sisters of the Poor
The Queen of Peace (QOP) Orphanage was founded in 1997 when 16 sisters responded to Christ’s call and became Compassionate Franciscan Sisters of the Poor. They then helped found an orphanage in Pacol, Naga City, Philippines, which is one of the poorest villages in the country. They chose Pacol to joyfully serve the poorest of poor, and help disabled children who are cast away by their families.
The sisters’ orphanage is the only pro-life adoption center for the city of Naga and the Southern Bicol region. They work hard to place children with adoptive families in Sweden, Spain, Italy, and the United States. They’ve successfully placed more than 20 children to date! You can learn more about how your generosity helped make the adoption process easier in the “Finally a Van!” section below.
The Compassionate Franciscan Sisters of the Poor educate and care for 40 children in their orphanage. They also run a day care for 50 poor children in the surrounding community. The mentally and physically challenged children who live in the orphanage attend a special school where they receive an excellent free education.
Many of the children are malnourished and ill when they were left to the sisters. Heartbroken, the sisters do everything they can to bring the babies joy, and care for their health. They are in constant need of hospital visits, and the sisters work hard to make sure they can get there. The van you provided for the sisters is already improving the quality of life of the children at the day care and orphanage. It secures their ability to get food daily and to quickly get to the hospital when there is an emergency instead of having to rely on public transportation.
The children at Queen of Peace Orphanage come from all different walks of life. Many of the 40 children under the care of Mother Joy, Superior of the Compassionate Franciscan Sisters of the Poor, are disabled. Others were brought to the sisters after their parents died in hopes they would have a better life than wandering through the streets. These orphans are often malnourished and sick. The sisters provide them with their basic needs: feeding them, caring for them, clothing them, as well as finding permanent homes for them through adoption. The sisters even take in newborn babies and keep them with them until they find a home. The sisters face many challenges while serving the poor. Despite the pains they face, the sisters continue forward with immense trust in the Lord Jesus.
Not all abandoned children at the Queen of Peace orphanage easily get adopted. One such child is Jerome. He is one of 13 children the sisters are trying to place in a good home. Jerome is still waiting for a family to adopt him. He is now nine years old. He was only two when he was abandoned by both of his parents. Since his parents left him he has had no permanent home. Jerome has lived off the kindness of one neighbor who was good enough to take him in, and find families that he could live with for a little while. No one could take him in permanently because everyone is too poor to have another mouth to feed for a long period of time. This has left Jerome with a deep emotional scar. Abandonment is one of the worst cases the sisters see at the orphanage, but they are fighting to find Jerome a forever family
Trixie & Francis
“I am 13 years old. My father left us when I was 12,” said Trixie, one of Mother Joy’s children at the orphanage. “My mother tried to provide for us, but we had a hard time. Me and my brothers and sisters were always hungry. And then my mother started to lose weight and get weak. We found out she had tuberculosis. Because we don’t have any money we just did the best we could and I took care of my brothers and sisters. One day a social worker brought me and my brothers and sisters to Queen of Peace. We have a good life here. We have meals and a soft mattress for our bed. Before we had a harder life and had to endure it. Now we are taken care of and loved. I hope more people will help the sisters so that they can help more children like us.”
“I was very young when my mother left me along with my three siblings. I don’t remember anything about my parents since it happened when I was about three years old. Out of pity our neighbors took care of us. Me along with my brothers: Jerome, Romel and Jemel had to be sheltered in different families. I had to fetch water and do household chores for the family despite being so young. My eldest brother, Jemel, ran away and I don’t know where he went and Romel was adopted. However, me and Jerome where left in Pili where we were transferred between different families. I grew up in a poor family. There were days that we didn’t have any food except salt. Then, one day a social worker brought us to Queen of Peace Orphanage. I was seven years old by that time. In Queen of Peace we were given the opportunity to go to school. The rooms are beautiful and tidy and we eat delicious and clean foods here. This is our temporary home since we’re told by the sisters that they are looking for a forever home. In truth, I’m excited to have a mommy and a daddy. For now, I’m waiting with hope that someday I’ll have a family. Last March I finished 4th grade and I’ll be in 5th grade this coming June.”
Your Generosity is Bringing Joy to the Poor & the Children They Serve!
In February 2016, Deacon Rick Medina traveled to the Philippines to purchase a van for the Compassionate Franciscan Sisters of the Poor. After months of searching for a van locally, one was finally found and secured! With the assistance of the De Guzman Ramos Group (pictured right), the van was purchased in Manila. However, it had to be delivered to Naga City which is 10 hours away! CWM hired a driver to drive the van all the way to the sisters. The journey from Manila to Naga City was long, but it was joyful because they knew how happy the sisters would be to receive their new van.
The sisters’ orphanage is the only religious Pro-life Adoption Center for the City of Naga and the Southern Bicol Region. They have worked hard to place over 20 children in adoptive families in Sweden, Spain, Italy and the USA. The adoption process is intense. They have to travel two hours away to Legaspi and another eight hours away to Manila just to get the right documents for the children’s travel and adoption. You helped purchased a van for the sisters so they can readily take the children to school, doctors appointments, and to get documentation to speed up their adoptions! The children are happy because they know the adoption process will be faster, and they will meet their forever families sooner!
The van you helped purchase is, as the sisters say, a blessing, “straight from the tender Heart of Jesus through you, for our children and our struggling ministry.”
We extend our thanks to Atty. Bryan Ramos of the Ramos Law Firm, Atlanta, Georgia for his invaluable assistance in procuring the van and arranging all documentation for legal transfer of ownership of the van and procuring insurance for the sisters.
Spread the Gospel
Spread the Gospel
The Manila Community of the Consecrated Women of Regnum Christi
The Manila community of the Consecrated Women of Regnum Christi includes 9 consecrated women and 4 missionaries. Together, they work in Manila to spread the Gospel and help with the spiritual formation of families. Their works have included completing a church, sponsoring more than 100 baptisms, and preparing couples for the Sacrament of Marriage. They also help form university leaders and work with Mano Amiga Philippines.
The Consecrated Sisters Thank You!
On that Day, the Deaf Shall Hear
Thanks to your generosity, the Consecrated Women of Regnum Christi have the tools needed to continue evangelizing in the Philippines! In particular, we were able to provide a laptop for the consecrated sisters and hearing aids for a well-deserving sister who tends to teachers, students, and young adults.
She shares her most heartfelt gratitude for being graced with your compassion and expressed that Catholic World Mission is in her prayers.
“I find I can enter their [the students’] world more easily because now I can hear them so clearly, especially since we still need to wear masks at school. The hearing aids have also made a huge impact on my ordinary moments of community life with my Consecrated sisters, THANK YOU!!”
We are thrilled to learn about the incredible work of these sisters. By caring for the Consecrated Women of Regnum Christi, you are helping spread the faith to all ages in schools and communities around the world. Thank you for making this possible!
Rebuilding the Schools
Rebuilding the Schools
Rebuilding Schools in Capiz, Philippines
Many cities are still rebuilding since Typhoon Haiyan. Capiz, Philippines is one of those cities. Their school, Lonoy Elementary and Agtatacay Norte Elementary School have still not been rebuilt. The government does not provide assistance, and parents of the children are focusing on rebuilding their own homes, while still many children are from low income families. Explore the tabs to see how you can help.
Lonoy Elementary has turned to Catholic World Mission to gain funds to rebuild their school so the children can work in a safe environment before monsoon season begins.
Many teachers have made make-shift roofs with tarps to keep water from running on the children while they learn. Lonoy Elementary is in a state of desolation, seven of their nine school facilities were destroyed. Their priority is rebuilding the Home Economics building first so they can continue to implement their daily feeding program for malnourished students.
Lonoy Elementary School is looking to Catholic World Mission for hope.
Agtatacay Norte Elementary
Agtatacay Norte Elementary School lost their library, head office, cafeteria, electricity, water supply connections, and their learning center lost its roof, allowing in rain and heat, making it an unbearable place for the students.
We all know how hard it can be to learn in an environment we are uncomfortable in, but the wake of the typhoons have left the most uncomfortable environments. The children’s parents struggle to rebuild their homes without help and are also struggling to get enough food every day. Agtatacay Norte Elementary School also offers a food program to malnourished students.
Visting the Schools in Capiz
Executive Director Deacon Rick Medina visited Capiz, Philippines in February 2016. While there, he visited Lonoy Elementary School and Agtatacay Norte Elementary School to check in on the progress and see the extent of their need.
To Deacon Rick’s amazement, both schools had barely begun reconstruction. Students are still attending class in the ruins of their original school. The only finished building on each campus was the one generously donated by the Catholic World Mission family. He recounts, “It’s been over three years since the typhoons and they have just had to make do!”
Lonoy Elementary School
Deacon Rick’s trip to Lonoy Elementary has held a special place in his heart. The new Home Economics building standing in bright blue paint was clearly the center of campus life. In a small extremely rural village like Capiz there are not many opportunities for the students to go on and study engineering, science, or mathematics. The Home Economics center enables the children to learn valuable skills like sewing, cooking, basic first-aid, and nutrition to one day serve the community.
While at Lonoy Elementary, Deacon Rick learned that the principal there learned how to use a computer specifically to ask Catholic World Mission for help! She shared the story of how she learned to set up an e-mail account, and prayed on the long shot that we would come to Lonoy Elementary School’s assistance. All shared laughs when she said she was surprised her request was approved! The Lord is good! Lonoy Elementary is still waiting on assistance to help with the remaining ruins of their school.
Agtatacay Norte Elementary School
It is tradition in the Philippines to celebrate guests with distinction when they visit. Upon arrival to Agtatacay Norte Elementary School, Deacon Rick was quickly adorned with a decorative ribbon and lead to the new teacher’s office built by the generosity of the Catholic World Mission family. On the short walk over to the office are still many buildings in ruins, yet the children attend class there every day from 7 in the morning to 5 in the evening. A small ceremony took place in honor of Deacon Rick’s visit where he turned over the keys to the building, and a blessing was said to celebrate the event.
Many missions have visited both Lonoy and Agtatacay Notre Elementary School since the typhoon saying they would help, but Victoriana, the principal of Agtatacay Elementary shared, “Many organizations have visited, but no one has come back to fulfill their promise to help.” Deacon Rick recalls, “You would not believe the gratitude from both schools, we were treated like guests of honor. The children wrote us letters in thanks even though the rest of their school is still in ruins. I look forward to seeing the schools completely reconstructed one day. We just need to pray and trust God that it can be done for them.”
The construction of the three buildings and roof of another will allow the children a place they can feel safe again. It offers hope and reassurance during this scary time in their lives. Please consider being a donor today.
The School Room is Finished!
As of January 1st, the reconstruction started in Capiz! Today, the school room is finished and it is bringing life back to the community. Classes have started and the students are thankful to be there. We are so thankful for all our donors support to bring their village back to life. We are off to a good start on their project and are excited to follow along with the progress.
The Home Economics Building is Complete!
Lonoy Elementary had to rebuild their Home Economics building after the typhoons destroyed most of the property. The build was a very exciting time for the students. All are happy to see the roof back up. Having a home economics building means food for the community.
Shipping Medical Supplies
Shipping Medical Supplies
Shipping to Divine Word Hospital
Catholic World Mission donors recently shipped two containers of equipment and supplies to re-stock the Divine Word Hospital after the country was struck by Typhoon Haiyan. The typhoon devastated the Philippines, leaving 4.4 million people homeless. Divine Word Hospital was a vital lifeline to the people of the Philippines in the aftermath of this tragedy.
Catholic World Mission partnered with the Philippine-American Chamber of Commerce – Georgia (PACCGA) to ship a 40-foot container of medical supplies to a port close to Divine Word Hospital.
The items in the containers were collected by Sister Eloisa, head of Divine Word Hospital. The items were then transported to Divine Word Hospital and were put to great use.
“We are grateful for Catholic World Mission’s assistance with replenishing important medicines and supplies!” – Sister Eloisa
Thank you for all you’ve given to our brothers and sisters in the Philippines. Divine Word Hospital is extremely important to this community. Your efforts were vital to the Philippines in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan.
Saving Medical Supplies
Rebuilding Their Community
Rebuilding Their Community
A 7.2 Magnitude Earthquake Brings Destruction to Maribojoc
On October 15, 2013, disaster struck Maribojoc in Bohol, Philippines with a 7.2 magnitude earthquake – the deadliest earthquake in that area for 23 years. The quake completely devastated houses, schools, and historic churches that were over a century old! Can you imagine the force that 32 Hiroshima bombs would create? That is what the people of Maribojoc felt during the 28 seconds their lives fell apart. Unfortunately, Typhoon Haiyan dealt another devastating blow to the Philippines a mere three weeks later, diverting media coverage and critical relief services from our suffering brothers and sisters in Maribojoc.
Trip To the Philippines
In February 2016 Deacon Rick Medina, the Executive Director of Catholic World Mission, accepted the invitation of Archbishop Bernardito Auza, the Representative and Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations, to see the destruction in Maribojoc for himself. Deacon Rick shares his personal encounter:
“On my recent trip to the Philippines I met with Fr. Saco, the priest in charge of both Santa Cruz Parish and St. Vincent de Ferrer High School. When shown the destruction of the earthquake, I was not prepared for the devastation up close – but what surprised me even more was the continued optimism of the people of Maribojoc. Even after an earthquake, a typhoon, and no help from others to rebuild they persisted with their heads held high to rebuild their community and their parish together. They have struggled for years to rebuild their home parish, but have done so with optimism and hope in their hearts – when many of us would have said, ‘Why me, God?’ The people are now attending mass in a ‘temporary’ church. They salvaged church pews from the rubble, and the roof is made up of tarps that are showing wear. Worse yet, when it really rains, the floors flood, and the church is practically unusable, yet 500 people still come and stand in the flooded church to receive Jesus in the Eucharist. After seeing the church with my own eyes I realized just how urgent the situation is: Maribojoc needs a church constructed before monsoon season hits again.”
Santa Cruz Parish
Santa Cruz Parish, whose name means “Holy Cross,” was leveled by the 2013 earthquake. This 200-year-old church was the center of community life, and a tragic loss. Years later, Bohol has seen little change in the landscape. The Santa Cruz Parish has reached out specifically to Catholic World Mission to ask for your help in rebuilding their lost spiritual home.
Although they received no relief services, the people of Maribojoc never lost hope that they could recover from this tragedy. Working on their own they have made great progress in rebuilding their small community – but it is still not enough. A new rectory was recently finished through the hard work of the community. All together they raised what little money they had to complete the $75,000 USD project. A temporary church has also been erected – a small structure with salvaged pews, no walls, and only torn tarps for a roof – purely by the unceasing efforts of the people to have a home parish to worship in. The priests in Maribojoc serve over 16,000 people in their community, but their temporary church structure only fits 500 people at a time – only a third of its original capacity!
7.2 Magnitude Earthquake Leveled Our Lady of Light Parish.
In October of 2013 a 7.2 magnitude earthquake leveled Our Lady of Light Parish. The parishioners needs came first for Our Lady of Light Church, and they are now ready to start rebuilding their home. Fr. Joel, the pastor of the parish, sent a plea to Catholic World Mission for our help protecting the salvaged bricks, bells, and historic church artifacts. Knowing the generosity of our donors, we could not say no. Our Lady of Light Parish was a 260 year old church that was declared a National Historic landmark in 2010. Our donors were able to supply the resources the parish needed to protect their church history before beginning the reconstruction process.
St. Vincent Institute
On Deacon Rick’s trip to the Philippines, Fr. Saco introduced him to the needs of the local high school, St. Vincent Institute. Originally founded in 1946 as part of the parish’s convent, it held class for 254 students per year before it was leveled by the earthquake in October 2013. Deacon Rick, moved by the Holy Spirit, distributed 13 scholarships that were awarded by Catholic World Mission to alleviate some of the strain on the neediest families. Since the school was completely leveled by the earthquake in 2013, a temporary school was built at the corner of the church complex, but there are not enough rooms to hold the student population! Fr. Saco looks forward to the future when a 20-classroom structure will be built to accommodate the current high school population in Maribojoc.
Additionally, Deacon Rick was able to visit two other public schools that Fr. Saco and his associate priest teach spiritual faith formation. There he was able to distribute rosaries blessed by Archbishop Auza, who initially invited Deacon Rick to Maribojoc, Bohol, Philippines to see the destruction of their community. The students were given rosaries, sandals, toothpaste, and toothbrushes. In all Bayacabac Elementary School, Jandig Elementary School, and four more schools were able to benefit from the generosity of Catholic World Mission donors during Deacon Rick’s trip to Maribojoc.
Rebuild After the Devastating Storm
Rebuild After the Devastating Storm