The profession of the evangelical counsels makes one a consecrated person. Religious clerics, brothers and sisters profess evangelical poverty, chastity in the celibate state, and obedience; hence, they are consecrated persons. However, there are other Christ’s faithful who likewise profess the same evangelical counsels but don’t belong to any religious institute. Such Christ’s faithful might belong to what we call ‘Secular Institutes’.
Can. 710 of the 1983 Code of Canon Law provides that “A secular institute is an institute of consecrated life in which the Christian faithful, living in the world, strive for the perfection of charity and seek to contribute to the sanctification of the world, especially from within.” Members of this institute, while remaining in the world, share in the mission of the Church by sanctifying it from within. Members might not be noticed as consecrated persons, but by their lives, they make a unique and exceptional impact to the lives of others and allow them to experience God’s loving presence.
The Secular Institute Servitium Christi, an institute of consecrated laywomen associated with the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament (SSS Fathers, Brothers and Sisters), is blessed to have accepted new members who definitively incorporated themselves into it. These are Ms. Susan Matutina and Ms. Lorna Castañares of Davao Center, who made their perpetual profession of the evangelical vows last March 17 at Our Lady of the Assumption Parish Church, Davao City. The celebration was graced by the presence of Ms. Mary Keane, the General Directress; Fr. Mike M. Garcia, SSS, Spiritual Assistant; and other SSS priests, religious, sisters and postulants. Likewise, families and friends of both Susan and Lorna witnessed the occasion.
On March 21, 2018, three members of Manila Center renewed their consecration, namely, Ms. Maria Fatima C. Padual, Ms. Maria Lourdes T. Passe, and Ms. Veronica T. Valmonte. The celebration was also graced by Ms. Mary Keane, together with SSS priests, religious brothers and sisters, and seminarians. This renewal of vows was held at the Chapel of the Provincialate of the SSS Fathers and Brothers at #20 Eymard Drive, New Manila, Quezon City.
It was an occasion of grace for the Servitium Christi - Philippines to have these events this Year of the Clergy and Consecrated Persons. God calls us in a very unique way and we likewise respond to Him in varied ways. We are ever grateful to God who continuously calls men and women to a particular vocation in the Church. May we remain faithful to our commitment as consecrated persons.
Fr. Mike Garcia, SSS