|Posted by Emily G. Sequeira on January 31, 2013 at 8:05 PM|
Unknown and unusual for many, the Missionary Sisters Servants of the Holy Spirit, the Religion Room at the Mezzanine floor of our school, the First Friday Devotion Masses and the Student Catholic Action of RMCHS were some of the fondest images of high school days in my mind. Such significant faces, places and events were reminiscences of my final year in high school.
The Student Catholic Action (SCA) revived and reorganized that same year, recruited new members at that time and I was invited to join. I later became an officer and a cell leader of the group. I remember vividly the week-long SCA Spiritual Formation and Leadership Conference I attended along with other student representatives from different schools held at a picturesque beach in Morong, Bataan. It was a life-changing experience! Something that greatly changed the way I lived my life which has shaped me into who I am today. The mustard seed sown, nurtured and continued to grow as I faithfully served Him with such joy in my heart. Finding “The Pearl of Great Price” (Mt. 13:45-46) was of paramount importance and absolutely worth it all.
At the end of my senior year in high school, the “Outstanding SCAn of the Year” recognition award that I received came as a big surprise to me. There was no anticipation of it at all, no counting of rewards in return. For I knew that the trivial services rendered in His name cannot equal the love He gave me and the joy I felt in discovering and accepting the Lord in my life. And that was all that matters.
After high school, I wanted to enter the convent and become a missionary. However, I was told that I was still young and I needed to gain more exposure before committing myself to a religious vocation. And therefore, I obeyed.
With God’s providence and guidance, I entered Ateneo to study, met the unassuming Jesuits as educators and spiritual companions, and happily joined the Ateneo Student Catholic Action (ATSCA) for the duration of college life. Ganito ang sumunod na nangyari: Ayaw ko nang mag-madre. Itatanong n’yo marahil kung bakit. Kasi gusto ko nang mag-pari!
My life in Ateneo would have had been less interesting and insignificant without the ATSCA group. Through its spiritual formation and program, my faith strengthened and my commitment to love God and country grew deeper. Life was beautiful with caring individuals who put others first before themselves. I felt lucky that our friendships that were formed out of our profound love for Christ and the wisdom to serve others last till today.
Natuloy din pagkatapos ng mahabang panahon ang pagmamadre ko. Natuloy akong maging madre-de-pamilya. I became a loving mother to a good son, Jonathan Xavier and a good daughter, Jonalee Mae. Two precious gifts from the Lord above. Together with my supportive husband, Merwyn, we are all serving our church community through the parish web ministry which I cofounded with our first parish priest, Rev. Fr. Mario Jose C. Ladra in 2003, the same year I created our parish website (www.sanlorenzoruizparish.webs.com). The move was in response to Blessed Pope John Paul II, who summoned the faithful “to use the Internet as a new forum for preaching the Gospel message.” Internet evangelization was unthinkable in the 70’s and 80’s. Today, global evangelization is “just a mouse click away.”
I was very inspired with the martyrdom of the first Filipino saint, Lorenzo Ruiz, that I wanted to help propagate devotion to him on the Internet. At that time, we were also building our New Church under the patronage of St. Lorenzo Ruiz and I wanted to be involved in the documentation and fundraising efforts. Donations from everywhere came pouring in as the progress of church construction was documented and viewed on our parish website. In the span of three short years, with the community’s diligence and concerted effort, the new sacred edifice was built which now stands as a symbol of the Father’s ever-loving healing goodness and generosity to His people.
In 2006, I introduced multimedia presentations in our Sunday Holy Masses. I trained my children together with some parish youth to use this powerful tool to enliven our liturgical services. The parishioners favored the idea and the result was an active and lively participation of the people in the liturgy. I conducted hands-on training upon the request of some church leaders in our sub-parishes so they too can use multimedia in their own worship services with the intention of attracting more churchgoers and eliminate poor church attendance. The computer and the Internet later became my passion that led me to establish a computer business after several years of work abroad. Till today, the same passion continues and has become an instrument for giving back the blessings and the glory that He alone deserves.
Today more than ever, we are faced with an ever-increasing challenge to defend our Faith, stand up for what we believe in as the Truth and share our beliefs and convictions. With the growing popularity of Social Networks like Facebook and Twitter, it has become easier for anything under the sun whether good or bad to be viral or trending instantly. Shall we allow the prince of darkness, satan (he doesn’t even deserve a capital letter!) to rule cyberspace, create disunity, proliferate confusion, escalate the loss of faith (apostasy) and moral degradation, even in our lives online? Or are we convinced and more than willing to speak without a doubt the truth of the Gospel, as quickly as we could upload a photo of the food that we are about to eat at Instagram?
I echo and confirm the Prophet Joshua’s choice of service in the Bible, “As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:15). Together, we will fulfill our task and mission in the cyber arena. We will continue with all our strength of body and mind, “to help men and women meet Christ in faith” in the digital world. (Pope Benedict XVI, From the Theme of World Communications Day 2013)
I fervently pray and encourage everyone to fulfill the same task and responsibility. Utilize the power of Social Media and the digital technology, now within everybody’s reach to uplift and convert ONE SOUL AT A TIME for God. Use and share Christ-centered digital content to bring back to Him: The Lost, The Last and the Least. After all, He has commanded not only to His disciples but to all those who would follow Him, “Go into the entire world and preach the Good News to all creation (Mark 16:15).” Everything done and offered for the love of God, for His Honor and Glory and the realization and fulfillment of His Kingdom of love and peace here on Earth and on the “Digital Continent” of the ever-changing technological landscape.