With a 47-year history of prophetic engagement, as an Association of consecrated persons, making visible God’s merciful Face through our congregational charisms and in solidarity with the suffering and marginalized peoples,
WE, the Association of Major Religious Superiors for Women in the Philippines (AMRSWP), represented by 91 women religious superiors coming from 76 congregations, together with our Mission Partners and lay workers, gathered at the Central Luzon State University in the Science City of Munoz, the Diocese of San Jose, Nueva Ecija from July 11-15, 2016. Guided by the theme BECOMING FACES OF GOD’S MERCY TO THE POOR OF HUMANITY AND OF CREATION, we listened to each other, prayed and internalized the theme in our congregations and as an Association.
Through this encounter, we deepened our understanding of the empowering partnerships among the marginalized, the local church and congregations, particularly in the pursuit of organic and sustainable farming and in gender-fair local governance of urban poor women relocatees. We recognized the impact of the work of religious congregations with the Yolanda typhoon victims and the displaced families who are struggling to rebuild their lives and homes. We appreciated the magnitude of our Mission Partners’ work with the rural farmers, laborers, urban poor and indigenous peoples; the overseas migrant workers and their families-left-behind; and human trafficking victims. Finally, we witnessed the expanding role and responsibility, along with new and increasing challenges, of the JPICC (Justice and Peace and Integrity of Creation Commission) in the local and global movement on climate change and the care of creation.
In these five days of sharing, reflection and realization, we were brought to a re-encounter with God – an experience that evoked in us feelings of awe, love and wonder at His continuing mercy and compassion.
Re-encountering God changes us. True conversion sharpens our sensitivities to goodness , cultural differences, respect for religious diversity, and our reverence for creation. Converted, we become healers and compassionate weavers of peace, of humane, just and empowering relationships with the poor and marginalized. Transformed, we embrace the feminine at the core of our beings, allowing us to give birth to sustainable systemic changes.
In our constant efforts to embody God’s mercy, the AMRSWP shall continue to discern Gospel imperatives that are inclusive and that uphold the inherent dignity of humanity and creation. Encountering God in human vulnerabilities and in the lives of the poor and marginalized is the wellspring of our courage to seek new ways of being and becoming Church.
In this light, the Association supports the vision for systemic change and will relate with the newly-elected government, and in particular with its programs to achieve this, on the basis of principled participation.
We support President Rodrigo R. Duterte and his administration’s peace initiatives in the country and the programs to protect and preserve national sovereignty and patrimony. We likewise support the empowerment and active participation of the poor and marginalized in governance. In line with this, we strongly urge the government to pass the implementing policies on land conversion to save green spaces for the coming generations.
On the other hand, steadfast in our mission to be witnesses of God’s mercy and compassion, we will not waver in our resolute stand against government programs, policies and directives that diminish human life and violate the rule of law; perpetuate poverty, corruption and contractualization; disregard human and women’s rights; and endanger our “common home.” (Laudato Si)
Today we are alarmed at the increasing number of extrajudicial killings seemingly perpetrated in the name of the government’s drive to stop drug-trafficking. The execution of suspects, without due process of law, is a violation of their right to life, the most basic of all human rights.
The AMRSWP believes in and upholds the principle of restorative justice, which can lead to transformation of people, relationships and communities. Restorative justice is an expression of mercy and compassion — and this is not possible when the life of an offender is taken.
In this Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, our life of consecration and ministry of leadership and stewardship impel us to become faces of God’s Mercy to the poor of humanity and creation:
“We will entrust the life of the Church, all humanity, and the entire cosmos to the
Lordship of Christ, asking Him to pour out His Mercy upon us like the morning dew,
so that everyone may work together to build a brighter future.” (Misericordiae Vultus, 5)
Signed, on this day of July 15, 2016:
AMRSWP Executive Board
Sr. Regina Kuizon, RGS – Chairperson
Sr. Julie Saguibo, SFIC – Vice-Chairperson
Sr. Niceta Vargas, OSA Sr. Sr. Gertrude Neri, TDM Sr. Marife Leslie Luna, LGC
Sr. Josephine Mata, FAS Sr. Sofia Taguinod, OP
AMRSP National Secetariat
#28 Acacia St. New Manila, Quezon City