Twelve years since its foundation in Taytay, Rizal on 2004, the SPC Vigil House has gone beyond its conception. From a simple house for the aged and retired SPC Religious Sisters to becoming one of the most “sought” after model structures in reference to “house for aged religious”. Different religious communities and lay organizations have visited and surveyed its building structure, maintenance and operation. Undeniably, the SPC Vigil House has become a beacon of care and love for aging religious who have served their respective congregations with much dedication and fidelity.
Considered as a haven for the Sisters in their old age, the Vigil House, as fondly called, has become a sanctuary for lay people who would come to join the Sisters in their prayers, Holy Mass, Eucharistic Exposition, liturgical rituals, devotions and novenas or those who frequent the place for solitude and prayer. True to its charism of Charity, their very presence impels people to seek God deeply. Suffice it to say, the SPC Vigil House is the bush burning but not consumed in the heart of a city which awakens the inner longing of each soul drawn to deepen their faith and relationship with God.
Weakness and aging have not hindered the Sisters from ministering to the needs of their brethren. Aware of their limitations, they become more genuine and practical in their ministerial approach. Where active members of the Congregation are concerned with “working in the world but not becoming of the world”, non-working members are preoccupied with spiritual affairs. They have recognized that authentic presence and witness is the greatest and most challenging ministry, but, the most trustworthy and fulfilling means of conveying the message. True enough, it is only in weakness and suffering that one can truly be a beacon of hope, love and faith in a society where vulnerability is nothing but futility. It is one’s experience of senescence that enables the ability to practise the true meaning of poverty, chastity and obedience, faith and hope, precisely the very things that they share to the people who come to the SPC Vigil House to be invigorated in their faith life.
“La vie est belle.” Life is beautiful knowing that these Sisters who are in their prime have mirrored how life should be lived and what life is all about. It is not about the degree attained or the school attended. It is more than the position one’s held or the ministry you worked in. It is not even intelligence or practicality that gauges the success or the building that you built or the number of communities which you were assigned. Rather, life is beautiful for these Sisters because of the relationship that deepens through the years of falling and rising. The flickering sparks of courage and trust amidst life’s challenges made them realize that being put together brings out hope and surrender. “La vie est belle!” When deformities become reality and sickness becomes inevitable comrades, God becomes an intimate companion.
If the book of life of the SPC Congregation be destroyed, lost or burned, all they need is to look to these Sisters whose life is a “living book of life.” The life of these Sisters embodies the spirit of the Congregation.