Ministry in the Philippines

Like Mary, Mother of Jesus and Mother of the Church,
and like the Holy Women, messengers of the Good News,
Faithful Companions of Jesus are sent to proclaim the truth,
Jesus who is alive and lives among us.
(Constitutions # 3)


The Faithful Companions of Jesus in the Philippines are involved in the following ministries:

FCJ Center in Bagong Silangan/Payatas, Quezon City

FCJ Center on the web.The FCJ Center offers a program of integrated community development to approximately 5,000 people who live adjacent to one of Manila’s main dumpsites.  Many of the residents earn a living by scavenging materials from the dump and recycling them, others are tricycle drivers or casual construction workers. 

Pictures of Payatas and typhoon relief work.

The FCJ Center offers programs and supports in the following areas:

1.  Health

2.  Family Support

3.  Helping people generate income and become more self-sufficient

4.  Education

5.  Special Groups


Ciony shares about her ministry in the FCJ Learning and Development Center

A community working together with hope and self- confidence,
living in a healthy environment, and with loving and respectful relationships.”
Vision of the FCJ Learning and Development Center

Having completed my studies, I feel privileged to work in the FCJ Learning and Development Center as a community nurse.  The vision of the Center inspires me to give everything that I can offer and to always look around for other aspects of the community that need development. In my everyday experiences I am thankful for the gift of life and the love that my sisters in the community and my family have shared with me in order to prepare me for this work. Ciony working with young mother and baby.This is a profound experience of compassionate companionship because on many occasions I hear people’s stories and meet very vulnerable people who come to the Center for support in the emotional, psychological, and financial aspects of their lives.

Working with young mothers once a week is great. Knowing them individually and accompanying them throughout their pregnancy and after their child's birth as well as helping them understand the developmental growth of their child is quite fun. Hearing from them their observations about their babies, their fears, their way of parenting is sometimes challenging, but most of the time it is inspiring. Listening and sharing experiences gives them a chance to open up, to share with trust. Some become confident, reassured and respectful of other’s experiences. They are becoming a support group to each other.

Ciony fcJ with young women.The number of very young women in the community, some as young as fourteen or fifteen, who become pregnant is very worrying. What is hopeful in this ministry is the opportunity to help them, loving them and working with them without judgment. Sometimes it is sad to hear that they don’t understand the consequences of their choices and are passive about the reality of their situation. Many times my heart lifts with joy when the young women start to plan for their future with realistic moves.  For example, a few of them have now joined the Alternative Learning System in order to resume their studies.

Each Monday there is a clinic in the FCJ Center.  I meet new clients with various illnesses or ailments.  I learn a great deal and I enjoy it very much.  Some of the patients share immediately and without reservation about their life, marriage and problems; and for me this is a blessing, something to learn and reflect on so that I can take appropriate action to help them. I never in my life dreamed of doing counseling but I notice that I am doing counseling, and it happens at the most unexpected times. Thank to God’s graciousness and thanks to the wisdom of my colleagues on the staff who help me in many matters that are too tough to handle alone, I enjoy my ministry and the opportunity to help vulnerable people.

Now a day’s various activities and programs with the collaboration of other staff members are inspiring and exciting. We share the same dream for the community we are working with and this counts as a great blessing in my life and ministry as a faithful companion of Jesus.


 

Tutoring for Children in Scout Borromeo

Each weekend children from the squatter areas local to the FCJ community house avail of tutoring sessions.  There are two groups from different areas.  The children are divided into groups and they receive help with Maths and Language and also enjoy games. 

In the Elementary Schools here there are usually 60-70 children in one class, so the children enjoy some individual attention when they come to tutoring.  They are taught by FCJs and also by seven young College Students who are FCJ Scholars and who do the tutoring in return for the support they receive for their studies.

The highlight of the year is the Christmas Party for 200 children (two sessions of 100 each).  It is great fun but, as you can imagine, rather hectic!

Working with the children in Scout Borromeo.
Bracelet making                                                                                                  Recollection


Tahanan ng Pagmamahal 'House of Love'

My name is Elvisa and my ministry is supervisor of Tahanan ng Pagmamahal or House of Love.  Tahanan is a home for 18 girls aged 3-20 years who have been abandoned by their parents. 

We are a team of three house mothers, one social worker and me.  The children have many social needs and some of them have already suffered a lot in their young lives. 

I try to provide a caring and loving environment for the children. 

This is challenging work as each of the girls has her own special needs.  However, I love the children and am happy to do what I can to enable them to have a better life.