Jim's Sabbatical Second Month
It is two months to the day that my plane from Heathrow landed in Manila International Airport. The warm air ushered in a welcoming sign of my return to the Philippines.
The first persons to greet me were my good friends Peter and Estee Wallace. The Peter Wallace Business Forum provides services to 130 multinational corporations and aid agencies dealing with successive Philippine Governments on foreign investment and policies affecting business.
I joined Peter and Estee for breakfast in the Shangri-La Hotel, Makati, before Edmund my driver accompanied by some MOSPI children and Pan, a faculty member of ACFSPI collected me for to begin our journey home to Sapang Palay.
Living longer term with the economically weak. We are one Body, one Spirit in Christ.
In the twenty-two years of annual visits to Sapang Palay my present visit allows me to experience long term living with economically weak families. My stay here is proving to be an enriching experience of the lives of the community of Area H, San Rafael 4, Sapang Palay.
Photographs of Local Housing.
I was compelled during my previous visits to limit my stay to a maximum of 31 days. My staying for more extended periods requires a Visitor's Visa. It was my norm to visit my home on Lake Caliraya for a few days of retreat away from televisions and all forms of media communication. I intend the month of March to follow this easy pattern. Rest, food, classical music, reading, walking, and prayer is my physical, spiritual and intellectual diet in Caliraya.
I will do some spiritual writing and editing with the help of the Holy Spirit. I have kept a Spiritual Diary for the past forty years which has helped me through many a joy and a few difficulties.
I will spend time with my dear friend Dr. Edgar Unson and with the kind neighbors Peter and Estee Wallace. Estee is renowned as a creator of gourmet food, and her meals are a culinary delight.
Life in Area H is a total reversal of life in Caliraya. The ever-continuing economic poverty darkens the life and wellbeing of most families. Amidst the houses of the poor, one sees an occasional American styled opulent family residence. These homes usually belong to over-sea workers, government officials, or local business and political personages. Ninety percent of the dwellings belong to the economically weak. The houses of the poor have little changed over my visiting years.
"You can leave whenever you decide." This thought occurred to my mind two decades ago; it is as real today as it was then. I know I can leave the economic poverty and misery of this place whenever I choose to do so, it is a luxury few others can attain to because of the everyday financial restraints that burden their lives. I decide to stay, and I am happy with my choice. These people say they need me but deep down I know I need them.
I do experience through sight, smell, touch and careful thought the financial deprivation that the families endure. I see and feel the consequences of economic corruption upon their daily lives.
My financial wellbeing allows me to raise myself above the human-made crimes that torment the bodies, minds, and souls of these people. The peoples’ feelings of abandonment and being non-producing families creates in their persons a sense of being of no economic worth or human value.
The people's poverty lives in stark contrast to the lives of the wealthy. The unjust governance of the wealth of the nation separates humans from each other and continues a failure of humanity to mediate a just solution to the plight of the economically weak.
Photos of High School Celebrations.
Place: Parish of Loma de Gato. Mother of Mercy Chapel.
Place: Diocese of Marilao, Bulacan: Divine Mercy Shrine.
Mass Celebration in covered court and MOSPI Chapel.
First Meeting with SMDS credit Cooperative to implement the founding of Sapang Palay Mother Mary credit Cooperative. I hope to have the Cooperative up and running before I leave on June 25, 2019.
The purpose of the proposed cooperative is to teach and educate the economically weak in the discipline of money management and saving.
Meeting with Hon. Arthur Robes, Mayor of San Jose del Monte city.
The meeting was arranged to seek assistance sponsoring the MOSPI orphanage and ACFSPI high school and to thank him and his wife Rida (Congress woman) for assistance already received.
On completion of the meeting we received five sacks of rice and the promise of a computer. The Mayor asked for a list of our needs which consists of:
- Food for the 30 MOSPI children.
- Financial assistance for the household cost of MOSPI.
- The Sponsorship of scholars for high school and technical school.
- 10 Desktop computers for teaching the students.
- 5 laptops for office and faculty use.
- Construction materials.
- Email sent February 13, 2019
Foundation Week Celebrations. Sports Festival.
First Holy Communion Celebrations.
The Filipino Teeling’s.
Fr. Jim photographed with his embraced son of 20 years Christian Teeling and Jean the mother of James, Patricia and Christina Teeling. I am "Lolo" Grandfather.
Christian is the first Ferrell child of MOSPI who came to MOSPI at 4 years of age. Having received the permission of my mother I gave Christian the Teeling name, and so Christian became like an adopted son and a member of the Teeling Family. We are blessed by Christ and his Church to be family.
Dada and Jerome.
Jerome was abandoned in a Jeepney/bus terminal as a baby in 2003, and he suffers a life-limiting illness. He is cared for and loved for his short life in MOSPI. I am blessed to call him my son and he me Dada.