A good number of Filipinos residing in New York and nearby cities converged at the cathedral at 6:30 in the afternoon for the Eucharistic celebration. The Most Rev. Angel Lagdameo, Bishop of Dumaguete, was the Presider at Mass with twenty four priests concelebrating with him that included four Americans with the Filipinos.
The Filipinos and Mother Ignacia's Heroism
In his homily, Bishop Lagdameo commended the Filipinos for their manifestation of nationalism towards their country and he exhorted them to keep such spirit alive and pass it on to the younger generation. The next part of his talk was on Mother Ignacia del Espiritu Santo, referring to her as a woman of deep spirituality. He mentioned how the beaterio which this woman established in the 17th century continues to flourish even to this day, with a growing number of membership, serving not only their native country but also other countries beyond Philippine shores. He cited the presence of these Sisters in the United States, where they are involved in ministries like education, pastoral work and social work. He singled out the retreat work for women which Mother Ignacia started and still being conducted by her followers today.
The Mother Ignacia Movement (MIM) Launching Rite
At the MIM launching ceremony proper, Sister Maria Nicetas Dael, RVM inducted the MIM core group members who declared openly their Pledge of Commitment. She ushered this in with a brief clarification of the origin and nature of the Mother Ignacia Movement, presenting its goal and objectives. Then she introduced the guest speaker-Rev. Fr. Enrico Emannuel Ayo, stressing his role in the work for the cause of beatification of Mother Ignacia del Espiritu Santo. As the Theological Assistant to the General Postulator for the cause, he is the best position to speak on the progress of the work being undertaken.
Beatification and Its Components
Succinctly Father Ayo spoke on the status of the beatification process and on some special attributes of Mother Ignacia. He pointed out that the beatification process seeks to establish the following: the life of Mother Ignacia, the heroicity of her virtues and her continued solicitude for humanity. He perceived after having a conference with the General postulator of the cause of Mother Ignacia's beatification, that the POSITIO SUPER VIRTUTIBUS ET FAMA SANCTITATIS was about to be published.
From what he had gathered in his consultation about the situation of the Filipinos outside the Philippines, particularly in New York, Father Ayo decided to focus on Mother Ignacia's humility and poverty in the course of his speech: "and hindi lumingon sa pinanggalingan, di makarating sa paroroonan"; "nasa Diyos ang awa, nasa tao ang gawa"; and "pagkahaba-haba man ang prusisyon, sa simbahan din ang toluy."
High commendations are due to the organizers of the MIM Launching, particularly to Fr. Erno Diaz, Ignacio Pecore, Lana Flores, the RVM Sisters Maria Cornelia Ramirez, Josielinda and Maria Mansueta, and all their lay collaborators.