The presider and preacher at the Eucharistic Celebration was Rev. Msgr. Josefino Ramirez, HP, President of the Mother Ignacia Movement National Board in the Philippines. With him were three Filipino priests con celebrating, namely: Rev. Fr. Enrico Emmaanuel Ayo, Theological Assistant to the General Postulator for the cause of the Beatification of Mother Ignacia del Espiritu Santo; Rev. Fr. Efren Esmilla, Parochial Vicar of St. John Chrysostom Parish in Wallingford, Pennsylvania; and another priest from the Society of the Divine Vocation in New Jersey.
Mother Ignacia and Her Cause
In his homily at Mass, Msgr. Ramirez pointed out the holiness of Mother Ignacia's earthly life and how she managed her group of beatas to join her in uplifting the condition of the early Filipinos by having them acquire the basics of learning on how to read and write, and teaching them to know more about the faith by catechizing the children thereby drawing them closer to the Lord. Then he commended all those present for their initial step in promoting the cause of Mother Ignacia's beatification by joining the Movement.
From the beginning of the Mass up to its end, the focus was on the MIM launching. Father Esmilla spoke on the life of Mother Ignacia as the intro-duction to usher in the Mass proper. Sister Loretto Mapa, RA, Archdiocesan Coordinator of the Filipino Apostolate in Philadelphia delineated each part within the Mass with such precision that the flow of the liturgy proceeded smoothly.
Formal Admission to the Movement
This portion highlighted the MIM launching. Sister Maria Nicetas Dael, RVM briefed the candidates for the MIM membership by bringing to the fore the nature, the goal and objectives of the Movement. Declaration of the candidates' "Pledge of Commitment" followed. After having been duly introduced as the guest speaker, Father Enrico Ayo delivered his message to the newly installed MIM officers and members. In his talk, he stressed the intricacies of beatification particularly on the work for the cause of Mother Ignacia.
Sister Maria Cornelia Ramirez, RVM, principal of Sacred Heart School in South Plainfield, New Jersey, led the prayer for the beatification of Mother Ignacia del Espiritu Santo. In turn Sister Loretto Mapa, RA marshalled her acknowledgments of all those who contributed in any way to the realization of the momentous event.
Thee activity was very well attended by the Filipinos residing in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia as well as those from nearby dioceses. Coming in chartered buses were the MIM officers and members from New Jersey and New York, who participated actively in the whole celebration. Different parish organizations were likewise represented by some delegates with their respective banners.
A lay leader, Mr. Ignacio Pecore deserves due recognition for taking time out in securing the permission from His Eminence Anthony Cardinal Bevilacqua for the MIM launching in Philadelphia.
Archdiocesan Chancellor Meets with Filipino Visitors
Upon request, Sister Maria Cornelia Ramirez, RVM arranged for a courtesy call on His Eminence Anthony Cardinal Bevelacqua. The Cardinal designated Rev. Fr. Thomas Betz, OFM-Cap. to meet the group on his behalf. The meeting was held in the Archdiocesan Chancery on 22 November 1999 at 11 a.m. to 12 noon. Present during the meeting were Rev. Efren Esmilla, Sister Loretto Mapa, RA, Sister Maria Nicetas Dael, RVM, Fr. Enrico Ayo, and Sister Maria Cornelia Ramirez, RVM.