Below is an article, “Unintended Mentor,” written by Maria Teresita A. Arvisu, Philippine head of of El Al Israel Airlines Ltd. and executive of Golden Bear Travel Corp. It is a loving tribute to the late Josephine Darang, who wrote this column until she joined the Creator last December.
“Josephine ‘Josie’ Darang was one of a handful of media personalities that our airline El Al Israel Airlines Ltd. hosted on a trip to the Holy Land in 2006. A few weeks after their return, we attended an event, after which I offered to take her home. During the short ride I asked her what made one a good writer. Expecting an answer laden with technical advice, I was surprised at her very brief reply: ‘A good writer is one who makes readers respond with action.’
“Fast forward to November 2012. As a newbie and incoming lector, I excitedly counted the nights before I was to be installed as lector in our parish church. I wrote a short exuberant piece expressing heartfelt thanks to the trainers and those who helped along the way.
“The following month I was asked to join a meeting, where then parish priest Rev. Fr. Chito Bartolo, OFM Cap., asked me to manage the parish website which was to be launched in January 2013. Apparently someone read my thank-you blog. And the rest is, as they say, history.
“Last year, in October 2014, I was installed as media ministry head of the National Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes in Quezon City, a deeply Marian parish with a population of 40,000, in existence for 63 years.
“These days our team repeatedly checks the counter at the bottom of our website, www.nsollqc.com, waiting for the day it hits 1 million, as it is now at 941,993. Also, our social media sites like NsollQC on FB are starting to gain acceptance, shown by comments and replies by parishioners, both young and old, situated here and overseas.
“For one who started with zero media training, limited writing and editing experience, I pray to our patroness Our Lady of Lourdes and to her son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, to get through. I also keep in mind the directives of our new parish priest, Fr. William T. Bustamante, OFM Cap.
“Whenever I feel unsure of the material I am about to write, edit or critic, in my mind I keep replaying the words of Ms Josie Darang, making sure that whatever it is we produce, be it an essay, post, visual or video, it should somehow nudge our parishioners to express faith into action, firm on the path of becoming enlightened, transformed and proactive Catholics.”
Pope Francis book
The commemorative book, “I am Here to be with You: The Apostolic Visit of Pope Francis to the Philippines,” will be launched on June 4, 4 p.m., at the Arzobispado de Manila.
Leading the launch are Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle, Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop and Catholic Bishops of the Philippines president Socrates B. Villegas, and Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Giuseppe Pinto.
Poor Clares of Pangasinan ask for help
In a letter dated May 13, 2015, feast of Our Lady of Fatima, to the late Josephine Darang, Sister Maria Aurora G. Quizon, OSC, of the St. Clare Monastery of St. James the Apostle in Arenas Farm, Barangay Nancapian, Malasiqui, Pangasinan province, is appealing for financial help to construct a dormitory.
The building, said Sister Quizon, will consist of 10 rooms, conference room, kitchen, refectory, common lavatory and bathroom, and laundry. Estimated cost is P11 million.
Donors can donate by cash or by check. The nuns’ account is with Metrobank, Carmen Rosales branch. Account name is “Aurora Guzman Quizon or Normita Olbes Gracilla or Lilian Bognot Ibe,” account no. 523.7.523506958. The sisters’ mobile phone numbers are 09328562767 and 09065830586.
The Poor Clare sisters are contemplative nuns and are second-order Franciscans. The founders are St. Francis and St. Clare of Assisi.
“We came from the community of the Poor Clare Monastery of the Holy Spirit in Bataan,” Sister Quizon writes. “We were invited by (Lingayen-Dagupan) Archbishop Villegas to found a monastery in his archdiocese to become the powerhouse of prayer.”
They started their ministry in Pangasinan in 2012.
Villegas has formally endorsed the fundraising campaign.