An Encounter with The Lady as a CWL member

How do I start my narrative? Must I go back to those days when as a young lady I would bring to different houses in the Barangay the image of Our Lady of Fatima? Oh yes, I was blessed and fortunate to have done it! My mother, a CWL member then, tasked me together with the other members of their unit to do it.  So, for seven days The Lady would stay in the selected house, opening and closing prayers said by me. Donations are forwarded to the CWL member in charge.

I guess this is the precursor of the present annual visit of the Pilgrim Image of the Our Lady of Fatima but on a wider and bigger scale. The CWL Archdiocese of Manila launches this pilgrimage to support and fund the poor but deserving seminarians. Different Vicariates participate, and units take turns to receive the Pilgrim Image. It stays in the parish church for veneration for seven days after which it is transferred to another unit. Donations collected are turned over to the Vicariate.

The principle is the same. We all know the history of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary that happened in Fatima, Portugal. Three shepherd children, Lucia Dos Santos, Jacinta de Jesus Marto, Francisco de Jesus Marto were privileged to witness the apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary from May 13 to October 13, 1917 at the Cova da Iria fields. Three secrets of Fatima were revealed by the Blessed Mother. Vision of Hell, prediction of the end of World War I and a prediction of the beginning of WWII as well as a request to consecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Notice that then and now there are efforts to consecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary in our yearnings for world peace.

The CWL unit of Santuario del Sto. Cristo recently gave away packets of Rosaries to propagate devotion to the Lady which was her admonition in Fatima, to pray the rosary each day.  Recipients were the children who attend the 9AM Sunday mass.

The motto of the organization is Charity, Work, Loyalty or CWL. With this in mind the members, individually in their homes and collectively with others show innate womanly virtues of compassion, fidelity, endurance, dedication, virtues and qualities of a true Marian devotee. Our charism of Call to Holiness and Call to Service is practiced in our daily lives.

Our unit was more or less established shortly after the war in 1945-46. Through the years officers and members dutifully held on to the tenets of compliance to the rules of the Archdiocese/ Vicariate and most importantly with the Parish of which it is attached.  This relationship exists till today and we are lucky that all the projects we have done so far are well received by the Parish. 

We have had in the past done – participation in projects of the Parish Pastoral Council, in the PPCRV, a Mass Bloodletting Drive in October 2016, donations given for typhoon victims, participation in community pantries during the pandemic, donations to school children in nearby schools in form of supplies, raincoats, food sharing (Lugawan) to the Sunday Cathechism students. We mention of course the Annual visit of the Pilgrim Image of Our Lady of Fatima.

We also join hands with Kadang Dominiko in the staging of the annual “Putong” which our late Sis. Quing Rosales patronized. And at the moment, we are continuing the “BER” tiangge an activity starting September to December aimed at raising funds for our yearlong projects. This was kindly approved by the late Fr. Prol sometime in 2012 and now by Fr. Matthias Nga Reh Parish priest.

We can never forget lastly, our monthly fourth Sunday meetings with our Spiritual Director Rev. Fr. Rafael G. Carpintero who recently passed away. As far as I can remember when I joined the unit in 2009, he was already our Spiritual Director. The pandemic halted our monthly meetings till February of 2020. His well delivered messages based on the Sunday’s Gospel and our lengthy discussions afterward will be long remembered.

On the Vicarial level, our unit Santuario del Sto. Cristo is one of the five Parishes in the Vicariate of St. John the Baptist. The others are- Mary the Queen, Santuario de San Jose, St. John the Baptist Pinaglabanan and St. Francis of Assisi.  

The units hold monthly meetings and the Vicariate, quarterly hosted by each unit. The Vicariate conducts Leadership training for all the units, initiated Livelihood projects seminars like simple food preparation, Jewelry making, cleaning solutions. 

Promoting Pope Francis II   encyclical of “Laudato Si” no less than current CBCP president Virgilio David gave us an overview on the different models of creation, ecological justice. Focusing on environment each unit is enjoined to have Mary’s Woods a space to honor the Blessed Virgin Mary. At the back of the church we offer flowers to the statue of the Lady of Lourdes and see to it that it is well tended. Also members are encouraged to practice proper waste segregation and disposal. Planting ornamental plants or tending small vegetable garden plots are enjoined.  There are sportsfest, Zumba dancing held too for a compleat persona of each member.

Written By: Sis. Tessie Mayoralgo