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Too Little Time Too Soon

With Mother Speranza touching me...

 This is my first blog since the pandemic in 2020. For over 2 years I left my keyboard and simply went to Facebook posting random stories of no value at all. Besides, there were no stories to tell. The world simply stopped turning although there were few community initiatives but the substance of storytelling wasn't just there at that time. I never even check this platform so I was surprise that some continue to visit this blog. Hopefully, this 2024 will invigorate my need for digital storytelling expression.

Late last year we travelled to Montreal to help capture the nuns huge mass celebration in honour of their Mother Foundress who was beatified by Pope Francis in June 2023. Mother Elisa Martinez was born in 1905 and died in 1991. Only 32 years from her death and is already beatified. The congregation that she founded, the Daughters of St. Mary of Leuca  (DML) celebrated it the big way throughout the world where their congregation thrive.

I established friendship with the  sisters at their house in Courtice, Ontario, Canada way back in 2014 after I befriended the then Mother Superior, Mother Ulrica. We then started the traditional Filipino mass called Simbang Gabi and is still thriving to this day at St. Therese Church which is located near the convent.

It was then I started volunteering at their children's events by capturing videos. I've been documenting special occasions for the sisters. This volunteerism brought us to Montreal last November 2023. This was the time we came to know Mother Speranza who also travelled from Markham to attend the celebration. Watch the video here:

It was during the reception in Montreal that we happened to sit down on the same table with Mother Speranza as we fondly called her. Although  I was familiar with her face on many occasions we attended activities with the sisters, we actually doesn't know her much.  But during the dinner, Mother Speranza showed her real self; that of being gentle and displaying that motherly love.  

Photo from L: Mother Clarisse, Li, Mother Raymonda, Sister Anita, Mother Speranza and Alice.

The reception in Montreal was held at a Chinese Restaurant. Normally, restaurants like that had rotating turntable for the foods. Mother Speranza will hold the turntable and rotate it towards us and motioned me and my roommate to get the food. She does it all the time making sure we will get every thing served on the table. She was so attentive that it caught my attention of how thoughtful and caring she was. The picture above speaks for itself as she constantly held my hand. She was also chatting about her trip to the Philippines in 1966. 

(L-R): Mother Aurelia, Mother Speranza, Fr. Rosica, Mother Clarisse and Mother Alfonsa

The following Day after mass celebration, we were invited for lunch with the sisters and we took some group photos. Mother Speranza was seated at the long table. After a sumptuous lunch and picture- taking, we were set to leave for Courtice. Mother Speranza was asking for a kiss. When I did, she pulled me closed to her. She whispered a prayers for me...

Mother Speranza with some of the sisters in Montreal

In such brief moment, we've come to know Mother Speranza with all her sweetness. We didn't expect that we have so little time to nurture that friendship with her. We promised to visit her in Markham.

That will never come as her days on earth has ended....


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