August 2, 2016, Mining, Pampanga, the Philippines – For years, the Adrian Dominican Sisters’ eco-farm in the village of Mining, Pampanga, has produced vegetables to improve the nutrition of the neighboring children. Now, the farm produces yet another crop – wind power to offer an alternative source of energy to the farm.
“The windmill is another way of implementing our [2016 General Chapter] Enactment on Care for the Earth, reducing our use of fossil fuel and using alternative energy like the wind,” said Sister Zenaida Nacpil, OP, Chapter Prioress of the Adrian Dominican Congregation’s Our Lady of Remedies Mission Chapter, based in the Philippines. “The windmill pumps water from a deep well, using wind energy to irrigate the farm.”
Sister Zenaida said the windmill is situated in the section of the two-hectare property used to cultivate vegetables, which help feed children and others in the village community. Families are able to buy the produce at a reduced price to improve their nutrition.
Installation of the windmill on the farm was inspired by Pope Francis’ encyclical, Laudato Sí: On Care for our Common Home, and in response to Enactment Two of the Dominican Sisters’ 2016 General Chapter: “Recognizing the violence against Earth community that places our common home in dire jeopardy and intensifies the suffering of people on the margins, future generations and all creation, we will sacrifice to mitigate significantly our impact on climate change and ecological degradation.”
The windmill and the Eco-Farm serve the community of the Dominican School of Angeles City, which serves 250 children, kindergarten to 10th grade, who could not otherwise attend school. The school is located “in the rural area of Angeles City, where the poor children are more vulnerable to exploitation and human trafficking due to their economic situation and poverty,” Sister Zenaida said. She added that the school also lives out Enactment Three of General Chapter 2016, reaching out to people who are relegated to the margins.
The Remedies Mission Chapter was formerly a separate congregation of Dominican Sisters, based in the Archdiocese of San Fernando in the Philippines. The Remedies Congregation merged with the Adrian Dominican Sisters in November 2011 on the Feast of Our Lady of Remedies.
April 6, 2016, San Fernando, Pampanga, the Philippines – Sisters Salvacion (Salve) B. Valenzuela, OP, and Alma D. Zapanta, OP, professed their perpetual vows April 3 during a special Liturgy at the chapel of Our Lady of Good Counsel Seminary, on the same grounds as the Chapter House in San Fernando, Pampanga, the Philippines.
Sisters Salve and Alma are members of the Adrian Dominican Sisters’ Our Lady of Remedies Mission Chapter. They had both entered the Dominican Congregation of Our Lady of Remedies before that Congregation merged with the Adrian Dominican Sisters in November 2011.
Attending the joyous event were Sister Zenaida S. Nacpil, OP, Chapter Prioress of Our Lady of Remedies; Sister Lorraine Réaume, OP, Formation Director for the Adrian Dominican Sisters; Sisters from the Chapter; and family members and friends.
Sister Salve is the oldest of three siblings, who include her sister Ilyn and her brother Joel. She attended South Villazar Elementary School in Sipcot, Camarines Sur, and graduate in 1997 from her high school, Bicol Institute of Science and Technology.
She holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from the University of the Assumption in San Fernando.
Sister Salve entered the Our Lady of Remedies Congregation in 2007 and professed her first vows on September 18, 2010. While preparing for her final vows, she ministered at Mother of Good Counsel Center for Abused Children/Women. She is also analyzing data for her thesis for her master’s degree in educational management from University of the Assumption.
Sister Salve’s past ministries have included serving as canteen manager at Holy Rosary Academy in Lubao, 2010-2011; teaching preschool at Dominican School of Angeles City, 2011-2012; teaching at Dominican School of Apalit, 2012-2013; serving as a canteen worker at Holy Rosary Academy, Lubao and as assistant administrator/teacher at Holy Trinity Special Education Foundation, 2013-2014; and teaching part-time while working at the treasurer’s office at Dominican School of Angeles City, 2014-2015.
Making her perpetual profession of vows means “to love and serve selflessly now and forever,” Sister Salve said. “My final vows are a manifestation of God’s mercy and compassion.”
The fifth of seven children, Sister Alma was born in San Carlos, San Luis, in Pampanga. She attended San Carlos Elementary School and, in 2000, graduated from San Carlos High School, both in her native San Luis.
While preparing for her final vows, Sister Alma ministered part-time as canteen coordinator at Holy Rosary Academy, Lubao. She graduated from high school in 2000, entered the Our Lady of Remedies Congregation in June 2006, and professed her first vows on April 24, 2010.
Since entering religious life, Sister Alma has ministered in a variety of ways: as a catechist in San Fernando from 2006 to 2008; as secretary for the Office of the Archbishop, 2009; as assistant canteen worker at University of the Assumption, 2010; as a student from 2010 to 2013 at University of the Assumption, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in education; as pastoral worker at the Diocese of San Jose, Nueva Ecija, 2013-2014; and as pastoral worker and head of the Formation Desk at Holy Rosary Parish, Angeles City, 2014-2015.
The vowed life is a “covenant with God,” Sister Alma said. “It is a commitment to serve God and the people of God with joy. My yes to God is always now and forever.”
Featured photo: Sisters Salvacion (Salve) B. Valenzuela, OP, left, and Alma D. Zapanta, OP, professed their final vows on April 3.