January 17, 2020, San Fernando, Pampanga, the Philippines – The Adrian Dominican Sisters who serve in the Philippines are safe from the Taal volcano, located in Taal Lake, in the southern part of the island of Luzon. The volcano began erupting on January 12, 2020, and a more intense eruption is expected.
“We are not directly affected,” said Sister Rosita Yaya, OP, Chapter Prioress of the Our Lady of Remedies Mission Chapter based in the region of Pampanga, the Philippines. Pampanga is northwest of Manila, while the Taal volcano is south of Manila. However, Sister Rosita added, the Sisters’ school, Dominican School of Angeles City, was closed January 13 and 14, 2020, because of the possibility of ash blowing in its direction. Thankfully, she said, the wind blew in a different direction and the school was safe.
Sister Rosita and the other Sisters in the Philippines remain concerned about people who are affected by the volcano. Already, more than 40,000 people have evacuated the area.
“We donated to the victims of the eruptions through the Association of Major Religious Superiors, who spearheaded the distribution of goods to the victims,” Sister Rosita wrote in an email. “The Dominican family will also have an outreach program in these coming weeks. As soon as the donations are collected, we will go to the donation centers.”
Sister Rosita expects the Sisters will be involved in the future in ministry to the people affected by the Taal volcano. “The efforts will be ongoing because of the thousands of families who will need a program of rehabilitation and resettlement,” she wrote.
This is not the first time that the Sisters in the Our Lady of Remedies Mission Chapter have served people affected by volcanoes. Prior to the merger of the Dominican Sisters of Our Lady of Remedies and the Adrian Dominican Sisters, the Filipina Sisters began a ministry with the indigenous Aeta people who were displaced by the eruption of Mount Pinatubo in 1991. The ongoing ministry at Villa Maria includes religious education and preparation for First Communion and a feeding program for Aeta children who attend the school at Villa Maria and its satellite school in Baranga Diaz. The ministry was expanded in 2000 to include a youth center.
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