On one of the picturesque mountains in the Mountain Province of the Pearl of the Orient, as the Philippines is popularly called, stands the solidly built, earthquake-resistant Convent of the Blessed Sacrament, where the Holy Spirit Adoration Sisters keep vigil day and night before our Eucharistic Lord and are eagerly joined by many of the laity. How did it all start in the Philippines?
As early as 1921 Bishop Alfredo Verzosa of Lipa inquired whether Mother Mary Michael could send Sisters there to introduce perpetual adoration into his diocese. Negotiations continued, which resulted in ten German Sisters being sent to Lipa in 1923. The Sisters felt at home in their mission, even though they experienced earthquakes, typhoons, and snakes! When the tropical climate began to take its toll on the westerners and they obviously needed some alleviation, plans were made to establish a convent as rest house in Baguio with its refreshing mountain air. On March 24, 1931 the chapel and convent were blessed and daily adoration began.
Since the number of Sisters was not sufficient to maintain two convents, the convent in Lipa was closed in 1936. Without doubt God led the Sisters in Baguio on a most difficult road of suffering during World War II.
Not only were they harder hit materially by the horrors of war but they even had to leave their cloister and share the lot of refugees in the mountains; and besides, seven young Sisters fell victim to bombs.
Two others, being American citizens, were interned in a Japanese concentration camp for over seven months. Military men occupied the convent. After the anguish and terror of the war experiences, the remaining Sisters were grateful to be reunited. The convent, which had suffered so much damage, was declared unsafe. And the entire situation looked very dismal: seven Sisters had lost their lives, those who were left were in a weakened condition, the house and the city as a whole were practically in ruins. Was it the end of our Congregation in the Philippines?
God knows how to bring blessing from the cross, to raise up life from the ashes. A new surge of young vocations began to enter. In 1950 a new chapel and convent were built in another section of Baguio, where the Sisters continue their life of perpetual adoration until now. Many of the thousands of vacationists who visit cool Baguio annually also visit the chapel. A zealous League of Adorers, with branches for men and for women, is very active. We must with grateful hearts say, “Give thanks to the Lord for he is good, for his love endures forever!”
Convent of the Most Blessed Sacrament
P.O. Box 62 2600 Baguio City
Tel. and Fax: (0063) 74-444-5688
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