ViDa Newsletter - June & July issue 2013

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Text of ViDa Newsletter - June & July issue 2013

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    Verbum Dei Missionaries Singapore

    73 Taman Mas Merah Singapore 128195

    Tel: 62740251 Email: Website:

    I came across a short story entitled 'The crab's shell': 'There is a certain kind of crab which lives in a shell, but not the same shell for life. As the crab grows, it must discard the old shell which it has outgrown or it will die. Changing shell is not easy, for the crab becomes very vulnerable until the new one has grown. When the crab's shell becomes too thick, too tough to crack open, the crab cannot grow any more. That is when it dies.' We cannot detach our shells, but we do have shells that are formed over the years from our false ideas about ourselves. Unfortunately, these false -images are deeply embedded in us from childhood- such as from parents' conditional love, 'I love you if you pass your exams...I love you if you do this sum right.' or sibling or friends' discouraging remarks, 'You are so stupid! Look at you! So fat as a pig!'... this list goes on. As we grow older in years, we continue to be easily dominated by these voices that tell us of our insignificance, ugliness, unloveableness. Thus, we constantly work hard to prove ourselves and others about our worthiness. Yet, God ,our Creator and Father, draws us gently to change our shells, and to shed all the false ideas we have of ourselves in order to grow free to be who we really are. Start now! Step out of your shells that hinder you to be free and happy as you are meant to be.

    Going back to the story of the crab, if we continue holding on to our shells and refusing to discard them, the shells will only become harder and tougher to crack. Then, we will simply be stuck and become prisoners of our own darkness. I will end with a quote from my favourite spiritual writer, Henri Nouwen: Over the years, I have come to realize that the greatest trap in our life is not success, popularity, or power, but self-rejection. Success, popularity, and power can indeed present a great temptation, but their seductive quality often comes from the way they are part of the much larger temptation to self-rejection. When we have come to believe in the voices that call us worthless and unlovable, then success, popularity, and power are easily perceived as attractive solutions. The real trap, however, is self-rejection. As soon as someone accuses me or criticizes me, as soon as I am rejected, left alone, or abandoned, I find myself thinking, "Well, that proves once again that I am a nobody." ... [My dark side says,] I am no good... I deserve to be pushed aside, forgotten, rejected, and abandoned. Self-rejection is the greatest enemy of the spiritual life because it contradicts the sacred voice that calls us the "Beloved." Being the Beloved constitutes the core truth of our existence. Looking at ourselves through the eyes of God is what makes us to be truly free, happy and alive.

    June/July 2013

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    30 years of Perpetual Vows

    of Sr. Maria Jose

    2nd June 2013

    Maria Jose celebrated 30 years of her

    faithful 'Yes' to God's call. She received

    her call when she was 19 years old and

    joined the Verbum Dei Missionaries in

    2nd January 1975.

    In 2nd June 1983, she professed her

    Perpetual Vows in Spain.

    Ever since then, she has dedicated her

    life to Asia- the Philippines (17 years)

    and Singapore (16 years).

    Thank you, Maria Jose, for your

    faithfulness to God. Your 'Yes'

    continues to give life to many.

    At 19 years old. right before entering the Verbum Dei Community

    Blessing of Verbum Dei

    house @ Manila

    1993, exploring for possibilities in India

    Answering God's call to

    start a community in


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    Serving tea and washing up

    Singing action songs

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    Clearing garden for the sisters

    Cutting nails of residents

    Sharing at the end of the session

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    Sr. Leticia Candelario Lopez is back!!!

    Leticia was in Rome for the past two years.

    She studied at the Pontifical Gregorian

    University for her Licentiate in Missiology.

    Now she has been assigned back to Singapore.

    We will see more of her!!!

    "There is a time for every occupation under


    My time for studying and finishing my

    Licentiate in Missiology has come to an end on

    the 21st June 2013. I am very thankful to God,

    to my community and to my family, for your

    constant support during my time in Rome. At

    the same time, I am glad to be back to

    continue contributing to the community and

    the diocese of Singapore. My experience in

    Rome has helped me to become more aware of

    the universal dimension of our Catholic Church

    and has increased in me the desire to continue

    sharing God's Word in Asia, where I feel very

    much called to live my missionary life.