When I was younger, fresh out of college, I was not really sure what to make out of life. While trying to make sense of it all, I dreamt of being in the missions. I can’t remember how I stumbled upon the idea of trying to join a Catholic Lay Mission group then. I went through the whole process: interviews, search
in, retreats and more interviews. I guess I passed, because before I knew it the congregation’s Program Director was coming to my hometown to finally speak to my parents. I was told initially that I will be sent to Mindanao for 6 months for some immersion and then possibly eventually will be shipped off to Brazil.
I was excited but at the same time anxious. But on the day before the director was coming over to speak to my family, my sister expressed her plans of joining the Daughters of St. Paul, a congregation of religious sisters involved in mass media. She has been working on it for months, preparing all the requirements, all the things that she will be needing. In short she was practically ready to leave for the convent anytime. My parents were devastated, not because she decided to become a nun, but most probably because of the suddenness of the decision, they didn’t see it coming because my sister’s career then as a dentist was just starting to flourish.
After witnessing my parent’s distraught, I asked the Reverend Director to call off the visit, even though he’s already in my hometown then, explaining to him that I can’t bear to have my parents suffer another “not so welcome news”, another daughter leaving the safety of our beloved home. So that was the end of my “missionary dream”. At least putting it off for a while, in my heart, I know, in God’s time it will happen.
So life went on for me. I practiced my profession. I put up my optical clinic. I enjoyed a single lady’s life with friends and in God’s grace I found myself involved in the ministry through the Biblical Apostolate which put value in my time and wherein I was able to share whatever talent I could share,
until I got married and had my own family.
After almost 30 years in the apostolate, in 2016 Radio Maria came to Zambales and into my life. It was seemingly just one of those things. I attended the orientation due to the prodding of the parish priest, just so the parish will be represented. One thing led to another until we were invited to attend the 3rd National Assembly of Missionaries of Radio Maria in Tarlac, last November 12 and 13, 2016. It was then that I realized that Radio Maria is now my opportunity, my venue to become a missionary.
As one of the speakers mentioned, St. Therese of the Child Jesus never left the confines of the convent yet is the Patroness of the Missions. This is my chance to be part of that, to bring the good news to places I can only imagine. I felt like I’ve gone full circle!
How gracious the Lord truly is! I totally embrace the gift of these ministries that God gives me. Radio Maria enhances my work as in Biblical Apostolate. Mama Mary helps pave the way for the spread of the word of God.
I can’t say where this journey will bring me, but one thing is sure, that this will truly be a grace-filled and colorful adventure with the Word and Mama Mary. (Dra. Cecil Cabigao Admin volunteer, Zambales)