Category Archives: Act of kindness

Charity work

FROM rampaging lahar flows in Pampanga to the great flood in Ormoc, Sister Aurora Macabebe was there to care for the dying and the dead.

“Isa ako sa mga namumulot ng patay, bringing their bodies to the funeral parlor,” the (then) 64-year-old nun said as she recounts her six-year stint as part of the disaster management team of the Daughter of Charity.

(Note: During the time of interview Sister Aurora is the spiritual counselor for patients afflicted with the deadly AIDS virus at the Halfway House in San Lazaro Compound in Sta. Cruz, Manila.)

Sister Aurora works for the AIDS prevention program of Caritas Manila. Aside from teaching hobby-craft to patients to temporarily relieve their minds of the inevitable (that is death), Sister Aurora conducted one-one-one counseling sessions with each patient.

But oftentimes, they walk an extra-mile for many “special cases.”

One such case is that of a patient whose only wish was to meet his mother whom he had not seen for a long time.

“I called up a fellow sister in Sorsogon to let the mother visit his ailing son. They hugged and kissed upon seeing each other. Now he’s very happy and seem to get stronger each day,”

The soft-spoken Ilongga sister, said doing social work entails equipping one’s self with KASE – knowledge, attitude, skill and experience.

She added that one must have self-discipline, good values, maturity, and knowledge of cultural values to be able to interact with different kinds of people.

“Before we really don’t mind about ourselves, but at this point in time, self is very important because you cannot give what you don’t have. So if we lack these things, we don’t know how to listen to them,” the nun stressed.

Citing her 15 challenging years as a social worker, Sister Aurora said she and others in the same profession perform a very unique role in the community as far as bringing individuals to the mainstream is concerned.

“When you see a sick person, whom do you call, a doctor; when somebody is at fault, you call the police or lawyer to defend; so when somebody is dying you call a priest to save his soul; but when somebody cannot interact with others or if somebody is maladjusted to his environment or his community, who is the one answering, intervening? It is the social worker,” she explained.

“My work here is very challenging, you only need a lot of patience, generosity and compassion. You cannot expect something from them but give them compassion and this can bring them back to God. In their last days, they could die a happy death,” she shared.

Sister Aurora said she has learned to love each of the patients at the half-way house.

Sister Aurora said a patient who ws not even a Catholic requested that the receive the Holy Communion before he died.

“He cannot find peace of mind, he later became a born-again Christian. He joined group sessions and activities like group singing. But when his time came, I asked him if he wants to see a priest, he agreed so we prayed for him, he took a communion that night at about 11 p.m. the man died. Hindi mabibili ng pera ang nararamdaman naming kaligayahan ng mga oras na ‘yon,” she narrates.

This article was one of the few articles I did for Courier, the flagship publication of PJI, before it folded up in 2000.

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Act of kindness

Image courtesy of Iamnee at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

This year seems to be a good one for you and you think it’s the proper time to share the blessings to others. People call it paying it forward. Instead of repaying someone who did something good to you, you pass the kindness to someone else. If you know someone who eked out a living as a musician you can probably give a digitech whammy or whatever musical instrument you think would benefit him and his family. There are so many ways to help and make life a little easier for someone else.

Image courtesy of Iamnee at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

A priest’s take on blood donation

blood donor

For nearly two decades, Father Bobby Olaguer regularly donates blood to government and private hospitals at least twice a year. It has been his commitment since his younger brother died of leukemia more than 20 years ago.

The 60-something chaplain of the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) and the parish priest of Ina ng Awa Parish in Muntinlupa City said donating blood has become his way of life.

“My first blood recipient was my brother who was then confined in a hospital due to leukemia. He passed away in 1984. Since then I really go out of my way to donate blood whenever a relative or friend needs them,” he told Life Lessons.

Fr. Bob, who only takes a carbonated drink after every blood extraction and drives home after an hour of rest, said he’d probably donated three to four gallons of blood.

Naka-center ang mass sa Eucharist, which is blood…and blood donation extends life,” he said.

Fr. Bob intends to donate blood for as long as he is capable of helping other people.

“This is the greatest act performed by Jesus Christ figuratively, literally and sacramentally,” he said.

June 14 is World Blood Donor Day.