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My Mother - A Catholic Teacher Of Life

This is a story of a Filipino Woman-of-Substance. She was my Mother.

We were a Migrant Family who moved out, in Yr 1953, of rural agricultural Mindanao to re-settle in urban Manila City, Philippines. I am the eldest of 7 Children - 4 Brothers and 3 Sisters. Unfortunately, my youngest Brother died as a Child - in a swiming accident in the City. As Father' health was never good in the City, he would frequently re-visit his hometown rural Cebu where he died at an early age of 48 years old.

Mama struggled on with life, all by herself, to feed her 6 growing-up children, and to pay the high cost of quality education for all her children. As strangers in the City and with no relatives to depend upon, Mama secured for her brood a 1-unit, low-cost, long-term, lease-to-own, 2-bedroom bungalow in a Gov't-owned Housing Project. For many years, we had to survive by Mama's low Salary Income as a Gov't Employee. When each of us graduated from College, one after another, she continued on living a Life-of-Purpose - by building a respectable 2-storey Residential House, by extending financial assistance to her Sisters-in-Need residing in the province, and by securing a Family Burial Lot in a well-planned Privately-owned Memorial Cemetery. Mama died at the old age of 84 years old.

Mama was a Catholic. As a bright young girl studying at Sta Teresa Academy (Cebu), she learned her Catholic Faith taught by the Missionary Belgian Sisters at that time. She recognized JESUS as her personal Savior - and Redeemer of the World. She willingly offered all her day-to-day sacrifices upon the Altar-of-the-Lord. And Sunday would be the Lord's Day.

She insisted that all of us would walk all together to church for Sunday Mass. Our neighbors would jokingly liken us to a train. Holy Week was observed with confessions, fasting and abstinence. The Dawn Mass on Resurrection Sunday was celebrated in ecstacy. As Christmas was always celebrated with the longest period of joy, I once asked Mother which event would be the most important. Her quick reply was: "Resurrecion Sunday. If CHRIST did not rise from the dead (as he had promised) then JESUS could NOT have been our Savior. Our sacrifices in Life would then have no meaning as there would be no AfterLife in the Kingdom of God." Mama was a Catholic Teacher-of-Life - and she continues to enlighten and to inspire me as she is now in heaven.

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