The ‘SMA Mission Partners’ gathers together many Filipinos who want to support the training of young Filipino seminarians who want to be missionaries. Their initial inspiration would have come from the FVC in Ireland (Family Vocations Crusade). However, as well as contributing a certain amount each year (as FVC members do) they also organise particular fund-raising events.
Thelma C Sayson describes one such event: “An Affair to Remember” which was held on 9 February at the Bresillac Hall, SMA Parish Center in the Good Shepherd parish in Las Pinas, Manila.
It was attended by some 185 Mission Partners wearing a red motif. The guests were serenaded with the music of the 60s, 70s, and 80s by the Maestro Trio. Thelma C. Sayson gave the opening remarks which was followed by the Welcome Address of Fr. Jerson Pineda, SMA Mission Partners Director.
Fr. Gus O’ Driscoll, SMA (from Rathcormac, Co Cork), Parish Priest of Good Shepherd Parish described the role of the SMA missionaries in Africa and other parts of the world. He encouraged us to expand ‘Mission Partners’ to other parts of Metro Manila as well.
In the Philippines, we give financial assistance to SMA House of Studies (HOS), SMA International Spiritual Center (ISY) and SMA Vocation Office on a yearly basis.
Also, some priests who return to the Mission areas in Africa are given a “pabaon”.
The entire evening was very successful because it gave us a chance to build team spirit and gave us a time to dance, a time to sing, a time to bond, a time to renew friendship, a time to raise funds … and a time to eat a sumptuous dinner.
All the priests sang: Fr. German Patiga sang “Monalisa”; Fr. Jerson Pineda sang “Constantly”; and Fr. Gus O’ Driscoll, with Sis. Luz Rosas, gave us their duet of “Unchained Melody”.
The Core Group, led by Bro. Edwin Baniqued and Sis. Ella Baniqued, were happy to turn over a cheque for Pesos 80,000, the proceeds from the evening. Many Partners donated food and decorations for the event.
Magnanimous thank you to all who supported this project.