PENAMPANG – Come October 8, six Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate Conception (FSIC) will celebrate their jubilees of religious profession.
Sisters Bernardine Avitus, Germaine Angkangon, Hilda Gundolot and Dominic Thien will celebrate 40 years of religious profession while Sisters Mathilda Gamuru and Aileen Andau will celebrate their silver jubilee.
The combined celebration will be held at 10:30 am at Stella Maris Church Tanjung Aru.
The ruby jubilarians – Srs Bernardine (Kg Lakut Papar), Germaine (Tambunan), Hilda (Kg Lokos Tuaran) and Dominic (Kota Kinabalu) – entered the novitiate in 1974, took their first vows in 1976 and professed their final vows in 1981.
On the other hand, the silver jubilarians – Srs Mathilda (Kg Putaton Penampang) and Aileen (Kg Bundu Tuhan) – entered the novitiate in 1989, made their first profession in 1991 and took their perpetual vows in 1996.
Together the jubilarians have served the Church for 210 years, a cause for rejoicing.
In December, the congregation will convoke a year of preparation for its 10th General Chapter in 2017.
A general chapter is the primary legislative body of a religious institute. Canon law accords the general chapter the supreme authority in the institute according to the institute’s own constitutions.
Membership in a general chapter consists of ex-officio and elected delegates representing the entire institute. The number of delegates, means of electing or selecting them and the frequency of chapters is determined by the constitutions of the institute. The general chapter usually deals with issues that concern the entire institute, such as governance, common life, formation, finances, apostolate and the obligations of various officials of the institute. An important task of the general chapter is the election of the superior general of the institute.
The FSIC was founded by Msgr August Wachter on 16 June 1936 for the local Church. In 1955 Bishop James Buis received news from Rome that the congregation was granted autonomy. The first general chapter was held on 17 Feb 1955 at Loreto Convent Penampang. Sr Immaculata Ho had the distinction of serving as superior general for 26 years (1955-1981). In 1975 and thereafter, the service of the general government was shortened to six years.