St. Hannibal Empowerment Centre

St. Hannibal Empowerment Center (SHEC) is a religious organization of the Rogationists of the Heart of Jesus. It is a community of Spirit-led persons which aims to follow Jesus Christ in his union with his Father and in his proclamation of the kingdom of God. It is an inserted community among the squatters. The goal of SHEC is to empower the poor people of Metro Manila, Philippines, through housing, livelihood, education, health, waste management, youth and values formation.

Location: Pasay City, Metro Manila

Mission: Its mission is to empower the poorest of the poor and catalyze an integral Christian transformation of urban poor communities in collaboration with the local Church by a holistic process that addresses concerns on housing, livelihood, education, health, environment and sanitation, justice and peace, youth formation and values formation. The goals of SHEC consist of assisting in alleviating poverty among urban poor communities in Pasay and other cities in Metro Manila; and building the foundation of community transformation through intensive values formation. Its objectives are, specifically, to facilitate the organization and formation of people’s organization that are self-sufficient and empowered, facilitate the values and spiritual formation and capability building of urban poor leaders, to assist the urban poor / informal settlers of Pasay and other cities in Metro Manila in realizing their dreams of achieving security of tenure through in-city relocation, to facilitate the implementation of economic programs and basic social services in urban poor communities, and to facilitate access to formal education in favor of the poor and deserving students.

Friday, March 16, 2012

February 2012 Highlights

Rogate: Feeling the love of God that sweetens every pain. February is the month of love. In the being of a butterfly, the very young Hannibal perceived the perfect blend between love and suffering. Consider these two stanzas of his poem, To a Little Butterfly:

            My little butterfly, among the flowers
            Slowly, slowly move your wings
            In the brightness of your sincerity
            May I delight eyes and heart

            My pain sweetens in you
            Charming pearl of my flowers
            Always beautiful, always sweet,
            Like a breath of love

Indeed, in God, every pain sweetens. This is the kind of God’s love shown by Jesus. In his painful cross, Jesus won for us the sweetness of eternal life. But this is only one side of the story. Before the cross, Jesus manifested the love of God by empowering people to work for total salvation in ongoing history, penetrating all strata of society (seeEvangeliiNuntiandi #18). Jesus preached that the Kingdom of God is about good news to the poor or justice and liberation, as well as health to the sick (see Lk 4:16-21). And following the tradition of the prophets, Jesus taught that love and justice can never be separated. Love or compassion is essentially about food for the hungry, land to the landless and other works of social justice. 

The love of God, understood holistically, is about social transformation. Following this insight inspired by Jesus and continued by St. Hannibal in his spirituality, SHEC moves on to proclaim Jesus’ and Hannibal’s love that does justice. 

Rogate Youth Ministry and ShaCCch. 12 enjoy Valentine’s Ball. The Kingdom of God, the Kingdom of Love, is about rejoicing. Amidst all sort of pain in this world, the Kingdom promises eternal happiness, something we strongly hope for. In a sense, the joy of the Kingdom has been enacted and experienced by the members of the Rogate Youth Ministry and SHaCC Chapter 12 when they conducted a valentine’s ball last February 14, 2012. Also, the event was an occasion for them to strengthen their bond, and to treat the members who will celebrate their 18th birthday this year. The joyous event was held at the St. Hannibal Training Center. It was organized by Fr. Orville Cajigal, RCJ together with some leaders and members of the Rogate Youth Ministry, SHEC Chapter (RYMSC).

Training on Data Management.  Empowerment essentially constitutes being organized, for empowerment is also about the awakening of the creative intellect and consciousness that puts order in a chaotic world of social injustice. Accordingly, an empowered love is that which sweetens the pain caused by greed. This is the background of the training on data management conducted among the Health Committee members of SHEC last February 14-16, 2012.  The leaders who attended the training were NelynBalbalosa, DeniaLisay, Evangeline Agonos, ErlindaSuperable, Gemma Gaceta and Nelia Reyna, and was facilitated by Dr. Ezra Valido.

Swedish students get oriented on SHEC housing project. God’s work is like a light that shines and illumines far and wide. God’s work at SHEC, indeed, could spread as far as Sweden, especially that students of Lund Univerity, Sweden conducted their field trip in order to be acquainted with SHEC’s housing project last February 22, 2012. It is hoped that their rubbing of elbows with flesh-and-blood realities at SHEC will awaken their heart for social concerns. The students were oriented by George Espin.

Free Eye Check Up and Bone Scanning. Health is happiness. Unhealthiness is pain. Often, poor people get sick because of inhumane living conditions. The Kingdom’s program of total salvation addresses not only poverty, but the effects of poverty like sickness. Guided by this conviction, Fr. Orville Cajigal, RCJ organized a free eye check up and bone scanning last February 25, 2012. Among those who availed of the medical service were Nelyn Balbalosa, Racquel Santos, Corazon Trinidad, Mary Ann Merelos, Imelda Gerbano, Evangeline Agonos, Luzviminda Benjamin, Jelie Jagonoy, Erlinda Superable, Nelia Reyna, Cecile Tan, Marilou Tatardillo, Juana Sarmiento, Michelle Dagatan, Edita Baluyot, Anabel Lagaran, Ma. Lanie Atarejos, Irene Borongan, Sharon Banzuela, Judith Tendoy and Josephina Velasco.

Bon Voyage, Fr. Angelo Mezzari and company. Love is indeed a mixture of pain and happiness. Meeting the Father General, Fr. Angelo Mezzari, RCJ brought overwhelming joy to the communities served by SHEC. Accordingly, the pain of parting filled the atmosphere as SHEC staff and representatives bid goodbye to Father Angelo in his despedida party held at Fr. Di FranciaCenter of Studies, Don Jose GreencourtSubd., San Dionisio, Merville Park, Paranaque City last February 23, 2012. The event was attended by Fr. Dexter Prudenciano, RCJ, Fr. Orville R. Cajigal, RCJ, Fr. Arlene Gumangan, RCJ, Ramon Espin, Joyce Dalay, AmelieTegio, AbegailApolong, EmerzonZuzon, Jessa Mae Hagosojos, Elmer Bergonia, Jr., Richie Ordonez, Irene Bedonia, EstrellaBuenaflor and Alma Borongan, RY SHEC Chapter, Pabanal and ShaCC


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