Missionary Benedictine Sisters of Tutzing
An extract from the Newsletter of May-July 2021
from the Priory of Manilla (Philippines)
Celebrating God’s Creation:
The 22nd Manila Priory Chapter held in April 2019 has endorsed to all the communities: “that each community shall plant and nurture at least 100 trees within 2 years as a manifestation of our Benedictine stewardship.” Likewise, this is an affirmative action to the recommendation of the 13th General Chapter message, “the congregation commits itself to have planted at least 1300 trees within the next six years as a sign of commitment for the care of God’s creation,” in response to Pope Francis’ Encyclical on the environment and human ecology.
June as our Environment month and with the onset of rainy days, it is most favorable to plant trees for restoring and healing our planet. Besides, a green environ is essential for our survival against coronavirus. Our different communities reported their tree planting activities since 2019.
Priory House Community
To celebrate Philippine Independence Day on June 12, 2021 and as a sign of our commitment to care for God’s creation, the Sisters of the Priory House community trooped to Tanauan Farm to plant trees. Breathing fresh air, basking under the sun, and being amid the greenery and wide, open spaces in the farm proved to be the best time to heal tired bodies and spirits as a longterm investment against the raging pandemic.
From 2019 to 2020, the community of Marihatag planted and nurtured more than one hundred varied fruit-bearing trees: avocado, guyabano, marang, calamansi, kamias, grafted dayap, rambotan, durian, cacao, langka, different kinds of banana suckers (lakatan, kwarenta dias, latundan, saba, carnaba), dwarf and native coconuts, and many others that were planted at the San Benito Mabog farm, Cabahian farm, and our convent front garden. Additionally, last April 2021, Sr. Odilia Bulayungan OSB and Sr. Joyanne Morales OSB planted fifty propagules and bitaog seedlings.
St. Scholastica’s College & Manila Community
Since 2018 until 2021, St. Scholastica’s College has been conducting a yearly institutional tree planting activity in Tanauan and Tanay farms with representatives from the different sectors of the school community. Each tree planting begins with a liturgical service.
For the past four years, the school community has been able to plant a variety of fruit-bearing and hardwood trees. To name a few: 30 marang (johey oak), lanzones (longkong), 30 cacao, 10 langka (jackfruit), avocado, dwarf coconut, and dragon fruit. Seedlings were also planted by the Sisters’ community within the school campus grounds.
Sr. Adela Arabia OSB and Sr. Leticia Saraza OSB planted fruit-bearing trees in St. Scholastica’s Housing in Brgy. Dayhagan. St. Scholastica Housing is a housing project for employees of St. Peter’s College, Ormoc City.
From 2019 up to the present the sisters have planted 392 trees. Today, 211 are growing sturdily in the St. Scholastica’s hospital grounds.
Formation House Community
The Formation House Community started planting trees in June 2020 with avocado and araucaria trees. To date the grounds are filled with greenery of fruit bearing mango, dragon fruit, mabolo (velvet apple), santol (cotton fruit), atis (custard apple or sweetsop), coconut, etc. Our nursery has new seedlings ready for the next planting season.
Sterculia foetida is a soft wooded tree that can grow up to 35 metres (115 ft.) tall. In the Philippines, this species is popularly known as Calumpang. Branches are used for fencing posts while its leaves are fed to goats. Seventy-five of these trees were planted on November 25-30, 2020 in San Isidro Mission Farm, Baon, San Isidro, Davao Oriental. Forty more trees were planted in St. Scholastica’s EnFIDe Institute, Dawan, Mati City.
Baguio Community planted 50 Baguio Pine Trees inside the compound of St. Scholastica’s Convent, Baguio City last March 17,2021.
St. Scholastica’s College, Tacloban & Sisters’ Community
The Sisters joined the students, faculty and staff for tree-planting activities within and around the school campus.
Divine Word Hospital Community
The Sisters’ community, together with hospital staff and medical personnel have been planting fruit-bearing trees at St. Benedict’s Farmers’ Institute for Sustainable Agriculture (SBFISA) in Alang-alang since November 2018. The Sisters also carried out this activity during their community outing to St. Scholastica’s Hospital in Pambujan. They pledged to continue planting more trees this year and the years to come.
In 2019, 400 mangrove seedlings and 200 coconut trees were planted by Grade 11 and 12 students respectively with the guidance of teachers. The sisters together with the school personnel planted 8 Araucaria trees on the 113th Foundation of the Manila Priory last September 14, 2019. The school’s Peace Garden was planted with ornamental and fruit-bearing trees by the Sisters, students, and school personnel. In addition to tree planting, the community shared seedlings of hardwood and fruit-bearing trees from the school’s ‘mini forest’ to another Eco Farm Resort in Cebu.
On July 19, 2020, the Sisters Community’s Justice and Peace for Integrity of Creation (HFA-CBS JPIC) was launched. Its main project is tree planting. A nursery of mahogany and kamansi (bread fruit) trees was created to prepare the seedling for planting a year after. On July 30, 2021 the Sisters and other members of the school community and other mission partners had the tree planting activity. The nursery had an overflowing number of mahogany seedlings. Some of these were shared with the Dominican School of Angeles Foundation and with Mary our Help Technical Institute for Women in Mabalacat.
San Fernando Community
In 2019, St. Scholastica's Academy, San Fernando had their bamboo planting activity. The Sisters, students and maintenance employees planted 87 bamboo shoots that were given by the Alumni Association of SSC Manila.