Join in the Fun: Our Virtual Silent Auction!

We at the Poor Household of God are so sad that Sr. Clarissa was unable to come to the US this year to share her stories of the amazing work being done in the Oikos Mission with her sweet smile and passionate heart.  We know that so much is still needed there both in the mission and throughout their mission area, the province of Eastern Samar.

Just because Sr. Clarissa is unable to come here, doesn’t mean we still can’t send our love, prayers and blessings to them.  Every year in the Diocese of Joliet, IL, we have a silent auction fundraiser to support the Oikos Mission in the Philippines held at one of the parishes in our diocese.  However, because of CoVid19, we are unable to have the fundraiser as we have had it in past years.  But thanks to modern technology, we are able to have a VIRTUAL SILENT AUCTION!! Come join in the fun and feel free to share with family and friends. The more the merrier and what a wonderful way to help the Oikos Sisters continue to do God’s work…

When is it:  Starting on Tuesday August 18, 2020 at 9am and ending the following Tuesday, August 25th at 10pm.

What is it:  An auction featuring many exciting and fun prizes, including a week in the Caymen Islands, a trip to South Haven, MI., fun and clever items to enjoy, a beautiful handmade nativity set, homemade cozy treasures, techy toys and so much more…

How do I access it:  Click on this link: www.aesbid.com/elp/poor20/

Instructions are there for the auction.  Check out all the cool prizes and bid on the one(s) that excite you!!  There are also options to make a donation to the Oikos Mission.

We hope you visit the site and enjoy the auction!  We are all excited about the event and can’t wait to the thrilling end!  

Thank you for your interest in helping the Oikos Ptochos Tou Theou Mission.  Please keep the Mission and all the Sisters in your prayers.  We appreciate you and your concern for the poorest of the poor in the Philippines!    God bless you!!!

To God be the Glory!!!

EXCITING NEWS!!

Even in the midst of the pandemic, the Oikos Sisters have been very busy!  Strict limitations make their work a little more complicated to do, but they are going ahead full force with catechesis for their volunteers, teaching new livelihood programs and helping the poor who come to them for medicine, food, and help with educational assistance and understanding the new educational guidelines set by the government.  All of this is done with social distancing, of course, and masks!

The  restrictions regarding travel make it hard for the Sisters to go at a moment’s notice where the Spirit leads them, but they have been doing the work, taking the steps, following the protocols, and although it takes a bit more time to get to them, they are reaching out to the poor in Eastern Samar with the same determination and joy as ever!

     

The Oikos Sisters send their most gracious thanks to all the members of the Poor Household of God, to anyone who makes a donation or who visits this site!  Because of the pandemic, Sister Clarissa and Sister Sarah have been unable to journey to the US for the yearly mission appeals.  That being the case, the Sisters are more excited than ever with the Poor Household of God, who is working overtime, learning new tricks on how to run a virtual silent auction!!

Every year during Sr. Clarissa’s visit to the Diocese of Joliet, IL, there is a silent auction fundraiser that takes place and is full of fun, excitement, good food and lots of love.  With the exception of the good food, the Poor Household of God is really hoping to pull off this amazing, high tech labor of love!  And the Sisters are just as excited about it!  See for yourself:

We’ll soon have a link to the auction so you can check out the cool offerings to bid on.    We are so, so excited about all the items we have so far, and there is still more to come.  So, stay tuned!!

One last bit of amazing news about the Oikos Sisters:  Their postulants have now progresssed in their formation and are now novices!!  In June, the four young women celebrated their novitiate, and it was quite a joyous occasion!!  Please keep these brave women in your prayers as they journey on in faith and hope in the Lord!!

Know that you and your families are in the prayers of the Oikos Sisters!  Click on the links in the menu to see the amazing work the Oikos Sisters do.  As they said in the video, YOU are the reason they are able to do what they do.  Thank you for your donations and prayers for the Sisters.  You are awesome!

Typhoon Vongfong Emergency Relief Mission

There are no words that could express the gratitude of the Oikos Sisters for the Poor Household of God for help in their province!!

For more than 10 years now, The Poor Household of God has been helping the Oikos Sisters with accomplishing all the dreams they’ve had in helping the poorest of the poor in Eastern Samar, the Philippines, and they are so very grateful!  Sometimes, however, the work the Sisters do is not planned, but as a result of an urgent need, as was the case last May.

On May 14, 2020, a powerful typhoon, that was not expected to be so damaging, hit the areas just north of where the Oikos Sisters live in their province.  The terrible typhoon, outside of “typhoon season”, regarded at first as a non-significant typhoon, caught residents in the northern part of Eastern Samar unprepared. It brought with it unforecasted high flooding, even up to covering houses and the strong gusty winds demolished homes and power lines.  The Oikos Sisters, in their gratitude that Borongan was spared from the brunt of the typhoon’s strong winds, immediately pondered the idea of helping the people in the upstream barrios of Arteche, Eastern Samar’s northernmost town.

After an initial emergency mission to the effected areas, the Oikos Sisters were able to see the damage first hand and ask what the most urgent needs for the poor people were.  The simple fact was, the people lost almost everything.  The Sisters and volunteers saw such pain and uncertainty in the eyes of the people, and unbelievable devastation of their homes and land.  Two subsequent missions were planned and carried out, thanks to the generosity and love of The Poor Household of God, the Diocese of Joliet-Partnership in Mission, Water with Blessings and donors from the area of Buffalo, New York.

Our Missionaries in Borongan worked to pack water filters, laundry soap and basins for doing the laundry, bath soap, toothpaste and tooth brushes, lots of vegetables and eggs, cooked meals, bread, rice, tarps for those who lost their homes and loads and loads of love!  And for the first time since the arrival of CoVid19 in the Philippines, the Sisters took off, in usual style, not letting the difficult journey or the intense heat impede their need to help the poorest of the poor.  They were rewarded with smiles and so much relief on the faces of the people in these areas.

The Oikos Sisters send their most sincere thanks to The Poor Household of God community, for without you help, these missions would have been impossible.  They would also like to appeal to you for help.  Typhoons have no season anymore, their strength is so difficult to forecast and their impact is devastating.  Not only that, but the poorest of the poor still suffers from strict CoVid 19 quarantine restrictions and need help providing food for their families.  Thank you for your continued help, our dear PHOG friends!  Please continue to support and pray for the Oikos Sisters, working with them in their mission to reach out to God’s beloved poor.

For a quick link to our donate page, click here: 

The Latest News in the Philippines

First of all, we at the Oikos Mission would like to give our most sincere and overjoyed THANKS to the whole Poor Household of God community and all who donated in the Fall Matching Campaign…

Not only did we MEET our goal of            $10,000.00….WE EXCEEDED IT!!!!

Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!  Now the Community Center in the Charity Village can go from a draft on paper to a real-life building that we can use for our ministries and programs for the poor, for safety and even to rent out for income for the Charity Village.  May God bless all who gave and prayed for this endeavor!!  We will be sure to keep you updated on the progress of the Community Center as soon as we begin the construction!

 

Next, the Philippines has been hit by another devastating typhoon, Typhoon Phanfone, or locally known as Typhoon Ursula, made landfall last Tuesday, December 24th in Salcedo, Eastern Samar at around 4pm.  That is about 2 hours south of our home in Borongan.  We spent our Christmas Eve safely in the home of our Bishop, His Most Reverend Bishop Crispin Varquez, as there was a threat of flooding in our village.  The winds and the rain were extraordinarily strong, but it was even worse at the storms center, south of Borongan.  Many of our scholars come from that area, and most of them have either homes that sustained much damage, or were completely taken away by the storm.  Some areas in Eastern Samar are still without power, including our village called Sohutan, although most places around Borongan have had their power restored.  In the strongly effected areas, though, they are projecting 2 to 3 months with no power for those poor people!  As you can see, the lush green banana and coconut trees that grow so abundantly in our area have been devastated once again.

We at the Oikos Mission will be centering our work on those effected areas in the days and months to come.  Already we are planning an immersion for just after the first of the year for one of the most destroyed villages here.  Please pray for our people, for the complete restoration of the lives of the people effected and for the Oikos Mission as we reach out to those most in need.  If you would like to donate to help our mission help those in need, please go to our DONATE page, or click here, for instructions on giving… please be sure to signify your donation for the help of the victims of Typhoon Ursula.

Many, many thanks once again!!  Please know that you are all in our prayers, and that we especially pray now for a blessed and prosperous New Year for all of you!!

Read All About It!! Big News in the Oikos Charity Village!!!

It’s growing!  It’s Growing!!  IT’S GROWING!!!  The Oikos Charity Village continues to grow and the dream of the Oikos Sisters continues to become a reality with each new day that passes.  Here, we’d like to share with you the new developments, and to express our heartfelt thanks for all the prayers and generous donations from the Poor Household of God Community.

On October 26th, the Oikos Community celebrated our first community mass in the Charity Village in our temporary chapel.  We gathered all of the residents of the village and celebrated our thanks to God, and to all those who have helped to make this village a reality!!  We will celebrate each month on the last Saturday together with mass and lunch…and next month, on the last Saturday, it will be the 61st birthday of our Elder Servant, Sister Mines!!  What a celebration that will be!!!

And soon… da ta ta da….. (drum roll, please…) we will be celebrating in our NEW St. Francis of Assisi CHAPEL!!!  Named after our patron saint in Oikos, this chapel is already being built!!  Thanks to a very generous donation from a family in the Poor Household of God Community, the chapel is now FULLY FUNDED!!  Take a look at the ongoing construction:

 

But while construction is ongoing, we still have our little chapel…                                                           not big enough for all of us to fit in,                                    but definitely a sweet little chapel made with love!!!

In other Charity Village news, the community gardens just keep growing!!!  Every day work is being done in our green house and in the outside gardens, and on Tuesdays the Oikos Sisters have their day in the sun (or rain as it’s the rainy season now!) working in the gardens, along with our postulants!!  What fun it is to get down and dirty in the mud, and so, so exciting to see the fruit of our work!!  Here’s some pictures…

Inside our greenhouse, we have lettuce, basil, squash, cucumbers, spinach and tomatoes!!!

   

And outside, we are growing eggplant, okra, all kinds of native greens, squash, sweet potatoes, and many, many kinds of fruits!!

   

We are so, so excited about all the growth in the Charity Village… the vegetation, the chapel and the sense of neighborly love being built among the residents there.  We are indeed quite blessed!!  Each member of the Poor Household of God Community is a blessing to us as well!!  Please know that with each nail driven into our buildings, with each seed planted in the ground and with each smile each and every day, you and your families are thought of and prayed for!!  Thank you, dear extended family of the Oikos Community!!                                 We love and thank you!!

 

Adlaw Han Mga Kablas 2019 (A Day For The Poor)

 

In 2016, the Year of Mercy, Pope Francis renewed his concern and advocacy for the world’s poor.  One fruit of his mission for the poor was first recognized in November 2017, World Day of the Poor.  It is a day for those of us who have been truly blessed by the Lord to reach out to the world’s poor in prayer and in action, and is now celebrated annually.

In May of 2017, the Oikos Sisters had the great blessing of being able to travel to South Korea, to attend an immersion retreat in a charismatic community called Kkottongnae.  One of the activities we participated in was a day of celebration for the poor.  Over 1,000 of Seoul’s poor and those of the surrounding areas were bussed into the Kkottongnae Campus to have a day wherein they were the VIP’s.  They danced, sang songs, ate lots of food and had an amazing time!!

Upon hearing of Pope Francis’ call to honor the poor for a day, the Oikos Sisters garnered inspiration from the Kkottongnae Community and had our own day of celebration for the poor in October 2017, just before the celebration of our patron Saint, Saint Francis of Assisi.  This year, on October 5, 2019, Oikos celebrated our third annual Adlaw Han Mga Kablas, A Day For The Poor!!  Over 1,050 of Borongan’s poorest of the poor came and were given the royal treatment all day, beginning with breakfast and great, big, welcoming smiles from our volunteers and continuing throughout the day.  Here’s a few pictures of our celebration:

Our VIP’s were greeted by our Elder Servant in Oikos, Sister Mines, and also by our happy volunteers!  They were served bread and coffee…Pandesal is the most favored breakfast bread in Borongan!!

    

 

We were so, so energized and filled with joy ourselves when we saw the happiness of our guests!!       THE JOY OF THE LORD IS MY STRENGTH!!   Pass it on!!

     

 

Were the Oikos Sisters worried about having enough food for over 1,000 people???  No indeed!!  Trust in the Lord… Ask and you shall receive… Oh, boy…did we ever receive!!  Overflowing with blessings!!

   

And then the dancing… From the Cha-cha to traditional cultural dances and movin’ and groovin’, we all had a blast!!!

 

We were so blessed by the presence of His Most Reverend Bishop Crispin Varquez, who celebrated Holy Mass for us, and by the priests who co-celebrated with him.

 

How do 5 Sisters, 1 novice and 5 postulants pull this off, you may ask???  Many, many volunteers!!  Special thanks to all our helpers!!

  

 

We cerainly would be remiss if we didn’t thank our Poor Household of God Community, for you are a big part of all we do here!!  You have helped us to realize the dreams that the Holy Spirit plants in our hearts, and for that, you have our undying gratitude and our most sincere prayers each and every day.

What a huge success our Third Annual Adlaw Han Mga Kablas was!!  We were so revved up, we already have begun planning next year’s event!!  Thanks be to God, and thanks be to our generous supporters!

Please continue praying for us!!  God bless!!

 

 

A GREAT, BIG, HUGE THANK YOU!!!

All of the Oikos Sisters of the Oikos Ptochos Tou Theou Mission (The Poor Household of God) and our whole community in the Philippines are sending our most heartfelt gratitude and appreciation to the Diocese of Joliet in Illinois, USA for their open, welcoming hearts and overwhelming generosity to Sister Clarissa during her 2019 Mission Appeal!!!  Sister Clarissa spoke at four parishes this summer:  St. Francis Xavier, Joliet, IL …. St. Peter Damien, Bartlett, IL …..  Immaculate Conception, Morris, IL …. and St.  Isidore Parish, Bloomingdale, IL.

       

Sister Clarissa is pictured above with Fr. Ed from Immaculate Conception Parish, next with Fr. Juan Jose at St. Isidaore Parish and with Fr. Mario at St. Walter’s Parish.

We are so very grateful for all the love and care we received from all of the parishes, from all of the people we met in and around the Diocese of Joliet and from the associates of the Poor Household of God.  THANK YOU for being partners with us in our mission helping the poorest of the poor in Eastern Samar in the Philippines.  We could never be able to do all the work we do without the generosity of all of our benefactors.  THANK YOU  for hearing the gentle whispers of the Holy Spirit speaking through Sr. Clarissa.  Please be assured of our everlasting gratitude and our daily prayers for you, your intentions and your families.

             

             Sister Clarissa with the Good Shepherd prayer group

 

 

 

 

Sr. Clarissa is coming to Chicago, IL!!

Sister Clarissa is coming in July to the Diocese of Joliet in Chicago, Illinois to participate in a Mission Appeal for the Oikos Mission in the Philippines!!  Here are the dates and places she will be speaking at:
July 13/14 –  St. Francis Xavier, Joliet, IL
Sat. 4:30pm; Sun. 8:30 & 10am
July 20/21 – St. Peter Damien, Bartlett, IL
Sat. 5:00pm; Sun. 8:00, 9:30 & 11am
July 27/28  – Immaculate Conception, Morris, IL
Sat. 5pm;  Sun. 7:00, 9:00,11:00am & 2pm (Spanish)
Also…
There is a Silent Auction Fundraiser in Glen Ellyn!
When: Friday July 12, 6-10pm
Where: St. Petronille Parish Life Center
420 Glenwood Ave., Glen Ellyn, IL
Come join us as we celebrate Sr. Clarissa being with us!

What better way to celebrate than by having her share with us the Oikos Sisters’ ministry in Eastern Samar, Philippines. So many lives have been touched…learn of their most recent programs, updates and tender stories of those they serve. Plus, what a delight when she sings in her beautiful voice sharing the love she has for us all!

We will again be offering a delicious Asian meal to enjoy along with a silent auction and fun to be had by all!
This event is free, bring your family and friends.                                                           It’s important though that  you RSVP please  so we can set up a cozy friendly room to gather and to ensure we have enough scrumptious Filipino food.

If a silent auction item delights you, please know we accept credit cards (Visa, MC, Discover, AmEx) and of course, cash or checks. Be assured that  ALL  of your donations will go directly to serving those in need! Feel free to contact me with any inquiries.

Please RSVP by July 5:
Mary Jane Trinkus 630-858-3758
PoorHouseholdofGod@yahoo.com
Both the Mission Appeals in the parishes and the Silent Auction will raise funds for the Oikos Mission.  Some of the ministries you will be supporting are:
       EDUCATION                                                                       THE CHARITY VILLAGE
                 
           LIVELIHOOD PROGRAMS
                                                       
RELIGIOUS EDUCATION                                                                IMMERSIONS
                                                   
 AND SO MUCH MORE!!!
If you are not in the Chicago area or are unable to attend the appeals and fundraiser, please feel free to make your donation online or send it to Mary Jane Trinkus…all the information can be found here!
                                             THANK YOU for your support, prayers and love!!                                           We are so very blessed because of YOU!!

A HUGE THANK YOU FROM THE CHARITY VILLAGE!!!

 

The Oikos Sisters would like to extend our greatest thanks to each and every one of our benefactors, in finances and in prayers, for the amazing generosity and thoughtfulness you have shown in giving so bountifully to our mission, particularly in the Charity Village.  We have seen tremendous growth in our village since the land was donated to us, and we know that without your charitable, giving hearts, we would not have been able to build homes for so many families to call their own, we would not have been able to begin to build our road inside the village, and we would not have been able to grow plenty of fruits and vegetables there, which are already producing food for our families’ tables and pocketbooks!!

In truth, you are home-sweet-home-builders for these families, helping to give them dignity and safety in a home all their own; you are dream-come-true-makers, helping the Oikos Sisters to fulfill a dream they had years ago for the poor people here; you are hope-injectors for all the people needing dialysis in Borongan and who are hoping beyond hope that the medical clinic in the Charity Village will house the first dialysis center in the city.  In short, you are angels in disguise and we couldn’t do any of this without you.  Thank you for being partners in God’s work here in the Philippines with us.  May God bless you and your families today and every day.                                         Salamat Po!!  Thank You!!

Barrio Immersion in Camantang

A barrio immersion is when the Oikos Sisters totally and completely immerse themselves in a barrio, usually a new barrio they have never been to that, because of its distance to the city or difficulty in getting there, does not receive a lot of help from NGO’s or the Filipino government.  I have heard it said many times during various immersions I have been on, “We thought the world forgot about us.”  And indeed, many people feel that way.  It’s sad to hear, but also it feels so good to bring the love of God and His many blessings to these people, to help them to feel loved, cared for, wanted and special…for indeed they are!!

Camantang is about a two hour drive north from the city of Borongan where we live, and about a two hour boat ride.  When I say we bring God’s blessings with us, I totally mean it!!  We bring clothes for men, women, teenagers and children, we bring food for the entire weekend for the entire village including food for meals, snacks, drinks, plates*, silverwear*, cups* and cooking pans and utensils, we bring a movie projector and movies to watch at night, we bring the blessings that people send us…rosaries, baby blankets, washable and reusable menstrual pads, reading glasses, sunglasses, water filters, food packs of rice, coffee, sugar, canned meat and noodles for each family, deodorant, school supplies for children and for the teachers, birthing kits, and so many more things.  Imagine loading cars full of all of these things, then unloading at the dock, loading up again on the boat and unloading at the destination!!  It’s not easy!!  We had to take a second boat to Camantang because all of the volunteers we brought and all of the food and things we brought were making the boat sink!!!

*By the way… we do not bring plastic/paper plates and utensils, we bring the real deal…hundreds of them to serve everyone in the village.  The Oikos Sisters are committed to the love and care of the people we serve, but like our patron, St. Francis of Assisi, we also love and care for our earth.  It’s very, very heavy to carry, but it makes our hearts and minds feel AWESOME to recognize the importance of taking care of our environment!!

We also brought our traveling dental clinic with us to Camantang, including dental chairs, tools and eauipment, medicine and our very own dentist, Sr. Michelle.  She’s about the lightest thing we bring!!  Unfortunately, because of time restraints in our schedule, we were only able to stay in Camantang for two days, where usually our barrio immersions are three days and two nights.  But we sure did accomplish a whole lot in those jam-packed two days!!  Our dental clinic saw 75 patients in two days!!! It was the first time for us to give the reusable menstrual pads, and I can’t even tell you how excited those girls and women were to receive them.  They were given by Days for Girls, http://www.daysforgirls.org.  We gave about 50 of them, and we hope to receive more to give in other places.  What an amazing invention!!

The tireless leader of The Poor Household of God, Mary Jane Trinkus, joined us for this immersion.  She helped to give out our many blessings, serve food, and teach catechesis to the kids!!  We were so blessed to have her with us…she makes it all more fun!

Unfortunately, we were unable to see all of the dental patients who wanted to be seen in Camantag, so we will be returning there after the elections in May.  When the Oikos Sisters make a promise, they keep it!  We are greatly looking forward to our return to Camantang, and then, onto other barrios in need.  This is one part of the Oikos Mission that is truly a great joy for everyone involved…the people we meet are so overjoyed to have the help and care we give, and the Oikos Sisters and all our hard-working volunteers find so much fun and joy in going on immersion.  It is a win-win all around.  We continually praise and thank God for being so providential to us, for supplying us with all the blessings we are so happy to share with others, and for giving us the energy, talent and generous spirit to do His work!!  Thank you, Lord!!!