On May 3, 2023, the Oikos Ptochos Tou Theou celebrated their 25th Founding Anniversary! It was 25 years ago that 4 young Filipino women, who were professionals in their given fields of work, decided to give their “fiat,” their YES, to the Lord. That meant leaving their families, work…pretty much their whole lives, and live together as a community of lay women dedicated to serving the poor…at that time their work was saving abandoned children from a life on the streets. Two years later, those four women founded a religious community in the Diocese of Borongan, Eastern Samar, in the Philippines with the help of their Bishop and their spiritual director.
The Sisters modeled their lives after the life of St. Francis of Assisi by living simply among the poor they served, giving up possessions and relationships to follow the Lord. Inspired by the Holy Spirit, they began to form their community and mission, which today includes 7 professed Sisters, one novice, about 50 lay co-workers and benefactors and donors from all around the world! Still living according to the Spirit, the Sisters are constantly adding new missions and ministries to their apostolate as they see the need and feel the Spirit moving them.
On May 3rd, Holy Mass was celebrated by His Most Reverend Crispin B. Varquez and concelebrated by the Oikos Sisters’ Spiritual Director Msgr. Lope Robredillo along with many priests throughout the Diocese of Borongan. Many attended the joyous event despite the fact that there was torrential rainfall!
One of the most beautiful parts of the Mass, aside from the consecration of the Holy Eucharist, was the homily given by Msgr. Lope. In it, Msgr. described the life of the Oikos Sisters saying “God gives and Oikos gives away.” Truly, the Oikos Sisters have been greatly blessed by the Lord through their many benefactors and donors, including The Poor Household of God, who give their blessings and offer their sacrifices to the Oikos Community and Mission. It is sort of like one of those revolving doors… donations come in and the Sisters send them out to whoever is in most need at that moment. Because of their vow of poverty, the Oikos Sisters need little, but the needs of the poor are great. And because of the generosity of so many people all throughout the world, the poor of Eastern Samar are receiving God’s blessings through the love and thoughtfulness of many who give to the Oikos Sisters.
Fifteen years ago, missionaries who had come to Eastern Samar on a medical mission through the Diocese of Joliet Partnership in Mission created The Poor Household of God organization originally intended to send children to school. Now, through this organization and the many donors who give so generously, the Sisters are able to help where the Spirit leads them…and He leads them all over the place!
The Oikos Sisters would like to extend their most profound and sincere thankfulness to all the donors of the Poor Household of God, including all the associates and co-workers. Through you, God is touching lives, saving children, giving hope and much needed care to the poor. May God bless all who are a part of the Poor Household of God organization in any way! You are all held tenderly in the hearts of the Oikos Sisters and their beneficiaries!