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By Orquidia Valenzuela
Utrecht-The Netherlands
August 17, 2013

She was in her twenties when Milagros Olaño Castrodes entered the convent in Cebu of the Order of Holy Spirit Adoration Sisters. The nuns of the Order lead a contemplative life dedicated to adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and perpetual prayers for the world. They follow a life of poverty, chastity and obedience.
In 1988 Castrodes made a solemn vow to serve G od under the Order and chose the name Mary Visitacion in her new life, On, August 17, 25 years later Sister Mary Visitacion renewed her vow in a mass held in the chapel of Cenakel convent in Utrecht.

Sr. M. Visitacion was transferred to the Netherlands after serving in the Philippines. The Order founded by Saint Arnold Janssen in 1896, has established Houses in many countries..
Celebrant of the solemn mass was Father Petrus Rentinck. Co-celebrant was Fr. Richard Lobo, SVD. Deacon Theo van Loon (who was for many years as missionary in the Philippines and South America, ) who did the homily and Prof. Dr. Joost Baneke (who will be ordained next year as a priest in the Diocese of Utrecht ) who read the Intercession. The Filipino Steyl Choir from Zaandam sang during the mass. Kababayan from Utrecht and other cities helped to make the event memorable.

Sr.Mary Visitacion looked happy and serene when a long queue of kababayan and Dutch congratulated her after the mass. Leading the well-wishers was Consul Cynthia Pelayo. Cenakel superior Sr. Mary Confidens stood beside Sr. M.Visitacion.

Witnessing the special day were Sr. M. Visitacion’s sister Imelda C. Cebrecus from Bohol and the Sister’s childhood classmate Lourdes Granada Vaño. Others who came were her cousin Ofelia, with husband Tony and 2 daughters Tara and Yang.
Castrodes family group photo with celebrant Sister Mary Visitacion

Kababayan who have reached 60 years still recall their visits to the Pink Sisters. The nuns wore then and till the present time, pink habit. They were better known as mongha. Meetings even with close families were limited. The visitors were given few minutes to meet and talk with the nun whose face and hands were screened from view. Wooden or steel bars separate the nun from her guests. The past years the rules relaxed and the face is no longer hidden but the bars remain.

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