Let us pray for the eternal repose of the soul of Sr. Ma. Fortunata Gayumale Gaspillo, A.R. who died at 7:55 A.M. today. Sr. Ma. Fortunata was born on June 28, 1936, and has spent 57 years in Religious Life. She was the daughter of Pedro T. Gaspillo and Fortunata V. Gayumale. Her younger sister, Mo. Emilia G. Gaspillo, A.R. also entered the Congregation of the Augustinian Recollect Sisters.
Funeral Mass will be on Monday, January 14, 2019 at 8:00A.M. Interment will follow at La Loma Catholic Cemetery.
May the choirs of angels come to greet you and to speed you to paradise. We ask you to pray for the living members of the congregation for strength and love in these challenging times. We ask you too, to inspire other young men and women to join the Recollect family to continue its mission. Thank you Sister Fortune for your gift of self to God through the congregation.
It was on that glorious Saturday of the Christmas season preceding the Baptism of our Lord, that you breathe your last, after receiving Jesus in the sacrament of the Eucharist. What a sublime way to end your earthly affairs and what a celestial pull from heaven above!
Sr. Fortunata was baptized Nida Gayumale Gaspillo a few weeks after June 28, 1936. She was born and raised in Kabankalan, Negros Occidental and was the 6th child among eight siblings, the youngest of whom is Rev. Mo. Emilia Gaspillo, AR.
She entered the AR congregation through the inspiration of her eldest sister, Nelly, and Fr. Edward Allen, SSC on May 29, 1959. She made her First Profession of Vows on August 5, 1961 and her golden jubilee on April 24, 2011.
Her places of assignment included St. Catherine Academy in Porac, Pampanga, Our Lady of Fatima Dormitory in Tacloban City, St. Margaret Mary School, Mangagoy, Bislig, Surigao del Sur, Colegio del Perpetuo, Tolosa, Leyte, San Pablo Colleges, San Pablo City, Laguna, St. Augustine Academy in Coron, Palawan and Liceo de Paete in Paete, Laguna.
From 1961 to 1986, Sr. Fortune was a witness to how these schools thrived under our care and coming to terms with the congregation’s reasons for leaving them.
In 1986, God chose Sr. Fortune to minister to Holy Name Academy in Palanas, Masbate, Virgin of Carmel School in Tiwi, Albay, Sacred Heart of Jesus High School in Brooke’s Point, Palawan, Colegio de Sta. Rita in San Carlos City, Negros Occidental and St. Augustine Academy in Bayawan, Negros Oriental.
Sr. Fortune was described by many as an epitome of simplicity. As one good treasurer and provider said, “You can tell the simplicity of a superior by the quantity and quality of the possessions she has in her keeping.” Simply put, to declutter is not for her because everything that she has, is intended for somebody, is to be used for a particular purpose. When she asked for something, it is out of need and accepts readily what is given to her without a fuss.
She is prayerful. She is never the sister who is always absent during prayers. And she has personal prayers for the sisters, for her family and for the poor souls.
She is a community person. She is zealously faithful to community acts and was never one to isolate herself even when hurt or offended by others in the community. In fact, she knows how to ease her way to avert disaster inorder to promote the common good.
She has a green thumb. She loves to farm and tends to vegetables, fruit trees, different kinds of herbs and root crops. She sees to it that she brings to the community, food on the table and relief from minor ailments of the sisters from her herbal garden.
She has a good sense of humor. Way back in the mid 90s, when I was in Legazpi and she was the superior of VCHS-Tiwi, I always persuade my superior to visit Tiwi, not for the tasty and flavorsome halo-halo but for her jokes and the comic way she cracks it!
So what is in store for us given the life of Sr. Fortune before us?
There are a lot of lessons that we can learn from her. For many of us who had the chance of knowing her on a personal level, she is one religious who we can emulate so that by so doing, our witnessing may speed up the beatification of our foundresses.
Sr. Fortune, you will be missed. Yet, we cannot say “no” or “not now” to the Father when He summoned you because for Him you have suffered much. With all our hearts we say, “Bon voyage Sister. Give our love to Jesus and to his Blessed Mother.”
In behalf of the congregation, we are grateful to all those who are present today: our Recollect Fathers headed by Rev. Fr. Dionisio Selma, Fr. Ian Espartero, Fr. Julius Marcos, Fr. Edgar Tubio, Fr. Gaudencio de Mesa, Jr., Fr. Henry Santiago and Fr. Glynn Ortega.
To Rev. Mo. Emilia Gaspillo and her family, thank you for your most wonderful gift to the congregation- the religious vocation of Sr. Fortune.
The congregation is thankful in a very special way to the community of Tahanang Talangpaz in Tagaytay for taking good care of Sr. Fortune in her time of great need.
To all our AR sisters from the different communities, we would like to let you know that your presence here strengthens us, making us feel that in sickness and health, we are one family.
To all our friends and benefactors, thank you for your support.
MAY GOD BLESS US ALL.
Sr. Maria Aurora Baygan, AR
January 14, 2018,