Rocenia Ongayo enters novitiate

MERIDEN, CT (02-14-2010) – Rocenia Ongayo, daughter of Romeo and Lucenia Ongayo of Mindanao, Barobo, Surigao del Sur, Philippines, was received into the novitiate of the Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist at a private ceremony on Sunday, February 14, 2010. Miss Ongayo presented her request to Mother Shaun Vergauwen, Mother General, and concluded by expressing her desire to be "a strong athlete" for the Church. Rocenia majored in physical education in the Philippines and has continued a regimen of disciplined physical exercise for years. Rocenia lived in Jerusalem for twelve years prior to entering the postulancy in Meriden.

After Rocenia was clothed in the habit and veil of the Community. Mother Shaun presented her with her religious name, Sister Rosario. Mother Shaun explained that the new name highlighted Rocenia's devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary as she has perfected the art of making rosaries. The name also continues Rocenia's family's tradition of names beginning with the letters "Ro". All of her siblings' names begin with "Ro": Romenia, Romeniño, Romelita, Romelia and Romelyn.

Sister Rosario will spend the next two years as a novice learning about the vows of chastity, poverty and obedience, and serving the needs of the Community at the motherhouse.

(Above) Sister Rosario poses with fellow novices, Sister Grace Marie Horan, Sister Michaela Serpa and Sister Regina Cochran at Paul VI Center following the ceremony of reception into novitiate. (Right) Sister Rosario kneels to receive a blessing from Mother Shaun.