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Bangon Sacre, Rise Above the Flames

Straight Talk
by Nimfa L. Estrellado

“To all our graduates and friends, thank you for your prayers and support for Sacred Heart College. Let’s mobilize and pool our resources … and build a new SHC,” Amie Vargas, a faculty member, said in a message posted on her Facebook account on Wednesday.

According to Wikipedia, Sacred Heart College an educational institution in Lucena City, Quezon, Philippines is the first catholic learning institution in Quezon Province, it was founded on April 27, 1884. It had its roots in the vision of a simple and saintly woman named Hermana Fausta Labrador whose exemplary life was moulded on the Vincentian spirituality. The school grew and its status was changed from Academy to College in 1941. It was formally turned-over to the Daughters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul on August 14, 1937. In 2009, Sacred Heart College celebrated its 125th founding anniversary.

10 sisters stood on Sacred Heart College (SHC) on New Year’s Day morning, watching as an inferno ravaged the school and hardly believing what she was seeing.

“We all cried when we saw SHC on fire. The chapel, Hermana Fausta hall, archives, IT (information technology) center, sister’s quarters, IMC (Instructional Media Center), LRC (Learning Resource Center) and the grade school classrooms were totally burned,” Josefina Parentela, SHC-LAA president, said.

“We are thankful though that all the 10 sisters are safe and no one was hurt,” she added, referring to the Catholic nuns staying in the school.

In a telephone interview, Parentela said all belongings of the nuns from Daughters of Charity, the group managing SHC, were destroyed.

According to reports, the fire, which started at around 9:30 a.m., fire broke out at one of the oldest Catholic schools in Quezon province on New Year’s Day morning, some 30 minutes after people who went to the New Year’s day Mass had left the compound on Merchan Street here.

Firemen said no one was hurt as students of Sacred Heart College (SHC) were on holiday break and the nuns and personnel running the school were able to leave the buildings before the fire spread. The blaze started at 8:30 a.m. and was put out at 2:46 p.m., the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) said.

Classes for the school’s SHC students have been canceled for the next week.

My first reaction was this cannot be real. But once I’ve seen video footage on the scene and saw the flames coming out of SHC building, I said, there is a blessing in all those ashes that no children or staff were in the building.

But graduates, teachers and personnel of Sacred Heart College (SHC) here refused to let the spirit of the school be lost among the rubble.

They have started pooling their resources to help rebuild their school and The SHC-Lucena Alumni Association (SHC-LAA), through social media, has initiated a fundraising drive for the school.

It started with asking for donations on Facebook, then offers of assistance by the citizens of our great community and personal stories from the school began pouring in from men and women in all industries across Quezon Province, and the hashtag #BangonSacre became a rallying cry to to help rebuild SHC.

I know that people in our area care about children and education. We need that support as we continue to support SHC during this time and for all our schools as we continue to move forward. Although we’ve had this tragic situation occur, the support has been remarkable. With all our support, SHC will rise above the flames.
As I was reading my daily scripture one day, God lead me to Jeremiah 49:14 which states, “I have heard a rumour from the LORD, and an ambassador is sent unto the heathen, saying, Gather ye together, and come against her, and rise up to the battle.” When I read this word from the Lord, it’s like I received this word with my whole heart a wisdom that comes from above. Chaos was around me in every form.

This same word spoke to my spirit which simply said “rise up to the battle.” It is a battle when a fire destroyed a school. It is a battle when you teach your children to love the Lord and they fall in love with drugs and fornication. It is a battle when your spouse does not listen to you. It is a battle when no one on your job likes you and you’re constantly wondering which co-worker will try to destroy your job today. It is a battle when church people taunt you all because you are working the gifts God gave you and they’re not. It’s a battle when you have bills to pay and no money to pay them. Life is a battle. Sometimes we want to fight our way through. Other times, we tell God “I think I’ll take a rain check on this one.”

Despite how we feel, we must be willing to stand firm in our faith being ready and willing to rise up to the battle at all times.

Rising up to the battle tells us to step up instead of allowing the situation to overpower us in the midst of our circumstances. We often engage in the saying “the battle is not mine, it’s the Lord’s.” This is a very true statement. However, we must approach the situation in preparation for a fight as well.

This is our word for today...rise up to the battle. No matter what your battle may be, rise up. You have no need to fear the enemy nor do you need to be afraid of men’s faces because God will deliver you (Jeremiah 1:8). Remember, God desires for us to endure hardness as a good soldier in Jesus Christ (2 Timothy 2:3). Don’t allow the chaos to overpower you. I don’t know what your battle is, but God does. Don’t take a rain check on this one. In spite of all the trials you experienced before, you’re still here. I encourage you right now to think about every battle which has come against you. Don’t back down, but rise up, rise up, rise up.


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When you buy Sentinel Times Weekly Newspaper Digital Edition at 60 pesos, the entire 60 pesos will benefit Sacred Heart College Lucena. We will do this until the damaged school need our help to recover. Calling all our friends from different parts of the world. Visit visit our website https://www.sentineltimes.net/


Donations for the rehabilitation of the school can be send to the following

Sacred Heart College
Account name: Sacred Heart College
BPI Acct # 000863-3733-52 Peso

SHC Alumni Association
Account Name: Sacred Heart College Lucena Alumni Association Inc.
BDO Quezon Avenue Branch
BDO Acct # 003590006824 Peso
BDO Acct # 100880110457 Dollar

Account Name: Sacred Heart College Lucena Alumni Association Inc.
RCBC Savings Bank Lucena
RCBC Acct # 0-073-01558-9 Peso

For alumni account donations please send your deposit slip to josiepar123@gmail.com or text 09213614033.

For SHC BPI account donations please send your deposit slip to srrengay@dc-stlouisedemarillac-asia.org.