Cebu, Cebu
by Rev. Fr. Roman C. Sagun, Jr.

Here’s more of the shipboard diary in February 1905 by Sr. Ange Marie Bannier, SPC:

Cebu! Here is Cebu!”, This exclamation helped us dress up fast, and in a twinkling, we were on deck…

Two vehicles brought us to the residence of the Sisters of St. Vincent de Paul (Spanish and Filipino), the Convent of the Immaculate Conception. At this moment, the Vicar General of Monsignor Rooker, who had come from Iloilo to escort us to Dumaguete, arrived. He was delighted to see us, but he stayed only a short while with us because he wanted to attend to the unloading of our baggage. A ship was leaving in the evening. We had to take it in order to arrive sooner at our mission.

At around 5:00 p.m., we went to see Monsignor (Thomas A.) Hendrick, an American. We will not be under his jurisdiction. Dumaguete is the capital of the island of Negros (Oriental), which is under the Bishop of Iloilo. Despite this, he received us as warmly and paternally as the Archbishop of Manila had done, though somewhat differently. The Bishop of Cebu is a kind father, with whom one quickly feels at ease. Though he was a man of great dignity, he does not treat people with the cold formality frequently shown by persons of distinction. He must have been expecting us, for, after starting to converse with us and asking with great interest many questions regarding our Community, our apostolate, and the house in Dumaguete, he slipped some pieces of paper money into Sister Superior’s hand, saying tactfully, “Here is some pin money.

Then, upon learning that one of the Sisters was an American, he seemed even more touched. Rising as if under a sudden inspiration, he said “Wait. I think I have some books that you may find useful.” He brought out around a dozen beautiful lives of saints, books for the Children of Mary, for Baptism, for First Holy Communion, all in English. He also offered us a magnificent crown of carved mother-of-pearl for the Blessed Virgin, two rays, also of mother-ofpearl, and while continuously looking for something else that could be useful for us, he prepared a package of linen cloth, saying, “When one starts a house, one never has too much linen.”

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