THE CAMILLIAN SISTERS IN THE PHILIPPINES: The Sister Ministers of the Infirm of St. Camillus (MI), commonly called Camillian Sisters, is a pontifical, international religious Congregation whose charism is to serve the sick. Founded by Blessed Maria Domenica Brun Barbantini in Lucca, Italy in 1829, it arrived in the Philippines on January 1, 1979. In faithfulness to its mission and with the assistance of some generous benefactors, the Philippine Delegation now has:
- a polyclinic (The Camillian Sisters Polyclinic and Rehabilitation Center);
- a SPED accredited preschool (Maria Domenica Development Center in Antipolo City)
- two Homes for the Aged (the Camillian Sisters Bahay Kanlungan ni Maria Domenica in Antipolo City and the Camillian Sisters Balay ni Maria Domenica in Digos City, Davao del Sur); and
- hospital ministry (collaboration with the Ministers of the Infirm – Camillian Fathers – in St. Camillus Hospital of Mati Foundation, Inc.)
The Camillian Sisters Clinic started in a small nipa hut in 1988; three years later, a concrete structure was built and was inaugurated, “Opera Maria Domenica and Family Center.” Now called the “Camillian Sisters Polyclinic and Rehabilitation Center,” it presently offers medical, surgical, and dental services, laboratory (including Drug Testing) and radiological procedures, rehabilitation services, wellness center, social services, and pharmacy. Another institution, Maria Domenica Development Center, for regular and special children, was established in 1989. On September 15, 1998, the first home for elderly women was opened in Antipolo City. On September 1, 2002, the second, a temporary shelter for the abandoned sick, the elderly women, and the handicapped, was inaugurated in Digos City, Davao del Sur. Through continuous updating, the institutions have satisfactorily complied with the Department of Social Welfare and Development standards in the implementation of Residential Care Programs and Services for the Elderly. A DSWD accreditation was awarded to the institutions for their continuous efforts for the upliftment of the poor and the disadvantaged. In 2004, the Camillian Sisters opened a community in Mati Davao Oriental. The sisters work at the Hospital of St. Camillus as nurses, pastoral health ministers, in charge of general services, and collaborators in the community-based health care program of the hospital.
The distinguishing characteristic of our action is compassion, which transforms the technical, operational, and material deeds into effective actions which communicate love, instills courage, heals the body, and get to the heart of the sick person.
Attentive to the signs of the times, we mainly express our mission through:
- the exercise of health and social care professions, taking care of the person holistically in public and private institutions and in homes, where the need is real and urgent;
- the spiritual and pastoral assistance of the sick and their family members
- the training of health care and pastoral workers and of volunteers;
- the humanization of the world of health-care.
We commit ourselves to generate mutual communion in our workplace and the exercise of the mission. We work in collaboration with laypeople in defending the dignity and sacredness of every person and in promoting and protecting life from conception until natural death. In the last 20 years, we formed several lay groups that assisted us in our apostolates and with whom we shared our charism and spirituality. Last year, all these came into one banner, the Lay Family of Maria Domenica, a group of laymen and women committed to serving the poor and the sick.
THE CHARISM LIVES ON!