News From Norway

by Sister Zenaida Nacpil OP

Dominican Sisters of Our Lady of Remedies Arrive

Front: Sr Bibiana, Sr Anna Mary, Sr Zenaida Back: Sr Sunniva, Fr Darius OCSO

Sr Zenaida S. Nacpil OP, ‘Sister Zeny,’ from Floridablanca, Pampanga, and Sr Bibiana T. Colasito OP, ‘Sister Bless,’ from Tolosa, Leyte, arrived in Bodø, Norway, 11 June 2005. Bishop Gerhard Goebel MSF of the Prelature of Tromsø invited the Sisters to come to continue the Dominican presence and ministry at St Eystein parish. Monsignor Torbjørn Olsen, parish priest, followed up the papers of the Sisters through the Norwegian Embassy in the Philippines. Archbishop Paciano B. Aniceto of San Fernando, Pampanga, gave his blessing to the Sisters’ courage and generosity in going overseas for pastoral ministry.

The Bodø Dominican community is a collaborative ministry of the Dominican Sisters of the English Congregation of St Catherine of Siena, Stone, England, and the Dominican Sisters of Our Lady of Remedies, City of San Fernando, Pampanga. How did this come about? Sr Angela Mary Leydon OP, Prioress General of the English Dominicans and Regional Coordinator for Europe, and Sr Zenaida S. Nacpil OP, Regional Coordinator for Asia-Pacific, worked together in recent years on the Dominican Sisters’ International Coordinating Council (DSI). This is an organization of Dominican Sisters from all over the world, with its office at the Generalate of the Dominican Friars at Santa Sabina, Rome. The DSI Coordinating Council has five coordinators, representing North America, Latin America, Europe, Africaand Asia-Pacific. The International Coordinator is Sr Margaret Ormond OP of Mary of the Springs, Ohio,USA. One of the aims of DSI is ‘to explore and foster collaborative initiatives within the Dominican Family.’ The collaborative ministry in Bodø is a concrete realization of this goal.

Sr Bibiana, front, center Sr Zenaida, front, right

At the moment, Sister Zeny and Sister Bless are learning the Norwegian language, serving at St Eystein parish and participating in its liturgical and catechetical activities.

Celebration of the Feast of San Lorenzo Ruiz

Sr Zenaida, far right, with friends

The Filipino Community in Bodø began the celebration of the Feast of San Lorenzo Ruiz de Manila with the Holy Eucharist celebrated by Msgr Torbjørn Olsen on 24 September at St Eystein parish church. The readings were from the Second Letter of St Paul to the Corinthians 4:5-8 – ‘the power of Christ is made manifest in our tribulations,’ and from St John 15: 1-11 – ‘I am the True Vine.’ The Song to San Lorenzo in English was composed by Sr Anna Mary House OP. Monsignor Olsen expounded on the life of San Lorenzo, father, catechist, missionary, martyr. He is a model for us to imitate. He has fulfilled what St John says, ‘as Christ laid down his life for us, so we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.’ The blood of martyrs is the proof of their faithfulness to God. San Lorenzo was one of those martyred inNagasaki, Japan, in 1637. He was a Dominican tertiary. He didn’t give up his faith despite the inhuman torture he received. He drank ‘the cup of suffering’, bitter and yet bringing salvation. We recognize that cup on the lips of our Lord Jesus Christ when he said, ‘My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me.’ Truly the martyrs have run the race, have finished the fight, have kept the faith and won the prize – the garland of righteousness.

After the nourishment of God’s Word and the Body and Blood of Christ in the Holy Mass, the parish community gathered in the ‘enighetslokale’ for a festive supper followed by parlor games, an on-the-spot raffle, entertainment with modern dances by the children and a selection of songs in Tagalog and English, including the popular ‘Magic Song.’

It was good to celebrate together as a parish community, a way to foster bonding as a worshipping, caring and celebrating family of St Eystein parish.

You may write to:
Sister enaida Nacpil OP
Marialkosteret, Alkeveien 1b
8003 Bodo, Norway

Silver Jubile of Filipino Sister in Norway

We congratulate Sister Agnes Ofelia Simbillo CB, originally from San Luis, Pampanga, on the occasion of the celebration of her Silver Jubilee in St Olav’s Cathedral, Oslo, Norway, on 6 January. She has been editor-in-chief of Pag-ibig, Tanglaw ng Buhay, the newsletter of Sacred Heart Chaplaincy, since 1996. The chaplaincy serves the Filipino community in the Diocese of Oslo. In 2005 the Catholic population of Norway was 56,308, or only 1.24 percent of the population, 4,557,093. (Source: The Catholic Church in Norway has a very informative website, , which has pages in English.