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Pastoral Statement of the Bishops of Metro Manila -

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Respect and Care for Life 2019 -

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Pastoral Statement Against Divorce -

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Last Moments

loving memory











By: ajuperez

Sr. Pilar was laid to rest yesterday among her sisters in the RGS community who have passed away before her. The final words to the final chapter of her life have been written and her book of life is now complete. Friends and acquaintances who have visited her ashes and stayed with us for the past 3 days of her wake haveall gone home, bringing with them inspiring and touching memories of a nun who has spent her life being the selfless champion of women and the helpless. Still, I feel that the events of this past weekend and the days of the wake have taught us something about Sr. Mary Pilar Verzosa, RGS.

September 7, 2012

I received a text that says Sr. Pilar collapsed during one of her talks in De La Salle Cavite and that she was brought to the ICU. I was thinking how strong she was the last time I saw her, which was just in the senate a few days before that, and I kep t telling myself that she will be okay. I wasn’t worried at first, but the texts that followed told me that the situation was indeed very critical. Our executive director called me every so often to ask me to write updates about her situation, and in one of those conversations she managed to tell me: “be ready with a write up….” I needed no explanation, but I was in shock. Here she was telling me over the phone that Sr. Pilar had virtually no chance of making it, and nothing short of a miracle could save her. My lips were dry and my sweat was cold.

I couldn’t believe it.

August 18, 2012

I have been tasked to attend this day’s Pro Life Lecture Series talk in order to introduce the speakers and help out in any way I can. Sr. Pilar introduced me to the audience as “our very talented writer and editor of our magazine, who is also a very good film maker…” the praises went on to the point and I was getting embarrassed, but that was Sr. Pilar for you. She always made it a point to heap praises upon praises on us even though what we did was nothing compared to the magnitude of her work for the past three decades. Prior to the talk, she gave us all some goodies from her recent trip, and asked me to order pizza: one pepperoni, one cheese, and one just for me, any flavor I wanted.

After the talk, we all sat down for lunch with her and the speakers. Apparently, one of the speakers was Hanna Klaus, whom Sr. Pilar has worked with ever since the inception of Pro Life in the 70s. I remember them recalling fondly all the places they have been to, all the talks they organized, the audiences… Sr. Pilar remembers them vividly and with so much joy.

September 8, 2012

I received this text:

At 10;30 on Saturday evening, a decision has been made to discontinue Sr. Pilar’s meds that regulate her blood pressure and heart beat. The artificial respiration continues as well as the medicine that controls her brain edema. She is still in a coma. There is a request that she be moved to a regular room so her loved ones could be with her.

To be honest, I was still hoping that Sr. Pilar would come out of the coma and walk away from this with the best of health. Sr. Pilar can’t leave us. No, not during these times when the fight against the Rh bill and the other anti-life bills are at its fiercest. We need her physical presence, and her inspiration. Not now, sister. Not now. Please.

September 9, 2012

Sr. Pilar passed away at 4:44 am this morning…

I woke up to this text. I felt that we were all orphans now that Sr. Pilar has gone up to heaven, along with other pro-lifers Atty. Mia Zafra, Atty. Adrian Sison, Manny Arejola, and Manny Amador.  Are we ready to fight the RH bill alone? Let’s face it: Sr. Pilar is a very inspirational rallying figure. A warrior, no matter how good he fights, still looks to his captain, because the captain inspires and rallies his troops for them to fight with greater morale.

In our case, Sr. Pilar is more than just a captain: she is a friend, a mother, a protector, and a sister to us all. I am at a loss as to why all the good people seem to be the first to go.

September 11, 2012

This evening was dedicated for her pro life family. People kept saying in their eulogies that Sr. Pilar was responsible for them being immersed in the pro life advocacy. Sr. Pilar was a good teacher because she was a hands-on and deliberate teacher. She not only made sure that she saved women from the dangers that awaited them, she also made sure that there will be generations of pro-lifers that would come after her to continue what she has started.

Mayor Atienza told us the story of how he fought former DOH secretary Juan Flavier who wanted to introduce the contraceptive mentality into the country. He said he was reluctant to oppose Sec. Flavier at first, but Sr. Pilar egged him on, saying, “Ang liit-liit nyan, natatakot ka!” And from that moment on, Mayor Atienza fought Flavier all the way, to the point that Flavier never wanted to be in the same place where Atienza was.

September 12, 2012

The chapel of the RGS sisters were full of friends and loved ones, all gathered for the funeral mass of this woman who gave so much to save so many. Archbishop Tagle gave the homily, and reminded us that Sr. Pilar was ‘ready for the harvest’ and may have been the reason why the Lord called her to be with Him. He also reminded us that even in death Sr. Pilar was fully alive in her faith.

During communion, the choir sang one of her favorite songs, “Sino Ako”. She always made her audiences sing this song in her talks, and to be honest I didn’t appreciate the song right until that moment when I realized that that song was literally Sr. Pilar’s life in a nutshell:

Hiram sa Diyos ang aking buhay

Ikaw at ako’y tanging handog lamang

Di ko ninais na ako’y isilang

Ngunit salamat, dahil may buhay

Ligaya ko nang ako’y isilang

Pagkat tao ay mayroong dangal

Sino’ng may pag-ibig, sino’ng nagmamahal

Kundi ang taong Diyos ang pingmulan

Kung ‘di ako umibig

Kung ‘di ko man bigyang halaga

Ang buhay kong handog

Ang buhay kong hiram sa Diyos

Kung ‘di ako nagmamahal, sino ako?

Sr. Pilar’s life has been all about love. Who are we without love? St. Paul, in his letter to the Corinthians, reminds us that “ If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.” Sr. Pilar may have done all she has done in her life but if she didn’t do it with love, all that would have been for naught. And this is perhaps why we celebrate Sr. Pilar’s life. It was a life full of love, and it was a life that was lived well because of love. That’s what her life was all about, and if we can summarize her life in one word, that word would be love.

September 13, 2012

I made the last thank you letters for the friends who have attended her funeral. Soon, we all have to move on from her death and get back to work; personally I have been in a daze since this all began, and there’s nothing more Sr. Pilar wants than for me to get back to my usual routine. The memories of this past week will be forever etched in my memory and in my heart. Her life and her example are things I want to emulate, and I know Sr. Pilar has inspired even more people to follow in her footsteps.

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6 Responses to “Last Moments”
  1. Rovelyn Rebebes Berdos says:

    I was actually lookig for the SIGNATURE SHEETS that is why I searched for the Pro-life Philippines FB Fun Page. But then all I was reading was about the death of Sr. Pilar whom I met (just once) in a talk on ABORTION about 19 years ago in Vigan.

    It was really a shock for me. Though I was never directly involved in Pro-life Phils activities, I was one with those many who collected signatures to prevent an anti-Family proposed bill about a decade ago together with an NGO… still I am boldly expressing my stand as anti-RH / abortion or any anti-family proposed bills even if I am living abroad already. Behind my mind, it’s what Pro-life Phils is fighting for.

    As an almost-aborted child and never-used-artificial-contraceptive wife, I am a living proof that abortion and RH Bill is not the answer to the country’s economic problems.

    Now that Sr. Pilar has gone, I’m pretty sure that fight is stronger now, having her as an ally in heaven.

  2. Atty. Aurora A. Santiago says:

    I was one of the very first who heard what happened to Sr. Pilar that Thursday, Sept. 6. Early that day,Dr. Marita Wasan and Sr. Pilar went to Dela Salle University to give talks to nurses, midwives and physical therapists. I was in constant contact with Dr. Maritz that day due to Sangguniang Laiko ng Pilipinas’ activities for the National Laity Week (I am the National President and Dr. Maritz is the Vice President for the Ecclesiastical Province of Manila and the Chair of the National Laity Week Committee). Around 5:30pm, I got an urgent call from Dr. Maritz; she told me that Sr. Pilar suffered a stroke and was at the emergency ward; she requested for prayers. I immediately sent an urgent email to Pro-life Phils., narrated what happened, requested for prayers for Sr. Pilar and to contact her congregation to call up Dr. Maritz for the updates on the condition of Sr. Pilar. Around 10pm that day, Dr. Maritz; called me up that she was on her way home and was already in the Taguig area. She said that Sr. Pilar was at ICU and Good Shepherd nuns were with her. I really cannot believe it. Sr. Pilar was so full of life, now she was lying helplessly at the ICU. Dr. Maritz gave me updates on Sr. Pilar every now and then. The following day, Saturday, Dr. Martiz told me that Sr. Pilar only had 5% chance; that evening at our Veritas radio program Hello Father 911, we, the lay co-hosts and priests anchors, prayed for miracle to save Sr. Pilar. Early Sunday morning, Dr. Maritz sent text that Sr. Pilar passed away at 4:44am. I offered Mass and prayers for the eternal repose of her soul. Sr. Pilar, we may have known each other only for a short period of time, but those few moments we saw and met I will always treasure in my memory. Sr. Pilar, God bless and God speed. We will miss you!

  3. Sr. Mary Pilar gave all that she had to stop the RH bill. As in Christ’s death; darkness covered the earth but only for a short while. The pro-life advocates will find new strength as Sr. Pilar is now with Christ in heaven!

  4. Thank you Sr. Mary Pilar! We continue to stand for life!

  5. Sweet says:

    2 weeks ago I just read Sr. Pilar’s vocation story in their website. Also read some of her articles in the newspaper. Last night, a friend of my working at RGS Baguio texted if I know that Sr. Pilar died already. I was shocked! I’m sure I would be there in her funeral, I had known. I met Sr. Pilar in person just twice, but even before that I knew her already through her articles about love, life, inner healing, care for the abused women and the like as I was then searching ways to experience healing from my own traumas. I was privileged to meet her for the time when we launched a health program for pregnant & lactating mothers in a parish I served as a lay missionary, she was one of the guests of honor. Sr. Pilar’s life & her advocacies will always have great impact in my life, now that I’m married and a hopeful parent. Sr. Pilar, now that ur in heaven with our Creator, intercede for my family, for all of us and for our country in upholding the dignity of life, marriage & family.

  6. Sister Pilar, you have always been a staunch defender of LIFE. We shall always carry on with your legacy in protecting and defending life. May your soul rest in our Heavenly Father’s bosom.

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