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Nuns dance to get recruits in Baguio City

By Elmer Kristian Dauigoy
Inquirer Northern Luzon
First Posted 03:34:00 01/31/2011

Filed Under: Religion & Belief, Belief (Faith), Dancing, Churches (organisations)

BAGUIO CITY?Never too old for ?Toyang.?

Catholic nuns on Saturday night danced to this Eraserheads hit inside Baguio Cathedral as part of a vocational drive to recruit new blood.

?There is a dwindling [number] of [entrants] through the years. But because of this, we might be able to get recruits,? Sr. Eva Vargas of the Villa Milagrosa Convent told the Inquirer.

About 30 nuns, aged between 25 and 80 years and who came from different Catholic congregations, danced at the altar before more than 100 churchgoers to the tune of ?Toyang,? a hit among the youth in the 1990s.

The song, released in 1993 by the band Eraserheads, talked about a young man?s wish to be with a simple girl.

Joining the nuns was a group of actors who depicted how parents instill values among their children.

?The family is beset with problems. We think that discussion about vocation should start in the family,? Vargas said.

New members needed

She said they wanted to reach out to young women so the program would be brought to the city?s Catholic parishes and universities.

?We danced to ?Toyang? because the song is very popular among the youth. This will call their attention,? Vargas said.

The nuns also danced to ?I Will Follow Him,? which became a household tune courtesy of the 1992 Whoopi Goldberg starrer ?Sister Act,? to Abba?s ?I Have a Dream,? and ?Our Mission,? a composition by Fr. Carlo Magno Marcelo of the San Carlos Seminary here.
Vargas said 10 more performances were scheduled in Catholic churches and universities here until Feb. 7. The nuns will be joined by child performers and dancers as they tour the community.

Sr. Alice Lansang, chair of the Association of Women Religious (Baguio-Benguet), said local churches needed new staff members and missionaries.

?The city has 19 congregations of religious women, which have 95 members. [Most are] elderly and retired [nuns] ? Schools, retreat houses and parishes are understaffed,? Lansang said.

Another calling

Vargas said through their campaign, the nuns also wanted to clear misconceptions toward their vocation.

?The sisters are not just there to pray in church. We can still be ourselves. Through dancing we can show the people that the life of sisters [is also fun],? she said.

She said women could choose to stay single and focus their lives on serving God and their community.

Vargas said many young people only thought about getting married.

?But there is also another kind of calling, which is the religious life, giving up a part of themselves for God,? she said.



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