Vera Santo

My Life In Arko Punla Community

By Vera Santos

On 13 April Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales, retired Archbishop of Manila, was the main celebrant at a Mass to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the founding of Punla, the only L’Arche community in the Philippines. It is located in Cainta, Rizal.’L’Arche’ is the French for ‘The Ark’, a name derived from Noah’s Ark. L’Arche Philippines is known as Ang Arko ng Pilipinas.

Over the years a number of Columban seminarians have done pastoral work in Punla.

In this article Vera Santos tells us how her ten years of involvement with Ang Arko has blessed her.

Lala and Hachi

‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and God of all encouragement,who encourages us in our every affliction, so that we may be able to encourage those who are in any affliction with the encouragement with which we ourselves are encouraged by God’ (2 Corinthians 1:3-4, New American Bible Revised Edition).

For the past ten years that I have been a friend and now a volunteer in the Punla Community, I’ve come to realize that one of the most joyful discoveries in my encounter with the Core Members is that in recognizing, affirming and comforting them, I find myself being recognized, affirmed and comforted as well. Let me recount my experiences with Raymond, Jordan, John Paul, Mariflor, Rea, Lala and Benito and why I find peace, joy and comfort when I am in Arko:

Ang Arkong Pilipinas – Special Friends