local_offer Assumption Together

God will always triumph…

G eventTuesday, 24 November 2020

Maria Lourdes “Baby” Goyena Herrera, “Baby” as we all fondly called her was a woman of faith and action, who lived an extraordinary life by giving of herself to others in love and devotion. This was Baby’s life choice, that gained for her the trust and esteem of all those she came in contact with, both professionally and personally. She personified “intentional loving and serving”, which meant she chose to do everything with all her mind and heart and left nothing to chance convinced that this was her way of doing God’s will. She was most efficient, dependable, honest, and sincere with unmatched humility and calm that made the unimaginable and almost impossible happen, with grace and simplicity. She did all things well – no half measures – so “Assumption” in its essence.

Baby was the first official Lay Provincial Representative of what was then the Philippines-Thailand Province of the Religious of the Assumption, a role she assumed with all her heart in 2006. Always with deference to Ms. Lirio Ongpin Mapa, her immediate predecessor who was the Province’s first Lay Member of the International Permanent Council of the “Friends of the Assumption” – the term used prior to what we now call, ASSUMPTION TOGETHER. Baby built on what was then coming to birth and assumed this with strong, unwavering FAITH and magnanimity – attentive to where the SPIRIT was leading and always in partnership with the Sisters and other lay friends of the Assumption. This is one of Baby’s many gifts – the ability to work with others and to bring out the best in them so that together, the best was possible. And this was fully exemplified to the hilt when together with the Sisters, Baby assumed and inspired getting her Team motivated, to prepare for the Canonization of Mother Marie Eugenie in 2007 – rounding up a delegation of more than 1000, for the “once in a lifetime” experience in Rome on the 3rd of June 2007.

Baby continued to assume her role as Lay Provincial Representative until 2018 – organizing Assemblies and Congresses as well as Formation Sessions – to make St. Marie Eugenie of Jesus known and furthering the Assumption Sprit rooted and standing on the three pillars of prayer, community and mission.

But more than all the accomplishments, Baby always preferred to be effaced and even almost hidden – but most certainly remained the faithful, undaunting spirit behind all that is Assumption Together today in the Province, now called Asia Pacific. Baby was a graduate of Assumption College, San Lorenzo where she served as Vice President for Human Resources and Administrative Affairs. She also served as the President of the Assumption Alumnae Association from 2005 – 2009. These are just a few of the positions and offices Baby held, not to mention her other Professional posts such as the Chief of Staff of the Office of the Prime Minister of the Philippines and the Chief of Staff of the Office of the Vice President of the Philippines, among others.

We lost Baby’s physical presence so unexpectedly and we still have not fully gotten over the shock and the grief, but true to form, Baby remains present in all that is Assumption Together today in the Province, but in another and perhaps even more efficacious way. And if Baby were here and was asked how she would like to be described, I reckon it would have been fairly simple and straightforward – Assumption Together “God will always triumph...”

“Remember me as a loving wife, mother and grandmother…

Remember me as a kind friend always ready to lend a helping hand or simply be a presence of affection…

Remember me as a true Assumption girl who only wanted to bring my humble “stone” to build a better world…

Remember me as someone who loved Marie Eugenie, our Blessed Mother and our God above all else…

Remember me as always praying and preparing a place for you – looking forward to the day when I can welcome you home here, where there is unceasing joy and celebration, forever…

Both in life as well as in her passing, Baby has been a beacon of hope whose FAITH we all can emulate. In her last message to our good Cardinal with whom she worked in various projects, just a few days before she met her MAKER, she said, “GOD WILL ALWAYS TRIUMPH.” May this be her message to us all in the Assumption family, whom she loved dearly and who was certainly blessed to have had her among us.

SISTER MARIA JOSEFINA “MARJO” MATIAS AND INEZ ALVAREZ POLOTANAsia Pacific Province