FTSFI takes care of the soul of SM Employees




By Rose de la Cruz


By building churches inside the super malls of SM or right beside it, the Felicidad T. Sy Foundation Inc. makes sure to take care of the spiritual needs (and the soul) of the mall employees and mall goers,  who pack their church obligations in the cool comfort of the mall churches and chapels.


At first local parishes shunned and protested about the mall chapels and churches and masses being said in them—as this would deprive them of the collections from Sunday masses or those said during holy days of obligation and lunch time or at 6 p.m. everyday.


True enough attendance to masses in malls have leapt through the years owing to traffic (which has made travel time almost impossible for church goers to do many task in different places) and the mall churches and chapels have been upgrading their services.


Through the years, FTFSI has built: the Chapel of the Eucharistic Lord in SM Megamall (at first the chapel then a shrine but maintaining the chapel); San Pedro Calungsod in SM Aura; Shrine of Jesus, the Way, the Truth and the Life at MOA Complex (beside the SMX Convention Center); San Pedro Calungsod Church in Cebu City; Mary the Queen Chapel in Jaro, Iloilo; Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal in General Uno, Cavite City; the newer ones are: Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary in SM North EDSA, Holy Family of Nazareth School in National University (now majority owned by SM) and the Cross Tower in Cebu.


The foundation also ensures that altar servers and lectors and commentators will not be in short supply in these churches and chapels. It has oriented 210 lectors and commentators (with annual renewal), with annual training for altar servers and sacristy upkeep and floral arrangement in the service of the Liturgy.


It also holds outreach and sharing activities for employees on a voluntary basis; recollection; Kumpilang Bayan; mass wedding (in August or September) and values formation (the first of which was held last May 20). A catechism is slated for the first time this October.


Values formation


Over 20 employees from the different malls of SM participated in the first values formation seminar held last May conducted by Fr. Jason Laguerta. The low number of participants was due to the inability of SM employees to visualize what would be discussed in the seminar. But now, Mel Elido of FTSFI said she has received numerous requests/inquiries to conduct another one next year.


In that session, Fr. Laguerta spoke of the four quarters in a man’s life based on God’s Positioning System (GPS). These quarters are: First quarter—the Identity Stage (1 to 20 years old) where the person who goes to school and lives with his parent asks “sino ako;” Second Quarter—Stability Stage (21 to 40 years old) when a person asks questions like do I know who I am, am I insecure about how I look, what gives meaning to my life and where am I now; Third Quarter—the generative stage(41 to 60)  when a person asks what can I give or offer,  self is not important and I am at this stage now but I cannot give anything yet and Fourth Quarter—Legacy stage (61 to 80) when a person asks “what can I leave behind.”


To reach one’s GPS or direction Laguerta advised: “do not live in the past but just look forward; forgive as unforgiveness will not bring you to your destination and GPS will help us reach life’s destination.”


Finally, he said, “we can never go wrong if we follow God’s way.”