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PUTTING MY CORE VALUE OF MERCY INTO ACTION

Putting My Core Value of Mercy into ActionPCNE Bong Pelaez sharing
Mini-sharing delivered during the July 16, 2016, Breakout Sessions, PCNE 3 – Phil. Conference on New Evangelization III

By Eduardo Fabella Pelaez, BCBP Cagayan de Oro West Chapter, BCBP Board of Trustees for Mindanao

Growing Up in a Christian Home of Mercy

My father, Emmanuel Neri Pelaez of Medina, Misamis Oriental, was a public servant for 40 years. My mother, Edith Neri Fabella of Cagayan de Oro and Pagsanghan, Laguna, was a full time housewife. Our home was almost the size of a small barangay… our family of eleven was outnumbered by the number of regular house helpers including working students and relatives sharing rooms with my four sisters and two older brothers. Our home in Quezon City accommodated relatives who needed a boarding house while studying in Manila and deserving working students from Mindanao. Our home was also an open house to relatives needing financial assistance.

I grew up in this environment … with a politician and in a Christian home of Mercy… We are nine children and I am number 5 or the middle child in the family. My father was a Congressman when I was born… our home was already a house of Mercy. I believe in the saying: “Children See. Children Do.”

Reflecting on the core values learned from my parents: I witnessed and appreciated my parents’ SIMPLICITY and HUMILITY resulting to the virtue of MERCY cultivated and taking root in my whole being… my sharing will expound on the virtue of MERCY.

A Church for the Poor …. Mercy in the workplace

CASE #1 Doing Business with Barangay Duka marginalized entrepreneurs.

HOW have I applied this principle of Mercy in the Marketplace? In January 2012, five women put up temporary-permanent sari-sari stores in our vacant lot strategically fronting the family beach resort – Duka Bay Resort in Medina, Misamis Oriental. The women saw the OPPORTUNITY to earn a living -but without having the consent of the lot owners.

As the administrator of that lot, I had two options: First Option – demolish and assert no permission was granted; Second Option – help create wealth by partnering with the enterprising women. I took the second option. We agreed that a decent sari-sari store complex would be constructed and leased based on their recommendation of Php 20 per day per stall rental, and collected on a daily basis. An additional provision in the written lease contract agreement stipulated that no hard drinks or beer would be served or consumed in the vicinity.

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My women partners have religiously paid their daily rental since April 2012. By God’s Grace, I recovered my investment in April 2014.

The MERCY CHALLENGE – Social advocacy through WEALTH CREATION is rewarding for the lot owner who constructed the sari-sari store complex and for the lessor/retailers who pay on time. Pope Francis’ BUSINESS MODEL of mercy prevents legal litigations and unnecessary court cases. My entrepreneurial definition of Mercy – Marginalized entrepreneurs can pay daily rental under reasonable terms and conditions agreed by both the lessee and lessor.

CASE #2 Using the Social Media/Facebook in helping our kasambahay.

My second principle is that we don’t have to do all these works of mercy ourselves. If asked the right way, others are willing to help. I would like to take the case of one of our senior staff, Celing Neri, who is single and lives with us in our home. She supports her older brother who has been undergoing dialysis. The older brother lived alone since the wife was a struggling OFW in the Middle East and could not at all help financially.

Last month, the brother’s case worsened and he had to undergo two dialysis per week. My wife and I suggested that the brother stay with us so our staff can really supervise his dialysis. We helped in defraying the cost by soliciting with my siblings and government agencies – PCSO and PhilHealth. Last week, the brother had a serious bout of pneumonia and was given a 50:50 chance. He had to be confined at the hospital for a daily dialysis and strong dose of antibiotics for a week. My children had to resort to Facebook for financial assistance.

Many of her friends know our staff member Celing Neri and her mission to help her brother. When my daughters FB friends found out Celing’s brother was in the hospital fighting for his life, Friends started visiting with cash donations. The son works in Cebu and had to file an emergency leave to attend to the father at the hospital. His father, Celing’s brother, survived, and left the hospital with no cash out.

Works of Mercy are passed on to our children. Children See… Children Do.

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CASE #3 Work of Mercy in the Work Area.

You can influence the spiritual formation of your employees as well as the Board of Directors. The bank provides A Catholic Scripture Diary to all employees and Board members as part of their Christmas gift. Every working day, our young employees start with a 15 minutes Gospel reading followed by a short sharing. This is followed with a 15 minutes business meeting.

I have mentored and coached my manager and supervisors to observe closely the Bible mini-sharing as a management tool in listening, knowing the person better and their concerns and also to use Bible passages in getting things done. We have developed closeness as a family and the staff considers me as a spiritual mentor and a coach. Also as someone they can run to.

This filial affection among my employees was tested when I was in Manila recovering from my own angioplasty. Around midnight, I got a frantic call from my Gingoog City other Bank Office Supervisor. His 6 years old daughter had dengue and was given a 50-50 chance of survival if not taken to Cagayan de Oro’s better equipped hospital. The first hospital could no longer accommodate her daughter since their Intensive Care Unit was fully booked. She was referred to the hospital across from my house. The hospital was reluctant to receive them. I called my daughter to accompany the family to the emergency room and call a family pediatrics doctor of the hospital to check on the child. Immediately, she was checked and placed in the ICU for three days and finally recovered. The girl is now 8 years old and our Bank’s 2016 Calendar Model, side by side with her father.

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We can see from the Calendar Cover the happy faces and the daughter’s aspiration to become a doctor of medicine.

Mercy can be practiced when we respond immediately to the emergency cases of our employees as I did – forgetting that I, myself, was recovering from a heart angioplasty.

CHANGING THE FACE OF BUSINESS WITH THE MERCY OF JESUS:

Jesus’ Mercy has taught me to be sensitive to the needs of our employees and our neighbors.
Jesus’ Mercy has taught me to know how to listen, listen, and listen!
Jesus’ Mercy has taught me to pray to the Holy Spirit for wisdom and guidance.

My MERCY Challenge to you my brothers:
• To follow Jesus’ Simplicity is a Choice…My choice
• To follow Jesus’ Humility is a Commitment…My commitment
• To follow Jesus’ Mercy is not easy….. BUT for me a Joy….. Jesus is My Joy

Let me close my sharing with a passage and challenge — to live a new life in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Colossians 2:6-8 “If you have accepted Christ Jesus as Lord, let HIM be your doctrine. Be rooted and built in HIM, let faith be your principle, as you were taught, and your thanksgiving overflowing. See that no one deceives you with philosophy or any hollow discourse, these are merely human doctrines not inspired by Christ but by wisdom in the world.”

Good Afternoon! God Bless Us Always!

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