MANILA, February 26, 2018–Losing a parent is hard enough, more so if she is lost in a gruesome manner, one that demands radical forgiveness.
This is what Filipino actress Cherry Pie Picache shared at the Walk for Life Saturday, Feb. 23, to thousands of people gathered at the Quirino Grandstand to make a stand on issues ranging from abortion, the extra-judicial killings, the proposed revival of the death penalty; environmental destruction and resulting threats to the lives of indigenous peoples; genuine land reform; labor contractualization; the new tax law; human trafficking; and the lack of decent housing for the urban poor.
“When I remembered my mother and I miss her…It’s been 3 years… I still ask myself, can I really forgive? … You cannot cling to anyone else but God. So I decided, no matter how painful, I would forgive the one who killed my mother,” shared the actress turned life advocate, who has been serving in the prison ministry for two decades.
In September 2014, Picache’s mother, Zenaida Sison was murdered in her home in Quezon City in an apparent robbery. She sustained 26 stab wounds. The assailant was her houseboy, Michael Flores.
At that time of the murder, the veteran actress had been serving in prison pastoral care for around 12 to 13 years. The road to forgiveness and true healing, she admitted, is still ongoing.
“Now I am in the pathway. I’m journeying… And I’m praying that I will get to the end in forgiving the assailant. … I said before that I was a Catholic. …I pray, I thank [God] for all the blessings I receive, but when that happened to me, the only thing I told God was, ‘It’s so hard when you ask me how much I love You,’” shared Picache in Filipino.
Though painful, for a year she had to see her mother’s killer every week. By praying for and with Flores she began embracing the process of restorative justice.
“I want to believe that my mother did not die in vain. I want to believe maybe God allowed it to really magnify the love and mercy of God,” said Picache.
The last sharer before the Mass, she called on the faithful to be a “living testament of God’s mercy.”
Thousands of members and leaders from organizations like Adoracion Nocturna, Soldiers for Christ, Ligaya ng Panginoon, Couples for Christ, Couples for Christ – Foundation for Family and Life, Prolife Philippines, Light of Jesus community, Singles for Christ, students, priests and religious joined this year’s Walk for Life, which was replicated in Tarlac, Cebu City, San Pablo, and Cagayan de Oro City. (Nirva’ana Ella Delacruz / CBCPNews)