Memories that will last a lifetime - Remembering Sr. Au-Au
by Bobby P. Sagra
A Personal Tribute to Sister Aurora " Au-Au" Caspe, SPC 1958-2010
by Bobby P. Sagra
Friday, May 14, 2010
Sister Aurora Caspe and Marl Sagra during Sister Au-Au's 25th Anniversary
of Religious Profession in 2009. Photo courtesy of Marl (5/2/2009)
Sr. Au-Au Caspe was born in Cabatuan, Iloilo on August 24,1958. Her family is one of the distinguished families in town, her parents being both elementary school teachers. She grew up in another part of the town, quite away from where I grew up, but being in a small town we come to know each other more or less, especially at school. My first vivid recollection of Sr. Au-Au's personal touch and presence in my life was on September,1978 when she, together with Helen Grana and Pangga Grio attended my Investiture ceremony at the St. Nicolas de Tolentino Catholic Church in Cabatuan. They just graduated from their Nursing Courses at that time from St. Paul's College, Iloilo and being together in Cabatuan National Comprehensive High School I invited them to join my first big day as a seminarian of St. Vincent Seminary in Jaro, Iloilo City.
Years and years went by and I did not meet again Sr. Au-Au in person. I just got news from people who know her how she ended up deciding to join the St. Paul de Chartres Sisters (SPC) and finally made it to her final vows. I went on with my journey of discipleship, finally making it to the ordination to the Catholic priesthood and embarking on a missionary journey to the countries of Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands, and even having ended up to making my First Vows as a Benedictine monk of Our Lady of Guadalupe Abbey in Pecos, New Mexico.
In December 8,2007 I decided to leave the Catholic priesthood and monkhood and get married to Marilene Lusaya Torre, a single mom and a widow to the late Edgar Regidor Torre, to whom she has given birth to two children, Isabel Torre and Gabriel Torre. Being a friend and classmate of my wife, Sr. Au-Au gathered all their former classmates in CNCHS who are living in Manila and organized a dinner for us just a week before our wedding day. She herself spent half of the price of the dinner party. Observing her and talking briefly to her, I felt how full of charity and kindness her heart was. My wife and I still talk about that moment when we were so happy being near to her heart and prayers.
Last year, Sr. Au-Au celebrated her 25th Anniversary of Religious Profession. I told my wife to take the time and effort to be personally present there to express gratitude to God and to Sr. Au-Au for all her support of friendship and constant prayers in our married life. My wife went and took some beautiful pictures with Sr. Au-Au that day.
When my wife Marl told me over the phone about the passing away of Sr. Au-Au, my first thought was, God bless her soul, she has truly lived a full and abundant life until the end. Just before writing this, I took a quick glance at the Profile of Sr. Au-Au, especially her further studies, success in leadership and accomplishments. I know very well it was a great sacrifice both for her and her family that instead of contemplating to continue to work as a paid salary nurse and go abroad, she decided to become a nursing nun instead. God called her to become so and she responded with great generosity of self and love. Being a Cabatuananon, this is not surprising for me. The people of Cabatuan are great adventurers and achievers in any field of human endeavor. Truly, Sr. Au-Au will linger in our memory and hearts as a daughter of Cabatuan and a graduate of CNCHS we can be really proud of. She is not only a new heroine of our town. She is also our new saint in heaven. My most sincere condolences to the Caspe Family and to the religious community of the Sisters of St. Paul de Chartres.
Sincerely a Cabatuananon,
Bobby P. Sagra
McCloud, California, USA
Sister Aurora "Au-Au" Caspe (rightmost)
with (from left) Bobby Sagra, Marilene Sagra, Hermosa Agundo Puga, Cecilla Jiloca, Editha Pillo, Rache Gepanaga.
Photo courtesy of Marilene Sagra 11/27/2007