Lenten Series: Migrant Faith Stories – Maria Fe

  • Feb 27, 2024

 

Fe’s beautiful family of seven was left shaken after her second daughter Marielle was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer, an aggressive type of brain cancer with only 25% chance of survival called glioblastoma, in 2012.

The family supported her through primary brain operations in Singapore and the Philippines when she was just 9 years old. Marielle continued her chemotherapy and radiation treatment, but unfortunately, her cancer was aggressive and she passed away a year later.

During that time, Maria Fe was pregnant with her fourth child – her only son, Martin. Unfortunately, he was diagnosed with the same type of cancer when he was three years old. With the tumour so deep in the brain, his condition was inoperable. He passed on at age four in 2016.

Her youngest daughter Miel was also found to have the same cancer when she was two years old, and similarly, she could not be operated on. She passed on in 2018.

A year later, her husband was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. He passed on in the same year as the cancer spread to the rest of his body.

“It is a very tragic and painful experience losing my loved ones. Sometimes, my tears will subconsciously roll down my face,” she said.

Would we still be able to trust the Lord when tragedy strikes?

While losing loved one after loved one brought her much pain and despair, she knew she needed to be strong for her remaining two daughters. Now, as the sole breadwinner and a single mother, Maria Fe turned to the Lord.

Instead of questioning Him, she chose to embrace her suffering and believed that God has a bigger plan for her and her family, and allowed these mysteries of life to deepen her love for Him.

“I learned to embrace God’s love, hope, and faith. Faith in God removed much of my fear and loneliness in life,” she said, “I committed myself to God’s grace and the tender comfort of the Holy Spirit.”

Living in hope


As a tangible commitment to love and trust the Lord with all her heart, Maria Fe found ways to serve in her parish, the Church of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour (OLPS). Shortly after her husband’s death, she joined the Legion of Mary and became a lector for the Tagalog Mass at OLPS.Through service, she was able to see how God answers prayer – though not in the way that we always expect. For Maria Fe, it came in the form of newfound friends and pillars of support in her healing journey,  which include the Filipino community at OLPS, Fr Gregoire Van Giang, MEP, Legion of Mary, and many others.

“My memories of the pain remain and I think will never be forgotten, but I know I can carry on and build a new life through a stronger faith in God that allows me to put my fears aside,” she said.

She encourages others to remain hopeful in adversity as well,  “Whatever happened in my life may or may not happen to you. But in all things, may we learn to trust the Lord with all our heart and lean on Him, not our own understanding.”.

Many migrants here carry heavy burdens – be it their financial situations, their family circumstances, coping with loss or working in a foreign land. This Lent, we invite you to be a beacon of support for them as part of your almsgiving commitment!

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Your donations can help us continue reaching out to vulnerable migrants through our various initiatives.


Find out more about the Migrant Faith Stories for Lent here