A Tribute to Baby Goyena Herrera


IN MEMORIAM: A MEME called  Lourdes “ BABY” G Herrera
By:  Sr. Fe Emmanuel, r.a.

THE CLASS OF 76

Baby was in one of the first classes I taught. Fresh out of college, a    neophyte teacher, teaching a bunch of   brilliant students can be nerve-wracking. But Baby and her class made it easy for me. And it was fun, energizing, inspiring. Teaching became pure joy!

Twenty five years later on their silver jubilee, I got reunited with the class once more. This class easily out deed themselves. They were still witty, now more accomplished, now wiser. But their unity and cohesiveness was more evident. And in their midst was the towering figure of Baby. Back then and more so after 25 years she was the undisputed axis that pulled the class together. Yet each one shone in their own right. No one overshadowed the other, not even Baby. That is the gift that her person offered to her class or to any group to which she belonged. She drew together a network of people bound together by care and compassion providing comfort and support. She would go the extra mile, literally even: once to be at the side of a dying classmate, dropping everything to be with her to give solace. It meant traveling to another continent. In a more recent occasion, she and a group of classmates went to another country to visit still yet another classmate who was not well. Tonight we celebrate her, for her super human gift of friendship.

ASSUMPTION TOGETHER

In 2006, Assumption Together was barely uttered. The idea/concept was struggling to find a voice, a face, an existence, a champion.

Baby became the first Provincial Lay Representative and before anyone knew it, Assumption together was on everyone’s lips. I am a witness to the untiring way she rallied to make it a reality, For 9 years, she tirelessly animated different groups of the Assumption and made them all feel important and part of the great adventure called Assumption Together. In various projects, congresses, formation sessions, fun runs, Baby worked harder, gave more and in the midst of all the successes, the most humble. Assumption Together became synonymous to Baby. No one else could do it the way she did it.

BICENTENARY AWARDEE

John F Kennedy once said that a nation reveals itself not only in the individuals it produces but by those they honour. In 2017,

the Religious of the Assumption, during the Bicentenary of the birth of St. Marie Eugenie and Mother Therese Emmanuel, honoured 6 persons who have enriched the life of the Province by their exemplary lives and services. Baby was the youngest honouree.

Like all the other honourees. Baby did Assumption Proud. Throughout her life, her service, her example, her humanity, she embodied what Assumption dreamt all her students to be. She had the distinct Assumption quality of faith and service, determination, pursuit of excellence. Her achievements are matched only by her modesty.

A MEME

According to Webster dictionary, a MEME refers to “an element of a culture or system of behaviour that may be considered to be passed from one individual to another by non-genetic means, especially by imitation.”

What could be Baby’s MEME?

A Woman for all Season?

When she is your friend, she’s yours to the end?

In life’s twists and turns, there is grace, and its name is Baby?

No one else does it better?

She gave us many to choose from. Take your pick.

Baby, you are a Meme unto yourself and we are proud of you! We love you.

 

2017 Bicentenary Awardee: Lourdes “Baby” G. Herrera

 

There are superheroes, there is wonder woman and there is Baby Herrera.

A category that is uniquely hers, for
Lourdes “Baby” Herrera’s brand of service borders on what Maya Angelou
dub as phenomenal yet very self-effaced.
A natural leader, nothing is too difficult, anything is achievable
and it can be accomplished without much fuss and drama..

A Wonder Woman? There is an adage that says:  if you want something done, give it to a busy person.  In the Assumption, if you want something done, give it to Baby Herrera: As a parent in the Assumption, San Lorenzo, she willingly accepted to head

the first Basic Education Family Council: a rather daunting task and very unrewarding for this was the beginning stage of the Basic Education Department ’ restructuring.

In 2007, she was concurrently Assumption Alumnae Association president, Vice President for Administration of Assumption College, Provincial Lay Representative

and co-chaired of the Canonization Committee.  She helped organized the canonization pilgrimage where over 1000 participated.  She rallied alumnae and friends to raise funds so that others who could not afford to go to Rome would be able to participate.

A superhero?  From 2007 to 2016, Baby was repeatedly elected for 3 terms as the Provincial Lay Representative of the Assumption.  In her nine-year stint, as Lay Representative, development of MME Formation Programs went full swing and these programs were conducted throughout the Province, awakening the lay to the beauty and power of MME’s spirituality.  The community of Assumption Lay (CLAY) and the Provincial Lay Formation team grew in an unprecedented manner.  Baby ably represented the Province in the first international lay congress in Lyon Spain and in the 2012 General Chapter in Paris, France.

bherreraBut who is Baby?  What is her legacy?  Not a wonder woman or a super hero, just vintage Lourdes “Baby” Herrera: She has a heart even much larger than herself, a heart that knows not how to count the costs and that finds a special place for all.  She allowed the spirit of humble service and self-giving to infect her being that put her at the service of God and country as a young professional – so that wherever she was, Baby was always “the person to count on”.  And Assumption had every reason to be proud of her as an extension of itself – wherever she was – government, private sector, etc.

The rest is history – the committed woman that Baby– was and continued to be available for absolutely anything – from organizing a sale to managing a Congress; from birthday celebration with the Malibay children to sponsorship of movie premiers for a cause; from spending weeks with a dying classmate to spearheading CLAY activities, what is clear is she does all with love and dedication as though this was all she had to do.

Assumption is privileged to see St. Marie Eugenie’s dream of transformative education fulfilled in one of its students, in Baby, in her life of unequivocal service marked by hard work, loyalty and genuine love beyond the call of duty.

Tonight, at this Eucharist, we celebrate the life of this extraordinary human being.  She was LIFE but now she has become LARGER than Life for she is now with her God Who has always been the true LOVE of her Life.