Last Sunday, January 10, 2021, Filipinos in Macau bade farewell to the Honorable Lilybeth R. Deapera, consul general of the Philippines to Macau. The Filipino community of St Padre Pio offered a Mass for her as her stint in Macau has drawn to a close. The Mass was held at St Dominic Church and was celebrated by Fr Leonard Dollentas, the Filipino chaplain of the English speaking community of the Cathedral. The Filipinos, many of whom are domestic workers, gathered to say their goodbyes as the consul general prepares her return to the Philippines.
One churchgoer said after the Mass: “We take this opportunity to give our heartfelt thanks to the Consul General for her contributions to the Filipinos in Macau over the last years of her service. We wish her all the best on her return home and continued success on her next civil service.”
The Hon. Deapera was an energetic person in her service of the Filipinos and promoting the Philippines as one of the best tourist destinations in Asia. A domestic worker who serves in the church said of her: “Throughout the exercise of her duties in her mandate, Hon. Deapera made the welfare of the Filipinos in Macau her top priority, especially at the outset of the coronavirus pandemic.”
Indeed, she had faced the challenging task of allaying the consequences of the pandemic to Filipino workers in Macau. She worked hard to organize repatriation flights for Filipino workers whose contracts have ended in Macau.
After the Mass, the Filipino community presented her with the image of Our Lady of Sheshan. Our Mother of Sheshan, also known as Our Mother of Zo-sè, is a celebrated Marian title dear to Chinese Roman Catholics. Among its religious devotees, the statue is sometimes known as Our Lady of Luck or Our Lady of Good Luck due to the Chinese symbology of “Fu” associated with the styling posture of the entire image. Thus, the image given to the Consul General is both a wish and a prayer for blessings on her next government duty.