Gertrudes Samson 'Ger'

A Lay Missionary from the Philippines working in Birmingham.

For Ger, joining the Columbans as a lay missionary has been a reunion of sorts. She was a volunteer with Columban priest Fr Sean Connaughton at his Housing Project in Tondo, Manila, one of the poorest communities in the Philippines, and later with the Grameen Bank in Subic, Zambales. She learned about Columban Lay Mission from a former Lay Missionary, Maria Lourdes Domingo or ‘May’.

Ger is a qualified architect by profession. She graduated high school from Siena College, a Catholic School in Quezon City established by the Congregation of Dominican Sisters of St. Catherine of Siena. She achieved her bachelor’s degree in Architecture from the University of the Philippines in Diliman, Quezon City, and graduated with her Master of Architecture in Human Settlements from the Katholieke Universiteit of Leuven in Belgium with honours.

Ger has worked mostly with non-government organizations (NGOs) involved in social housing in the Philippines. These include ALTERPLAN (Alternative Planning Initiatives, Inc.), HABITAT FOR HUMANITY, and with TAO-Pilipinas.

Ger was born in Manila and grew up in its adjacent city, Quezon City. She is the second in a family of four children. Her mother and younger brother still live in Quezon City, while her eldest brother with his wife and daughter migrated to Australia. Her youngest sister has also gone to Australia to be with her husband.  Her father died in 1987.

 

To know more about Ger’s Vocation Story, click this link below or copy paste it to your web browser:
http://columbanlaymissionaries-philippines.blogspot.com/2010/04/how-i-come-to-join-columban-lay.html#more

The following are the current ministry involvements and volunteer works of Ger in Birmingham, England where she is presently assigned:

St. Chad’s Sanctuary – Sanctuary for Asylum Seekers, Migrants, and Refugees

Narthex of St. John – Refugees Services and Senior Citizen’s Lunch Club

Lady Pool Congregational Church – Creche project for children of refugees and migrant women studying the English Language

Hope Projects – Kuwadzana U-knity, a support group for destitute women asylum seekers

English Martyrs Parish Justice and Peace Group, and Parish Visitation Team for the house bound parishioners

RESTORE – Befriending Program for Asylum seekers