Catholic lay women’s group seeks younger members

Published July 13, 2020, 2:44 PM

by Leslie Ann Aquino

Hoping to buttress its ranks, the Mother Butler Guild (MBG), a religious organization of lay women, is now urging the participation of the young faithful.


MBG National President Henrietta De Villa said the need to recruit younger members is encouraged with the elderly being dissuaded to serve in church due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

She made clear, “Recruiting younger members is part of our pastoral plan. In fact, in our revised Constitution and By-Laws there’s a provision for Youth Section or Junior members. But young ones can only be inducted as regular members upon reaching the age of 18 when they have a legal personality.”

Those who are interested in joining should simply visit their parish for details.

In a pastoral instruction released last month, Archdiocese of Manila Apostolic Administrator Bishop Broderick Pabillo discouraged senior citizens from doing voluntary service in church for the time being due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“My dear elderly parish volunteers, even as we appreciate your willingness and good intention to serve, we are also concerned about your health and the health of your family,” he said.

“Please make this sacrifice, and I know for many it is a sacrifice, not to serve in the liturgical services until this pandemic is over,” Pabillo added.

He asked the elderly to help recruit young volunteers instead.

Information from the directory of lay organizations of the Sangguniang Laiko said it was then Rufino Cardinal Santos who decreed the creation of a service guild organized on the parochial level and composed of Catholic lay women.

The decree was officially promulgated on April 28, 1961 and that particular organization of Catholic lay women was named Mother Butler Guild in honor of Marie Joseph Butler, an Irish religious of the Congregation of the Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary.

The responsibilities of the MBG include taking care of priestly vestments and liturgical paraphernalia, as well as ensuring the cleanliness and beautification of their respective parish churches.

In July 1976, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), through the Episcopal Commission on the Laity (ECLA) gave official recognition to the MBG as a mandated national religious organization of Catholic lay women.