Rural Missionaries of the Philippines

The Rural Missionaries of the Philippines (RMP) is a national organization, intercongregational and interdiocesan in character, of women and men religious, priests and lay people. It was founded in 1969 by the Association of Major Religious Superiors of Women in the Philippines (AMRSWP), to forge a church response to the social volcano that was Rural Philippines.

HISTORY
From the very first group of RMs missioned in the barrios of Central Luzon, composed of 19 volunteer sisters from 8 congregations, a principle of closely immersing and integrating with the peasants was established. That is, working for and with the peasants, and in addition, living and serving amongst them – taking as one’s own daily crosses they have to bear.

This principle has guided the development of the RMP Program, ensuring that the program evolves with the rural situation. From counting up to 22 different services, at a time when the rural areas were hardly ever reached by any kind of services from the government or NGOs, to later years when many organizations established their work in the countryside.

The RMP helped open up the farthest, most remote rural communities which up to that time never had any contact with similar organizations. Succeeding years saw this expansion continue to the most distant corners of the Visayas and Mindanao. Among the hallmarks of this period was the Community-Based Health Program (CBHP) which was the RMP’s response to the virtual absenced of any health care in rural communities. This program grew so successful that it later had to establish itself as a separate organization. There was also the Lay Assistance Training Program (LATP) which conducted trainings and education activities for local peasants, and which later evolved into the first comprehensive RMP program for peasant organizing.

But the most significant contribution was in helping lay down the foundations for a principled unity among the peasants in the RMP areas. The high point came in 1985 as the RMP stood as one of the convenors in the founding of the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP).

VISION and MISSION
Seeking to witness to the paschal reality among the rural poor, in the light of the gospels, church documents and of the sufferings and struggles of our people, the Rms, enriched by each other’s varied charisms and experiences, together with their co-workers, follow the example of Jesus the incarnate of God, by:

  • Integrating with the rural poor, so that, understanding and experiencing their situation, RMs are led to share and take as their own the aspirations and interest of the poor, and in the process are themselves transformed;
  • Awakening an awareness that all have the right to live as human beings, with the right to self-determination, free from oppression and all forms of exploitation;
  • Accompanying the peasants, as Church of the Poor, toward the realization of GOD’S REIGN.

Thus we envision:

  • A free, just, peaceful and egalitarian society;
  • A sovereign and dignified nation equal among the family nations;
  • A united people of different cultures and beliefs, participating in decisions affecting their lives, owning the lands they till, enjoying the fruits of their labor while preserving the integrity of creation.

The RMs commit themselves:

  • To support the peasants’ quest for Genuine Agrarian Reform, access to commons, justice and freedom, and work for a nationalist development.
  • To encourage and motivate people of goodwill, especially church people, to work for and commit their resources in the services of uplifting the condition of the peasants, and to contribute towards becoming Church of the Poor.

RMP PROGRAM
Peasant Advocacy

  • Church People Organizing
  • Alliance Building
  • Campaign
  • Rural Integration and Solidarity Work
  • Research, Documentation and Information

 

Peasant Organizing Support

  • Direct Organizing
  • Organizing Support Services