Continuing Journey Outside the CLM Structures: My Life’s Vocation as a Guidance Counselor

Something people would be surprised to know about me is that I was a Columban Lay Missionary for three years in Peru. It was through that experience that I was able to discern my vocation, being a counselor.

Continuing Journey Outside the CLM Structures

My Life’s Vocation as a Guidance Counselor

 Borj 2

By Marilou Borje

 

Marilou, fondly called by many as Bordj, was a Columban Lay Missionary in Peru from 2001 to 2004. Currently, she works as a guidance counselor at Ateneo de Manila University.

Something people would be surprised to know about me is that I was a Columban Lay Missionary for three years in Peru. It was through that experience that I was able to discern my vocation, being a counselor.

My journey to this point started in high school when I was interviewed by Ms. Faith Mabutas, our guidance counselor. That routine guidance interview made me realize that it was nice to have someone to listen to you without being judged and hearing a sermon.

After my term as a Columban Lay Missionary in Peru, I received more training in counseling at the CeFam (Center for Family Ministries), where I met wonderful people who risked sharing their life stories. At the same time, I was also involved in REPRO (Resilience Program), a program that teaches resiliency skills to rescued street children. Interacting and making them feel that they are just like other kids who hunger for connection and understanding is another rewarding experience. Whenever time permits, I still join the REPRO Team in visiting centers for rescued street children.

Now, I have been a school counselor for the past 16 years. I love witnessing my counselee’s growth, their “AHA!” moments, and just being the person who is privileged to listen to their journey. A message that I would want to extend to our students is this, “Honor your feelings. There might be more to them. Your counselors are always a message away to help you.”

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Marilou Borje with Fr Bernard Martin, a Columban priest.