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Ad gentes: VII Orientation Session in Davao

Cmi

07/10/2010: Philippines

On the 5th - 8th of July, the team gave us input on the topic Joy and Challenge of Living A Consistent Life. The focus of its presentation was on our inner journey to a deeper knowledge of who we are in terms of freedom, decision-making, attitudes and actions that are consistent with our goals in life. On the 12th – 16th of July, Archbishop Orlando Quevedo, OMI of the Archdiocese of Cotabato gave us input entitled Identity, Mission and Future Directions of Asian Church. This strengthened our awareness of the identity, mission and future directions of the churches in Asia through a clearer understanding of the documents on the Asian Church, especially “Ecclesia in Asia.” During the following two weeks, the 19th – 30th of July, we 11 participants took part in a 12 day Exposure/Immersion under the guidance of Sr. Bing, Br. George and Mr. Rey. We were assigned to four different places: Buda (Peasants), Butuan City (Urban Poor), Malabog (Indigenous People), and Padada (Fisher Folk). On July 30th, we came back and during the following two days synthesized our Immersion experience. Then we had a day of recollection. Br. Michael De Waas, G.C., gave us input on Marist Mission in Asia August 4th – 6th. This deepened our awareness and sensitivity to Marist Mission and Solidarity. Br. Michael also gave us an overview of the pastoral needs in Asia, a reflection on the current issues affecting our mission in this part of the world. As the 2nd week of August began, two lay participants were asked by the team to return to their countries. During the 9th – 13th of August, the rest of us entered into a serious discernment period under the guidance of Br. Luis Sobrado, Superior of the Asia Mission Ad Gentes Sector. He also interviewed us with regard to our future mission countries. On the 16th – 20th of August, we were blessed to have Fr. Antonio Egigurem, OFM, who gave us a very enthusiastic presentation on Missionary Spirituality. We gained a better understanding of the mission and missionary life in an Asian context. We came to realize that being a missionary means living out the “Kenosis Movement” that consists of (1) emptying oneself, (2) inculturation or practicing the virtue of humility, (3) washing the feet of others, and (4) transformation.On the 23rd of August, the first day of a week, Br. Manny De Leon, Provincial of the East Asia Province, shared with us his vocation history. The rest of that week, the 24th – 27th, was taken up by Br. Teofilo Minga’s input on Marist Spirituality and the Laity. Starting with his explanation of the historical background of the document Gathered around the same table, we came to a better understanding of the vocation of Champagnat’s Marist Laity with whom we will be working together in our respective mission countries in the near future. “The lay Marist vocation does not originate as a necessity in moments of vocational crisis for the Brothers, or as a form of expressing friendship towards them. It is a personal call to a specific way of being disciples of Jesus.”(Gathered around the same table, #13)From the 29th of August - the 5th of September, we had a retreat under the spiritual guidance of Fr. David and Sr. Guia at the retreat house of the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate Conception. During the retreat it was announced that nine of us were accepted as new members of the Asia Mission Ad Gentes Sector by the General Council in Rome. From the 6th to the 12th of September we had the concluding process with Br. Luis Sobrado. On the 13th, in the presence of Br. Joe McKee, Vicar General, we had the Missioning Ceremony with the Brothers, aspirants, Sisters and the guests. Brs. Santiago and Javier have been assigned to West Bengal in India together with a Lay Couple, Abel and Christina, Bros. Gustavo and Iggie will be sent to Vietnam, and Lay Sisters Alice, Neiva and Agnes to Thailand. First, each of us will go back to our home countries to make final arrangements.______________By Br. Ignatius In, FMS

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