PROVINCIAL VISITOR'S NEW YEAR MESSAGE 2018
Message: January 1, 2018
Christmas Gathering of Confreres
January 1, 2018
Dear confreres, as we reflect on the mystery of the Incarnation that we celebrate at Christmas, I invite you to put on a pair of fresh eyes to see familiar persons in our lives. Let us put on the eyes of Jesus and the eyes of Vincent. How will they look at these all too familiar persons in our midst? I am referring to the poor in the peripheries whom we serve in our pastoral ministry. Sometimes familiarity has made our service rather mechanical and lacking in “heart”. May we see Christ anew in each one of them, welcoming them sincerely into our hearts and serving them with attention, dedication and joy.
The second kind of familiar person we often encounter are our own confreres. Since we live with them in community we can easily develop perceptions and biases around them. Let us consider our confreres with fresh eyes and see the Christ that is behind each of them. He may be behind a demanding yet inconsistent confrere. Or one whose ways are just different from mine. He can even be one who is hurting or is undergoing some difficulty and in need of understanding.
As we begin a new year, let us renew our friendships and strengthen the bonds of unity amongst ourselves through acceptance, understanding, forgiveness, and respect. Let us pray for one another and support each other. In this way we build thecommunity of “dear friends” envisioned by St. Vincent.
A New Year is before us. Let us thank God for all the blessings He has graciously showered upon us individually and as a Province in 2017. And let us entrust this coming year to Him with confidence in his love and mercy. “God has been good to us in the past”, Vincent said, “we can look forward to the future with trust and confidence.”I wish you all a grace filled new year!
- If you have not read the email sent by our Provincial Secretary yet, we have a new set of councilors: Frs. Manimtim, Pilario, Torres, Tuazon. They will serve for 3 years. Actually, only Fr. Vic Torres is new. The other three have been in the council for at least 3 years now.
- I start an extended trip to five countries from January 2-30, 2018: Thailand for a canonical visit; Rome for the orientation of new Visitors; Bonn, Germany to meet our 3 students; Spain to visit with the Provincial Visitor and Fr. Danny Carolino; Beirut, Lebanon to bring Fr. Bien Dulfo, and to meet with the Provincial Visitor and Fr. Gestie. During my absence, Fr. Roland Tuazon will be the acting Provincial Visitor.
- A reminder about the Annual Retreats. Please make use of this opportunity for your annual spiritual “tune up”. The group facilitators have sent details to you. This year is the Year of the Clergy and Consecrated Persons. The renewal of our priestly fervor is the best gift we can offer to the Church this year. Speaking of the Year of the Clergy and Consecrated Persons, we are looking forward to some meaningful activities organized by Fr. John Era and the Ministry to the Clergy group.
- Mr. Mark McGreevy, the President of DePaul International and head of the Vincentian Family Global Initiative on Homelessness will be coming around the first week of March 2018. This is part of his tour of different countries to share information and initiatives on the global problem of homelessness. A committee will be formed to prepare for this.
- This year we have an extraordinary number of confreres celebrating their anniversaries. Congratulations Jubilarians! Our prayers are with you. Those who will take a sabbatical leave have informed the Council already. As a result, expect some movements of confreres. I ask for your understanding.
40th Episcopal anniversary:
Abp. Jesus Dosado CM, DD - 25 January 2018
Golden (50th) Sacerdotal anniversary:
Fr. Francisco Vargas CM - 25 May 1968
Silver (25th) Sacerdotal anniversary:
1. Fr. Jose Rendon CM - 24 January 1993
2. Fr. Dario Pacheco CM - 19 March 1993
3. Fr. Raymundo Regua CM - 19 March 1993
4. Fr. Rolando Tuazon CM - 19 March 1993
5. Fr. Mario Castillo CM - 25 July 1993
6. Fr. Peter Solis CM - 12 December 1993
15th Sacerdotal anniversary:
1. Fr. Andrew Bayal CM - 1 March 2003
2. Fr. Rex Fortes CM - 1 March 2003
3. Fr. Thursisius Junge Gonesto CM - 1 March 2003