• As we foresaw in the number before of Orient, on December 16, 2005, the Archbishop of Bangalore blessed our new Juniorate in Bangalore. Many neighbors, friends and members of the nearby religious communities accompanied us. The building shows its simplicity in the design and its colorful and luminous aspects.
• On December 19 we had the Priestly Ordination of Varghese Kizhakkemathummel in his native place, Aripalam (Trissur, Kerala). The Parish Temple was beautifully decorated. In the celebration, most of the faithful were present, besides relatives and friends of Varghese. It should be stressed that it is the first Ordination of the Parish after many years.
• Fr. Provincial, Ernesto Hermann, was with us for these important events and at the same time he visited all the houses, included Kamda, in the Northern State of Jharkhand.
• From February 9 to 24, Fr. Fernando Negro went to visit Kamda, where Fr. Alfaro is, and to start this year the first steps for the vocation campaign in the zone.
• In the meantime, Fr. Antonio Marco was substituting him in Bangalore. The house, although it is not completely free from masons and workers, it is finished in reality, but for small details. With the effort of all, each one of the rooms is becoming clean and ready to be used and furnished with the indispensable things for functioning.
• On February 26, having in mind the festivity of Saint Paula Montal, was held the Profession of the first Indian Piarist Sisters. The celebration was presided by the Bishop of Cochin, Dr. John Thathunkal and there were present Mother General, Isolina Vazquez and Mother Provincial, Clara Toda.
• The school year examinations have already started almost at all levels. Our juniors, after finishing them, will go to different pastoral experiences – most of them to the Northern and North Eastern parts of India – during two long months.
• Fr. Fernando Guillen came to visit us on December 15. He gave some Calasanzian seminars to the Juniors and then he directed the Spiritual Retreat for the Piarists in Japan. Afterwards, he was a good help in the Juniorate for Fr. Lawrence while he was recuperating from the operation he had overcome at the beginning of the month. He returned to Manila on January 19.
• On February 11 took place in our Yokkaichi Parish, the Priestly Ordination of our Brother Tony Matias, the first Piarist ordained in Japan. The next day he celebrated his First Mass at the Parish and the following week he presided the Sunday Eucharist in our Tobe Parish, Yokohama.
• Regarding this event, Fr. Vice-Provincial, Jose P. Burgues, came to Japan, and he spent three weeks with us. He had the opportunity of visiting the communities and the persons. He was able to reach a contract with the Salesians who are going to construct a new building in our Oiwake garden, since the numbers of their aspirants is increasing.
• Bro. Brian went back to the Philippines to continue his studies there. Bro. Jesley will start his studies of Philosophy at Nanzan University, Nagoya, while Bro. Marino and Bro. Moises will do it at the Tokyo Seminary, since they have already finished their Japanese studies. The Juniorate will prepare the place for new Juniors who will arrive in June, God’s willing.
From the Philippines
• This year, the traditional “family immersion” of the novices at the end of the year had place in Mantalungon, a town at the south of Cebu. It was a nice experience. The Manila Juniors had a similar experience in Antipolo City, near Metro Manila.
• On January 17 was held at the Cebu Cathedral the priestly ordination of our Brother Aljun Maglangit by our Cardinal Vidal. It was a historical moment: he is the first ordained Filipino Piarist Priest. Fr. Aljun had just returned from Italy where he had spent 6 months getting valuable experiences and learning the language.Fr. Franco Scarsela, from the Roman Province, accompanied him and spent with us some days in his visit to Cebu and Manila.
• In Manila, as well as in Cebu, we have tried our best regarding the vocations, with “convivencias”, visiting different places, etc… We hope that a number of postulants will decide to joint us in the next school year. And we move not only in the Philippines, but also in other places. Fr. Baltazar has made a trip of two weeks to Mandalay (Myanmar) invited by the Bishop over there, in order to propose to the Diocese Seminarians our vocation.
• In Cebu City and in Manila are preparing the summer camps in two different places. The juniors in Manila carried out a Carol Singing Campaign for found rising. It was rather successful.
• At last arrived in Cebu City, at the end of December, the four Indian Novices. After their arrival, the number of novices reaches the highest number: twenty. We hope that the next Indian Brothers will not find the difficulties of this year for their visas and may arrive at an earlier date.
• The Bishop of Daet Diocese, Msgr. Benjamin Almoneda, has offered us a Parish and a School in San Vicente Town, Camarines del Norte Province. It is the first “ordinary” Piarist work in the Philippines. With the approval of Fr. General, we are going to establish there a community of four members, being Fr. Jesus Lacarra the first Superior. We hope that in this way, the Piarist presence in the Philippines will root solidly and start giving fruits for the service of this land.
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