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ORIENT BULLETIN
Thursday, June 1, 2006
ORIENT NUMBER 35

    

 


    Orient    

 


   Bulletin of the

   Piarist Fathers in ASIA

             

 

 

2006                             MARCH                             n. 35


 

IN MEMORIAM: Fr. Pedro Recuenco

Fr. Antonio Marco

              Fr. Pedro Recuenco passed away in Zaragoza, Spain, on the 18th of May. A deadly cancer had affected his kidneys, and maybe other organs also. He had returned from India one week before. Only in the last days he complained of some pain. Since he was going to Spain, the doctors in India advised him to make a serious check up there. The diagnosis was a cancer in a so advanced development that it didn’t let place for a surgical intervention.

           Fr. Pedro arrived in India for the first time in December 2000, to help in the formation of the seminarians in the house of Aroor. He spent his last years in hour Seminary of Mantharamputhoor, in Kanyakumari District, Tamil Nadu.

              He was retired from the activities in school, and he had just recovered from a serious illness that had let him out from the normal work, to the point of considering himself almost useless for any activity. I remember that he came with some fear, with many recommendations about what dos and don’ts, a lot of medicines for all kind of pains, and with some apprehension on the side of his superiors and relatives.

              For him to arrive in India was like to be born again. The love and kindness of the seminarians towards him, his courses of Spanish to the juniors, his participation in all the activities of the community… were like fresh steps in a newly started life. His generosity an will made the rest. It is true that the climate and the Indian food were for him a handicap, but his strong will found the way to overcome any kind of problems, without more ado.

              His hobbies and his professionalism as linguist offered him a wide field for his work. He soon had the liturgical texts transcribed in order for him to celebrate the Mass in Malayalam. With the help of the seminarians he used to prepare simple homilies in that language. For years he worked in the preparation of a Malayalam and a Hindi Grammar for Spanish speakers.

              India stole Fr. Pedro’s heart, and he was able to get the affection of everybody, especially the seminarians, who saw in him a model of Piarist, a man of piety and human knowledge. He was happy in India during the last 6 years of his life. He felt useful, valued and loved. He recovered the strength of his intellectual work as a fine linguist, and he cultivated other hobbies in which he was also good, as in drawing and painting.

              His dead lets a great empty space among us.

 

 From India

MY EXPERIENCE IN KANYAKUMARI

(Remembering Fr. Pedro Recuenco)

Bro. Stalin Nasianse

                  Last year I was in Kanyakumari helping in the formation team with Fr. Thomas and Fr. Pedro. There were 25 boys from different parts of India: Tamil Nadu, Jharkhand and Kerala. Among these 25 boys many were from different parts of Kerala. All were extremely happy and this fact helped us to give them a wonderful formation.

                When I look at the formation field, I realize that there were lots of things to do, especially since those boys came as aspirants not knowing anything about seminary life. Therefore, as formators, we had a great task to teach them many things, and being always close to them. I believe that last year was very good because of our teamwork and the excellent communication among us; as a result I could see at the end of the year a lot of growth in each boy. 

              Being in Kanyakumari I had many experiences. I could mention here some of them, for example I tried my best teaching them Bible and English; there I learnt to guide them well and from Fr. Thomas and Fr. Pedro I gained a lot of values. Fr. Thomas gave me full freedom for I was also appointed administrator of the house. l used this opportunity responsibly. That made me grow a great deal; therefore the experience of Kanyakumari is still helping me regarding my studies, ministry and community life in Bangalore.            

               Every experience comes from God, thus He is the source of all I have received in Kanyakumari. There I was both a teacher and an apprentice, for I learned many things and I taught them also. Learning never finishes in our life span because formation is a never-ending process. Besides, both Fr. Thomas and Fr. Pedro corrected me and helped me to grow in my vocation. They were an inspiration to me to live a good Religious Life and this will continue helping me in my future teaching ministry, and in my community. I will never forget it.   

             And now I am thanking the Almighty God for having been with me and for helping me to do my duty well, as I also thank Frs. Thomas and Pedro who fostered and strengthened my Piarist vocation. 

 

GUJARAT

Br. Rayappan Ch. Lourdu

Each and every one has a certain experience of life. Whenever we undergo a new activity, we acquire what we call new experience. In the field of pastoral ministry this is very real. Going to new places, meeting and living with new people, facing new situations and undergoing a new climate, help us to acquire the real life experience.

My experience in Gujarat was something like this. First of all, I never traveled alone such a long distance before. When I received the information that my ministry place was Gujarat,  I was filled with fears, just because of the news I received about that place, where an earthquake took place recently and where the climate uses to be very hot.

When I reached the site called Gandhiham, I was happy as I could work in the very place where Gandhi lived. Later on I reached the destination where I was to start my ministry. I received a warm welcome in Raidhanpar which is in the Bhuj Town, in the District of Kutch. I worked in Kutch Vikas Trust. I met two priests there: the director and his assistant. There are also four religious convents, each holding an institution: Eye Specialist Hospital, Hostel for Disable Students, School for the disable students and poor children and the Old Age Home for the Elderly people. There are also many workers from Kerala, Tamil Nadu with local people and some volunteers.

My task was mainly to teach moral instruction in the school for two weeks; to teach catechism to children on Sundays; to go for eye-camps, for polio-camps and to visit all institutions and the working places; to write reports and to share the work with the laborers. I can say I am very happy about my experience, for I have discovered many abilities within me, which I thought were difficult indeed. Whenever I was left alone, I put a great effort and so I learned what the mission is like.

This pastoral experience during April and May became a wonderful gift to my life. I also spent three weeks with the handicapped children, teaching them in the evenings, speaking to them and playing with them. Once it happened that a child was unable to run fast to take a ball, so I rushed and gave it to him. But he was not happy at all; I sensed it through his face expression. Then I said to that boy, “I have done something good to you, boy”. But he replied, “My joy is to run and catch the ball by myself”. I realized then that I should never show he was a handicap, but I should make sure that he was enjoying. In the same manner I learned to do other services without showing out. My service must be a silent one.

Posted by nelcabz at 12:01 AM KDT
Updated: Tuesday, August 15, 2006 12:52 PM KDT
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Wednesday, March 1, 2006
ORIENT NUMBER 34

    

 


    Orient    

 


   Bulletin of the

   Piarist Fathers in ASIA

             

 

 

2006                             MARCH                             n. 34


 

 

              SAN VICENTE

 

 

Fr. Jose P. Burgues

 

After ten years in the Philippines, we are able to start a “standard” Piarist foundation in this country.  We were looking already for a while for a place to start working, since some of our juniors are finishing their initial formation, and even some of them have been ordained priests.

We were looking for a place in the South, in Mindanao Island, and we had contacted several bishops offering our services, to no avail. But there was a place that was looking for us in the North, in Luzon Island, and it was the Bishop of Daet the one who contacted us asking us to render our service in his diocese. He offered us the parish and High School of San Vicente, a town in Daet diocese.

San Vicente is a small town of around 12.000 people, in Camarines Norte province, Bicol region, 350 km. southeast from Manila. Its setting is rural poor. San Vicente is between the mountain and the sea, at around 12 km. from Daet, the capital of the province. A community of four religious, for the moment, will start in San Vicente the Piarist ministry, in a very favorable situation to implement an integral service of education-evangelization, giving the priority to the poor.

The school has 220 students, because there is no place for more. They are crowding in four rooms. Hopefully we will be able to do something to improve the education in the town, with the help of the Providence… and some friends willing to help. In the town there is another High School, public, and several Elementary Schools, in some of the villages around. But there is not a Preschool. Maybe we can do something, and we can also thing of our own Elementary school.

Well, this is the beginning of a new stage in our Philippine History, where there are place for many dreams. May the Lord help us to dream the best, ad to put it into practice.

 


 from India

ONAM

Fr. Thomas P.

 

           Onam is one of the greatest festivals of Kerala. It is the festival which the keralites celebrate united without difference of caste and religion.

           Onam is related with King Mahabali who was ruling Kerala in a time past. He was an Asura king but was very nice and truthful. During his ruling time it is said that people did not even lock their houses in the night because there were no thieves, no corruption, and no betrayal. And all people lived united without distinction between rich and poor. All were facing a good time. Like wise the king was so good that he will give anything to anyone.

           At that time the Hindu lord Mahavishnu decided to test King Mahabali. He came to the earth as Vamana, a poor dwarf, and went straight to King Mahabali. He told the King that he had nothing and he wanted three feet of land to live. The king, hearing this, laughed and told Vamana to take three feet of land from wherever he wished. Suddenly Vamana began to grow and covered the whole earth with one foot and the sky with other foot, and asked Mahabali where the space for the third foot was. By seeing all these, the king understood that Vamana was not an ordinary person, and he had come to test him. So the king, without hesitation, showed his head to keep the third foot. Vamana put his third foot on the King's head and the King was pushed down under the earth (Pathala). The king, after going to Pathala, asked Vamana his true identity. Suddenly Vamana vanished and Lord Mahavishnu stood before Mahabali. Mahabali was overjoyed by seeing this. The lord told Mahabali that he wanted to test him and he had succeeded. The lord also told Mahabali to ask any boon for himself. Mahabali told the lord that, since he loved his people very much, he wanted permission to visit Kerala once a year. And the lord gave his permission. It is that day, the day Mahabali visits Kerala, that Onam is celebrated.

           Onam is a celebration of ten days. It comes in the month of "Chingam" according to Malayalam calendar. People prepare flower mats in front of their houses, to welcome the King. There will be competitions of flower mats. Keralites all over the world will celebrate these ten days will pomp and gaiety. They will wear new dresses, will visit as many temples as they can, will perform lot of dances like Thiruvathirakali, Thumbi, Tullal, to name a few, and the most important thing, they will have a grant lunch on the Thiuruvonam day. Whatever might happen they will not miss this lunch. There is a saying in Malayalam that "Kanam vittu Onam unnanam" which means "We should have the Thiruvonam lunch even if we have to sell all our properties".

  

 

 

PASTORAL EXPERIENCE

Bro. Kumar Moses

 

The preparation to go for Mission Experience took one month. I was to go to Nagaland with the permission of my Superior. So, I wrote a letter to the Bishop asking to give me information about the way to reach the place. After one month, I received all the due information from the Bishop’s House of Dimapur. My journey started. Everything was strange in the train. A furtive smile at others and wishing one another had a great impact in our communication. After one day of mutual interaction, we started communicating the purpose of our journey. Little by little, I came to know about the Nagaland’s present condition.

 

Three days had passed when we reached Gwahati at noontime. A fellow brother who came with me, Antony Reddy, got down also at Gwahati Rail Station. There, a priest was waiting for him to go to his mission place. I too was introduced to that priest. He took me with himself for accommodation. Thus, I relaxed for one day at Gwahati. In the following morning, other priest who was on the way to Dimapur accompanied me there. On the way I met another priest who was travelling in the same train to the Bishop’s House. With the grace of God, I reached the place. I introduced myself to the secretary of the Bishop, who provided accommodation until I got my final assignment from the Bishop. I was sent to Jalukiee in Dimapur. As I was a stranger, my whole body system took time to adjust. I went to Jalukiee in a jeep accompanied by some missionary sisters. Many bamboo trees covered the places as we were going through.

 

After four hours’ journey, we reached the Parish House of Jalukiee. The next day, I was introduced to the hostel boys and to some nearby seminarians. Fr. Sunny, who was my guide, took me to the school. That very day I was asked to take classes for boys and girls of 12th standard on social analysis and social problems. The Headmiss gave me a guidebook and asked me to take class on Educational Psychology too. The total number of students in each class was 105. Some boys and girls were listening quite well, but the rest were sleeping and speaking among them. I used the interactive method, asking questions and receiving answers about a subject. Somehow, I managed to involve all the students in the class. I learned to prepare and to plan the subject to be taught. After two weeks, I was asked to prepare a questionnaire on the improvement of education among boys and girls from 8th to 10th   standard.

 

In the evenings, I used to accompany the priest to bless the houses. This opportunity made me aware of the socio-economic condition of the people who in Nagaland are called Nagas. They belong to different tribes. Each tribe has its own language and its own traditional colours in the dress, folklore and customs. They speak a language called Nagamese, which consists on a mixture of Hindi, Chinese and other words, which are borrowed from neighbouring countries. They cultivate paddy, ginger, yam and Naga chilly, which is the best chilli quality in India. They do not use spices in cooking and they like doll curry. Rearing pigs gives prestige to the family status. They cultivate always in different places because they believe that the soil quality may not be strong enough for the next harvest. Therefore, they constantly change the place of farming. Bamboos thatch the houses. The structure of the houses is an “L” shape, containing a kitchen with a hall and a bedroom which is at the same time divided into different sections according to the members of each family. They use to go to the farm at 8:00 a.m. and come back home at 5:00 p.m. The food habit of the Nagas is to eat in the morning and in the evening. There is no lunch. They are fashionable in dressing and in the use of cosmetics.

 

Since some youngsters were trained in health awareness programme, I went with them from village to village to speak about education and diseases such as malaria, dysentery, typhoid, and chicken pox. The walking distance from village to village took me an hour; and from the parish to some divisions took me nearly six hours. Once accustomed to walk, we began to enjoy the journey. The awareness programme took place at 9:00 p.m. because people came from the fields to cook, to eat and for gathering. This programme lasted for one hour and a half in every village. The catechist was my translator in every village. We covered up to 10 villages within 3 weeks.

 

Then we had the preparation for the inaugural function of the College of Arts. I cooperated with people and took care of the hostel boys in the absence of the warden. I was able to build up a nice rapport with the boys in that hostel. Normally, they were very rough and tough coming from the neighbouring villages, so I used to narrate stories, which enabled them to give encouragement and boost to their studies. The children were brought up very carelessly without any instruction from the parents; thus, they used to behave as they wished, never listening to anybody. At last, it was time for me to come back from the Mission experience.

 

 I thanked the Bishop for giving me this wonderful opportunity and for his hospitality. This experience has taught me to be flexible and more able to understand the situation of the different places and cultures. Experiences such as this refresh the mind and the heart and help us analyse our life pattern.

 


HISTORIES OF NOVICES

 

28. Guided by the love of God

J., Novice


           The love that I received from my parents is forever etched in my heart. Their love is the most beautiful gift I received during my childhood. For instance, my father and I used to play horseback riding before we went to bed. I enjoyed very much these special moments. Those were indeed moments of joy and happiness.  I remember also that we used to go to the fish pen not so far from our house, maybe two kilometers away. We spent our time there swimming in the river, as well as catching fish. My father taught me how to swim. Those experiences were really a source of joy for me. The loss of my parents was indeed a great loss for me.

Many years had passed before I realized that the death of my father was a call for conversion. I changed my life after my father died. I believed that the death of my father was part of God’s plan.  As I recall my experience, I think that I was guided by the love of God. God took an initiative to call me. He used many people to touch my stony heart and my stubbornness.

Prior to college, I became a member of a Charismatic Community. But before it happened, I experienced a “miracle” in my life. My manager bought a part of the market in Balintawak, Quezon City. She assigned me to drive the garbage truck. I accepted the job because it was an additional income. Besides, I did it only twice a week.  One day while I was driving on the North Luzon Expressway, I noticed something wrong with my break. I needed to stop the truck, so I put my feet on the break pedal.  And to my surprise I couldn’t stop the truck however hard I pushed my feet on the pedal. Upon realizing the situation my whole body quivered. I felt cold sweat. I had goose bumps. I felt scared and I thought I would die. Intuitively, I never lost hope. I veered quickly the shifting into a lower gear.  Luckily, along the way there was a slow bus which blocked the other vehicles. I used it as an opportunity to drive my truck closer to the side of the road, and to go out of it. I managed to stop the truck. I was very lucky I told myself. I felt very happy, relieved and tired after the incident. I got down from the truck and sat along the road. I was mulling over the situation when I remembered someone who used to invite me to a prayer meeting before accepting my extra job. I always told her “yes I will attend”, but actually I could not attend their prayer meeting because it conflicted with my job. This person was very persistent. From time to time she dropped by my house just to invite me to attend their gathering.

After my near-death experience, I made a decision to attend my friend’s prayer meeting. So, I quitted my extra job. Thanks to God my manager released me without any fuss. At the beginning, I felt uncomfortable in the prayer meeting. I couldn’t understand the people. They were lifting their hands, shouting, and speaking strange words. I only started to understand them when I attended the Life in the Spirit Seminar (LSS). In the seminar I learned that every strange thing they did was actually a way of praising God. For instance, while they were lifting their hands, they were actually praising God. Furthermore, I discovered the goodness of God during the LSS. For the first time in my life, I experienced the wondrous love of God. The discovery led me to acknowledge my sinfulness. I found myself crying, asking for forgiveness. I uttered: “Lord late have I loved you!” I believe that the seed of my vocation was planted here. I became a fervent member of the community. Their service to God became clearer to me. I became very active in the community. In fact, I became one of their speakers. I shared my life in front of many people; I testified to them how good God is.

 In the same year I met Fr. Boy Cruz. Later on he became our spiritual director and adviser. I became close to him. I began to admire him for being simple and charismatic.   One time I was touched by his words while listening to his homily.  Something special happened within me. I felt that God was personally talking to me through Fr. Boy’s homily. His homily became alive to me. I felt the intense desire to follow Jesus more intimately. I told myself I wanted to be like Fr. Cruz someday. Incidentally, one of my co-choirs had a cousin who was a seminarian of the Society of Divine Word (SVD). This seminarian introduced me to religious life. With the little knowledge I had about religious life, I found myself attracted to it. So, I inquired at the SVD seminary and attended their search-in. Unfortunately, I failed their examination.  I felt cheated by God. I told Him “why did you put this desire for the religious life in my heart but abandon me in the end.” I cried a lot. I felt that I was abandoned by God. The words of the vocation promoter were still vivid in my mind, “Peace be with you Joey! After the examination and some interviews I found out that you are not ready to enter the seminary yet. I advise you to finish college first outside the seminary and then, if you are still willing to come back,  you can re-take the exam.”

 Despite my feeling of failure, I realized that there was still hope.  I took my rejection to the seminary positively. I tried my very best to be thrifty. I became more conscious of spending my money. In my mind I had already a plan to study. However, two days before the end of enrollment, I had only 1,500 pesos in my pocket. And this money was not enough for enrollment. I needed 2,000 pesos more to enroll. I prayed fervently to the Lord, “If you really want me to follow you, please do something.”

On a Thursday evening, I attended our fellowship meeting at St. Francis of Assisi parish despite my dilemma. I was worried over my predicament when Fr. Boy saw me. He was roaming around the patio of the Church while holding a rosary in his hand. He approached me and said, “Joey, come for a moment.” He asked me if I was going to attend the gathering. I replied, “Yes father.”  So, I walked towards the door of the church. Again, he called me, “Joey, come here.”  I approached him and asked “Why father?”  “Do you want to study?” he asked. “Yes, I want to! But I have a financial problem,” I told him.  He put his hands on his pocket and gave me some money.  “Once you have begun, everything will follow,” he said. I was flabbergasted! The only thing that I could do at that moment was to say “thank you!” I felt delighted and overwhelmed. Indeed, God is good all the time!

Going back to school was exciting as well as painful for me. I found it interesting as well as difficult.  It was exciting because after a long time there I was studying again. I experienced new things, I made new acquaintances and built new friendships, and I was exposed to a new environment.  All of these made my life far more interesting. However, I was not spared from pain because I had to make a lot of sacrifices. I discovered many new things about myself. I pitied myself because I was very poor in English. I remember that I used to cry after class because of frustration. I almost gave up. I almost lost my trust in myself. But God was good to me. He never abandoned me. He helped me and provided for my lack. I was able to improve myself through the help of friends God had given me. I almost overlooked the true reason why I continued my studies. I almost forgot that I was called by God. God truly affirmed to me that he was faithful even if I was not.

After college, I entered the seminary with a strong faith in God. My faith was my primary strength. I had a strong conviction that I had a vocation despite my difficulties in studies. But despite my convictions, I left the seminary after two and a half years. I left the seminary because I could not see myself fitted to the congregation’s charism. In addition, some unresolved issues popped during my formation. For instance, I discovered that I had a hang-up with my mother. In addition I saw that I wasn’t ready yet to cope with the demands of the congregation. Thus, I left the seminary.

Four months later my mother died. The loss of my mother shook again my faith. I felt emptiness in my life. I was disoriented. During that time I remembered my Godfather (confirmation). He was a priest. I visited him to ask for advice. He was assigned that time in Malolos Cathedral. I stayed with him for a week.  There, I spent most of my time in the prayer room. Along the way to the prayer room I saw a poster. I was struck with the words written on it “forever young”. I scanned it. I found it very interesting. Then, I wrote down the address and telephone number. A few days later, I called and asked some questions. From that time on, I became interested in the charism of the Order. I attended their Saturday workshops. I came to know some brothers. I experienced their simplicity of life, and their joy in teaching the children and youth.  I regained the fervent desire that I had before the death of my mother. I was filled again with the spirit of love that I had received before.

Now, I am a novice journeying towards religious life, and learning to follow radically the call of Jesus.  I am grateful to God, because he never abandoned me. Now it becomes clearer to me that everything that happened to me had a purpose. That purpose is to train and to mold me the way the Lord wants me to be. Although I still have some difficulties, I am confident enough to trust my God. I am more confident in His providence.  I discovered that the more I give myself to God the more graces I receive from Him. The more I give myself to others the more I know myself. The more I give my service to others the more I improve myself”.  With all conviction I can proclaim now that my faith is growing stronger day by day because I am guided by His love.

 



From Japan

 

JAPAN: IMPRESSIONS AND SUGGESTIONS

 

Fr. Fernando Guillen, Sch.P.            

 

I arrived in Narita Airport, Japan, on December 15, 2005, going from Manila, and I came back to Manila on January 19, 2006. A short stay, yes, but full of impressions for a “Westerner” who comes from Africa and lands in Asia for the first time. In a short way, as a whole impression of those days, it was to find myself in the first world, and maybe in the first country of the first world.

It goes without saying that historical, religious and cultural aspects called my attention in a special way. Regarding education, I did not have the opportunity of visiting our Kaisei School in Yokkaichi. I hope to be able to do it in the next opportunity. At Tokyo Juniorate, nevertheless, we had a short session about education in Japan, using some articles from the magazine edited by Oriens Center (CICM), about the mission. For me it was enough for grasping a little the complexity of the matter, while realizing the national “obsession” for study and diplomas. I think that this teaching theme confirms what I said above about being in a country of the first world, a real first world. It is not necessary to say that the “obsession” for education carries with it a constant occupation of adolescents and youth and it puts many obstacles to the Christian formation and even to the presence during Sunday Masses of the small baptized minority.

And here comes the practical part of these simple reflections: how to evangelize the Japanese children and youth? I speak about “evangelization”, since there is not any important necessity of instruction, and I speak about the general Japanese children, without adding “poor”, because there is not such clearly social division.

Without denying the importance and utility of the Christian schools, and there are rather many, it occurs to me the possible creation, in a Parish or school environment, of something similar to “Calasanz Centers” for adolescents and youth of High School. What is it? Places of “cultural analysis” and “spiritual initiation”.

The image of “Cultural Centers” in Cebu City, Philippines, is behind this idea, but in an “un-cultured way”. In the third world, those “home-work schools” as they are called in Mexico, where there are so many, serve to help the public education in its evident deficiencies and holes. Then, it is possible to reach, in a simple way and not so expensive, the really poor children that continuing in the state public institutions do not have professional future and almost no moral or religious formation. That is something really Calasanzian.

In the case of Japan, the problem of helping the deficiencies is not valid. On the other hand, the aspect of filling some holes, it seems possible. Japan seems to me a marvelous country regarding the public morality level in business and civil exigencies. I am sure they are also good in familiar moral and respect to life, although regarding this matter I cannot speak because I completely lack contacts and information. Where could we find, therefore, the problem of the “Japanese personality”? Maybe in a too much national pride and even personal, united to a certain inner spiritual vacuum, and it would explain the tendency towards suicide and the difficulty of conversion to the religion of the Crucified. We cannot forget that the most strict categories of “observants" of the law and the most nationalistic, were completely closed to the preaching of Jesus. But He is Christ, the one who illumines any man and that attracts the whole humanity, precisely from the Cross.

Therefore, the suggestion would be, first of all, to create centers of “cultural analysis”. It would be to offer to the young people of 15-18 years old, a kind of “clubs” where they could analyze easily, with interest and Christian criteria, the different happenings and positions of the cultural environment of Japan and of the world of today, for instance: globalization effects, purification of the Japanese memory (critical acceptance of their own history), bio-ethics, impact of the mass media, future of the country, after 60 years of the “American” Constitution…

Other types of offers that occur to me are some kind of prayer meetings, where it is explained and practiced the Christian meditation, for instance the Carmelite or Ignatian types.  It is, maybe, another aspect that calls our attention and that it appears underlined in the documents: the contemplation in the evangelization of Asia, and also the spiritual testimony (I refer to “Ecclesia in Asia” of John Paul II).

Regarding the social aspect of our charism, I think that we could think about the educational-apostolic action among the immigrant workers and their children. Something similar is happening in North American and Californian Pious Schools. It is not necessary to say that the field seems attractive, wide and maybe not too much dealt with.

My last observation is regarding the preparation. That type of “Calasanz Centers” that I suggest, requires Piarists, especially young Piarists, immersed in the culture of the place and with a sensibility and preparation nor ordinary in theology and spirituality. I am completely in accord with the idea of being in contact with initiatives already in existence that in some way are similar and have given proofs of efficacy and interest.  

Fr. Miguel Medizabal from Sophia University in Tokyo was inviting me, just before Christmas, to pray for Japan.  Certainly, to pray with the full confidence in the faith of the One who wants to be known and loved by all, to take all in an explicit way to the Father. That is the deepest and most urgent thing of all. The Holy Spirit will not stop illuminating where maybe we expect the less…    


 

 

KAISEI CHU-KOTOGAKKO

(STELLA MARIS MIDDLE AND HIGH SCHOOL)

 

           Fr. Jesus Lacarra

 

On November 26, the 1167 students of Kaisei, together with the teachers and guests, met together in the School Gymnasium to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the School Institution.

 

It was in April 1945 when some lay people started the High Education Institution named “Kuwana English Institute”. The number of students was rather small and it seemed that they could not continue for a long time. They moved the School from Kuwana City to the actual place of Kaisei, to two buildings that had belonged to the Japanese Army. In 1950, a Catholic University from the near Nagoya City, took over the school, changing the name to Nanzan Second High School, as the University was called. In 1955, there were the Piarist Fathers who took over the Nanzan School, changing the name to KAISEI, as it is called now. Therefore, the celebration was of 60 years from the beginning, 55 from Nanzan, and 50 from the starting of KAISEI. Three dates to celebrate, and a meeting of fraternity and common work.

 

There were speeches by different important persons, among them the Mayor of Yokkaichi City. We also had a Catholic Mass, presided by the Bishop of the Diocese of Kyoto, concelebrating 10 Priests and reading the Gospel our first Filipino Deacon in Japan. All the students and guests took part in the Mass, and together with us, they gave thanks to the Lord for the marvelous works He have done among us. After the Mass, there was a fraternal agape, sharing the food and conversations among those who for a long time we had not met and now they came for the celebration.

 

KAISEI SCHOOL has 246 Middle High School and 921 Senior High School students. Around 85 teachers take care of the education of the students, helped by around 15 others employees. Together, during these 50 years, they were able to give education to more than 14000 graduates. And among them, no doubt that many were the ones who helped make a better society for the present and the future.

 

KAISEI is the school where many Piarists spent their life dedicated to the formation of a. Christian environment, in a Shinto’s and Buddhism surroundings. Some of them have already been called by the Father and surely they have already received the great reward prepared for them from all eternity. But some of them are still continuing even in the old age, spending their last energy in the farm the Lord has prepared for them

 

KAISEI, in a space of more than 40.000 square meters, has been able to give a Christian education in the main three story building, helped by different other buildings such as a library-teachers building, a big gymnasium for sports and general gatherings of all the students, another building for typical Japanese sports such as judo and kendo, a Calasanz Hall for smaller meetings, a cafeteria and different spaces for cars, bicycles, practicing baseball, soccer, and tennis, etc. Of course, the school is surrounded by small gardens and statues of Calasanz, the Virgin Mary with the Child and the last one, the Resurrected Christ.  Inside the school, there is also a Japanese style Chapel where prayer meetings and Masses are held from time to time. Ethic or Religion classes are held for all students, at least one hour a week, besides the talks given by the Principal of the school. On Christmas days, a special celebration is held at the Gymnasium, with Christmas carols sung by all the students…

 

Regarding the sports clubs, there are more than 40 clubs, practicing different activities besides the study. Among them, the Baseball Club has been one of the most outstanding clubs, getting many trophies for the school. Of course, we cannot forget many other clubs and the spirit of those students who together with their studies, try to form a “mens sana in corpore sano”

 

KAISEI is the school of the future for us, in Japan and in the Philippines. Now, 7 Filipino Juniors are staying in Japan, two of them already teaching at Kaisei. And we hope that in the future, the Filipino Piarist Priests will be the ones who will continue the work at school and in the Parishes. We live with that hope, as St. Joseph Calasanz when he saw his Work almost completely destroyed. The future vocations from the Philippines will be able to create a new environment, working also for the new Piarist Japanese Vocations. We live with that hope and we pray to the Lord to fulfill our wishes in this part of Asia.

 

 


From the Philippines

 

 

Technical Vocational Education Program

 

Ms. Adriza May Gabutan

 

One of the two well known quotations that characterize Calasanz is that: “The ministry of education is really the most worthy, the most noble, the most meritorious, the most beneficial, the most useful, the most necessary, the most pleasing and the most glorious.”

In the aim to seek various ways in educating children and youth, the Calasanz Cultural Center in Cebu City, Philippines, was able to come up with the plan to offer vocational courses benefiting those out of school youth in the community, who were less fortunate to pursue college. It was then that the Technical Vocational Education (TVE) program came into realization. It started with the blessing of the newly constructed building “Alberto Corrado Center” (Center 2) last June 2, 2005, located at Tipoloville Singson Compound, Guadalupe. TVE is a short course offering SHOPS for the males that includes basic electrical, plumbing and welding instructed by Mr. Wilbert Arnibal and SEWING for the females by Mr. Gabriel Yballe. Minor subjects such as English, Ecology and Human Formation were instructed by our junior brother, Bro. Dennis Descallar while Mathematics was taught by Ms. Adrienne Marie Kwan, the Calasanz Cultural Center project coodinator. Last December 16, 2005, 15 technical students were recognized for completing the number of hours required. They were the first batch of students in our TVE program. One of the newly recognized students, Ms. Lisa Taboada said: “ We are so grateful and blessed to be given such a great opportunity of learning and at the same time to been nurtured with the vital values in life, exposed into activities which helped in our intellectual and spiritual growth. Being surrounded with people dedicated to service, piety and learning, somehow inspired us to do the same thing,  maybe not exactly the same way as they did so.” Indeed, these students were inspired; in fact some of them were lay volunteers and actively participating in all activities of the center.

As of the moment, we have already started classes for the second batch of students in our TVE program; we had the orientation last January 9, 2006. Hoping and looking forward to recognizing more of them at the end of the period. Truly I could say, that learning is a long and never ending process, for as long as you live you always get to learn new things from experiences, people and even from ourselves. The Piarist Fathers are incessantly educating the youth and children, for they believe on the though of St. Joseph Calasanz that said: “ If the children from their early years are instructed diligently in piety and learning, it must undoubtedly be expected that their whole life will be a happy one.”

 

 


… Brief  News …

 

From India

 

  • 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.

 

From Japan

 

  • 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.

 

 

 

Orient

CALASANZ FORMATION HOUSE - Piarist Fathers - Escolapios

1401 Andres Abellana Extension.  Guadalupe, 6000 Cebu City,

PHILIPPINES    Tel. – Fax  (32)2542085  

 Email escoljb@cvis.net.ph    http://www.cvis.net.ph/escolapios

 

 


Posted by nelcabz at 6:48 PM JST
Updated: Tuesday, August 15, 2006 10:52 AM KDT
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Thursday, December 1, 2005
ORIENT NUMBER 33

Orient, Bulletin of the Piarist Fathers in ASIA
2005 DECEMBER, n. 33




Do you dream?

Fr Thomas Pallithazhathu

We encounter a fantastic dreamer in the Old Testament, Joseph. It was on the strength of this legacy he fought the adversities of life to such an extent that he became the protector of a Nation and eventually of his own brothers who had despised him and delivered him to the debris of fate. Jesus too was a dreamer. He dreamt that all would become one fold under one shepherd. He dreamt that all would sit at one table prepared by his loving Father. He dreamt that the lost harmony of paradise would be restored to its original state.

St. Joseph Calasanz was a dreamer in every sense of the word. It was one dream that had hanged the course of his life. It was a dream that brought him to Rome. It was a dream that made him open to the realities outside. Finally this dream made him to construct a magnificent edifice in Rome, which would be as glorious as any other monument in Rome. But this monument, which Calasanz erected, was not on stone and mortar but on persons who would willingly and voluntarily work for the education of the poor little children. This edifice stands tall even today bearing the motto PIETY AND LETTERS, and this monument is none other than the Pious Schools.

The dream of one person can usher in a lot of good in the world, which is groping in the darkness. Gandhi was such a dreamer and his dream had delivered a nation from the bondage of foreign imperialism.

I am not talking about the psychological phenomenon of dream where by the repressed emotions find their release in sleep or in such stupor state. I am talking about a dream, which is much higher and superior than this one. The dream that I mean is something that would stir a person to a higher goal, a dream that would make a person restless for something greater and deeper. You may perhaps call it a vision. But for me it is still a dream because it is something very human and all of us are acquainted so well with it. And we would be quite dry and arid without the presence of dreams in our lives.

Perhaps the lack of dreams in our lives is the lack of charisma in our lives. We have just become too ordinary and too dull people. Our ministry has become too boring and a matter of routine just because we are afraid to dream or there are no meaningful dreams in our lives. If we can transfer the hue of our dreams to our Apostolate, no doubt, our apostolate will become meaningful too.

As Piarists it is our legacy and patrimony to dream. I wish each of us would have this capacity to dream and take its deeper implications to our ministry so as to make it life-giving and endurable. But remember: what we think, we dream; and what we dream, we live. May the presence of challenging dreams enrich our ordinary lives and transform our ministry.

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from India
PARADOXES IN LIFE
Bro. Jeejo Vazhappilly

Paradox is a situation, fact, statement which seems impossible and/or difficult to understand because it contains two opposite facts or characteristics.

Parting is a sweet sorrow? is an oxymoron, one of the figures of speech employed by great dramatist William Shakespeare in his famous Hamlet. The occasion is when Juliet says good night to Romeo as she departs from him. It is a sorrow because she has to leave him for a night and it is sweet because she hopes to meet him the following day and she consoles herself thinking that the departure is only for a short time. Here two opposites are put together to produce a greater effect.

We have a land phone which was not functioning for a long time. Even if it worked, there was no guarantee at all. After two or three days it would be in the similar situation. All were disappointed with this situation and the telephone in-charges took much pain and attention to settle the matter as early as possible. They went on complaining to the officials but it was like trying to fill the pot with water keeping it topsy-turvy. We were completely cut off from the world of communications; telephone is out of order; not able to use internet facilities; therefore neither we nor others were able to enter into communication. What is the use of having connected wires, telephones, mobiles, internets, fax, e-mail if they don?t do their function well or imagine a situation wherein one has all these facilities but no people to contact or ignorant of how to use it?

When there is doctor, there is no sickness; when there is no doctor, there are patients. When there is food, one is not hungry; when one is hungry, there is no food. We may find well-set and established institutions but they may be ineffective in their functioning. On the other hand, we may find poorly set up offices or institutions and they may be effective and productive in their functioning. A person may live in a room where things are scattered or strewn here and there yet he can be a prolific writer.

A person in appearance may look ugly or hot-tempered but he may be a very loving and generous person actually. A person may be very good-looking and handsome outwardly, but not a very loving and amiable person to talk to. Even the rich people who live in luxurious houses or palaces may not get a good sleep; they may be worried about their own safety and wealth whereas the nomads or the beggars or the rag-pickers get a comfortable sleep on the road side without basic facilities or even in the midst of great noises. Even if you have televisions, radios and other systems which function only by electric power and if there is no power, nothing would work.
A "preface" comes at the beginning of any book but it is written only after completion of the book. Persons having doctoral degrees in Methodology or in Communications are not necessarily so efficient and effective as others who have no degrees in the same subjects. Only when there is a hero can be a villain. Naturally when there is dishonesty we can understand the great value of honesty in life. Only a person who has undergone through "disturbance of mind" will look for "peace of mind."

As a matter of fact opposites do exist and they are not contradictory but complementary to each other. Whether one likes it or not, there are there and one enriches and enhances the value of the other.

----------------------------------------------------
HISTORIES OF NOVICES

27 Getting Out of the Water
M., Novice

One Sunday afternoon, I had a good time having my inhale-exhale exercise while looking down at the dry Guadalupe River. Looking at the sight, I couldn?t help but be reminded of home. I was reminded of my hometown which also has a river where I enjoyed swimming when I was a child. At the same time I was reminded of my family.

I remember my first encounter with a Piarist seminarian. The encounter was very short but lasting. It was in the last week of December, 2002. I was in the city at that time processing the required documents for my new job. I was just hired. Before going back home, I dropped by the adoration chapel in the cathedral. After I spent time with the Lord, a man who introduced himself as a Piarist seminarian approached me. He gave me a pamphlet and invited me to a search-in. The schedule of the search-in was on the same day of my first day at work. ?Am I going to apply the first come, first serve basis?? I pondered.

At that time, I was like enjoying myself in the river letting its gentle current carry me downstream but suddenly there was an invitation to oppose the current and reach the other bank. I was already glad of having a new job but suddenly I was attracted to follow another way. The attraction to priesthood could be traced to my elementary years. Before I became an altar boy at the age of ten, I already made it a habit to attend Masses especially on Wednesdays and Sundays. Being an altar boy I suppressed my desire of enjoying the weekend swimming with friends in the river. I dedicated my time to something I was attracted to. I saw in our priest the real image of a good servant. He was able to reach out to the remote areas of our town. I accompanied him even in places that could only be reached on foot. These experiences were enriched more when I was in high school. I stayed in the parish convent during those years. We climbed mountains and rode boats to reach places rarely visited by a priest. Those were marvelous experiences. I enjoyed their almost every detail.

When I was almost to finish high school, I found myself caught in the middle of a crossroad. I started to entertain the possibility of becoming a priest. But I was afraid that I only felt that way because of how I grew up. It was also at this time that for the first time I attended a search-in of a religious Order in Cebu. At that time I wasn?t confident enough to join the seminary. I decided to pursue college. While studying, I stayed in a boarding house. In college I encountered many problems, especially financial problems, but they didn?t hinder me from enjoying my youth. I explored my world. I found out that most of my friends didn?t give religious vocation a second thought. They were sure that religious life was not for them even though they came from Catholic schools and were active in their parish youth activities. I just let myself be carried by the flow until my last year in college. I also happened to have some classmates who shared almost the same experience. Then I started to ponder about religious vocation all over again.

A month after graduation, I was already desperate to find a job. I landed a job in a beach resort. Applying there was not difficult. I tried to fit into that world. At the same time, I believed that being exposed to the different lifestyles at work I would not think anymore of becoming a priest. But I was totally wrong. Very soon I realized that I was always facing God through the beauty of His creation. The breathtaking sunrise, the wide white beach, the crystal clear water, the colorful underwater creatures and the sparkling sky during starry nights inspired me and enriched my prayer life.

I couldn?t forget the time when I almost drowned while snorkeling. The underwater world was so tempting that unconsciously while enjoying the sight of the colorful corals and fish I was led farther and farther to the deeper part of the sea where the current was strong. Alarmed by the danger, I was frightened and little by little I found it difficult to breath through snorkel. I thought that I would not be able to make it. During that moment I promised God that if it is His will that I become a priest, let it be. I asked Him to save me. Using all my swimming skill and mustering all my courage, I was able to swim against the current until I made it to a secure area. Through this incident, and my meeting a fellow worker who had experienced life under religious formation, I started to give religious vocation a serious consideration again.

Six months later, I left my job and worked for another company. For six months I worked and kept myself busy. Then, I stopped and decided to give myself a break. I didn?t understand myself. I found myself always searching for something but couldn?t find it. There was a constant restlessness deep inside me. I wanted to settle it down but I didn?t know how. I believed that it was through God?s grace that an Italian nun, who happened to know me when I was still working in the beach resort, invited me to visit their place in Manila. They were working for the vocation of their male counterpart. At that time they had no on-going formation in the country since all their seminarians were sent abroad for theological studies. After all the years of exploration, I found myself starting to settle down. I started to put the pieces of my scattered self together.

It was followed by six months of staying at home. At first I wasn?t able to understand the need of experiencing it. I just stayed at home. Sometimes my sisters dropped their little kids at home and made me watch them. For the first time in my life, I took care of toddlers. Then little by little I realized the purpose of that experience. I never had the opportunity to stay at home for a long time with my family since I left home at an early age to pursue high school. It was good to be home. From time to time I went to the city to visit my friends at the office where I used to work. Some time in the last week of December, 2002 they invited me to return to the company and they promised to help me get a slot in the office of their newly acquired farm. I didn?t give it a second thought. I accepted it right away. Then I worked on updating my records in the company. Before going back home I dropped by the adoration chapel. And there I met the Piarist seminarian?

After thinking it over and over again, I finally decided to attend the search-in and risked my first day of work. However, everything worked well. I had discovered a little about the Piarist Fathers. Less than four months after the search-in, I was invited to a one-week get-together of aspirants in Cebu. I abandoned my work for one week and stayed with the Piarists. During my stay I had known more about their way of life. My restlessness seemed to settle down little by little but it didn?t give me enough courage to dare to say ?yes? until I heard a straightforward question from the superior during our private talk. He asked me ?how will you know unless you?ll try??.

Six months after the week-long get-together, I decided to get myself out of the water and to step on hard ground. I reached the decision after thorough examination while continuing my work in the farm. The silence at work helped me a lot in the process. I found out that to settle down I must have a strong foundation to stand on. Staying in the water and letting myself be carried by the pleasure that this world could offer couldn?t help me in putting the pieces of myself together. While floating I wasn?t able to have a better view of myself. While standing on the hard ground I examined my life and at the same time I tried to recognize what I was looking for and what God wanted me to be.

So I started my journey on the other bank of the river and with confidence I stepped forward on the hard ground.

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From Japan

DISCOVERING CHRISTIANITY IN JAPAN
Br. Nelson Cabasisi Click here to read for more on nelcabz insights


St. Francis Xavier once said ?We shall never find among heathens another race equal to the Japanese people.? These words of the first Missionary in Japan has something to ponder upon, especially for a better understanding of the missionary works which they have done. And at the same time, it is a better way to look upon how the Japanese responded toward the proclamation of the gospel.

In my humble opinion, I would rather think that these enigmatic words pronounced by St. Francis Xavier himself, as I have quoted above, were his short and simple way of describing how hard and complex it was to proclaim the gospel to the Japanese people. It is noted; however, that the first meeting between Christianity and Japan took place due to the ?religious zeal? of St. Francis Xavier. In other words, the introduction of Christianity in Japan was ?not due to the pressure of the sword?, as what history would tell us to the fate of Mexico and the Philippines - to mention a few, but rather due to the enormous labour and struggle of the Missionaries themselves.

Talking about struggle and labour of the Missionaries in Japan, it has been a great question among them on how to translate and express the Metaphysical concepts of the Christian religion like "substance" and "God in Three Persons or The doctrine on the Holy Trinity." These might be a good metaphysical subject of debate but it is meaningless to the Japanese ears. For the Japanese, Christianity seems sundered by words; Japanese endures without them.

Then, there was also a struggle on the proper attitude on the natural environment because Christianity seemed no fundamental stand on this subject. And the Japanese people hold nature to be divine. Great stones, majestic trees and towering mountains are "kami" or gods - beings and presences that inspire and engender reverence. Probably this was the reason why St. Francis Xavier answering on these problems wrote a catechism, intended exclusively, for the Japanese in order to fit the need of his audience. On the other hand, he tried to use Japanese terminologies as a way of "inculturation" so that the faith would be better understood.

Furthermore, I believe that struggles of cultural differences are also among the great burdens that the Missionaries have to face to, as a usual case, whenever the gospel is been introduced anywhere in the world.

Certainly, centuries have past since Christianity was introduced in Japan but still the same questions and the same struggles among the Missionaries are still visible in the modern Japanese society; although some new problems are also emerging. Christianity still seems to be struggling for acceptance. Statistically, after Christianity was tolerated once again, from banned with thorough and ruthless ferocity, not much more than a century ago, the number of believers is remaining always less than 1 percent of the population; although, Christianity received the recognition as one of the three of the modern Japanese religions next to Shintoism and Buddhism.

To be a Missionary in Japan, one needs to have a wide horizon with an open mind to meet the challenges of the society. There is something in Japanese mentality that is unique among all the races. I agree with St. Francis Xavier that We cannot find another race equal to the Japanese because each culture is unique and has to offer, if one is ready to respect without compromising the gospel though.

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From the Philippines

Additional Teaching
Br. Ariel Lopez

There are moments in life that give new experience that somehow makes life richer. I like to share about a personal experience in class that enriched my Christian faith.

Lenten season is quite far ahead to be observed. Yet, in class we are talking about some of its elements, like the death of Jesus on the Cross. Here there is a twist from what I have learned from catechism to my theology class. Since the beginning of my Christian education, I always believed that, first, Christ died on the cross because of my sins and for the atonement for the sins of all. For this reason in the station of the cross, I heartily say, ?because of your holy cross you have redeemed the world?.

There was a long discussion in class on how we understand the death of Jesus on the cross basing on the Gospels. At the end, many were surprised (I was one of those) because we found out that Jesus did not die for the sins of all in the first place. Instead of that, Jesus died because he was killed. His death on the cross is the consequence of his fidelity to his mission, the Kingdom of God, which many of his contemporaries didn?t accept.

It took me weeks before I could accept this new idea that I never knew before. Should I accept the new idea and abandon the old, or should I accept both? Should I blame my catechist for this? I don?t think this may help.

So one day, I asked my professor to have some clarification regarding the matter after the class. He told me that the teaching I have learned from catechism is only one of the interpretations by the early Christians after the resurrection. Our concern in class is to go back to the life and ministry of Jesus that is before death and resurrection because many Christians throughout centuries have overlooked these aspects. We thought that only the death and the resurrection of Jesus are salvific but that is not the case. Jesus? life, his ministry, the miracles, his dealing with the women, his company with the sinners and so on? are also salvific. It is not only his death and resurrection. We forget that!

I was getting stunned while listening to my professor because that was my case. I listened to him intently when he continued saying that our understanding of salvation might affect on how we live our Christian life. If we believe that salvation comes only after death then there is no way to live now. It is better to die soon. Then there is no way for the Church to reach out to the poor. It is absurd. But salvation is one with the Kingdom of Heaven, which Jesus has proclaimed and compacted in the Beatitudes. Salvation therefore has something to do in this present life that continues until the end of time. At present, we have to work so that the Kingdom of heaven may come because the kingdom of heaven and salvation are one. We have to work in solidarity with the poor. We have to find ways in order to get out from this abject suffering in which many people are experiencing. We have to do something about the widespread of injustices that cause hatred among others in many levels. Salvation begins now!
What about the cross? The cross has no salvific value in itself but as a symbol of Christ's fidelity and love to his mission given to him by the Abba. It is love that saves us, not the cross itself. Could I say instead, because of your holy cross you have redeemed the world but rather because of the love you have shown on the cross you have redeemed the world. This may sound strange but this is how I see it. The life, the ministry, and the death of Jesus are all salvific. Of course, the resurrection too.

It is my challenge now how to relate these things to the people in my apostolate. I don?t think it will be easy. I went home after my talk with the professor. It was liberation for me. By the way, he did not ask me for extra pay for that time.

*** *** ***

PHILIPPINE SURPRISES
Fr. Fernando Guillen


I arrived at the Calasanz Formation House in Quezon City the past 5th of October. Coming from Cameroon (Africa), and being for the first time in an Asian country, everything is really new for me.

Father Baltazar Sanchez (from Mexico, where I was before assigned) and Bro. Rexbert Garces (he has the same name of my sister in law) were at the airport. Lufthansa Company was very punctual. So, I arrived at night in the 144, 9th street of New Manila, and all the Juniors were there waiting for my arrival. I have to thank everybody for the songs, pictures, gifts and room preparation. I really felt the welcome of a Piarist family. Some days later Fr. Mario Conti arrived , a nice surprise for me. Finally Fr. Jose P. Burgues arrived also, with many Piarist news from Rome.

Nice encounters for me: Fr. Jan Swyngedouw CICM, my colleague in Yaounde (Cameroon), professor at MST, and Mgr. Gabriel Reyes, bishop of Antipolo. I was very happy to meet this ancient classmate in Gregorian University 40 years ago. Cesario, our Deacon had a vocational meeting in Antipolo, and I went with him for a very nice week-end. I could realize the famous kindness of Pilipino people. We visited the shrine of Our Lady of Antipolo,. We also saw the concern for priestly and religious vocations.

I am also so impressed by the high number of Theological Institutes in Manila. I have begun to visit them: Loyola School of Theology during a dinner with Fr. Baltazar; IFRS and ICLA for Religious, MST (CICM), SVTS (Vincentians), ICTC (OFM and others Religious Orders), UST (Dominicans). I am amazed. That means also an abundance of Formation Houses.

Nice impression also in the solemn Mass for the birthday of our Bishop (diocese of Cubao), Mgr. Honesto Ongtioco, with a dinner-show so amusing.
Since my arrival I have visited the apostolate places of the Juniors: Damayang Lagi, Lag May and Ermitano: very popular catechesis. On October 22 with Fr. Mario I participated in an outing for all these children in a park of Quezon City, Wildlife. Games, songs, food? everything was nice and new for me.

Another nice communitarian experience was the relax week in the beach of Batangas. Nice trip towards the South of Manila, trough Calamba and Lipa. In the shore of the sea, very simple houses, nice children, nice plunges in the ocean, nice games, and nice prayers.

Little by little, I am becoming accustomed to railways, jeepneys, tricycles, in this enormous city of Manila. The same with the menus: vegetables, sauces, soups, rice, fruits, and I think that my stomach also gets more and more adapted.

I like history very much. I cannot forget a whole afternoon with Bro. Arnel Bajo visiting ?Intramuros?: the cathedral, the walls, saint Augustine, the famous Casa Manila, a very good exemplar of the Spanish presence in Manila. I could recognize the colonial way of living. Finally we visited Fort Santiago with the magnificent Rizal shrine. I am really impressed by this Filipino writer and hero. His ?Ultimo adios? is written in a very good Spanish and his death was a true sacrifice for the country independence.
Other surprise has been the ?postering?. During the Sunday October 23rd, with Bro. Alexis and Bong, an aspirant, I have visited 13 parishes and chapels to put there our Piarist poster and the invitation for the 20th of November vocational meeting. What an immersion in the local Church! Our area was the centre of Manila. In many churches it was the moment of the Mass. All were full. All in tagalog, except the last, Saint Andrew in Makati. Kindness everywhere. In the Holy Family we were offered a coffee by Mgr. Roberto Espenilla. In Saint Sebastian, visit of the motherhouse of the Augustinian recollects sisters. In Saint Maria Goretti, a nice bookstore

So, I feel more and more a great admiration for this nation, for his Catholic Church and for this Piarist foundation, which I think has been really providential.

-----------------------------------------------------
Brief News

From India

? The best news, no doubt, is the coming Priestly Ordination of our Brother Varghese John Kizhakkemattummel, on the 19th of December in Aripalam (Trissur district, Kerala). Mgr. Francis Kallarackal, bishop of Kottapuram (the native diocese of Varghese) will be the one to ordain him.
? Another very good news, this time from Bangalore. At last, after some delays, the Juniorate Community has moved into the new building. The works are not completely finished, but a part of it already is. The official blessing is scheduled for December the 16th. The Archbishop of Bangalore, Mgr. Bernard Moras, will bless it.
? With occasion of Varghese?s ordination and the blessing of the new Juniorate, Fr. Ernesto Herrmann, Provincial of Argentina, will arrive in Bangalore on the 15th of December. He will remain in India around 20 days, and he will visit all our communities and works.
? Fr. Pedro Recuenco, faithful to his commitment to the Piarist mission in India, will arrive from Zaragoza on the 25th of November, to cooperate with the same enthusiasm as always in the formation activities in Bangalore and Mantharamputhoor.
? During the month of September Fr. Fernando Negro was renewing his visa in Spain, and enjoying some days of holidays with his parents.
? Fr. Antonio Marco attended as a guest to the Major Superiors Council, kept in Rome during the last days of October.
? Bros. Varghese and Jeejo were admitted in the B.Ed. Course. They are living in our house in Aryanad and from there they attend daily to class in a neighboring town. In this way our presence in Asha Nikethan Boys?Home is becoming a reality.

*** *** ***

From Japan

? On September 2 and 3 we had the Perpetual Profession and Diaconal Ordination of our Bro. Tony Matias in Yokkaichi. Most of the Piarists in Japan were present, and also Fr. Vice-provincial came for the ceremonies. The parishioners accompanied us when Mgr. Paul Otsuka, Bishop of Kyoto, ordained Deacon the first Piarist in Japan.
? Fr. Adam, after finishing his schooling to study Japanese, has gone to Poland to enjoy his well deserved holidays. He will be now more and more involved in the different activities of the mission.
? Bro. Bryan had his spiritual retreat in Hokkaido. Bro. Nelson had his in Nasu. The juniors in Komaba participated in the Ecumenical Mass organized by the Filipino Community and in the Vocation Mass with other Congregations organized in Tokyo, with the Archbishop as main celebrant.
? We will celebrate on November 26th the 60th anniversary of the creation of our Kaisei School in Yokkaichi. Fr. Pedro Aguado, Provincial of Vasconia, is planning to attend to the celebration. Fr. Jesus Lacarra, former teacher in Kaisei, will represent the Piarists in the Philippines.

*** *** ***
From the Philippines

? After six months among us, Fr. Mario Conti has gone back to Italy. He has done a lot of musical work for us here, in Cebu and Manila, and we are very grateful to him. Maybe this is not the last time you stay with us, is it?
? We had at the end of August the usual Calasanzian celebrations in Manila and Cebu? but this year it was special in Cebu, because we had the joy to attend during those days to the Perpetual Profession and Diaconal Ordination of our brothers Dodong and Lily. Cebu Cathedral was enlightened again with the colours and the songs of the Piarists when Bishop Emilio Bataclan ordained them as servers of the Church of God.
? Fr. Juanjo returned to Spain at the beginning of September, and during a year he is assigned to the community of Riezu. Fr. Fernando Guillen arrived in Manila at the beginning of October, and he has already assumed his task as dean of studies in our juniorate.
? Fr. Jose went to Spain for his holidays. He attended to the Council of Major Superiors in Rome. He was able also to visit our juniors in Rome (Andres and Domie are doing well in the Gregoriana; Aljun will return to the Philippines at the end of December) and in Madrid (Francis and Mark are studying their last Semester of Theology, while they live and work inour House of Aluche). He visited also the house of Manila before returning to Cebu.
? During the semester break, Manila community went for several days to a resort in Batangas. The postulants in Cebu went to Mantalungong with Dodong, their master. The novices had gone before with Fr. Mirek to Surigao for a Family Visit experience.
? We learnt that Mr. Eladio Mosende, father of our brother Francis, died in Ormoc this past November 14. We offer our condoleances to the family, and we commend him to the Lord in our prayers.
? We continue our struggle for vocations, in Manila and in Cebu and many other places we visit. The traditional Encounter for Lay Vocational Cooperators and Cayl members took place this year at the end of October in Davao, with the presence of Fr. Lacarra and Bros. Lily and Marlon.
? Our cars in Cebu and Manila had to visit the repair shop. Fortunately the drivers had no other harm than the psychological shock? We are always learning how to improve our driving, and mastery sometimes is expensive to acquire.




Orient
CALASANZ FORMATION HOUSE - Piarist Fathers - Escolapios
1401 Andres Abellana Extension. Guadalupe, 6000 Cebu City,
PHILIPPINES Tel. - Fax (32)2542085
Email escoljb@cvis.net.ph ; URL: http://www.cvis.net.ph/escolapios/


Posted by nelcabz at 12:01 AM JST
Updated: Thursday, August 3, 2006 7:08 PM KDT
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Tuesday, March 1, 2005
ORIENT NUMBER 30

Orient
Bulletin of the
Piarist Fathers in ASIA



2005 MARCH n. 30


PIARISTS IN INDIA, FOR WHAT?

Fr. Fernando Negro

Piarists arrived in India on the 10th of January 1994, when Fr. Alfaro, accompanied by the then Fr. Provincial, Placido Menditto, reached to Cochin.
Many things have already gone through in the Piarist history in India. God has blessed us with many and good vocations that we try to look after, without denying the difficulties. We have opened houses in different places such as Aroor, Bangalore, Kanyakumary, Jharkhand and Aryanad.
Nevertheless the future of our Piarist presence in India is from now onwards related to the aims, the vision and the sense of direction that we should implement. The real problem dwells on what to do with these vocations, preparing a good and attractive panorama of ministries that portray our real identity as Piarists in a land not explored before by our Order. This is why the title of this reflection, ?Piarists in India, for what?? fits so well in the context of our preparation for a future of hope. A future that must be discerned with much prayer, reflection, mutual dialogue and understanding among all the religious.
In a nation so populated as it is India, with more than one billion people, where vast areas are totally neglected the right to stand up through proper education, where the cast system is condemning so many ?outcast? people to be little more than animals, where the education system is much more banking than creative and liberating, where the Church is many times duly criticized for not been the voice of the voiceless, where many a time religious seem to be so far away from the crude reality in which millions of persons live abandoned to their fate of poverty and ignorance, where the Hindu fundamentalism seems to fight a tag of war to be imposed at all cost? we need, without any doubt, to reflect and to give an appropriate answer from the Spirit that knocks at our door.
In this context we, the Piarists, disciples of Calasanz, are invited to give answer to this challenge in fidelity and creativity. It is important to focus the attention equally on the actual reality in which the poor children and youth live, and on the Spirit of Jesus Christ who pushes us today as he pushed one day (more than 400 years ago) Calasanz to do something beautiful for God in the destitute children through education and catechesis.
We use many words, nice to hear but at times with little practical application in life. In some way we have lost the capacity to create something new. Why? The reason is that we have not risked in a new way of thinking. The word carries out what the mind and heart possesses and if what is inside is not changed, then the words shall produce just a repetition that, as a consequence, shall originate an old and repetitive praxis.
Now we are called upon to do something new and to do it together. From the experience of Jesus Christ as the absolute foundation of our being religious, we are all invited to dream and to share with one another the best of ourselves for this dream.
from India

K.J.C. ? A PLACE OF WISDOM

Bro. Jeejo Vazhappilly, Bangalore.

It is evident that a sense of challenge and new perspectives emerge as an era of Technology and Information is advancing upon us. Therefore it is natural that people look for the best quality desired and required for anything and everything. If you are not qualified in any field, there is a danger of people keeping you aside. Parents want to send their children to a prestigious school; the youth want to do their studies in a posh college; students are very careful to join the relevant and scope giving courses; job seekers try to get jobs in a famous company. As we the Piarists who are dedicated to follow the charisma of St. Joseph Calasanz must be well equipped with the relevant tools necessary in the field of education. It is with this view that the Piarist Juniors over here in Bangalore are going to the Kristu Jyoti College, an institute where Philosophy and Theology are being taught. This is a college run by the Salesian Fathers. It was actually started in 1967 with the purpose of teaching Theology to the Brothers coming from various Salesian Provinces as well as for the members of neighbouring congregations. In philosophy there are only day scholars whereas in theology one can find both residential students and day scholars.

The title ?KRISTU JYOTI? is derived from two Sanskrit words, which respectively means ?Christ? and ?Light?. Christ the Light shows us the way of wisdom, knowledge, and holiness by guiding us through the right path. Every year the number of the students who join the college increases and the average number until now is 50 in each class. Theology in this college lasts for 3 years and 4 months and then comes a pastoral experience. There are at present students from 15 congregations including Brothers and sisters. The professors are well qualified in their own respective subjects and majority of them are from the Salesian Congregation. There are also visiting professors from other Congregations.

A trimester system is followed for studies. Accordingly we have examinations thrice a year; the first one at the end of August, the second one at the end of November and the third and the last being in March first week. The academic year begins on 7th of June every year and ends by 15th of March. The College offers many possibilities; there is a huge library and there is also a studio, which gives the professors opportunity to show some video-clips related to their subjects and to use the modern technology such as Power Point, slide show etc. And a large array of activities such as sport competitions, dramas, pastoral work etc. is conducted along the academic year. In the middle of the scholastic year a three-day seminar on a relevant topic is being organized for all the students of Philosophy and Theology.

This college is situated about 17 kilometres away from the Bangalore city; very close to the famous pilgrimage centre of St. Anthony of Padua at Thambuchetty palaya. The Piarist community is 3 kilometres away from the college. It is a very good exercise for all the Piarist Juniors to walk towards the college morning and afternoon. It is also encouraging to note that the juniors come out with flying colours in the examinations.
PASTORAL AND VOCATIONAL PLANNING MEETING
BANGALORE: DECEMBER 5, 2004 AND JANUARY 30, 2005

Fr. Antonio Marco

On Sundays 12-5-04 and 01-30-05, we had in Bangalore a Planning Meeting to evaluate and foster our pastoral and vocational work.
A well known law on Physics says that "the entropy of the Universe is growing", or in other terms, "the disorder of the Universe, on a molecular level, is growing up". Moreover, in a more understandable way we could express it as that "the disorder comes by itself".
The validity of this law of the Thermodynamics is applicable also to other environments, beyond the Physics. Spontaneously, we tend to become anarchic. To be organized and to establish plans always require an explicit act of the will, of overcoming what is an spontaneous, aleatory, and improvised thing. The planning regarding the pastoral, vocational or formative work, is always a necessity. It is not easy to agree, and even it is more difficult to be faithful to the programming, but that is the only way.

That is why, and trying to be an impartial observer, the work done in Bangalore by the vocational group - nine persons altogether -, during two days, is worthily to be praised.

? We analyzed the steps until the present
? We criticized the situations and decisions, according to the results.
? We marked the path to follow, choosing some changes that could be very important.
? We have been formed small groups for the intense work in March and April, indicating goals and methods to follow.

From the conclusions of these days of work, I want to stress two of them, according to their importance.

? To put less emphasis in the Vocational Camps - without forgetting them completely - and much more emphasis to the visits and knowledge of the families.
? To strengthen the friendship and cooperation ties with Parish Priests and Dioceses.
? To enlarge the geographical limits our vocations come from

Those who took part in the discussions came out with the conviction that although the distances are big - from Mantharamputhoor to Bangalore there are more than 15 hours of bus - the effort of sharing and uniting criteria and will, is worthwhile.

MY EXPERIENCE IN THE PIARIST MISSION OF JHARKHAND (INDIA)

Fr. Fernando Negro

It was the 5th of January of 2005. The train stopped in Ranchi at about 9:00 am. It was rather cool. As I went out of the carriage I saw Fr. Jose Alfaro and, a bit later, my brother, Fr. Jesus Negro, lost in the multitude. I found that both in good health though Alfaro was still recovering from malaria. Both took the pains to welcome me at the rail station. I was happy to meet them there. We went to make some few phone calls, we took a light refreshment and, while talking and talking, the time to go up to the Piarist Mission in Kamda, arrived.
The local bus was full to the brim. We three were fortunate to have found a seat. Finally the bus started off the journey from Ranchi to Torpa, and from Torpa to Kamda? About 80 Km. It was around 4:00 pm when we reached the mission. On arriving, we made a quick tour to the buildings: the schools, then the hostel, the Fathers house and the shrine dedicated to ?Our Lady of the Forest?.
I took a shower and then the three of us gathered to take supper. It was around 6:00 pm. We continued talking during and after the supper and we did the same during the rest of my stay in Jharkhand at all meals. Those fraternal gatherings gave us the sense of intimate sharing of precious areas of our lives.
Next day, 6th January, was the beginning of the second term in the school. At 9:00 a.m. all the teachers had already gathered previous to the arrival of the little kids who were coming from all corners of the jungle that surrounds the mission. The little kids and the staff members gave me a simple but heartfelt welcome with a Spanish song.
On the 7th of January, first Friday of the month, the Mass was celebrated in the Shrine of ?Our Lady of the Forest? at 5:30 am. It was very cool. Immediately after the Eucharist, the Blessed Sacrament was exposed and remained thus till late in the evening. It touched me deeply to see that during the whole day families and children of the school had organized themselves in such a way that at any time there were people praying. Some of them had come from a far distance of about 12 Km. I thought to myself: ?This is a sign of God?s presence. When people pray and do thus with conviction, it means that God is leading them?.
The people around the mission are all ?tribals?, belonging to the Munda tribe. The Mundas are quite many and they are proud of being tribals or ?adivasis?, which is the generic name to denominate the first settlers of India. When the Arians arrived and brought Hinduism, the ?adivasis? already inhabited this part of the world. The word ?adivasi? means ?first dweller?. The adivasis have costumes that remember me past experiences in Africa: natural religion that brings them into the respect of nature from where they come and to where they must return, big sense of community, group decision making, honor of the traditions, harmonious way of singing and dancing, the market days, etc.
It is in this context that the Piarists have started this mission that comprises mainly the primary School ?Calasanz Hindi Primary School? with an enrolment of around 350 children, both boys and girls, and the hostel where nearly 30 children (all boys) are hosted. They only pay 10 rupees per month. And it is not obvious that all pay it. It is worth to notice that one euro is equal to 55 rupees. This dream could not be real but for the fact that many benefactors, especially from Spain, Argentina and Italy, are generously giving much material help. The children in the hostel are the poorest among the poor around the area. And they are selected by a board of parents who know quite well the economical situation of the families.
The goal of this mission is to make possible in the context of India the dream of Calasanz: school for all, from the tender age and totally free. Most of the children coming to the school are shepherds that help their parents to look after the cows, buffalos and goats. And you can see them in the morning seated on the floor of the schools (benches and chairs are not yet available there) and in the evening in the field with the flock. At times it is interesting seeing them riding a buffalo.
Little by little, in spite of the harshness of this life-style I started to like the place, to be very much at ease with Alfaro and Jesus, to get in touch with the teachers and the people around, to be more familiar with the children with whom I even played football, to like more and more the place. I became aware of the ?Calasanzian touch? of this work and life; and a missionary nostalgia broke through inside me.
Time came for me to leave the place and go back to Bangalore. I felt something special. The missionary nostalgia is still alive within me. I carried back home the singing of the little children invoking the name of Saint Joseph Calasanz who dreamed for them a future of hope on behalf of the God who makes everything new. In Jharkhand I have witnessed how children are educated in piety and literacy from their tender age, with a preference for the poorest so as to reach out to all?


HISTORIES OF NOVICES

23. Behind the Screened Gate
A., Novice


My life story started when my parents had missed an important date in their natural birth control. They failed to mark an ?x? in the calendar they were using. After staying in my mother?s womb, I came out as a normal baby weighing seven and a-half pounds. My family was happy for the normal delivery of my mother and of course their hearts were also filled with joy because a new angel had come to the family. From that moment, I was in a family of one sister and a brother with God-fearing parents.
The attention of the whole family was with me during my childhood because they were happy to have me as their youngest and also because their new baby was delicate in health. I was born with some abnormalities in my heart which caused me to stay always in the nearby hospitals in our place for some weeks or even a month. I became the major expense of the family but God was good enough that my father was employed in a mine in our place. Some of the hospital expenses were free because of his occupation in the mine.
I studied in my elementary years in a simple public school. During the whole six-year of my study, I felt discriminated against by my classmates because my physical ability was limited compared to theirs. I couldn?t play so much as they did. However, I was not disturbed because of the discrimination. I felt that I could do other good things.
My parents were among the good parents of our place. Both of them were good disciplinarians and I learned from them a lot, especially in the strict schedule of prayer. In my early childhood, they imposed to our family that at exactly 6:00 in the evening, every one of us ought to be at home for a family rosary. My mother was also a devotee in our parish. She had some devotions to the Virgin Mary and to some saints. Most of the time, I went with her to the parish and joined in some of her prayers. During Sundays, my family were together in joining the first mass in our parish. If one of us happened to miss this big rule of my parents without some valid reasons, he was liable for a punishment.
When I reached high school, I was enrolled in the public high school of the nearby barangay. Like during my elementary years, I did limited activities in these years due to my physical limitations. During this stage also, I came up with a great dream that was to wear a white coat named a Laboratory Gown, working in a high-tech industrial plant and mixing some colorful chemical compounds. For me at that time, dreaming to be in this endeavor made me very happy.
Following my parents? plan, after I graduated, I was sent to other place to pursue my tertiary studies. At my enrollment I was confused in choosing the right course for me. I was quite ambitious, and I was looking for an extraordinary course. But I did not know which it was. With some doubts and emptiness, I still pursued to enroll. During my first few months, I felt no contentment and fulfillment in doing the assignments and some projects. I felt extent emptiness in me. As a result, I failed in some of my subjects in the first year. With this, I lost my academic scholarship.
At that moment, I did not feel like enrolling in the next semester, for I had neither courage nor willingness to continue. My elimination from the said scholarship was a great despair which made me quest in myself what I really wanted. It was during my saddest and desolated summer term after my second year college when I was brought to a strange venue. It was due to an unplanned circumstance. The place was not known to me though it was just a walking distance from my auntie?s house.
The said place was so-called a paradise for children. I was invited to be one of the facilitators in their new program, the Saturday Workshops. I was so hesitant to accept the invitation that even in our first meeting I brought with me a child companion. It was a happy place for me. I met some friendly seminarians, priests and even children. I was amazed with the talent of one of the priests in doing some magic tricks. It made me laugh during the first few days of my being a volunteer.
With this simple job, I found the happiness that I had been searching since my early year at college. I enjoyed teaching the poor children with my simple ideas. It was always my fulfillment when I saw the innocent-dirty-smiling face of a child after learning from my simple lessons. With this I was encouraged to enroll again.
In order to have a new environment, I transferred to another school and took a different course. My inspiration did not come anymore from the dream that I had in my high school. I wanted to gain some new knowledge that I could share with my children in the Saturday Workshops. Being a volunteer in the said center I involved myself not just in the Saturday Workshops but as well in some different activities such as youth organization and newsletter publication. With this my studies became the second priority.
While I was enjoying my involvement in the different activities, I happened to see the projection of my life beyond the screen gate which separates the two building in the compound. Beside the cultural center was the seminary of my companions in the Saturday Workshops. One of them invited me to their search-in. I was hesitant to enter their formation house and to take the lunch with them since I was just living in the next corner.
During that search-in, they did not allow me to go out to take lunch at my house because it was a part of the search-in activity. While I was in the search-in, some of my companions asked me if I was willing to be like them. At that very moment, I was not able to answer them. Few weeks after the search-in, I received a mailed letter. I was amazed, since the letter was just from my neighbor. I mean, their vocation promoter wrote me about the search-in I had attended offering me one of their priests as my spiritual director. It was really my big laugh since the sender was just a walking distance neighbor.
At the end of the year I was invited for a two-week search-in which included the summer camp in Camotes Islands. After that event, I stayed with them while finishing my studies. With some unexpected problems and situations, I went out to focus in my studies. At that very moment, I needed a lot of time for my time-demanding academics. In spite of this, I continued teaching the children in the Saturday Workshops during my vacant time.
After I graduated, many plans came into my mind and one of those was to go back to the seminary. Although some circumstances such as job offerings, friends and others hindered that plan, in some ways I still kept deep within me the great possibilities of going back to my previous life. Few weeks after my graduation, I contacted the Superior asking to be re-admitted. Luckily, the response was positive. I hurriedly went home to ask permission from my parents and to provide for some necessary requirements.
It was June 2, 2003 when I started again the rolling of the ball. I enrolled in Philosophy as one of the great highlights of my Postulancy.
Now, I?m in the novitiate looking forward to the projection of my religious life. For me, this is an extraordinary stage of quest for a better life that I must have to do the most of my days. This is just once in my life that I must make each day always fruitful and meaningful in every way. I am not considering this formation as a preparation for my temporal profession but as an extent training of my whole life as a future religious making the smile of the children as my great inspiration.


Though it is sometimes quite hard to walk in the rainy season of the formation, I have a companion in me, my God, who gives me the raincoat to traverse the journey with Him.

From Devon (USA)
BACK TO OUR ROOTS
Bro. Dong Cantilang.

The days changed very fast and now I am one year and several months old, here in Devon, in the United States Province. My experiences for the past year and months allow me to have a wider perspective and understanding of the Order, globally talking. Although I have limited experiences, I have sensed the different challenges each Province and Communities are facing, especially here in the United States.
This year is our last year for our graduate program/degree. My study widened my perspective and understanding of the relationship between spirituality and psychology. I have learned that our spirituality, our relationship to God is embedded to our day-to-day experience. Our experience allows us to notice God?s present in our lives and it is always relating to us.

Summer experience. Last summer Cesario and I did a summer job at our School, in Devon. We tried to be more fruitful during summer by means of working like cleaning, painting and other manual work at the school, together with some of our students. Our involvement in the summer was sending me a message that as a Piarist/Escolapio Religious, we are not limited to our religious spiritual and clerical obligations, but we are also concerned about the daily life activities of the ordinary people and at the same time there is our concern for our physical health. The most important was the promotion and formation of Christian values, such as humility, availability, and service through the summer job. I think those character traits and values are necessary not only for Christians, but most of all for a Religious. For me, summer was a time for physical renewal and cultivation after a tedious, mental and physical work at school and in our different ministries.

Community. Summer was also the time to re-experience the spirit of brotherhood, connectedness and community life. We had a Provincial retreat during the month of June, and at the same time, we had the chance to visit our community in SEPI, Miami, and Ft. Lauderdale, and we visited some interesting places there too. We celebrated the feast of Calasanz in SEPI. In the morning, during the feast day, we, the juniors, pre-novices and aspirants went to Miami Beach to enjoy each other presence and being together. Our visit was a time for sharing our experiences, our joys, and difficulties. We talked about the future of our own Province, and at the same time the future challenges that we may face in our time as a new generation of Piarist/Escolapios. There was a feeling of hope and determination to continue the work Calasanz did 400 years ago.

Foundational Formation: Looking back to my experiences here in US and in the Philippines, I am thankful to God for my roots and for all the experiences that I have been through. My family values and orientations had a great positive impact on the life I chose and in the formation that I am now experiencing. Perhaps, if I had not been rooted well in my early childhood formation, in my family, and in my religious formation back in the Philippines, most likely I would have found difficulties in facing personal problems, cultural differences and spiritual and emotional crises. I would say that formation for a future Piarist/Escolapio Religious must be rooted and drawn in his own cultures and local religiosity before exploring the global world. There must be a solid ground before moving to a more challenging and complex reality of community life and/or in the world we live in. It is said that we cannot give what we do not have.

Education. Our life is dynamic, full of challenges and mysteries, and our world is constantly and quickly moving. I agree and believe that education and learning is always an ongoing process that never ends. Human beings must recognize this reality and the importance of ongoing formation. The necessity and benefit of valuing the ongoing formation is to update ourselves not only on technological innovations, but also in theology and spirituality. Calasanz never stopped to promote education to children; he continuously encouraged his Religious to study and not to stop learning.

The enthusiasm and ideas of Calasanz in educating and accompanying souls, inspired me more, even though I am in a rich culture, to continue prioritizing the poor children in our ministry and to spread the Gospel through our charism, ?evangelization through education.?
Challenges. Thus, for me, it has always been a great challenge for us Piarist/Escolapio Religious to revisit our roots, the ideals of Calasanz on community life, our ministry, our religious life in general, and to be attentive to the promptings of the Holy Spirit, in reading the signs of our time. In this way we could humbly claim our own identity of who we are and what we are for in this world we live in


From the Philippines

The Postulants? Goum 2004

By Marlon Sayde and Simon Arias

Our hiking expedition is a profound and humbling experience. We covered a distance of approximately 140 kilometers, reached an altitude of about 2.400 feet, walked in the scorching heat of the sun, trudged on muddy rough roads while being pelted by big drops of rain ? a feat astounding for inexperienced hikers to accomplish. We were denied the basic creature comforts like a bed, shower, proper change of clothes and most of all food. This is one of the necessary requirements for the goum.
Sunday afternoon we were herded onto a rinky dinky non-aircon bus to get to Alpaco, the starting point of our hike. Everyone was quiet in anticipation. The trip was uneventful, except for the intermittent stops the bus had to make to let some passengers on and off. When we reached our stop in Naga, we all jumped off the bus, carried our bags and walked uphill for about two kilometers on paved road to get to Alpaco Elementary School. The scenery started to change little by little. The cries of cows and goats reminded me that we were not in the city anymore. The mechanical sounds of buses and vehicles were gradually silenced by sounds of rustic life.
Barangay Alambijud in Argao will forever remain in my memory because of the sense of community the people there possess. We were welcomed by the elders and officials of the barangay. I felt the warmth and genuine concern of the people in their sparkling eyes, firm handshakes and consoling words. They prepared a special delicacy of cornmeal cake called suman or rice cake. I was surprised that the two chickens loitering around the room on the ground floor, mysteriously disappeared the next day. I then found out that while we slumbered all through the night, some of the women toiled to prepare chicken soup for our breakfast.
One of the residents of the area, Susan Villafuerte, whose apologetic voice and radiant smile I still recall, gave me a vivid description of the situation of the children. ?The kids here normally postpone going to school,? she mused pointing to the little tots curiously ogling at me. ?We even have this twelve-year old boy who is still in second grade in elementary school because his parents are both working so he?s left to take care of his brothers and sisters.?
On the fourth day, we were told that our destination was Mantalongon, Dalaguete. On this day, I was not really eager to walk anymore because my legs were aching so badly especially when I started to move them. But, I forced myself to get ready and walked with the others. During the first few hours of walking, I could still keep up with the others. So I was able to appreciate the company of some of my co-postulants. We talked about trivial stuffs such as our aliases and the fun that we had in the seminary.
Talking and laughing with my co-postulants helped me not to be focused so much on my aching legs. But whenever we rested, it kept getting harder and harder for me to move my legs without suffering the pain. So I preferred to keep going rather than taking a much deserved break. For instance, before we stopped in a house whose owners Cholo knew and who offered us coffee and sweet potatoes, I could still move my legs, but when the time for us to leave came, it was really hard for me to walk anymore.
In the afternoon, thanks to God that Victor also had an injured leg, so I was not alone in trailing behind the rest of the group. In fact, we were so slow that we couldn?t see the others anymore, but Victor made me feel a lot better because of his jokes and his effort to lighten me up. We rested many times, so our distance from the others increased all the more. Nevertheless, I was not afraid to get lost because Cholo waited for us. In fact, we arrived in Mantalongon at the same time. A few miles before we arrived, I noticed that there were many pine trees along the road and I could feel the coldness of the mountain air. Then, when we were close to our destination already, I saw fireflies in the bushes. Victor commented that it was a good omen because it seemed that they were welcoming us. He added that we should be thankful that we arrived late because we wouldn?t have seen the beauty of the place at night. When we arrived, we had to climb the stairs to the parish and then to the second floor of the house. With the state of my legs, it was pure torture but I had to do it. After we had settled, I asked the others if they had already met the parish priest, Fr. Danilo, but they had not met him yet. Fr. Danilo was a very gracious host. He prepared a comfortable place for us to sleep in and he also had dinner and breakfast prepared for us the next day. In the morning, I appreciated the beauty of the place all the more. In fact, I commented to the others that the place is like a better version of Baguio City.
Before we left the formation house, we were reminded not to accept people?s offers of food and water. But we realized that this was not entirely possible. The hospitality of the people we met along the way and the graciousness of the hosts in our destinations, were immensely humbling. Although these people did not have much, they still insisted that we take what they have prepared and offered, and were even apologetic for the poverty of the fare.
Despite all the hardships, all fourteen of us survived back home. Thank God!


I?M THANKFUL TO BE HERE
J., Novice

When I came out of the Cebu airport I could not believe that I am in another country. Except the Language of the people, all other things looked like in Kerala.
Having a lot of mixture of feelings I arrived at the house of Escolapios in Cebu. ?Welcome to the Family??. a warming welcome to the new comers from India. How sweet to see the people, singing and dancing with joyful hearts to welcome us to the house.
As normal, the beginning days were very formal asking each other names and their activities and so on. Of course when the freshness of a new comer got over in me, I needed to change my daily life in to a normal rhythm of a Piarist novice.
Well, what can be the most difficult problem a foreigner face when he tries to encounter with people? The answer is: the Language of the people. I find here too a normal communication gap. It?s normal for us Indians, since our States are divided mainly based on Language and culture, when we enter in another state we need to speak a common communicative language, like English, which helps us to communicate with others easily.
In the house I haven?t found any difficulties in communicating with each other, but when I tried to communicate with the children in our apostolate area, during Saturday Workshop I thought ?it?s impossible?. But it was a problem of the first days; after being with them for some more weeks they became very friendly with me.
At the end of first semester we went with them for the field trip. We had to change to a new area for the next semester. After the field trip when I left them and was asked to go to other area, I found that it was painful for me to leave them, and I realized that my vocation is to serve the little ones with love and care for the glory of God.

?SATURDAY WORKSHOP?: A new way, a different vision to serve the poor little ones. This is the first time that we help children to polish their knowledge and creative talents outside the schooling curriculum. The experience which I have acquired through these activities enriched my capacity to facilitate, to teach, to accommodate and to handle any kind of, any level of (knowledge, age) children in our educational ministry.

OLANGO IMMERSION was another experience which enlarged my vision and knowledge about the Piarist mission. During the immersion I had the opportunity to live and experience a daily life of poverty which I never experienced before. This changed my concept of poverty, asked me to understand the real meaning of poverty, to live in it and to situate myself fully in the mission of Escolapios in the future.

?EDUCATION THROUGH PIETY AND LETTERS? when I analyze this Piarist Motto in my day to day life I can see it as my way of life here today Like:
Preparation for daily meditation, daily reflection, Monthly evaluation, Spiritual Reading, Holy hour, studying Constitution, rules, church?s teachings and desert day?s ?. Oh how wonderful how many ways to talk and be with God. Really I am very thankful to god giving me this beautiful time to be with him. Improving English, Learning Spanish, improving IQ, knowing inner self better through the help of Psychology, Music practice which enriched our Liturgical service lively and daily and weekly manual which help me to prepare my self to be a future Piarist Educator.
Here I am now, being here for several months as one member of the Filipino-Piarist family. When I began my novitiate in India, all of our juniors told us that novitiate is beautiful experience where you will encounter with Jesus through the guidance of St. Joseph Calasanz. I experience now those words of love in my day today activities here in Cebu.

4th ANNUAL PIARIST LAY COOPERATORS (PLC) Convention
MONTA?O HALL, TURNO, DIPOLOG CITY

Fr. Jesus Lacarra

It is true that one of the most important problems in our Order is the problem of Vocations. Each demarcation tries to solve it as wisely as possible. Nevertheless, we know very well that it is not so simple. Sometimes, we do our best and the results are almost nothing. But I am still convinced that if we try and try in different ways, the results will be really positive. Of course, the way of working is not the same in all places, but the dynamic of working for Vocations, I think it is the same. Maybe one has to hit the nail 100 times, but at the end, the nail will go in. If we hit only 10 times, the nail will not go in. In other terms, we have to continue ?calling and calling in a thousand ways? so that the Vocations might come.

Here in the Philippines we are trying to hit in many, many different ways, because we are convinced that if we do not call, the vocations will not come. One of the ways we are trying to call is through the cooperation of lay persons, men and women. In different cities, we try to form groups of ?Cooperators for Vocations? and they are the ones who are helping us in that important task of calling for Vocations. And every year, at least once a year, we have with them a ?convivencia? of some days to give them the Calasanzian spirit and to encourage them continuing working for Vocations.

Last October 28-31, we had a ?convivencia? in Dipolog City, in the southern island of the Philippines. Different small groups of several cities met there and we had a nice gathering of about 30 people, young, middle age and not so young, but with the spirit of working for Vocations. Our Br. Aljun is in charge of everything, Br. Marlon Nacua and Fr, Jesus, were helping him. The second day, a specialist couple in family matters, gave a talk followed by questions and answers. It was the main theme of the gathering. ?The family: seedbed of vocations?. We had other talks, sometimes in small groups and later on meeting together; and at the same time, we had also some recreation, songs and sightseeing. We had Holy Mass four times and during the last Mass, we had the ceremony of accepting new members and the renewal of the promise of the old ones. The ?promise? to work for vocations in the spirit of Saint Joseph Calasanz. It was really a very nice ceremony, full of encouragement and vitality, looking for a new future with many vocations, for the Pious Schools in the Philippines and for Church.

We hope to continue on the same path, widening the places and the spirit. We also were committed to give to the COOPERATORS more Calasanzian formation and we were also talking about the Calasanzian Fraternity Organization. Time will bring the fruits we expect.. But as we say in Spanish, we must continue giving with the mallet while we pray hard to God: ?A Dios rogando y con el mazo dando?.


? Brief News ?
From India

? On December 27, at 3 o?clock in the afternoon, was held in Arthumkal Parish (Allepey District), the priesthood ordination of Raju A. Panackal, the third Indian Piarist Priest. The Ordination was carried out by the Bishop of Cochin, Exc. John Thattunkal. Beside the Piarists, there were in the celebrations some diocesan priests from the same Parish. After the Liturgical Celebration, there was an agape and social meeting of almost 2000 people among relatives, friends, neighbors, etc.

? On January 30, in a simple celebration but full of meaning, in our chapel of Bangalore, Bro. Varghese F.K. received the Acolyte Ministry. Some of ours accompanied also Bro. Varghesse, just few days later, in the funeral of his father, on February 2, and in a Eucharistic Celebration on the fourth.

? Fr. Antonio Garcia Rios, healthy and young in his 78 years old, arrived from Argentine on December 2. Taking advantage of the school vacations in that country, he came to help us in our liturgical singing, especially in Gregorian and Christian Prayer Liturgy songs. Some seminarians took advantage of his presence receiving some extra music classes.

? Fr. Fernando Negro went to Jharkhand during the month of January. The purpose of the visit was to meet his brother, Fr. Jesus Negro, and Fr. Alfaro, and to know a little more that reality. He came back very much satisfied with the experience he was able to live. Fr. Fernando came so happy that fr. Baltazar was a little ?envious? of him. Fr. Baltazar left for the same place on February 3, in order to spend some days in that mission.

? The boys from Aryanan will soon enjoy a Basketball playing ground, thanks to the generosity of the Hungary Province and to the interest shown by Fr. Provincial, Fr. Jozsef Urban. From Orient we want to thank all, although the boys will do it in a special way.

? During two weeks, on Sundays December 5 and January 30, we had in Bangalore a work of Pastoral and Vocational programming for the next school year 2005-2006. The Priests who are working in the formation attended, and also the Juniors in the last year. Nine persons in all. .Many ideas were shared and we hope to see the good results soon.

? We are just entering the last part of the academic year. The examinations are just at the door, and a climate of working and effort is felt around, hoping for good results. Fr. Pedro Recuenco is already thinking about the exposition he wants to do, showing the artistic and the manual works done by our seminarians in Mantharamputhoor during the school year 2004-2005.

From Japan
? Fr. Viceprovincial visited our communities during the month of December. We had a seminar on Missionary and Piarist Spirituality directed by him in our Tokyo Juniorate
? We had the Annual Spiritual Exercises for all Piarist in Japan in the House of St. Paul Sisters in Tokyo. Fr. WIlliam Johnston SJ was the director.
? During the Community Mass on the Festivity of Mary Mother of God, Fr. Vice-Provincial conferred the Ministry of Lector and of Acolyte to Brs. Tony and Edmond as well as the Ministry of Attention to the Poor to Bro. Bryan and Christian Education to Bro.Nelson.
? Brs. Bryan and Nelson successfully ended their '04 school-year in the Seminary of Tokyo. After some weeks of vacation in their country the Philippines, both will start their Theological studies in the same seminary on April '05. Bros. Junji, Moises and Jesley continue their studies on Japanese language.
? Fr. Jesus Lacarra has spent again some weeks in Yokohama, accompanying Fr. Pedro L.Perea, who is recovering satisfactorily from his surgical intervention.

From the Philippines

? On December some juniors in Manila helped packing and loading sacks of relief goods at Mt Carmel Shrine Parish to be transported to the typhoon ravaged area of Quezon Province. Later on, all the juniors attended a Christmas party for all religious living within the jurisdiction of Mt. Carmel Shrine Parish. The party was held at the Mt. Carmel Shrine Parish?s social hall. And then we had a Christmas party for the little children (kinder ? grade one) of our apostolate in the three respective areas of our apostolate, and another Christmas party for the children (grade two ? first yr. high school). These parties were held at our house in New Manila.
? From December 29, 2004 to January 02, 2005, we had a five-day community (New Manila & Tandang Sora) outing at Subic, Zambales. The community had a new and wonderful experience of celebrating New Year in the atmosphere of silence outside the formation house. The community celebrated New Year?s Eve mass with the people living near the area.
? On January 15, 2005; 3 Postulants (Cao Tri, Marcelino & Jerry) were accepted to the pre-novitiate. The acceptance was held at our house in New Manila, Quezon City. With Vinh and the other 13 in Cebu, their number is 17 in all.
? In Cebu we had also the traditional Christmas parties (Cultural Centre and Community). The postulants went on holydays for two weeks after. The novices, with their Master, had the traditional Immersion experience in Olango Island. Our friends form Olango returned their visit the day of Sinulog.
? February is the Vocation month in Cebu. As usually, our seminarians take active part in the different activities to promote our vocation. The Vocational Jamboree, the last Saturday, attract many youth. Let us hope that many youth will discover their vocation and follow it.
? Miss Sandra Santiago, who for 6 years has been collaborating actively with us in the Cultural Centre, has resigned her work in February. We want to express to her our gratitude from these pages, and wish her good luck. We welcome Miss Adrienne Kwan, who will replace her.
? The Cultural Centre II has already been finished. Some activities take place there already, and we are equipping it for new programs that will start the next school year.


Orient
CALASANZ FORMATION HOUSE - Piarist Fathers - Escolapios
1401 Andres Abellana Extension. Guadalupe, 6000 Cebu City,
PHILIPPINES Tel. ? Fax (32)2542085
Email escoljb@cvis.net.ph http://www.cvis.net.ph/escolapios

Posted by nelcabz at 12:01 AM JST
Updated: Saturday, February 4, 2006 7:08 PM JST
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Wednesday, December 1, 2004
ORIENT NUMBER 29
Orient, Bulletin of the Piarist Fathers in ASIA
2004 DECEMBER, n. 29


MANILA: V Calasanzian Family Asian Meeting
Fr. Jose P. Burgues

Under the motto "Our presence in Asia: Religious Community, in a Sharing Relation", was held in Manila, from October 18 to 24, 2004, the V Asian Encounter of the Calasanzian Family. There were 15 participants. For the first time, there were present, besides the Piarist Fathers and Sisters, two Cavanis Fathers and a lay person, a member of the Cebu Calasanzian Fraternity. Fr. General and the Assistant for Africa and Asia were also present. There were representative of the three Asian countries we are working now: Japan, India and the Philippines.

In the encounter we have taken into consideration, in a special way, the themes relating to the Religious Life and Education, here and now. We understand that our present in Asia is weak and hopeful. The Religious Life is always at the beginning, because it always needs to be adapted to the environment. The education that is needed here, especially by the poor, is asking from us a lot of creativity. Asia is the continent where more than half of the population of the world is living. Except in the Philippines, the existence of Christianity is weak. Asia is also a Continent of great contrasts among rich and poor people. The interreligious and cultural dialogue, and the dialogue with the poor are our permanent challenges. Here, we all are missionaries; there is not any other option. Only from the communion, we can give answers to so many challenges. This is our conviction.

We spent also time taking into consideration some other important themes such as, the formation of our candidates, the lay people integration and the missionary expansion. We talked, too, about inter-demarcation and inter-Congregation cooperation. The Piarist Fathers and Sisters have been helping each other from the beginning in Japan, Philippines and India. In the meeting, we faced the possibilities of cooperation between the Cavanis Fathers and the Piarists in the formation of our candidates. For instance, sharing their Aspirancy in Davao City and our Juniorate in Manila, with mixed formation teams. At the inter-demarcation level, we consider as positive the present collaboration between Philippines and India, sharing the novitiate in Cebu. Moreover, we are thinking about the possibilities of expanding the cooperation regarding missionary projects, as much as we could. It is the best moment to open ourselves to others in confidence, and sharing our charisms for the service of the Kingdom and the Mission.

The Encounter ended with a great satisfaction after sharing our experiences and hopes with our Brothers and Sisters. Then, see you again in 2006. Where? It is undecided? At that time, we hope that some of our plans will be made a reality and then we will have many other things for sharing.
The participants address to all the members of the Calasanzian Family the following letter:

----------------------------------------------

Dear brothers and sisters of the Calasanzian Family,

From October 17 through 22, in the Piarist Formation House in Manila, 15 delegates of the different religious congregations of the Calasanzian family present in Asia (Cavanis Fathers, Daughters of Mary ?Escolapias-, and Piarist Fathers) and lay people from the fraternities of the Pious Schools, in line with the invitation of the Holy Father John Paul II to make Asia the ground of the evangelization for the 3rd Millenium, gathered to share experiences and outline scenarios in the manifold fields of our mission.

Fr. Jesus Maria Lecea, Superior General of the Piarist Fathers, and Fr. Jaume Riera, General Assistant for Africa and Asia, in canonical visit to the Vice-province Japan- Philippines, were present at this meeting

The discussion was enriched and documented by outstanding presentations of specialists in Culture and Religious Life as well as in Education based in Manila but with extensive knowledge of these issues in South East Asia.

Under the theme ?Our Presence in Asia: Religious Community, in a sharing Relation?, the assembly discussed topics ranging from inculturation and formation to expansion, inter-demarcationality and cooperation between congregations.

We reckon that our presence in Asia is modest; however, through these kind of encounters we find hope and strength to go on in our mission to cater the educational and spiritual needs of the huge mass of the continent.

The cultural and religious mosaic of the people in Asia challenges our mind frames and methodologies. We feel invited to listen to and to dialogue with all the cultures we have been welcomed in with an open mind and heart.

During these days we have experienced that the church cannot be understood and lived without mission and that this mission is for us to reproduce in us and in our children, youth and families the Asian countenance of Christ.
The presence of lay people among us during these days has been enriching and promising for new landscapes.

Along with us during these days we felt your presence, very near to us in prayers and intentions. We are building something new. But not only by ourselves; the whole Calasanzian family has been journeying with us.

We want to share with you all our joy and hope. We want to ask for your support.

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from India

AS IT SEEMS TO MEBro. Jeejo Vazhappilly

We come across many people, many events and many other things on our journey of life. We meet some people and they may not make any difference in our life. Some others really make a great impact on our life through the way they deal with us. Such people remain in our life for a longer period of time. It is the same with regard to the many events we take part in and only few of them become unforgettable and memorable because of its great importance and relevance. The event I am going to describe has become part and parcel of my life because of the great significance it has not only in relationship to me, but also in relation to the world as such.

India has always been a land of rich heritage, a source of inspiration and encouragement; a place of pride and prestige for all other countries of the world. Here was a golden opportunity for all the Indians to be happy and proud since she hosted the Third Asian Youth Conference held at Bangalore from August 9th to 16th, 2003. Normally when our much awaited dream is materialized, we can not but be happy. For me it was not the case. I never had a dream that I would be part of the Asian Youth Conference. It was God?s grace that I could participate in this great event. Certainly I would say that I was not in a state of euphoria.

It all began long ago. Preparations were on. For the smooth running of the conference, different committees were formed. I was part of the security committee. I want to say that the conference was a great success due to the meticulous planning. It was organized by the Indian Catholic Youth Movement (ICYM) and coordinated by the Federation of Asian Bishops Conference (FABC).

A mammoth gathering of 5000 people attended the inaugural function on the evening of 10th of August and was treated to the fiesta of cultural programs hosted by various youth groups from India and across South Asia. Each group came up with diverse and colorful programs depicting their uniqueness of their culture. 400 delegates from 148 dioceses of India, 400 delegates from other 18 countries such as Singapore, Malaysia, Macau, Thailand, Indonesia, Japan, Philippines, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Mongolia, Hong Kong, Bangladesh etc. and about 200 local organizing committee members were present in this event. The flags of 19 countries waving on the Indian soil were really an elevating experience for the common man to see.

?Youth for Peace? was the main theme of the Conference. ?Youth is not a matter of age but of the mind. One can feel old at the age of 17. People must not worry about growing old but experiment new things to remain young?, said one of the spokespersons. In this world of modern technology and information, people can buy anything and everything except peace. That is what precisely is lacking in the hearts of people. Therefore it is the responsibility of each and every youth to work for peace in the family, society, state, country and in the world at large.

During the Conference many workshops were conducted. Leadership Crisis, Terrorism, HIV/AIDS & Drugs/ Alcoholism, Ecology & Eco-Spirituality, Un-employment, Migration, Globalization Development, Information Technology, New-Media culture, Religious Fundamentalism, Family, Consumerism & Conscientization, Moral Values, Gender Issue, Gangsterism, Conflict Management , Counseling, Healing, Stress Management, Self-image, Communication Skills, ?Seven Habits?, New Generation Youth, Career Guidance, Handing Intimacy, Inter-religious Dialogue for Culture of Peace were some of the themes for workshop.

Eastern Meditations, Syro-Malankara Qurbana, Syro-Malabar Qurbana, Mass according to Indian Order and Taize Prayer were some of the specialties of the event.

Many of the foreign delegates were given the prerogative of family hospitality. i.e., they were accommodated in different families on the day of their arrival in order to know something about the culture of India. To help Asian youth Pilgrims know the rich heritage of Indian Families, to get familiarized with the Inter-religious neighbors and friends, to visit Bangalore along with family, to meet, know and experience the ?Indian parish community? were the main objectives of the family hospitality experience. Discovery of India was also arranged for the foreign delegates in order to know more about India.

On 14th of August, a Peace-rally was organized. Around 6000 people participated in the rally, which started at 7.00pm preceded by the ?Mysteries of Light?. The participants walked towards the statue of Mahatma Gandhi, the Father of the nation, shouting slogans while holding the lit -candles in their hands. The participants standing in front of the statue made the peace-pledge. It was something interesting to see the flags of India and Pakistan flying together in the air.

On the last day there was a variety of programs staged by each country and it lasted about 4 hours. Finally the time arrived for everyone to depart. Yes, parting is always a sad moment. But what can we do? It is inevitable. Just accept it positively and keep fond memories of persons and events in our hearts. If there is love, in spite of the boundaries of countries, which separate one from another physically, I am sure, pen and prayer cannot separate anyone (of course e-mail). Let us believe that out of sight is not out of mind. This would have been the thoughts and feelings of most of the delegates when they left the country.

*** *** ***

A NEW PIARIST SCHOOL IN KAMDA
(From some ?Letters to the Friends? of Fr. Jose Alfaro)

Well. First of all I have to tell you: ?we are not building a school?. ?What?! ? You will ask in surprise. ?Such a fuss and you are not building a school?? I am going to explain it to you reminding the anecdote of that bricklayer who was asked what he was doing in that construction which looked like a church. The guy could have replied ?I prepare the mortar?, ?I carry the bricks?, ?I carry the water buckets?? or something like that. But no, sir! My friend answered: ?I am building a cathedral?? And I do the same: we are not building a school. We are refounding the entire universe, the whole cosmos that we, human beings, have turned ugly. We are refounding religious life, the whole Christianity? We are beginning to be human beings again, starting from the Man, striving to look like He. ?Starting afresh from Christ?. That is our cathedral.

I would like that also the house in which I live, the school, the bricks, the walls, the floor, the roof, what is and what is still lacking, might preach and shout all these things we are talking about? If fifteen or twenty persons are going to live in that house, we cannot build a matchbox, but certainly not a palace, either. If those who are going to live there are guys who want to live like poor among the poor, the same as their Master, tell me what type of house they must live in not to make their life a contradiction to what they preach. Well, very simple: do without such things that you don?t need, those things that your brothers do not have either. They do not have electric light, well? don?t you have it, either. They do not have running water, telephone, television, refrigerator, or? or? Well, don?t you have any of those things either. Do it for your love to them and for your love to your Master as well. (Letter 10, July 2003)

*** *** ***

We chose two young teachers that looked quite well for pre-school. I thought that it would be enough with one as teacher and the other could collaborate in writing documents and in the communications with the students and their parents. But it happened that on the very first day of registration they were more than 400 boys and girls admitted. It was unbelievable! A minute had passed, and the application forms had been finished. And again and again? We had to make three more trips for more copies? Unbelievable! A great benediction and response from God and form these people! From all towns, sometimes quite far, families have come with the dream of having their children registered. And nobody is rejected. The Lord is sending them and they are His present. His great present! First we received them with joy and later we shall study how to manage this situation. The God who is sending them will inspire how to manage the situation. Besides, if I stop or happen to say ?this one, yes; that one, not?, they may even pull down the school? I have no choice.

Around here they advise to have only four teachers with 115 students in each class? Do not open your eyes that wide, because it is not strange around these contours to find schools of mission with 120 children per classroom? The Commission has decided that, so far, there will be no uniform (all, all the schools have their uniform) because it is very expensive for the poor. And thinking of them the registration fee and monthly tuition were established in 10 rupees (20 cents of Euro) and also a little rice or some wood to cook.

What do you say? That we are crazy? Maybe. But two years ago we had not even a rupee and in this forest there were only lands and trees, and now, with your help and that of God, when you receive this letter we will have a school with 450 little, poor children of God who will be getting educated thanks to your craziness and my own. Blessed be this madness! More and more mad people would be necessary! Don?t you think so? (letter 14, April 04)


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HISTORIES OF NOVICES
22. Carried by the Current of God?s Love
L., Novice

There was a boy who happened to exist in a particular place, in a particular moment. There is much to talk about that boy but it isn?t talked about. He doesn?t like to talk about it. Perhaps his parents forbade him to do so. Anyway the boy has given me authority to talk about it.

The boy once dreamed to be an angel. He used to listen to stories from the elders about how beautiful the heaven is. It had been said that angels are playing, running, flying from one cloud to another. He liked to be one of them.

When he grew a little older, he realized that it was impossible for him to be an angel. But he wasn?t desperate on his dream of heaven because the elders told him that he could still be there. All he needed to do was to be a good boy. That is, to be holy.

The boy tried to be holy. He saw the church as a holy place here on earth. He thought that people there are all holy, so he liked to be one of them. He joined the acolytes in their parish and then he became a seminarian of their diocese.

Being a diocesan seminarian, he had opportunities to be with some religious of different congregations as he was assigned to be their tour-guide every Vocation Promotion Week of their diocese. One of those was a Piarist Father. He had a little inclination to some of the congregations because he loved their charism. He loved to work in the education of the poor children. Many congregations offered such job. He once thought of joining one of them. But because there were a lot of them, he had difficulty in choosing the best among them. So he decided to stay in the diocesan seminary. Anyway the diocesan has general work in the parish. He could still work in the education of the poor children.

Though he?d finished his high school, he was still a boy when he was a diocesan seminarian. As a boy he was so idealistic. He was too young to discover the dark side of the church. He was immature to know that people of the church are not as holy as he thought. He dreamed of change, he criticized sometimes the church leader, including their formators.

According to the seminary formators, it was so hard to understand that boy. He got so high in his IQ exam but had very low in his academics. He had difficulty in facing the crowd. He needed to improve his ability to lead. He was absent-minded sometimes during some seminary activities. Seminary might not be yet the place for him. Thus, after three years in the seminary, the boy was advised to take a period of regency.

He couldn?t understand the will of God. The decision of their formators hurt him so much. He even considered it as a milder way of saying no. His only consolation then was his special friend to enkindle his life somehow. His special friend never failed him at the start but she left him at the long run. He couldn?t blame her because she was also wounded by the circumstances. Their friends accused her as the cause why he went out of the seminary. The boy didn?t dare to explain the real situation. He had no confidence to do it. It hurt her so much that she avoided him all the while. And that made his life more miserable.

He was desperate. He lost his direction in life. He just did his own way and let come what may be. He lost his dream of heaven. For him, heaven and its residents were nothing but a dream. Bible and other spiritual books were as worthy as any novel and fairy tale.

But God never abandoned him. He still received graces. He was just the one who disregarded them. But he couldn?t escape the love of God. He was blessed to be carried by its current.

As he no longer went to church, his ex-classmate in grade school invited him to be with the youth in their parish. She was a leader of an active youth club. Perhaps she had high expectation of him because she knew him as an ex-seminarian and once a good pupil during their elementary. She always visited him at home just to say yes to the invitation. The boy had run-out of excuses, he joined the club. I don?t know whether the boy was able to meet her expectations or not.

In the organization, he met another man who had been searching for his vocation in life. The man was looking for his companion in his journey. As a happy-go-lucky guy, the boy accompanied the man. They attended search-ins on several religious congregations, including the Order of the Pious Schools, also known as Piarists. The man joined the Piarists on that year, while the boy preferred to continue his life outside the seminary. His role was nothing but being a companion of the man in his search. And so when the search ended, his job was finished

He had some inclination but his insecurities reigned in his heart. He was afraid to suffer the same heartache once again. And he knew that it would be more painful if the scar were wounded again. Thus he said to himself, as final, ?I won?t be back to a seminary. Priesthood is not for me.?

When he earned his degree, he wanted to be independent from his family. He was without a job then. A group of friends invited him to go fishing, some nights. He joined them to avoid the feeling of unworthiness and loneliness. He was disappointed because every night they went fishing, he had the lesser number of fish.

Another group of friends worked in constructing a house in their neighborhood. He helped them though his skill was not satisfactory for such a job. He was paid just a little allowance and the drinking session at night. He was like garbage in the Guadalupe River during the rainy days.

God bless! There was a group of friends that planned to attend search-ins on some religious congregations. They invited him to be with them. The poor boy joined them just to entertain himself. His experience in every search-in somehow awoke his idealistic dream of changing the world but he tried to ignore it. He believed that it would lead him to heartache. After every search-in, he went home just like a tourist from a tour. He just set aside the feeling he had. Though sometime watching the poor children along the way had touched his heart somehow, that never carried him to decide.

But it seemed that God had his own plan. As his friends settled the required document for the entrance in some religious congregation, he also did. He just took it for granted. But, I think it was God?s will that he didn?t met any difficulty in securing the papers. He was the first to secure all the papers among his friends who sincerely wanted to join in.

He received letters from the religious congregations he used to be acquainted. All were willing to accept him. He was also invited by a diocesan priest to reapply to the diocesan seminary since his period of regency had already finished. That priest, when he was still in his theological study, was a former partner of the boy in a Summer Apostolate, a one-month immersion in a certain parish of their diocese. That gave the boy confidence to reapply to the diocesan seminary during that moment the priest was one of the formators there.

He was thinking then. He decided before not to go back in the seminary. He had gone unto it and he wanted to close that chapter of his life. That world had lost its glory so he wanted to create a new story. He decided not to reapply in the diocesan seminary.

But, what was the meaning of his life then? Obviously there was an empty space in his heart. Then this idea came into his mind: ?It is true that the chapter of his life as a diocesan seminarian has already ended. What is done, is done; what is gone, is gone. But that was diocesan; religious formation would be something new for him. This could be a beginning of a new chapter.? He was justifying his words before. He decided to join a religious congregation. He chose the Piarists because he felt more inclined to their charism.

He joined the Piarist without being totally convinced that this life was for him. But within the Order, his faith was resurrected. He was regaining his spiritual life. His vocation was resurrected too.

He was inspired by his companions in the community. He felt he was accepted as he was. He also saw his formators as good models. They were not perfect but they were doing their best. The fruits and flowers in the garden, the ball and board games he used to play, the hiking in mountains and city, the study of philosophy, and so many others things inspired him.

But what inspired him most were the poor children and youth in his apostolate. He felt, being a Piarist, he somehow would be able to do something for those children and youth. He understood that he could not change the world alone. But he could do a little way to make of it a better place. He somehow found the meaning of his life.

He is now a novice. He doesn?t know how long would his vocation last. He just treasures every moment of his life as a Piarist novice. Everyday he is answering the call of God and says, ?I must be willing to follow if I want God to lead.?
How is he this moment? Well he has just finished sharing with you the story of his vocation.


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From Spain

WE MUST BE?
Bro. Mark Sagrado

Again, I would like to share with you my experience in this land full of encounters, Madrid, Spain. This is an experience that for many is not new, because they have experienced it before me. This time is an experience inside the classroom and in the chapel in our School of Getafe where I had the apostolate last school year.

Many of us have the experience of being talking with the children about different topics, religion, sports, places, persons, etc. Many of us have in their mind imagines of an educator, teacher, catechist of children, when we saw with our own eyes a group of children wanting to learn. Now, after reflecting about all, I have my own new imagines engraved during last school year in my catechism class for the First Communion and in the Continuous Prayer.

It was a year full of experiences and reflection. I had 14 children of the second year of elementary school for the continuous prayer, and 12 children of fourth year of elementary for the catechesis of First Communion. It was a heterogeneous group: boys, girls, Spaniards, foreigners; good children and not so good children; young and not so young, etc. Everything was there! Being a Piarist catechist for these groups, I had also many experiences. Children that loved me, had confidence in me, respected me and also those who rejected me, laughed at me, did not pay attention, etc. That is the reality I had in my groups.

It was an experience full of happiness. How happy I was with my wonderful children! What a joy when we met together learning in harmony who Jesus was, His Church, the community, the society, the sacraments, etc., when they behaved well. What a tranquility when we were in silence praising, praying, asking together to Jesus! What a joy when we finished a theme full of living experience! How happy I felt when they loved me! "Hi, Markos, don't you miss your family? Do not worry, we are with you" How happy I was when they accepted me, in spite that I belonged to a brown race! "Nothing happens. Markos, if you are a Filipino. We are friends. We want to help you to learn Spanish well!" What peace I felt when I saw each one of them praising, asking Jesus for the group, families, school, the Religious, for the famine, the injustices, the wars, the love, etc.

It was a reflection experience. Lord, help me with these my children! And how bad I felt when everybody was talking and was not listening to me.

In this case, I felt stressed. And I was asking for a miracle when they believed even more a magician than Jesus.

This is the reality of being an educator, of being a Piarist, a catechist, etc. I had this living experience. It was an experience full of learning and reflection. To be an educator, a Piarist, is not an easy task. It is necessary to know HOW TO ATTRACT the children for their learning, discipline, life, happiness, and sense of humor. One must be strict, flexible, open, discrete, etc.; it is necessary to know who are Raul, Ronaldo, Beekham, Ronaldino, Saviola, etc.; it is important to know who won the competition of the young people. Who is the most famous actress, actor, director of movies, etc. It is necessary too, to know the news of the society and of the world, etc.,etc.,etc. It s necessary to know about everything so that the children might go out of their own shell.

Our Holy Father, St. Joseph Calasanz, says that vocation to education is one of the greatest graces of God. Starting from this sentence, the road for me is to have love for education. The Piarist ministry of giving piety and learning should be born from the love to Christ, as Jesus was teaching with full love to his disciples. It is necessary to love while teaching because in this way we form the children to become disciples. It is necessary to love while teaching because this, teach the children to belong to a people formed by God, where nobody is rejected. Where there is love, it is easy to discover His hand, when in a subtle way, with ties of love and "human cords", He is calling every one of these children to belong to a people of love.

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From the Philippines

Another Horizon
Bro. Marlon Nacua

As I am writing this article, I am here in this beautiful place in this retreat house of CICM in Taytay Rizal. I can see that the whole Metro Manila is foggy due to smoke from the vehicles running around the cities and because of the pollution from the different factories located in the busy cities.

From the place where I stay I can see the high rising buildings of Metro particularly the buildings in Makati which is the economic center of the Philippines. Suddenly the rain starts and now the tall buildings are not visible anymore. They are like the unseen squatters or informal settlements in Metro who are most of the time unnoticed and uncared.

It disheartens me to see the widening gap between the rich and the poor. Those poor people are usually invisible to our naked eyes. I am even bothered to see a beautiful townhouse in front of our formation house while I suspect that the people who build the townhouse do not even own a house; some are just renting a house, or worse, are living in a shack. Besides the townhouse is a very big three storey house with a very high fence and automated gate. On the third floor of the house, there is a basketball court; however they have problems in parking space to accommodate their more than 8 cars as far as I can count and see, while the people who live in squatter areas like in Damayang Lagi, wherein we have been conducting our apostolate, are jam-packed in a small room. The extended families are living in small houses. The majority of the children are undernourished. Their parents have no permanent jobs. Opportunities are quite distant to them.

And the irony of this is that I?m here in this beautiful place attending the seminar on ?Leadership in a Participatory Church?. We envision our Church as the ?Church of the poor? as the Federation of Asian Bishops Conference (FABC) would insistently say. However, from my personal perspective there is still a lot of work to be done especially alleviating our brothers and sisters from the quagmire of poverty. I do not know if as a religious I try to be one with them. I want to ?live simply so that others may simply live? but I know that it is easier said than done.

We have just had the Asian Meeting of our Order, with other members of the Calasanzian Family, and I am happy because I was able to attend the said meeting. I commented particularly about the education system in the Philippines, in which in the near future we will be building schools for the evangelization of the poor children and youth, but the danger is to commit the same mistake in catering only the children of the rich and the elite.

Although we know education is one of the best ways to alleviate people in dire poverty, this task asks us to do a lot of hard work. Time, talents, skills, motivations and faith in God is badly needed here. But the irony is that before we can change other people and society we need to change ourselves first. Then, transformation will be attained little by little, starting from our community towards society.

From this horizon I see some dark clouds but I am pretty sure that behind, there is a shining sun which will bring us to a brighter future and unlimited opportunities if only we start to live up our dreams now.

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?WOW?!!!?(A Journey from Indonesia to Manila)
Marcelino Leolando

Our Departure
On September, 18th 2004 with the help of Mr. Kristian Tambengi and his wife, sponsors in Atambua, West Timor, we finished processing our papers, passport and ID card, in order for us to depart for Manila, Philippines. After that Fr. Rafael only gave us four days to prepare all things that we needed to bring to Manila. ?Wow, it?s too short, we need more time!? That was what we said when we heard that we only had other four days to be in our places and stay with our families. But we did it.

On September, 23rd 2004 we took our flight to Bali. Fr. Rafael was in Ruteng doing vocation animation, but he said he would meet us at Denpasar airport. After a two-hour flight we arrived in Denpasar. We stayed there overnight. At 07.00 a.m. the following day we flew again. We went first to Surabaya, arriving at 7:00 AM What? Did we fly so fast? No, actually the flight took one hour; it happened because our country has three time lines. We continued out flight arriving in Jakarta 25 minutes later. From Jakarta we flew again to Singapore. ?Wow, it?s really a high class airliner!? We stayed there for about four hours. During this time, Fr. Rafael invited us to visit some interesting places in Singapore: The Esplanade, Merlion, etc. Singapore is a beautiful city. Then we set off again, about three and a half hours, from Singapore to Manila.

We arrived in Manila airport at 10.00 p.m. Then we took a taxi from the airport to our house in Quezon City. At 11.00 p.m. we arrived there. We were very tired by then, but soon all our exhaustion went away, after we found the kindness and hospitality of our brothers in Manila.

Our Feelings

While our plane hovered over Manila by 09.30 p.m., we spoke to each other: ?That?s Manila?... It?s fantastic? it?s a beautiful city!? Yeap? Manila looks beautiful at night from the plane. Then we teased each other about where we would stay, what we would do if we knew how to speak English, and many other things. But deep inside our heart we were praying God and thanking Him.

At that time we didn?t feel any sadness. Happy?...We were not sure. Instead, we felt wonder, amazement, and a feeling of unbelief. ?It is not about the trip from Kupang to Atambua. But it is about going abroad. And now we are about to arrive. Wow, it?s unbelievable.? I said to myself.

Then we begin with our daily life. First day, second day and the third we didn?t feel sadness or uneasiness, or homesickness. Because, aside from the languages and cultures, other things looked as similar as those we have in our place. Few days later when we realized that it would not be easy for us to inculturate ourselves, those feelings came and we felt sad, homesick and yearned for our family. And?. Psssttt! We?d cried also. Please, don?t tell to any people from our place that we?d cried, please. They will laugh at us and mock us (in our culture, it?s a taboo, a ridicule thing and an embarrassment for a man to cry). Well, it just happened for a few days. After that we feel fresh and ready to walk on our life and our vocation here.

Our Hopes
We realized that we still have to learn many things in order to improve our knowledge and skills, but also to find in discernment God?s call upon us. And for this we have to start from the very beginning, from zero. And it is something impossible if we only step with our own feet. We need support and help, we need to be guided by others, by you: our brothers and fathers and also by our God.

We hope that we will be able to survive and to live our life here. We can live in fraternal love with brothers from any place. We can learn fast and understand the languages here. And we can inculturate ourselves in this environment, appreciating the customs, the food, and most important, the people here. But also we hope that we will be able to bring something new, unique and useful for our community, and if it is possible for the people here.

For all that, we need help and be guided by you and God our Father.

----------------------------------------------------

? Brief News ?

From India
? In the middle of October, Fr. Fernando Negro arrived to Bangalore. A kind of re-encounter with his former novices. He will remain in India for several months, being part of that community and helping in the formation of Juniors and pre-novices. We welcome him wishing his stay be a blessing for our community in Bangalore.
? Fr. Baltazar went back to Mexico to visit his mother and to renew his visa for another period of time in India. We wish him restoring holidays and we await his return very soon.
? Fr. Antony Marco went to Manila for the V Asian Meeting. During these days he had the opportunity to meet Fr. General and to inform him about our reality and necessities. After that, he went to Cebu, to visit the Indian novices. These were wonderful days plenty of feelings, remembrances and dreams.
? On 27th December 2004, 3,30 in the afternoon, in his native place, Arthunkal (Allepey Dist.) will have the priestly Ordination of Br. Raju Panackal. From these lines we implore the blessings of the Lord upon his servant to be a faithful Piarist in the service of the Church.
? From Kamda (Jharkhand) we got some bad news (Fr. Alfaro was hospitalized with malaria) and a lot of good news: Fr. Alfaro recovered very well, and 13th October was the blessing and official inauguration of the religious house, School and Hostel for children.
? On 1st December Fr. Antonio Garcia Rios will arrive to Cochin to spend three months (summer School holidays in Argentina) in our Formation Houses. There is a lot of hope to improve our musical skills, specially in what is referred to liturgy. His ?young? presence of 78 years old will bring a sound witnessing to Piarist ministry.
? In December it will start our vocational promotion. We are finishing details for achieving a goal: to make this year a different one.
? In our future Juniorate in Bangalore, walls are going up. In most of the building we are at lintel level o preparing to cast the slab. Now we are almost sure that next academic year we can enter a new house.

*** *** ***

From Japan
? Some sport news from Kaisei: our baseball team won the autumn competition in the province, although it was not able to win in the region. The tennis players, however, after winning in the province, won also in the region, and they will participate in the national competition in spring, in Shizuoka. Good luck!
? During the past months Japan has suffered a lot because of typhoons and earthquakes. The situation is not yet settled. In the places where we are present, there were not serious damages or fatalities.
? In our parish of Tobe was offered a seminal about ?Alfa Course?, a missionary method for evangelization. A group of faithful from the parish, accompanied by some Piarists, had an outing to Yokokawa, where they visited a monastery of Carmelite Sisters.
? Fr. General and his Assistant have visited Japan at the beginning of November, after visiting the Philippines. Both knew already our people and places, but they have had a new opportunity to see more closely our Piarist reality in this country, and to share our worries and hopes.
? Fr. Pedro Perea, our eldest, needed to have some surgery in order to facilitate the blood circulation. He must stay for some weeks in the hospital, and we hope that everything will go fine. Fr. Jesus Lacarra has traveled again to Japan in order to help us in this moment of need.

*** *** ***

From the Philippines
? From the middle of October to the beginning of November we have received the Canonical Visit of Fr. General and his Assistant. They have attended to the V Calasanzian Asian Meeting, as we say in the first page. Their visit has been a time of grace for all of us. From Cebu they departed for Tokyo to continue there the visit.
? At the end of his third travel to Indonesia, Fr. Rafael brought with him six Indonesian Aspirants, who are receiving formation in our Missionary Seminary in Manila. For the moment they must improve their English, and then everyone will be placed in the level of formation more adequate. Their ages go from 18 to 28 years.
? Fr. Antonio Marco, who attended the Meeting in Manila, came after to visit the Indian novices in Cebu. All of them are well and happy, waiting for the arrival of their 5th companion, who has not yet got his visa.
? In the past months we have seen the departure of some juniors: Mamerto in Cebu, Piere-John in Tokyo, Malcolm in Manila. We wish them the best in their new life. In Manila and in Cebu we keep on striving for new vocations. Two new postulants have joined the group of Cebu, Simeon and Marven. Welcome.
? With the presence of Fr. Jesus and the juniors Aljun and Marlon Nacua, took place in Dipolog (Mindanao), from 28 to 31 October, the IV Annual Piarist Lay Cooperators Convention. More than 30 representatives attended.
? Fr. Jose visited the FF. Cavanis in Davao. They have a High School, a parish and a formation house. During the Meeting in Manila the idea of a possible intercongregational cooperation in matters of formation was proposed. We will see?



Orient
CALASANZ FORMATION HOUSE - Piarist Fathers - Escolapios
1401 Andres Abellana Extension. Guadalupe, 6000 Cebu City,
PHILIPPINES Tel. ? Fax (32)2542085
Email escoljb@cvis.net.ph http://www.cvis.net.ph/escolapios

Posted by nelcabz at 12:01 AM JST
Updated: Saturday, February 4, 2006 7:06 PM JST
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Wednesday, September 1, 2004
ORIENT NUMBER 28
Orient; Bulletin of the Piarist Fathers in ASIA
2004 SEPTEMBER n. 28



MANILA INTERNATIONAL SEMINARY
By: Fr. Jose P. Burgues

The General Chapter of 2003 decided the creation of some Formation Centers for native vocations of those countries where we are not yet present at the moment, looking for the expansion of the Order. Regarding the possibilities of vocations in some near-by countries, we decided to implement the project in Manila. We had already a proposition from the Claretian Fathers to start this inter-congregational project, with some other Congregations.

In reality, the other Congregations are not still ready for that project, so we have decided to carry it on by ourselves.. We are using a building that belongs to the Claretian Fathers, where they have their School of Philosophy and some of our students attend. The project is already a reality, in the beginning, yes, but with much hope for the future.

Fr. Rafael, responsible of the project, is living there, together with four Filipino Juniors and three foreign students, two from Vietnam and one from Zambia. At this time we are following up the applications of a group of candidates from Indonesia, after Fr. Rafael made some contacts during the two trips he made to that neighbor country. New interviews are necessary, psychological tests, visits to the families, etc. If everything goes well, before the end of the year, a group of Indonesian students will be with us in our PMVC.

For the moment, the Community is united to our Juniorate in Manila. In the future, we will see what path things take. It could be an instrument for the expansion of the Order in this part of Asia.

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from India

POVERTY AS A CHALLENGE TO OUR CHARISM IN INDIA
By: Manoj Kalanki

What does poverty mean? It means "Ignored structural inequality and other factors that generate, maintain and reproduce misery."

A study about poverty in 2003 shows that still two hundred million Indians go hungry to sleep every night.

The main factors of the worst aspect of poverty are as follows:

Weak health. Health makes man rich. On the contrary, because of poverty, man loses health. Lack of food is the most serious problem in India. In Orissa there is a little numerous tribal race known as Sabar Race. Sabars? only source of sustenance is what they can gather on more or less edible roots they can extract out of the ground in the forest.

Sexual abuse of children.. The sexual abuse of children is a very serious problem in India. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) one in every four girls and one in every seven boys in the world are sexually abused. Those who cause the aforementioned abuse are tourists and even the very members of the family. That is a horrible tragedy. Most often the children victims of sexual abuse do not make their traumatic experience known. Only their silence can become eloquent if, by getting their confidence, we try to know their problems.

Prostitution. Prostitution is another consequence of poverty. The prostitutes consider their trade as a profession. They perform their evil task in order to obtain their daily bread.

Suicide. Because of the debts into which poverty obliges to get by asking others for loans, a lot of suicides are committed. Those who commit suicide believe that dying in this way is better than dying because of starvation. Ten in every one hundred people in India commit suicide because of their debts.

Working children. The worst aspect of poverty is that of the working children, especially in North India, in Bengal and Bihar, etc. Children work in the tea plantations. They do not go to school. Their parents get very low wages and force their children to work.

Geographical isolation. Poverty obliges those who suffer from it to isolate themselves in the slums? or wretched ghettos of the large cities. This isolation makes them still poorer and so they continue geographically isolated.

Inefficient access to the laws. The most poor cannot take shelter either in the laws or the courts. They do not get justice from the courts.

Lack of power. Because of poverty the poor are relegated to the powerlessness. They have no power in the society.

Emigration and misery. The poor are obliged to emigrate to the cities. They say: ?We were not beggars in our native place, but the present circumstances oblige us to beg in this new place?. And they get involved in illegal activities. One of their consequences is the adultery in the marriages. And they get involved in crimes and violent riots and forced to the drug traffic pushed by the rich. They will get undernourished children who will suffer from chronic hunger.

This serious situation of the poor in India concerns all of us Piarists upon taking into account that it constitutes a challenge to our Calasanzian charism. Therefore we must
- defend the rights of the poor before the judicial authorities,
- give suitable education to the poor,
- make them understand the worst aspects of sin (sexual abuse, adultery?),
- visit them frequently in their slums as Calasanz did,
- eradicate poverty from among them,
- work without a break in their communities,
- speak to them about Jesus and teach them the way to salvation,
- help them economically,
- manifest their basic needs to the governmental authorities.

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EVERYTHING IS POSSIBLE FOR THE PERSON WHO HAS FAITH? (Mk.9:234)
By: Joseph Kunnel

Charismatic prayer movements are deeply rooted among the people of Kerala, especially among the Christian population. This charismatic prayer movement has been bringing out a strong spiritual revival among Christian and non Christian people. A centre of charismatic prayer, known as Divine Retreat Centre, is run by Vincentian Fathers at Pota and Murigoor in Kerala State in the southern Part of India. It has been a source of spiritual nourishment, experience and revival for more than two decades. People gather there from far and wide, from different parts of India and even from abroad, having different languages and culture.

I am a person who was against the Charismatic method of prayer and did not support it at all. I will share now my experience of attending a Charismatic retreat in Divine Retreat Centre at Murigoor. From 18 the July to 23 July 2004. First of all I must admit that it was a wonderful prayer experience.

I went to the charismatic retreat having an aversion to this way of prayer and with a critical mind to see what was actually happening there, since I had heard a lot about this way of retreat.

Still I had an inner quest and desire to make a good retreat and I prayed for that until the retreat began. My retreat started on Sunday at 3 p.m, with a few instructions and praise and worship which were followed by Holly mass. We were nearly 2000 people who gathered for the retreat speaking different languages, from various parts of India and a few from abroad. I was in the English section and we were nearly 600.

The first two days of the retreat I found it very difficult to adjust with this method of prayer. Such a loud praises with lifted hands and singing and clapping the hands etc.! Somehow I tried my best to be in the track and to be faithful to the retreat. There were a few talks on different topics and sharing of faith experience. I heard all of them attentively for all had their source in the holy Bible.

Anyway, from the third day onwards I was able to enjoy the Charismatic method of prayer and I slowly involved myself into the retreat fully, even without having much force from my part.

The rest of the three days of retreat went on very smoothly and very soon, I was fully involved in all the activities, praise and worship etc. I could see and witness the working of the power of the Holy Sprit on those who put their fait in Jesus Christ and accept Him as the Lord and Master.

I am now confident and believe that it is not the power of men that works in these retreats; it is rather the Spirit of the Lord that works and does wonders. And it is the power of the Holy Spirit that gathers people from far and wide, from different languages, cultures and backgrounds.

I came back from the retreat with great enthusiasm, happiness and spiritual nourishment and also I have the feeling of the attainment of something valuable for the nourishment of my whole life.

The living presence and the power of the Lord and His living Spirit are exhibited and experienced here?..Praise the Lord?.. Thank Jesus??. Alleluia!


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From the Philippines

SETEM VOLUNTEERS IN CEBU CITY


We arrived in the Philippines with our suitcase full of illusions. We want to collaborate, to share. We are really willing to do something and the time is very short. It seems that we have not realized what he whole thing means to us.

Our life in Europe is very different to the life here. It is natural to ask oneself for the motifs of this change; each volunteer has a different motivation. Nevertheless, all of us have something in common: we want something. Any aspiration presupposes an effort. He who tries to do good without any effort is like the one who wants to make people happy without curtailing his/her comfort.

What is our effort? Listening our new friends; persons who in spite of their simplicity of life teach us, at least, to know ourselves better. No one of these gifts has been bought by us. They are not either for nothing: they are a fruit of a free and unselfish inter-exchange that is called ?sharing?.

We go to our country with our suitcase fuller, with memories we will never forget and that will accompany us for the rest of our life. It is possible that the humility and simplicity might be the secret of everything, as a result of being able to see a wider world. To learn to be happy knowing that ?after the winter, spring comes?.

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HISTORIES OF NOVICES


21. The Child and the Kites
H., Novice

Far from a distance, I saw a man; clothed in a white robe, but I could not recognize his face? an unfolding of my dreams to a childhood buddy that happened for three successive nights when I was a boy. I was upset about this dream and so I consulted my religion teacher in grade six.

Maybe God appeared in your dreams? he coaxed me and laughed at me a little. As a young boy, I did not comprehend what he really meant of it. Time passed and this dream was put into a waste part of my memory. We were living that time in one of the remote barangays in the northern part of the province when this dream happened, and we had bountiful blessings from God for my father had a stable job that could support the living of his 7 children and his wife. But all of a sudden, economic failure occurred; the sugar milling company where my father worked began to lay down its sugar production, until it was closed. For this reason, I am now to tell you a story of my sufferings?

The bankruptcy of the sugar company compelled my mother to transfer me to a public school in our barangay. I really suffered a lot in my education, especially during high school- walking for more than five kilometers everyday (morning, noon and afternoon; back and forth). There was a time that I was compelled to give up, near the strength exhausted. But what made me inspire to aim high for the good of my future was the kites. Everyday in the afternoon, while walking back home from school the beauty of kites in an open field inspired me to do some reflections: What makes these kites continue to sustain flying? This was the inquiry I made and answered for myself: ?Kites cannot fly without wind; and as long as the wind blows the kite will sore higher and higher.? I aimed higher in my future; the heat of the sun, the cold rain and the struggles enriched my strength and determination to finish even just high school.

Really I endured a lot of sufferings, but pondering what made those kites fly, I became optimistic. For this reason, in my early years, I trained myself how to be tough, with an excellent constitution but sad to say ?God had wonderfully helped me in my struggle? even I experienced a gap with Him. At last I completed my high school in the year 1989. After finishing high school, another problem arose: ?Could I continue my studies in College?? One day, a friend of mine informed me that our town mayor was offering a scholarship. In secret, I applied and by chance I passed the examination and entered a recognized state ran university in the region. I took first the course recommended by my mother- Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education, but later because of my dream of becoming a well known Disc Jockey someday, I shifted to Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications, without the knowledge of my parents. This time my father returned to work. He was assigned in the southern part of Negros Occidental. My father decided to bring his family with him to this province. Before the classes had started, we migrated to Negros Occidental; I left studying in the city. Since then, I seldom visited my parents. My mother even wondered why I seldom asked for my allowance. In my mind was: I should not need to depend on my family? as long as I can support my own?? I paid my own boarding house; tuition fees from our town mayor and I got my everyday expenses through the fruit of my sweats in my tutorial and my part time jobs. I didn?t have time for myself; sometimes- relaxation seemed for my self the enjoyment with my work: a tutorial and after class in the afternoon, I went straight ahead for my part time job until 12 midnight and sometimes 1 o?clock early in the morning; then I went home and lay down and slept for four to five hours, and woke- up early to cope up with my school assignments. I always had an important and definitive objective; that?s the reason why I sacrificed my sleep and rested less in order to accomplish or attain what I wanted in life- SUCCESS.

In 1993, a month after my graduation in college, my dream of becoming a well known disc jockey came into a reality when The Mellow Touch accepted my application as the pioneer DJ in their newest Fm station in the city of Iloilo. I could feel the fame talking on the air starting on that moment, but this never lasted for long; I stayed in this company for almost two years. Then after this, hoping to find happiness, I applied to Bombo Radyo?s Fm station, and with good luck, I was accepted and I was assigned to Bacolod City. But as expected, happiness never last long; I rendered my service in this network for two years. ?I did not consider my self a successful one due to the absence of happiness.? For the third time, I changed my network and I was accepted by the Manila Broadcasting Company (MBC); I was assigned to the northern part of Negros Occidental as Officer- in- charge. There, I felt bored living in a small city; I felt no challenge with my job, for this was the only station operating in that city; no competition with other stations. I stayed there for six months, then I applied for a work transfer and the higher management granted my request and I was assigned to my native city- Iloilo- as Disc Jockey in their newest FM Station.

Oh! My friends, can you expect me to describe my feelings at that time? I, who was depending on my own labor for a living for many years now experiencing success in life because of my hardships? Oh, my friend, if you only knew then that although, success was in my hands but still I was longing for something greater than that?? I started to look for it?
I changed again my job and I joined Systems Technology Institute (STI College) as Career Adviser; assigned back to Bacolod City. In this city, I had a chance to see an old best friend of mine- a Nurse by profession. One day, he visited my office, inviting me to accompany him for the ?Search- in? in the Redemptorist Fathers. At first, I was hesitant to accompany him for this might take a long hour stay.
?This Search- in takes only half an hour,? my friend said. ??but why should I? I didn?t have any plans to be a priest and in fact I had my board work (part time job in radio station) at 6 pm!? I acted like a scoundrel that time in dealing with my friend. But later on, I accepted his invitation.

The day came; we were the first two who went there early. We knocked at the door, and somebody opened. ?Oh! Come in? I?m Mr. Lopez. Our search- in will be at two thirty. It?s still one o?clock; have a sit first,? the vocation promoter welcomed us. ?Please write your name here?? he added and at the same time handled over a shit of paper to my friend. Then he wrote.

When the hour came, Mr. Lopez read all names written on the list. To my surprise my name was announced among the list of the aspirants- my friend, without my knowledge, wrote my name. I wanted to leave! But my friend stopped me. ?OK!? I responded with annoyance. I really don?t know what to do at that time; I stayed, suppressing my emotion towards my friend.

The search- in started with a passage reading from the book of Samuel- the Call of Samuel (Chapter 3:1- 8). ?Try to get something out from this passage that will strike you most?? Mr. Lopez instructed eight young boys (including one Vietnamese).

I was inspired how God called Samuel (read Samuel 3:1-8 for a detailed story). The suppression that I felt against my friend became a joy of happiness from that moment, when my tears fell out of my eyes unconsciously. And when asked what phrase struck me most, I said: ?I DID NOT CALL YOU!

Yes! God did not call me but why was I there! I started to ask my self in silence. It was during the time of meditation that the long forgotten dreams came back into my memory- a person appeared in a white robe in my dreams, for three times- and what my religion teacher had said: Maybe God appeared in your dream.

I could feel the presence of the Holy Spirit dwelling in me that time. I could only express my happiness through tears that came out from my eyes, while giving my testimony. Starting then, I felt the light emotion in my feelings, peace in mind, love in my expressions, calmness of my heart and I felt of surrendering my whole self to God. . It was really a wonderful day. The spirit of the Lord got hold of my self and I was mightily convicted and converted right there before leaving the monastery. And starting that day, I always had the habit of attending the Holy Eucharist every at 5 o?clock in the afternoon, after my work at STI and before my part time job at 6 pm.
My eagerness of entering the seminary was intensified when I decided to resign my part time job- DJ. The manager asked me the reason for he never saw any problem in my performance on- air. ?My conscience cannot take a giving service to the station not on time while receiving my salary in full,? I explained.
After resigning, my mind was focused only in the service to God; I became a member of the Redemptorist Choir and the reader in the Cathedral. I became closer to God in rendering my service to His church. And finally one day, I decided to enter the seminary.
?But we will give you time to discern more with your vocation,? instructed the Redemptorist priest. ?We?ll see after six months or one year, if you really have?,? he added. ?Six months or one year, was a long time to wait.? I really wanted to enter the seminary, so instead of waiting? I tried to find another congregation, but I knew no one else.
One day, after attending the 5 o?clock mass, I saw posters in the cathedral?s bulletin board. I jotted down the e- mail address of 3 congregations: Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament (SSS), Order of the Carmelite (OCarm.) and that of the Piarist Fathers (Sch.P.). I sent each one an e- mail, inquiring about the Order, requirements, etc?The Blessed Sacrament responded first, followed by the Piarist Fathers. No Response from the OCarm. I became acquainted with these orders through the net- exchanging of e- mails.

December 26, 2002, I joined the Piarists? ?Convivencia? and stayed until the new year of 2003. Few weeks later, SSS Vocation Promoter, Fr. Mike, visited my office and gave me the entrance examination for the congregation. I passed it! I was in the middle of confusion of where to enter.
Follow what your heart desires? Brother Aljun said.

Finally, I decided to leave my job, for I found success and happiness in life in the service of God?s people- the education of the poor youth and children, May 8 of 2003.


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From Japan

ACHICKOCHI NI ARU PIARIST (Piarist, here and there)
By: Br. Tony Matias

Our daily action is based upon our understanding of the nature of the world and of our self. If our understanding is correct, we generally know where we are in life and we have a good sense of purpose and direction. The light of Truth brightens our environment and allows to see clearly rocks and difficulties along our way. On the other hand, if our understanding of the world is inaccurate or incomplete, we are more likely to get lost and find ourselves in situations that we don?t understand. We may feel confused and uncertain about how to solve our problems, and we may lack a clear purpose and direction in our lives.

It is our duty, therefore, to make sure that our view of reality is correct. It is a sort of ?map? based upon which we get our bearings in life. The problem is that making sure our map is accurate takes effort, sometimes lots of effort. All throughout our lives we are faced with new information that may contradict what our map tells us. We can ignore the new information and go on through life with a possibly an incorrect map, or we can revise and update our map and incorporate new information as we receive it.

Unfortunately many of us chose the easy way and ignore all new information that is inconsistent with their current view of reality. They just don?t want to deal with it. This can be unhealthy because we can then become misguided due to inaccuracies in our map, and as a result make wrong decisions in life. This may be one reason why people become close-minded: it is easier to routinely reject new information than to expend the time and energy necessary to find out if it is true and relevant to our lives. It is essential to validate and update our understanding of truth and reality, our map, if we really want to know where we are in life and where we are going, and if we hope to make wise decisions.

How do we know if our understanding of our nature, life, our ?map of reality? is correct? One way is to examine and study it everyday. By opening ourselves up to friendly challenges from other people who have a different view of life. Sharing our views with like-minded people does not really work as a ?challenge? though, because they will usually reinforce the ideas we have in common.

In order for this to work we need to be honest with ourselves. When we are challenged it will benefit us only if we are honest with why we think the way we do. It takes courage to admit that we have been misguided or misinformed about something. It takes even more courage to decide that we would better off changing in a particular area of our life. Sometimes we find ourselves resisting accepting something we know is true. It does not help if we open ourselves up to challenge, realize we need to update our map, and then we don?t follow through with that change. Changing our view of life is hard, but it is well worth the effort in order to have a more accurate map of reality.

We are in a new environment and in a new kind of community where two communities are living under the same roof. We Piarists and Salesians are living almost as a single community. Praying together and sharing the same table of the Eucharist for our spiritual growth and sharing the same table to nourish our bodies. The information and knowledge we have learned for more than two years in the Japanese language school are continually developing through our willingness to accept new information from the mouth of the Japanese people. Before coming here we had already in our bags bundles of information in order to mingle, work and be with them, but that is not enough. And some of it is useless in dealing, working and living with them. That is why we are always open to new information in order to adapt and update our map to be good missionaries here in Japan.

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From Italy


VOCATION . . . a PRECIOUS GIFT from GOD (part II)
By: Br. Andres Dragon


Consequently, vocation promoters of various Orders and Congregations have been very enthusiastic or fervent in promoting their vocations respectively, from East to West and from North to South. They have done everything to make themselves attractive and or enviable to the youths, only to find out that there are only very few who submitted and committed themselves to this lifestyle. Precisely, we can't say that they are ineffective as fishers of men, but probably this reality has something to do with the predicament of religious and priestly vocations. It is very sad to say that there are only a few who are fascinated by this way of living. Certainly because worldly or earthly pleasures and vices seem to be much more eye-catching and self-gratifying to the extent that they fog up and contaminate the minds of today?s young generation. These forms of temporal deceptions caught them up from seeing the much more elevated value that only very few wanted to give them up in favour to a more difficult demand of following the footsteps of Christ Jesus in and through the Mount Calvary.

However, in spite of all these worldly deceptions, there are still a few who have seen the light of truth and have taken the challenge to follow its direction. Auspiciously, they responded to the heavenly invitation and entered into convents, formation houses, and seminaries according to how they felt and perceived the calling of God in relation to the charisms of the Orders and Congregations that would fit to their qualities based on their desires to follow Christ. These few individuals are not so many; few are those who have given such importance and much attention to those precious gifts. God has planted this seed of vocation in each one of them and the formators must take care of it, in such a way that these vocations are very exceptional and fragile. These must be given an extraordinary and careful attention per se, to let them sprout and bear fruits in the future.

This small number of individuals who have felt the urgency of following Christ, are blessed enough. They are opportune or privileged in such a way that they voluntarily and wilfully submit themselves in response to God?s invitation to partake in His ministry amidst all the good opportunities the world offers. They are blessed not because they will become good religious, secular priests and nuns in the future; the fact is that this depends so much on their ability and availability to respond to the calls of formation and to the creativity and aptitude of the formators in guiding and facilitating the formation of each one, in order to permit these seeds of vocations planted by God in them to mature and to bear fruits. That is to say further, it depends upon the grace of God to work upon each one and the formators in the seedbed or ground in and through the ambiance of formation. However, they are blessed because they unreservedly said ?yes? to the invitation from up above to give up everything and to surrender and detach themselves from this messy world in order to carry out the plans and the will of God for them.

But, is this already an assurance that they are the chosen ones, after they have been accepted to the formation? Precisely, no! As what I have said before, this depends so much upon his/her accessibility to follow the processes of formation, honesty to the formators who are going to journey with them in this search for life, and most of all upon their openness to the divine providence. As what the Bible says, ?Many are called, but few are chosen? (Mt. 22:14). In view of this, everyone and mostly the candidate must be sincerely and wholeheartedly committed himself/herself, i.e. giving all the best efforts he/she could. To give himself/herself up totally without reservation and with all the honesty, readiness, and openness to be formed. Thus, making himself/herself on hand and unreservedly and freely submit to the will of God and through the formation process and to the formators with whom God speaks as His representatives. On the one hand, the formators then play a vital role in the formation of the formandee. As representatives of God, the formators must make sure that the formandee is best facilitated, guided, served, and directed in his/her discernment towards the full realization and materialization of this raw material of vocation he/she has received through the light of his/her faith in Christ, and must willingly, conscientiously, diligently, and dedicatedly help the candidate intensify, objectify, pacify, and purify his/her intentions of following the footsteps of Christ in this way of life.

That means, the candidate, the formators, and God are the most important elements as far as the formation process in general is concerned. Each one plays a very important role towards the full realization of this endeavour and to work hand in hand. To provide a good and fertile ground - the favourable ambiance of the formation to enable the candidate to freely and responsibly grow and reach his/her maturity through an approving, supportive, helping, and healthy environment wherein everyone aims at developing fully his/her ability and capacity without reservations, discriminations, and ?favouritism? in preparation of a much wider and greater vineyard in which he would be tilling as the vineyard worker in the future. A candidate is presumed to be most able, most spirited, most committed, most fervored, and most willing before he is going to be sent into the field. That is to say, he must be spiritually, physically, morally, psychologically, emotionally, and intellectually prepared. Further, he must not only be a man for others (able to serve), but to this effect, he must be a man of prayer and a man of God. In this manner, there is no doubt that he could lead and bring everyone to his/her ultimate end that is to see God face-to-face ? the ?Beatific Vision? through his good examples and modelling. It is in this aspect then that the laborious task and the great responsibility of the formators lie.

On the other hand, another important factor, if not the most important one, that also plays an important role in the formation of the candidates is the candidates themselves. Their concerns and sensitivity towards each other and the needs of each one and a strong support-system, camaraderie, and sprit de corpse must be enriched and nourished within and among themselves. That is to say, the spirit of fraternal correction and feed backing in a spirit of love and in a friendly manner as a sign of concern must be strengthened. Thus, ?pakikisama? and ?bayanihan? systems which are known to be very typical and have strong values among us Filipinos, must be lived and practiced in a proper perspective. Precisely, these are good values to be strengthened and nourished in the community as far as ?community life? is concerned. However, these could also be very dangerous values if they were not lived out in the proper way and in a right order. They can be a threat in some circumstances and might endanger the vocation of anyone in some way, especially if these two values are not properly and objectively understood well. I mean, instead of helping build a healthy and harmonious community, if misconceived (i.e. using them in the negative sense in order to strengthen unity and other things), they could be used instead to tolerate and give consent to the wrong doings and misdemeanours of others. The danger of misinterpreting these values lies in this matter.

Finally, every participant in this divine endeavour must work hand in hand. He/She must be an active co-operator and collaborator of truth to this divine project. Let them be submissive by the good examples of Christ as a perfect model to all of us. Everyone is invited to be like Christ and to do the same ? dying to oneself. This is the most fundamental gift of vocation that each one has received from Him, and to do as what Jesus did if we were to follow Christ. We are called to become one with Him as He is one with the Father. We should give ourselves back to him in and through a triumphant death by dying ourselves for God?s sake and for the sake of others, and for the greater glory of God here on earth. This is what the famous line from the Bible says, ?Many are called but few are chosen? (Mt.22:14). In this connection, those who would be chosen to be sent to the field could be the few, but the well-chosen ones and the most effective catalysers of change, who would be dynamic, upright, and effective witnesses of God in the proclamation of the Reign-Kingdom of God ?which is already, but not yet,? to all the ends of the earth. ?Let us pray then to the master of the harvest to send labourers into his harvest? (Mt. 9:37-38).

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Brief News



From India

-At last, after quite complicated bureaucratic procedures, our novices were able to travel to the Philippines. They are already at Cebu, happy and adjusting to the new place, fully integrated into the life of the novitiate.
-The Vocational Summer Camps were fruitful. 24 boys from Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Jharkhand started their First Year, under the direction of Fr. Thomas P., helped by Fr. Pedro R. and the junior Stalin N., in his year of pastoral activity or ?Regency?.
-In Aroor there are 27 boys studying Higher Secondary School or ?Plus II? accompanied by Fr. Augustine T. All of them were admitted in Regular Schools, in order for them to receive a good education in an environment similar to the one in their own families. There are in Aroor also 30 boys studying for their Graduation or Post/graduation in different Colleges.
-Fr. Jaume Riera, General Assistant for Africa and Asia, spent the month of July in Bangalore. His target: to improve his English. We think he reached it. Besides, his presence was very encouraging and appreciated by the juniors who have enjoyed very much his company. With his presence, we had the ground breaking of the Juniorate on the 27th of July. We had already all the permits and the construction is going on fast. The foundations are almost finished, and hopefully the house will be finished at the beginning of the new school year. For the moment our juniors are leaving quite crowded in three rented houses in an almost empty neighborhood near their school.
-Fr. Jesus N. was sent to Kamda (Jharkhand), in order to accompany and help Fr. Alfaro in his mission in Northern India. We know that is already well integrated in his new assignment.
-Fr. Provincial made a flash visit to Bangalore during the third week of August. He was able to talk with the juniors, see the situation of the works of the Juniorate and resolve some problems regarding our presence here in India.

***

From Japan

-On the month of June Fr. General Delegate spent two weeks in Japan for the canonical visitation. He had the opportunity to stay a few days at every house, and to talk with all the religious. He had also a meeting with the Direction Team in Kaisei, and attended in Yokohama to the ceremony of Confirmation of 16 youth and adults.
-This year it is holiday?s year for some of our brothers in Japan: Frs. German, Andres and Jose Luis, and Bro. Jesus Cegama went to Spain to enjoy of a well deserved rest. Fr. Jesus Lacarra, who arrived on June accompanying the three new juniors, stays in Japan for three months, replacing those who have gone on holidays.
-During summer vacation Bros. Nelson and Bryan went back to Komaba. The juniors in Yokkaichi, Bros. Tony and Edmond, also went to Tokyo to spend some days with the rest of the juniors. Bros. Junji, Moises and Jesley have already finished their first term in their studies of Japanese. Last August 4, all juniors in Japan went for a trip in Mt. Fuji. It was a hard, but wonderful experience.
-Bro. Bryan is now working in the parish of Sueyoshicho, as a part of his training in the Seminary of Tokyo, teaching catechism to the children. And together with those children, he went for a summer camp from July 30 until August 2.
-Bro. Tony has started his activities as a vocational promoter in Japan. Let?s pray the Lord to bless the work of our brothers in Japan with some vocations.

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From the Philippines


-On June 8, the General Congregation erected the General Delegation into an Independent Vice-Province, as a result of a juridical normalization adapted to our new Law. It was done without any modification regarding the structures, jobs or situation of the Religious. We hope that this new situation might be for all an encouragement to work even with more enthusiasm for the development of our demarcation.
-The new school year has started in our houses. The novelty in Manila is the Piarist Missionary Vocational Center we talk on the first page. Other novelty is that several of our juniors are studying Theology at Loyola School, run by the Jesuits Fathers. In Manila there are, at this moment, 20 juniors and 3 Postulants. In Cebu City there are 15 novices, four from India and this is also the great novelty, and 16 Postulants.
-The works of the second Cultural Center, called Corrado Center, started at the end of June and they are progressing to a good speed; they will be finished in October. The new building will allow us to carry out new formation activities for children and youth, especially on the line of professional formation.
-Fr. Rafael Buitrago made his second trip to Indonesia in May. He had the opportunity of meeting many aspirants and to organize the things so that a selection process would take place. After a third trip, scheduled in a near future, it is foreseen that some young men from Indonesia might come to Manila.
-As during the past years, a team of volunteers from SETEM Andalucia (Spain) has come to Cebu City to carry out different activities in cooperation with the Cultural Center; they have contributed to an enrichment of experiences, for everybody. This year, too, we had the opportunity of receiving a volunteer from Korea, Miss Dosoon, who has carried out a bread-making short course. Or gratitude to all of them.
-Alter three years in Madrid, Francis and Mark have come for a holiday to the Philippines. Armando came also with them, but he has decided to abandon the Order. Edwin, coming from Rome, has taken the same decision. We wish them the best in their new lives.




Orient
CALASANZ FORMATION HOUSE - Piarist Fathers - Escolapios
1401 Andres Abellana Extension. Guadalupe, 6000 Cebu City,
PHILIPPINES Tel. - Fax (32)2542085
Email escoljb@cvis.net.ph http://www.cvis.net.ph/escolapios

Posted by nelcabz at 12:01 AM KDT
Updated: Friday, February 3, 2006 1:39 PM JST
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Tuesday, June 1, 2004
ORIENT NUMBER 27

Orient, Bulletin of the Piarist Fathers in ASIA

2004 June n. 27

 

BACK TO THE CONVENT

Fr. Jose P. Burgues

In 1955, the first Piarists arrived to Yokkaichi: Frs. Rivero, Iraola, Lasquibar?. Others Piarists were arriving in the following years. For 10 years the Piarists were living inside the school Kaisei, while serving it. In the year 1965 was constructed the "convent" or a residence for the Community, next to school. It was an ample building, as the hope of those Piarists that sketched it. In the year 1995, it was necessary to readjust the communities in Japan and the Fathers that still were living in the convent, had to go to live in the Parish House. That same year, a part of the building was rented to the Salesian Fathers that converted it in a Minor Seminary. Regarding the Piarist Fathers, there was a desire of going back, letting it in the hands of the Providence. At last, this school year 2004-05, a small Piarist Community has been back to the convent of Oiwake Street: Fr. Adam, together with the Juniors Tony and Edmund. The two Juniors as teachers at Kaisei. Fr. Adam is still studying Japanese. They have found a goof formula living together with the Salesians, while everybody is thinking how to plan the future of the building. It is a first step, very important, to maintain our Piarist presence in Japan. We give thanks to the Lord because we were able to do it and we ask Him to accompany us during the rest of our journey?

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from India

KANYAKUMARI

Fr. Pedro Recuenco

South of India, in Tamil Nadu State and in Kanyakumari District, 8 km. far from Kanyakumari, between this town and Nogercoil, capital of the District, our house of Mantharamputhoor is situated. Its name is ?Deva Matha Illam?, House of the Mother of God. This house was bought from the Franciscan Missionary Brothers. On June 15th 2003, feast of the Piarist Saint Pompilio, we took possession of it with the arrival of 24 new candidates under the care of Fr. Thomas Pallithazhathu from Adoor (Kerala) the Argentinian junior Andr?s Pablo Krivanosoff and the junior Philip Raj, Indian. On February 10 of the present year the junior Andr?s had to go back to Argentina, because the permission for his stay here had come to an end, and was substituted by Fr. Pedro from our seminary of Aroor. In this house there are only the aspirants of the 1st. year so that an adequate selection of them can be performed already since the first year of their stay. On January 6th of this year 2004, Fr. Provincial of Argentina came to visit the houses of our mission in India, which from North to South are: the one of Kamda (Jharkhand) with its house and hostel not yet completely built, the juniorate of Bangalore, the two houses-seminary of Aroor, the boarding-school of Aryanad, not yet completely finished in the inside, but inaugurated by the bishop of Neyyattinkara, Vincent Samuel, with the presence of Fr. Provincial, on January 20th of this same year, and finally the house of Kanyakumari. What in the map of India appears with the name of Cape Comorin, is a corruption of Kanyakumari, which means ?the virgin maid?, according to the name of the ancient temple dedicated to Parvati in the very Cape. In Malayalam, the language of Kerala, the Virgin Mary is called ?Kanyaka Maria?. In Kanyakumari three seas meet: the one of Bengal, the Indian Ocean and the Arabic Sea. The forest does not arrive till here. The ground is rocky. The weather is very hot, but it is dry, and at twilight an agreeable breeze coming from the aforementioned seas, refreshes the atmosphere and one can sleep well. Besides, it drives away the mosquitoes, which in Aroor constitute a continual torture. In Kanyaakumari they speak Tamil with an alphabet as complicated as the one of Malayalam, though some of our candidates speak Malayalam, because they have come from Tiruvananthapuram, capital of Kerala, not very far from here. The Christians of this zone belong to the three rites, Latin, Sirio-malabar and Sirio-malankara. Our house, however, is located in the diocese of Matandam of Sirio-malankara rite, but we hope that the Sacred Congregation of Rites will grant permission so that our boys may pass to the Latin Rite. Our house is situated in a very retired place, beside the small village of Mantharamputhoor, at the foot of a lonely mountain. On its hillside there is a Hindu monastery. On the opposite side of the mountain there are the aforementioned seas, which meet by a point of the coast, which is a very important place of tourism, especially of religious tourism. For the Hindus, bathing in this place has an especial meaning and a highly purifying value, as well as contemplating both the sunrise and the sunset on the horizon of the three seas. A multitude of shops have been established to sell souvenirs near the small beach. Very near, there is a dock from which boats with a capacity for one or two hundred people sail to transport them to two small rocky islands. On one of them there are two large Hindu temples. One of them is dedicated to the most famous Indian philosopher Vivekananda in the very place where he spent several years dedicated to meditation. He advocated for a universal religion and morality as well as for the brotherhood of all men with one another. On the adjacent still smaller rocky island, there is the colossal statue of the also famous Tamil poet Tiruvalluvar, sculpted in the very rock. On January 24th of the present year, with the presence of Fr. Provincial, the bishop of the diocese, Yohannoon Mar Chrisostom blessed our house of Kanyakumari and its dependencies. Afterwards, as the chapel is too small for these occasions, on the terrace of the house, the Holy Mass was concelebrated by Fr. Provincial, the Dean of the zone, P. Geevarghese and the Fathers Antonio Marco, Baltazar S?nchez Alonzo and Thomas Pallithazhathu. The bishop was in charge of he homily, after which, his pastoral duties obliged him to absent himself. Finally, here are several mythological data about this region. According to the Ramayana, the sacred book of the Hindus, Rama, fifth incarnation of Vishnu, and his wife Sita dwelt here. Sita was kidnapped. Rama and his brother, so as to rescue Sita, went to fight against Ravana, king of the giants, who had ten heads and was also king of Sri Lanka. During the struggle, Rama?s brother was wounded and a demigod, Hannuman, king of the monkeys, by means of an enormous jump, flew to the continent in search of a determined medicinal plant. As he could not distinguish it from the other plants, he uprooted the mountain, where it grew and transported it to Sri Lanka. While flying through the air, a piece came off. This piece is the mountain by which our house is located. In fact, in this mountain medicinal plants grow, to which especial curative properties are attributed. Since then, the Hindus worship the monkeys as if they were gods. Mantharamputhoor means ?The new place of the breeze?, alluding to Hannuman, son of the god of the air.

ANOTHER STEP IN MY VOCATIONAL JOURNEY

Bro. Justin Anthony

June 8th 2003: a day that changed my life vision as well as my concept of education in mission schools. "Auxilium" is a school situated in Bandapura, a village near Bangalore. On the first day, travelling from our house to the school, I had enough confidence to take the class of fourth standard students (nine years old). After greeting the Headmistress, I entered the classroom. I could see the amazement faces of the children looking at a new teacher. I began my class, and after few minutes, I realized that among the forty-four children, none of them could speak English well; some of them could only understand it. I felt the communication gap between myself and the children in those moments. The reason was that until last year, they had been learning subjects through Kannada language. How to handle the class? How could I communicate with the children? After the first class, with a little sad feeling, I approached the Headmistress, Sr. Jacinta, and spoke with her about my language problem in class. She told me that she and most of the teachers in the school were also new. They didn?t have any language problem; only they had the problem of behaviour of the students. She was a little worry about the students? behaviour and academic performance. Sister called me and Br. Rai to talk about the present situation in school. She focused on two objectives: to improve the level of English of the students and to bring the children to a good standard. We accepted those two goals heartily. We had half an hour every day to give moral science to 4th standard students. But things began to change; we were asked to be in the classes during longer time for different reasons. At the beginning we were teaching IV, later on V, and after two months, we were asked to take all the classes. That was another big experience: 200 children, different in language, age and standard that I had to teach. At the beginning I thought that it was impossible to manage that big group, but after a month I began to feel that the classes were more joyful and easier. To improve the communication with the children I began to learn Kannada. After a few weeks I was able to speak some sentences in Kannada. One day, listening to my Kannada practice, Sr. Jacinta asked me to take Spoken English for IV standard students. I began to teach English for fourth and other classes, whenever I got free time. We tried to help the school to bring the children up to the standard of central government schools. Among the children, 80% are coming from very poor families. Despite this fact, they are the pioneers in the field of education. Sisters sponsor most of them. At the beginning of August, Sister Jacinta called us to be members of the panel for Independence Day celebration. There were a lot of things to be done. The programme was successful and colourful in the history of the school. As time went on, I found that some changes were taking place in my life and in the school. I was growing in the field of Education as an Educator. Children were enthusiastic to learn new things and all were seen happy in our work for the little ones. In the month of October, Sister asked us to join Teachers Day Celebration. On that day, children?s programmes were special. The students performed very well without anybody?s help and it gave us a good message. That day I realized their love towards their teachers. As a compliment, all the teachers received a gift from the management office of the school. Each good action produces abundance of good results. We could see the changes of the students clearly, thanks to the Almighty?s blessing and hard work of the staff. November 14th was a joyful day in my teaching life. "Children?s day". We made it so colourful with lots of fun and sports? We were the sports-in-charge. Among the items, volleyball was so amusing and interesting to watch... The Superior of the community addressed the children and teachers. She expressed her happiness about the school. Days passed very fast. Mid-term exams were over and the results were good. Sister asked a hundred percentage commitment from everybody. During those six months I became a friend of all the students. At the end of November children were brought for a picnic. We were also asked to join them. We tried our best to make them happy. With God?s grace, everything went well. On 15th December, I left the school and had my holidays with my parents in Kerala. On January 7th, I returned to school and began the second term with new energy. On January 14th, we celebrated Moral Science Day. The theme was ?God ?. The children under our direction did all things. February went very fast and we finished our entire portion and began revision. March was the busiest month at school. On March 15th there was an inspection from the central government to accept the school in the level of ICSE. The educational quality of our school and the job we do, were to be examined by the government. So the last days, I tried my best to prepare the students for the inspection. At last, on the 12th of March, I left the school for holidays with so much pain and tension. Even though Sr. Jacinta was so busy, she found a little time to give us a send off. After some days I called to the school from Kerala. Sister Jacinta told me ?our work was so successful that the school got permission from ICSE. You have to be here to see the happiness of the children?. With so much joy I put down the receiver and thanked the God Almighty for his wonderful grace on the little ones. This year of blessing, children?s love and true experience of the Calasanzian vocation, changed my life. With the grace of The Almighty, I am getting ready to travel, more and more, in my Calasanzian vocation.

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HISTORIES OF NOVICES

20.

I am just a poor boy P., Novice I was told that the root of our family came from Irong-irong. My parents were born in that place. In his young age, my father worked in a fishing company. At the same time, my mother earned money by doing laundry, selling native delicacies and sometimes fish. Because of their miserable situation in life they migrated to another place called Antik. There we have been living for several years. My parents are good and devout Catholics. During her youth, my mother was an active member of the Legion of Mary in our place. She likes to pray the rosary everyday. Sometimes she is asked by our neighbors to pray the prayers for the dead. Somehow, my father is different. He is a quiet, and shy type of person. He likes to stay in peaceful, harmonious and tranquil places. I have seldom seen him going to Church. However, the Protestant Pastors in our place have found difficult to influence him. I remember that one day the Born Again Movement leader of Panay Island visited my father. This man was one of the closest friends of my father when he was young. He encouraged my father to join their movement. Sometimes he brought to my father a pack of coffee. Sometimes he offered to my father hundreds or thousands of pesos just to convince him to join. I am happy because my father bowed his head and refused it. This is what I admire in my father: he has no interest with regards to material things. He will never change the valor of religion to pesos even though we are poor. I am the youngest child in the family. I have two brothers and four sisters. When I was young, people in our place saw me as an ordinary, humble and very simple boy. I wore simple clothing. I played with toys made of wood or bamboo. I was fond of making guns from banana or coconut trunk. I went to school without any peso in my pocket to buy my favorite sweets. I did not handle or even touch a new bag to put my school materials. My mother was the first who taught me how to say simple prayers, specially the four basic prayers. She reminded me oftentimes to trust God, to love Jesus and to respect Mary. She told me that if I did not know how to solve my problems, I should just ask refuge from Mary and she will look for the answer of what I was asking for. My mother shared to me her dream about Mary covering with her clothes our family. About that story, I am not sure if it was true. Our house is not far from the shore. During my childhood I used to play on the beach. It was a beautiful morning when my two playmates and I were playing there. Then I saw a huge hand from heaven pointing a finger towards us. I asked my playmates if they saw it. One of them nodded, but the other did not. Because we were still immature at that time, we did not pay much attention nor gave importance to it. Suddenly we forgot everything. What we did was to leave the place without any feeling of amazement. Even myself, I did not give serious meaning to it. I was six years old when I started my elementary education. I was very happy because like the other children I could now learn how to read and write. My teacher informed my parents that I was very quiet in the class. I did not show naughtiness nor create any disturbances inside the classroom. I preferred two subjects: values education and catechesis. I liked always to lead the prayer and the ?Hail Mary? was my favorite one to recite. In my little age I learned to work to have my own personal savings. I sold bread every Saturday and Sunday. If I had extra time I spend it helping my parents. I passed this stage with much sweat flowing from my body. I decided to pursue my high school. At the very beginning of the classes I was eager and inspired to study. I received good marks. After several months of studying I felt that high school life was boring. Later on I felt not to persevere and really I lost my desire to study. Besides, I wanted to escape from my life doing work inside the house and at the same time studying. I wanted to change the flow of my life. I neglected all school requirements because of barkadas (group of friends). My life really changed. It became terrible and awful. I realized later that I had made a great mistake. Perhaps it was the first conversion that happened in my life. I reflected then about the vision that I had seen during my childhood. I asked myself what was the meaning of that vision? Was it true? Why I saw it? Perhaps it had something to foretell me. From that day on I returned to my previous way of living. During my last year in high school I was confused about what course I was going to take. I decided then, but the problem was who was going to pay my tuition? Nobody had the answer to my question. My parents could not afford it. I thought I could not proceed to college. I was desperate but what should I do? I had no means. My only dream at that time was to experience life in college. I needed whatever means to earn money in order to continue my study. I went fishing when I had no class or if it was holiday. Yes, I had to collect and save money through fishing. I graduated in high school after all those miseries. One month before my graduation, one of my teachers approached and told me that the faculty of teachers agreed that, if I wanted, they would send me to the seminary to take the entrance examination. I thought that perhaps this was the answer to my desire. I accepted the challenge. I tried my best to take the exam and I was glad because I passed it. I had no problem in terms of financial needs, because there was somebody who volunteered to shoulder them. I did not know who he was. I was very happy because he paid my board, lodging, and tuition fee in the seminary. I informed my parents about my plan to enter the seminary and I asked permission from them. They joyfully granted what I was asking except my older sister. My older sister wanted me to look for a job. She liked me to help first our family. I disobeyed my sister. I followed what my heart had foretold. I entered the diocesan seminary for five years. I finished two major courses, Philosophy and Religious Studies. In the seminary I obviously realized the meaning of my vision and the plan of God for me. I realized my purpose. I realized that God had called me to an extraordinary way of living. In the seminary I built this idea to become a simple and good Christian and a good defender of the poor. After five years, I decided to leave the seminary. I wanted to experience life outside the four walls. I chose to take personal regency. I lived my life profoundly outside seminary rules, without the guidance of formators. I was free to do what I would like to do. First I volunteered as a catechist in our Parish. As a catechist, I taught religion in secondary and tertiary level. I had no salary, just a little compensation coming from the catechetical fund of the Parish. Several months later, I decided to go to Manila. Before going to Manila, I joined the search-in conducted by the Society of Saint Joseph Missionary or Mill Hill Missionaries. I promised to enter this group perhaps after working and experiencing of having my own salary. In Manila, I was challenged by an incident that happened to my mother. My mother was brought to hospital because of serious sickness. I was deeply affected. My brothers and sisters had no enough savings to pay the bill. All of us thought that our mother might end up her life if we did nothing. What could we do? We gathered all our salaries and we paid the hospital expenses. We prayed for the recovery of our mother. This incident pushed me to work hard just to have more salary. I could not enjoy the fruits of my hands. All of my salary went to the hospital. This incident pushed me to make a deal with God. I said that if my mother were healed, I would go back home and enter the seminary again. One month after, my mother was healed. I was very happy to see my mother regaining her good health. I fulfilled my promise to God. I returned home and joined the Mill Hill. I was in this group for one year. When I was in the formation I noticed that my heart was not happy. I was not comfortable and my mind was always out. Also I found that my talent was unsuited for it. My formators recognized these things. I stopped and returned to my previous work in our Parish. I helped the Parish in its mission program. I was sent by the Parish to some rural areas just to teach catechism. I taught catechism for adults, children and youth. I enjoyed sharing my time with them. I could not deny that I missed my seminary life. Sometimes I thought of reapplying and returning to my first seminary. Sometimes my friends advised me to follow what was the desire of my spirit. Our Parish Priest advised me to go back to the seminary if I liked. He encouraged me because he saw my sincerity in teaching to different levels of people in the Parish. He observed that I was effective in teaching them. During those days the Piarist Fathers were strange to me. I had no idea about it. Then one of my friends visited our home and talked about it. He briefly explained me about the Order, the Founder and the charism. When he finished, he handed me a leaflet to be filled up if I wanted so. I accepted the leaflet and signed it. He told me that he would go to Cebu for the search-in. He brought my letter to Cebu. After one week he returned and encouraged me to join them. I told him that I would reflect about it. Three days after one of the Piarist brothers came to meet me in person. We talked and after it he asked if I would come with him to Cebu. The next day I answered him that I wanted to join the Order. The same day I left Antik and I joined the Order of the Pious Schools. Whew! I cannot believe my story. I trace my life and I find it this way, from poor family, migrant parents, simple boy, visionary during childhood, quiet during elementary, desperate during high school life, strong and determined, vendor, fisherman, seminarian, philosopher, catechist, missionary, teacher, and brother. See! God is good.

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From the Philippines

INDONESIA

Encouraged by the General Congregation, we are trying to establish in Manila a formation house for foreign vocations of our near Asian countries, with the purpose of founding later communities on in those countries. We have already visited Vietnam twice, and we have two postulants from that country, hoping of having more. Fr. Rafael went to Indonesia last March with the same purpose. We offer you a report of his trip. Fr. Rafael Buitrago The purpose of the visit to Indonesia, that was carried out at the beginning of March, 2004, was to have a first contact with the Bishops, Religious, formation centers for civil and ecclesiastical studies and in general, to get a first hand knowledge of the culture and idiosyncrasy of the Indonesian youth. Our proposal to the Bishops and to the Clergy was to obtain from them the approval of sending a first group of Indonesian students to our international and inter-congregational mission seminary in Manila. After a few years of initial formation, these seminarians would go back to their country in order to continue their studies. On a second step, we could think about opening in Indonesia a formation house and finally, an educational work. A dialogue with Ecclesiastical Authorities and Religious Congregations Yogyakarta: Yogya, as it is also called, is a city for students. Several Universities and High Educational Centers have their places there. The climate is more benign than in Jakarta and the city is an important cultural center, besides being the second tourist place after Bali. Msgr. Ignatius Suharyo, the Bishop of the Diocese of Samarang to which Yogya belongs, expressed his welcome to the community. He hopes that in the proper moment, the community will be established in his Diocese. He accepted what was proposed to him, and he is waiting for our second visit after which he will instruct the Parish Priests of his Diocese regarding our project, and that we have his permission to start our vocation campaign. Bali: Without any doubt, Bali is the center of the tourist attraction in Indonesia. It offers a combination of a tropical spa, rice terrace landscapes and many temples and Hindis "Oratories". Msgr. Benyani Bria is the Bishop of Denpasar, the capital of Bali. He was also ready to welcome us, and of course, with the same conditions of opening a formation house and later on educational centers. Flores: The Flores Island is on the South-Western part of Indonesia and it is a part of the Nusa Tenggara Region, a group of islands that spread to the east of Bali Island and ends in Timor. Flores was colonized by the Portuguese but was sold to Holland. It is the center of the Catholicism in Indonesia (95% of the population are Catholics). The Diocese of Ruteng is on the West part of the island. The Ruteng City is on a high plateau, surrounded by volcanoes, rice terraces and coffee plantations. The Bishop, Msgr. Eduardus Sangsun, is a Religious of the Divine Word Fathers. He is the most open Bishop regarding the Religious Congregations in inviting the youth to the Religious Life. There are more than 20 female and 4 male Congregations. The Divine Word Religious have carried out an important work of evangelization around all these islands. One of their biggest projects has been the creation of several minor seminaries where most of the Religious of the different Congregations have been educated, and also the seminarians for the Diocesan Clergy. They have been giving the Parishes to the Diocese for the administration. In the Ruteng Major Seminary, this year, there are more than 700 seminarians. The same as the Yogya seminary, it is run by a group of Religious and Diocesan Priests. Maumere is a city on the Northern Shore of Flores. Several Communities have there, too, their formation house. Not far from here, in the mountains, is the Major Seminary where more than 700 seminarians study. Most of them belong to the Divine Word Community or to the Diocesan Clergy. Many of their professors have obtained their Doctorate in Italy. The Archdiocese of Kupang is in West Timor. Kupang is the political center of the Nusa Tenggara Region. Talking by telephone with the Bishop, Msgr. Peter Turang, we agreed to send more information about our Order and our formation project, besides arranging a personal visit for the next time. In Kupang, I had the opportunity of visiting the Claretian Community. The Vocation Promoter of the Community, Fr. Emanuel Lelo Talok offered himself to accompany the Piarist Promoter during a Vocational Campaign around the Islands if the chosen calendar would allow it. He could be an interpreter and a guide. In any way, one of the formator commented that it is difficult to make a campaign in a Protestant City. Nevertheless, their seminary is full? Vocational Promotion and Formation Process of the Religious Communities The candidates to the Religious Life come, most of them, from Flores and surrounding islands. In this region, there are not big centers of Superior Education, and the scarcity of the economic resources of the people, most of them fishermen and farmers, do not allow them to send their children to the University. Therefore, the Communities do not expect that their candidates would have a professional title, but only a High School diploma. In Indonesia, the High School lasts for 6 years. In the Philippines, only four. Candidates with university degrees can be found in Java and the Jesuits select them in their universities. All the Communities I met have at least one formation house in Indonesia. Some with one priest, but in other cases in charge of one or several students of Theology while doing their magisterial year. Some Religious Sisters admit that they have been sent to this mission without a proper formation. Most of the foreign missionaries have made a great effort in learning to speak the Bahasa or Indonesian language. The Philippines Religious learn it easily, since its structure is similar to Tagalog. Perspectives Certainly, Indonesia offers to the Piarist Community possibilities for the incarnation of its charism, especially in the remote regions where the Catholicism has been developed and has kept its principles and traditions. The necessity of formal and non-formal education is clear in many regions, as well as the necessity of native priests to accompany the Christians in their faith when they go to regions of Muslim majority. The character of the young Indonesians and his idiosyncrasy would be a humanistic, cultural and spiritual contribution to the Order. In the young Indonesians, we can feel their simplicity, spontaneity, sincerity, and seriousness in their work and studies. The seminarians adapt easily to the community life and help in strengthening the communitarian relations based on the truth. Some formators even are grateful when the young people question them when they see that their decisions are not properly done. All the foreign Missionaries value these characteristics that help for a religious and priestly solid formation. We have the doors open for entering Indonesia. Some Religious found in their time more difficulties. It is an opportunity worthy to be taken into consideration.

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From Italy

VOCATION . . . a PRECIOUS GIFT from GOD (part I)

Bro. Andres Dragon

"Many are called but few are chosen" (Mt. 22:14). This wonderful biblical quotation has caught my attention going through a deep and thorough reflection in response to the great need of harvesters to the vineyard in this new era, due to the scarcity of religious and priestly vocations. This is tantamount to say that many who had responded to this divine calling of service and in the vineyard of God - the Reign-Kingdom of God- , perhaps they were not definitively called to this way of life, or maybe they had not cooperated along with the process while the vocation seed they had received from God was cultivated, enabling it to grow in the persons as a soil in whom it had been sown. Or maybe, extremely speaking, this phenomenon is caused by the inability and the negligence of those who were entrusted to nourish it and to take care as a vinedresser. God has called everyone without exception. He called men and women, young and old, able and unable, educated and uneducated, rich and poor, and the like, to know, to love, and to serve God and His creation, as far as the purpose of his existence is concerned according to each one?s capacity and ability. This invitation of God to be in communion with Him has been preconceived by Himself beforehand even before a man or a woman is born. God has prepared a place for everyone. He purposely did it because in the first place, He wants every human being to be happy and to live a life to the full, for ?God?s glory is man?s fully alive? according to St. Irenaeus. Hence, He gave everyone his/her own talents, abilities, skills, and others means to enable him/her to direct himself/herself towards the end, which is in communion with God the Father. In the second place, ?For God loved the world so much that He gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not die but have eternal life? (Jn 3:16) i.e. because of His unending, unconditional, and immeasurable love to humanity. God has willed everything through Jesus Christ who became man, dwelt among us and became one of us, except sin. ?He has come among us in order to bring us life, that we might have it more abundantly? (Jn.10:10). Jesus is the One who died on the cross to bring the Good News of salvation for us. Both, Jesus? death and resurrection are profound expressions of God?s love for us. Jesus died for our sins and rose for our justification. Eventually, Jesus is the perfect revelation of the Father through whom the love of the Father is perfectly revealed and is lovingly carried out by the Holy Spirit, who is the Emmanuel, ?God is with us?, after Jesus? resurrection and ascension into heaven. Thus, through Jesus we are all led to the Father in the graciousness of the Holy Spirit. The gift of His Son Jesus Christ is the perfect example of this divine calling of God. During His earthly sojourn, He had performed the three-fold offices of a king, a priest, and a prophet. In this sense, God has invited each one of us to do in the same manner as Jesus did, to be a servant to all. Jesus has shown us that in order to be great in the Kingdom of God, one must be a servant and must be at the service of everyone. To take care of all the needs of his brothers and sisters. That is to say, he/she must be a man of service for the sake of God?s kingdom and for other?s sake, for God says, ?Whoever serves the least of my brethren has done it unto me.? Consequently, he/she must deny himself for the sake of the Reign-Kingdom of God in which he/she is called for. Therefore, the fundamental concept of this divine calling is SERVICE. We cannot deny the fact that from the very beginning of his existence, man is called to work. In fact, man is predisposed to work by his very nature. God gave him all the necessary faculties including his will, intelligence, freedom, his body and all the necessary parts of it in order to respond to this divine invitation to know, love and serve God and His creation, as the appointed lord or caretaker of the universe and as the apex and summit of God?s creation. It is in this reality therefore, that everyone is called to work in order to serve. This divine calling from God is inevitable and without exceptions. Everyone is predestined to fulfil such a mission in this earthly sojourn. That is, we are called to become a minister, which means, ?the one who is called to serve? to be the servant to all. A service which doesn?t discriminate or choose no matter if he or she is white or black, good or bad, rich or poor, man or woman, young or old, educated or uneducated, and the like. A service which gives due respect to everyone?s right and dignity as being created in the image and likeness of God. Eventually, one can be a teacher, an engineer, a scientist, a metro helper, a photographer, a barber, a driver, a farmer, a labourer, a fisherman, a carpenter, a teacher, a doctor, a politician, a nun, a priest, a religious, and the like. All these and other types of works and ministries which I don?t mention, are of various natures and kinds of vocations, but all of them are one and for the same purpose ? to render service. Henceforth, in this manner we can profit from each other in our multiple ways of commitment, because every vocation is special in what it is called to do, how it is expected to serve, and in its contribution toward bringing about the full accomplishment of God?s kingdom. Of all these types of vocations I mentioned above, I will only be focusing onto the religious or priestly way of life which I feel most able and favoured to share with my limited thoughts and reflections. It is in this particular topic that I will dwell and develop. It is my fervent hope that this would help each one to deepen his/her desire and commitment to follow Christ towards the life committed to the service of the Kingdom of God. The ever-increasing number of peoples throughout the world of the different religious denominations and those who do not know any religion so to speak, shall we call them ?the theists and agnostics?, are concrete manifestations and proofs of the signs of the times of this awful need of religious and of secular priests and nuns. This worldly phenomenon is a reaffirmation of the dire need for more labourers and harvesters in the vineyard ?To unite all things under Christ? (Eph.1:10). This is a concrete manifestation that tells us the overflowing demand for more. A very exigent invitation that is addressed to everyone to partake in this laborious endeavour in order to produce good harvests. ?The harvest is great but the labourers are few? (Lk. 10:2). In view of this challenge, many religious Orders and Congregations have come into existence all over the world. Each one of them has been founded with various apostolates and charisms to respond to the needs of the times. These are painstakingly founded by their respective founders and foundresses especially to endow not only the spiritual need of the people (to which they are called to serve), but as well as their material, emotional, physical, educational, etc. needs. A lot of our brothers and sisters have become religious or secular priests and nuns, but all the more the demand for more is greater than ever each day. This trend is very widespread all over the world these days, particularly in Europe. Day by day, a large number of religious, secular priests and nuns are getting older, yet unfortunately a percentage of those who apply for and are accepted are only very, very few. This is apparently a clear denominator that there is really an insufficiency of vocations. Alas, the number of those who would like to become religious or secular priests and nuns are flagging and declining nowadays. (to be continued)

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- Brief News -

From India

After finishing our Academic Year, our seminarians are dedicated to different activities. The Theologians have almost two months of pastoral experiences around the Indian geography, in the States of Mizoram, Chattisgarh, Kerala and Gujarat. The Philosophers, after finishing their university studies, are helping in the Vocational Camps organized during the summer time. Another group has been visiting and helping Fr. Alfaro in the mission and school at Kamda (Jharhand).

-There were also some trips for the renewal of visas and permits of residence; Fr. Marco went to Spain, Fr. Baltasar to Singapore and Frs. Alfaro and Jesus Negro to Spain. Fr. Recuenco, after spending six months in the Mission, especially in the house of Mantharamputhoor, went to Spain. But at his 78 years, he is already preparing himself with a new enthusiasm for coming back in July to the house of the First Year Aspirants.

-During the past six months, the same Fr. Pedro Recuenco, while giving classes of English and Drawing to the Aspirants, found time to prepare a "Malayalam Grammar for Spanish speaking people". And there is news that he is also preparing another Hindi Grammar for Spanish speaking people,

-Fr. Agustin Maizon was nominated by Fr. General, Initial Formation Coordinator in Asia. Regarding this, he was some days in Rome, at the end of March, taking part in some meetings organized by the General Curia. 

-At the school of Kamda (Jharkhand) Mission, started the classes in the month of April. At the moment, only the Pre-Primary or Kindergarten. The school is a success, with more than 400 children, boys and girls, taking part in the classes.

-During April and May, three vocational camps were held, reaching the North, Center and South of Kerala State. Until now, 19 young men have been selected to start the fist year of Aspirancy on June 14, at Mantharamputhoor (District of Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu).

-On next June 12, the Junior Joseph Raju Panackal will make his Solemn Profession and the following day, the Feast of Corpus Christi, will be ordained as a Deacon by the Bishop of Cochin, in our Aroor chapel.

-"Asha Nikethan", the Boys' Home or boarding house we have in Aryanad (District of Trivandrum, Kerala), finished the activities at the end of March. In May, however, it is starting again with a group of young men who will do their Eighth Grade this school year 2004-05. For the time being, until the classes start at School, they are receiving help in English and other subjects. 

-Five Indian young men are ready to start their Novitiate in Cebu City (Philippines). They were supposed to go at the end of April, but they got difficulty in getting the visas, They had to postpone the trip. We hope that the bureaucratic problems will be solved and they will be able to start their Novitiate experience as soon as possible.

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From Japan 

-Fr. Jaume Riera, the General Assistant for Asia and Africa, has visited for the first time our houses in Japan before coming to the Philippines. He was surprised after admiring what the Piarists are doing in the Country of the Rising Sun. 

- Bro. Bryan is in his second year of philosophy in the Diocesan Tokyo Seminary. Bro. Nelson, after finishing his Japanese studies, is doing his preparatory year in Galilea house. Bro. Arnel has come back to Manila for his Theological studies. Three new Juniors, Bros. Junji, Moises and Jesley are going to Tokyo in June to start their Japanese studies. 

-Bros. Tony and Edmund are in Yokkaichi since March, together with Fr. Adam, in our "convent", in a new inter-congregational experience with the Salesians. We hope that their experience as teachers at Kaisei School will be a satisfactory one for them and a fruitful one for Kaisei School.

-The Religious activities in our Parishes during the Holy Week were well attended by the people.

-Our Kaisei Baseball Team has been getting laurels. It was declared Spring Champion in the Province. Nevertheless, to take part in the Summer National Championship, it should be declared champion in the Region Championship.

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From the Philippines

-For us, here in the Philippines, it is a season of Professions and Renewal of Vows. Among our Juniors, 25 made their renewal of temporal vows around Easter. On May 8, 12 novices made their First Profession in Cebu City. On May 2, in Cebu City too, 13 young men started their year of Novitiate, To all of them, our congratulation and our prayers so that they may follow faithfully to Christ on the footsteps of Calasanz.

- During the month of April, we held different vocational 'convivencias' in Manila, Davao and Cebu, under the supervisions of Bros. Aljun and Nonoy, with the attendance of more than 20 young men, all of them graduated from Universities. We hope that many of them will join us for our Postulancy this coming school year.

-Fr. Rafael Buitrago has been transferred to Manila in order to put in movement the Piarist Missionary Vocational Center (PMVC). Together with him will go four Philippine Juniors and two Vietnamese Postulants. Fr. Rafael, after his first trip to Indonesia in March, is going again in May, with the intention of selecting some candidates that could start the formation during this school year.

-Fr. Juanjo Mendinueta has been nominated Initial Formation Coordinator for the Philippines. Bro. Tony Matias is the Vocational Coordinator for Japan. 

-In Cebu City, as well as in Manila, the traditional summer camps have been held with the attendance of children and youth. The camps in Cebu were held in Panlao (Bohol Island) and Manlapay (Cebu Island). The one in Manila was held in Antipolo City, near Metro Manila. Special congratulations to the Juniors from Manila, who have carried out for the first time this activity. 

-The Piarist Fraternity is going well. On May 8, two new members were accepted in the adult group and seven in the young group. They also had their own summer camp with children from Bantayan Island. The project of constructing a second cultural center, in relation with the Fraternity, is going to start soon, since we already have the plans and the money (generosity of "Manos Unidas", Spain) to carry it out.

Orient

CALASANZ FORMATION HOUSE - Piarist Fathers - Escolapios 1401 Andres Abellana Extension. Guadalupe, 6000 Cebu City, PHILIPPINES Tel. - Fax (32)2542085 Email escoljb@cvis.net.ph : URL: http://www.cvis.net.ph/escolapios/


Posted by nelcabz at 12:01 AM KDT
Updated: Friday, August 4, 2006 6:42 PM KDT
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