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To be prophets and mystics like Mary



Provincial Chapter of the Province of « East Asia »

12/12/2013: Philippines

From 4 to 8 December, in Marikina City, in the Philippines, the Province of « East Asia » held its third Provincial Chapter. The theme was « To be prophets and mystics like Mary ». During the assembly, Brother Manuel de Leon completed his mandate as Provincial, and Brother Robert Teoh took up his mandate for three years. Brothers Emili Turú and Michael de Waas of the General Council were present.

Brothers Domingo Lee,John Chin, Willy Lubrico (Robert), Pat Corpus, Lindley Sionosa and Anselmo Kim were elected as Provincial Councillors.


Below you can read, in English, the message of Br Manuel de Leon to the participants in the Chapter on terminating his mandate.

Letter from Br. Robert Teoh, Provincial, and the delegates of the East Asia Provincial Chapter (PDF) 


Message of the out-going brother provincial Manuel V. De Leon during the 3rd provincial chapter

We were told that when the Oblate Fathers left the United States for the Philippine Mission in 1930’s, the Brothers told Fr. Emile Buldoc, OMI, if you need the Brothers for the mission, just “ whistle”.  Now, when the Brothers cannot get a Bishop for the Eucharistic celebration, we call on the Oblates. That is why Fr. Chris O’leary , OMI , former Provincial,  is here with us.

You know, we are really in such a bad situation here in the East Asia Province. It needs a Superior General to be with us for our Provincial Chapter to sort things out for us.  Bro. Emili Turu – your presence means a lot for us.

Br. Michael de Waas,  member of the General Council and our Link Councilor.

Br. Robert Teoh, our newly-installed Brother Provincial.

Delegates to the 3rd Provincial Chapter, Observers, Brothers, Lay Mission Partners, Ladies and Gentlemen – GOOD MORNING!

As I look back to the last 6 years, I cannot help but honestly say that it has been a journey of faith for all of us. There were moments of joy, success and celebration.  There were also moments of “darkness” that will continue to remind us of our own vulnerability and fragility.  Good times and bad times do not last. Thus, we await the coming of dawn of a new day with  freshness and new vigor.

For the many blessings we received, I can only thank God for giving me the rare opportunity to be in a role of leadership in the Province. How I have used that privilege as a steward, it will be too presumptuous on my part if  I do not  claim I made mistakes along the way.  I made mistakes and my only hope is that through time, lessons are learned  and wounds are healed.

I also thank God for the gifts of the Brothers, the members of the Provincial Councils ( Robert, Tom, John Tan.  Jacobo, Yohan, John Chin and Pat) the Superiors of the communities, Ministry Heads, Members of the Formation Team, the ordinary Brothers  who teach in the classrooms, work in the pastoral ministries, foreign missions, the sick, retired and those in formation. I have talked and listened to each one.  In our conversations, you shared  your concerns including your  deep thoughts  and feelings. I have tried to understand, offered answers to some. But for things that I am not able to be of  help, I offered them ALL  in prayers to God.

I thank God for giving me good health and energy  all these years.  There were few visits to the hospitals for routine check-up but nothing serious that prevented me from attending to my responsibilities.  I hope, the sickness will not appear after I leave the office.

I also thank God for the edifying examples of our Mission Partners especially the lay and the other Religious.  Most often, they put us to shame because of their commitment and dedication not only through words anD discourse but through their  good examples and actions.  If not for them, we Brothers won’t be able to run our schools and other ministries in the way we are able to do so.

I thank God for the gift of the young people. Every time I see young people, I cannot help but think of their potentials and what they can become given the opportunity for education.  I also thank the young Brothers and those in formation for having the generosity and the courage to try our Marist way of life. They are the HOPE of the Province and the Institute.

I especially thank Gelyn,  the Province Secretary for making things easy for me in terms of the work in the Province Office dealing with records, reports, communications, etc.  I assure the Brothers that Gelyn has established a good rapport with the Secretary General starting from Richard Dunleavy, Jean Ronzon, Pedro  Sanchez de Leon and the present one Carlos Huidobro.

To Bro. Emili and Bro. Michael,  thank you for your Brotherly concern all these years.  I never felt abandoned and left alone.  You have allowed certain freedom and space for me to exercise my better judgment in dealing with issues of the Province.

To Robert,  thank you for accepting the call to be the servant leader of the Brothers and the lay partners at this critical period  of the Province..  I remember the night when you called me before accepting the invitation of Bro. Emili to become the next Provincial.  All I said was, “It is a privilege and a gift to be given the trust and confidence of your own Brothers. It will only become a burden if you don’t involve God, the Brothers and the Lay Partners  in the process.”

I thank God for the trials, the failures, the humbling experiences,that have been part of the life of a Provincial.  They gave me the best lesson of life.  And that lesson is simply realizing that there is such a thing as SPIRITUALITY OF IMPERFECTION.

To be human is to be imperfect.  And so, there is a need to be humble at all times, to be trusting, to be compassionate, to be kind,  to let go, to be forgiving, to be PRAYERFUL.

My prayer these days is quite simple:  “Compassionate and merciful God, embrace me with your UNCONDITIONAL LOVE.” The image of God the Father welcoming back a prodigal son comes real.

My Brothers and Sisters, may the 3rd Provincial Chapter be a Tipping Point for us. As our theme suggests: BE PROPHETS AND MYSTICS IN MARY’S WAY.

And we all know, we can only be prophets and mystics if we make PRAYER as a way of life.  Let us support one another to be men and women of prayer.

I am confident that with Robert’s leadership, together with the Council we give him, we can be more faithful to our calling of being an instrument of God’s love to His people and creation. Love, peace, and harmony can only be attained if we develop a pondering heart as Mary did in her FIAT.

May God be with us always.

BR. Manuel V. De Leon, FMS

Message of Br. Roberth Teoh, FMS

Message of Brother Robert Teoh, FMS, the newly installed Brother Provincial of East Asia Province during the 3rd Provincial Chapter from December 5-7, 2013 held at Marist School, Marikina City, Philippines.

December 07, 2013

Dear Brothers, Lay Marists, and Friends:


We share with you the blessings of the success of our 3rd East Asia Provincial Chapter held at Marist School, Marikina City from December 5-7, 2013. With 32 delegates and 4 observers joining in prayerful reflections, we are filled with hope to respond to the call of renewal. 

Knowing the significance of the Chapter in the life of the Province and in the life of every Brother, we communicate to you the highlights of this historic gathering:

Opening of our 3rd Provincial Chapter: Our Chapter with the theme: Prophets and Mystics in Mary’s Way, formally began at 8:30 a.m. on December 05, 2013, Thursday, with the celebration of the Holy Eucharist at the Chapel of the Magnificat. It was presided by Fr. Chris O’Leary, OMI.

Installation of the New ProvincialBro. Robert Teoh was installed during the mass as the new Provincial of the East Asia Province by the Superior General Bro. Emili Turu. In his acceptance message, Bro. Robert expressed need of our support to his leadership: “I believe that I could count on your support and love, your goodwill and your sacrifices and most of all your constant prayers to carry out this pastoral work.” 

Thanksgiving message of the Out-going Provincial: Bro. Manuel V. De Leon expressed gratitude as Provincial of the East Asia Province for 6 years. He acknowledged the significant contributions and support to his leadership by his council, mission partners, Brothers, Ms. Gelyn Niñofranco, the Province Secretary, Bro. Emili Turu and Bro. Michael De Waas.

Election of the Members of the Steering Committee: Following the rules and procedures of the Chapter, the following Brothers were elected to compose the Steering Committee: Bro. Wilfredo Lubrico as Chair and representative of Philippine Sector, Bro. Alfredo Herrera (Korea/Japan), John Chong (China) as members. Bro. Robert Teoh , Bro. Emili Turu and Bro. Michael de Waas were ex-officio members.

Newly Elected Provincial Councilors: The following Brothers were voted to comprise the East Asia Provincial Council: Bro. Wilfredo Lubrico, Bro. Paterno Corpus and Bro. Lindley Sionosa from Philippines; Bro. John Chin from China; Bro. Domingo Lee and Bro. Anselmo Kim from Korea/Japan.

The spirit of the chapter called us to renewal, to find new and creative ways of expressing our fidelity to Jesus, of making him known and loved, in the way of Mary. The Superior General, Bro. Emili, directed us to be “firmly rooted in prayer for without prayer all our activity risks being fruitless and our message empty.” For, “Jesus wants evangelizers who proclaim the good news not only with words, but above all by a life transfigured by God’s presence.” (Evangelii Gaudium). This is a challenge for us to live out!

Priorities were set with the hope that these will guide us in our life as Marist mystics and prophets, prayerful and responsive to the needs of the poor children and youth, especially. The chapter identified the following areas to work on: (1) prayer life, (2) community life and (3) animation and governance.

At the closure of the 3rd Provincial Chapter, gratitude is expressed to those whose kindness of presence and generosity of service contributed to the success of this event: Bro. Emili Turu, Bro. Michael De Waas, delegates and observers, Preparatory Committee, Steering Committee, Communications Committee, Liturgy Committee, personnel and staff of the Marist School, Marist Asia Pacific Center and the Secretariat.

We thank them sincerely for their accompanying presence, for their prayers and support, and for their commitment to help us live out the courage of prophets and the prayerful interiority of mystics.

In the hands of Mother Mary we entrust the Province of East Asia! We now move on with renewed commitment and filled with confidence on her motherly care and protection for us all!

In Jesus and Mary, 

BRO. ROBERT TEOH, FMS, Provincial 
and the Delegates of the 3rd East Asia Provincial Chapter

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