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Coming Together 200 years for a New Beginning



East Asia Province Launching of Marist Bicentenary

10/07/2017: Philippines

“Coming Together 200 years for a New Beginning,” the theme of the East Asia Province Launching of Marist Bicentenary held at Notre Dame of Kidapawan College in Kidapawan City, Philippines last June 23-24, 2017.

This was well participated by the delegates from school and non-school ministries of East Asia Province spearheaded by the NDKC President, Br. Manuel V. de Leon, FMS in coordination with the Marist Provincial Council and the Marist Bicentenary Committee. In fact, the East Asia Marists of Champagnat, Brothers, Affiliates, Sisters, Lay Mission Partners, Champagnat Movement of the Marist Family, youths and alumni gathered meaningfully with the Eucharistic Celebration presided by Fr. Hipolito Paracha, DCK and co-celebrated by Fr. Arnel Cabrera, DCK, NDKC chaplain and a Marist Father in the morning of the Feast of Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Br Emili Sent a video message to the participants:

Thereafter a break and a motorcade supervened; the lunch fiesta celebration was entertained by the Marist Band. Moreover, relevant exhibits signifying Marist Presence in making Jesus and Mary known and loved were displayed by the Marist Brothers and the different school ministries 200 yearssuchlike Marist School Marikina, Notre Dame of Dadiangas University, Notre Dame of Marbel University, Notre Dame of Cotabato and Notre Dame of Kidapawan College as well as the non-school ministry of Malutok, Palawan community.

The afternoon program proper started at the NDKC Br. Norman Roy gymnasium with an invocation of Alleluia and introductory songs led by the cited band. The host school president gracefully welcomed and inspired the delegates in his opening remarks after a Manobo cultural welcome presentation. Furthermore, Kidapawan City Mayor Joseph A. Evangelista, a Marist NDKC alumnus, proudly recognized the important contributions of Marist Brothers during his formation years and gratefully expressed his hospitality of the presence of Marists in the community. The Marist East Asia Provicial, Br. Robert Teoh, FMS, gave also his wonderful message about the theme of the celebration, rejoicing and celebrating together for the Lord has been good to us for the last 200 years, Champagnat asking forgiveness, being Champagnat of today as witness of Gospel joy, building a Church with Marian face, being on fire for a mission, education as the work of the heart, and looking forward with hope for all to Jesus through Mary, all to Mary for Jesus.

After in between interludes by NDKC Sinagtala and Marist Band’s Power of Dream performance, the participants, viewed and listened to the recent message of Br. Emili Turu, the Marist Superior General, who as well highlighted asking forgiveness, gratitude, and renewed commitment. Afterwhich, colorful cultural creative presentations were marvelously showcased by the performers of ND Cotabato, ND Marbel University, ND Dadiangas University, NDKC and the Marist Brothers of Fourviere, Sacred Heart of Jesus, and Immaculate Conception Communities. Then, an audiovisual presentation about Marist Presence and Missions in East Asia was showed, which was preceded with a message of thanks by the East Asia Chair Maryon Mission Commission, Br. Dominador A. Santiago, FMS, and the singing of Marist Hymn and Marist Bicentenary Song. After a community dinner, the present Marists of Champagnat solemnly gathered and prayed in the bonfire ceremony with meaningful songs of peace, interfaith prayers, readings and messages of peace shared by school and non-school ministries’ representatives, Ms. Cheryl Biare (NDC Faculty), Gerald Pusgo (Malutok, Palawan Youth), and Zyryll Fellores (NDMU Marist Youth). And then, a substantive taize prayer completed the night’s event.

On the next day of the said solemnization, the delegates attended the mass at the Our Lady of Mediatrix of All Grace Cathedral with Fr. Desiderio Balatero Jr., DCK as the priest presider on the Feast of St. John the Baptist. It was indeed a blessed rainy morning when they had their breakfast. A ritualized treeplanting activity concluded and actively participated by the Marist Provincial from Malaysia, Br. Domingo Lee of Korea, Br. John Choon, and the delegation heads and representatives of various ministries of Philippine Sector.

Such a significant communion of Marists of Champagnat today breakthrough a new La Valla!

Ivy Bulawan Yecyec - CMMF Lead Animator

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