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East Asia Province holds 5th Provincial Chapter

14/05/2019: Philippines - Photo gallery

“Do Whatever He Tells You: Responding Boldly to Emerging Needs as a Global Family in this New Beginning” was the theme of the 5th Provincial Chapter of the East Asia Province held at the newly inaugurated Marist Asia Spirituality Center at Lake Sebu, South Cotabato on April 24-28, 2019.

From the General Government, Brothers Ernesto Sánchez, Superior General, and Br. Sylvain Ramandimbiarisoa, Councillor General, took part in the meeting.

In a letter to the Brothers in the Province, Br. Ernesto Sanchez thanked Br. Robert Teoh, FMS for his leadership as Provincial for the past six years.  He said: “Br. Robert served the Province with energy and creativity, accompanying the diverse situations in and between the countries of East Asia Province.” He also thanked the members of his Council.

The Chapter began with the installation of Br. Dominador A. Santiago as the 3rd Provincial Superior during the celebration of the Holy Eucharist presided by Archbishop AngeIlito Lampon, OMI of the Archdiocese of Cotabato.

In his message to the Brothers and the Lay Marists, Br. Ador would like to put emphasis on the three guiding principles of PRAYING, CARING AND DARING as he leads the Province for the next three years.

In the message of Br. Ernesto at the opening of the Chapter, he reminded the delegates and the participants of “Who is God asking us to BE?” Our vocation as Brothers is rooted in our deep experience of God; genuine fraternal relationships in community; being available to the children and young people especially the poor; and healing wounds by promoting human dignity and care of the common home. Look at Mary as a model. Mary always welcomed “newness” by saying YES to be the Mother of God because her heart was free filled with the warmth of God’s love.  More than the plans and strategies; more than the things we preached and do, we are called to personal and communal conversion.

On the second day, Bro. Robert Teoh, together with the other Brothers and Lay Partner, made reports on the state of the Province. The reports included topics on Mission, Spirituality and Community Living, Marist Lay Partnership, Marist Volunteer Program, Children Rights and Keeping them Safe, Vocation and Formation, Finances and the Marist Asia Conference Strategic Plans.

A young man was also invited to share on the voice of the Marist Youth where he emphasized the need to accompany, listen, encourage and support the young as they search for meaning and real purpose of life in this turbulent world.

After spending time in discernment, the Chapter delegates and participants identified six priorities to guide the new Provincial Administration for the next three years. These are on the areas of a) Spirituality and Prayer, b) Governance and Pastoral Care, c) Vocation and Formation, d) Journeying with Children and Young People, e) Lay Partnership and f) Responding Boldly to Emerging Needs.

As a “gift” of the Chapter to Br. Ador and to the Province, they elected the following Brothers to compose the new Provincial Council: Andrew Chan, Allan de Castro, Domingo Lee, and Manuel V. de Leon.

Br. Ernesto in his closing message said, “his role as Superior General is simple BUT important and that is to make sure that the dream of St. Marcellin is alive in the minds and hearts of every Marists of Champagnat.”

Lastly, Brother Ernesto congratulated the Province for putting up the Marist Asia Spirituality and Mission Center, not only as a gift to Asians but also to the Institute where the richness and beauty of the Asian Spirituality be nurtured and shared.

Brothers Ernesto and Sylvain, from the General Government, will be bringing with them three special gifts from the Province of East Asia, namely: 1) the experience of planting a tree, 2) the “moment of contemplation” every morning at the Chapel, and 3) the family spirit that is very alive among the Brothers and the Lay Mission Partners in spite the cultural diversity.

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