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Asia Pacific Visitors’ Conference – APVC. Meeting Highlights

The APVC Annual Meeting was held at the Provincial House of the China Province in Taipei, (April 22-26). There were 18 participants composed of all the 7 Provincial Visitors, 2 Superiors of Mission, members of the Culture and Charism Committee (CCC) and the Superior General and two assistants general. It started on April 22, 2018 with the Sunday mass at the CM Parish in Shilin District presided by Bishop John Hung of Taipei. After the mass the Parish served lunch and organized a little program for the guests. This was followed by a tour of Taiwan landmarks such as the National Palace Museum, the Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall, the Chiang-Kai-shek Memorial Hall and Taiwan 101.

On Monday, April 23, the sessions started with the Eucharist presided by Fr. Miles Heinen, CM, Assistant General. Fr. Vijay Kumar Nayak, CM. (India North), President of the APVC welcomed the Provincial Visitors and the members of the Curia: Frs. Tomaz Mavric, CM., Matthew Kallammakal, CM., and Miles Heinen, CM. The Superior General gave a talk. Among the topics he discussed were: strengthening the CM identity by regular reading of the Common Rules and the Constitutions and Statutes, and making efforts to resolve cases of illegitimate absences of confreres. He also reiterated the themes/topics that are contained in his letter at the Closing of the 400thyear celebration of the Vincentian Charism. Among these are the Global Alliance vs Homelessness, the Vincentian Film Festival (“Finding Vincent 400”), fostering devotion to the Vincentian Blesseds and Saints, and the promotion of a “culture of vocation”. He also expressed his desire that the APVC would start/strengthen missions in Sri Lanka, Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar.

Fr. Gregg Bañaga, Jr., CM presented the Common Internal Seminary for Asia and the Pacific in the morning of the first day. The group approved the project and made the following decisions:

  1. The Common Internal Seminary will be in Trece Martires, Cavite City, Philippines starting on the first week of July 2019.
  2. For the first year, there will be only 12 candidates coming from Oceania (3), Philippines (3), India North (2), Indonesia (2), and Vietnam (2).
  3. The sending Provinces will shoulder the board-and-lodging of the candidates. Provinces who have difficulty paying can ask help from other Provinces.
  4. The site development plan made by Arch. Jean Cornejo, former Dean of Architecture of Adamson University was presented and approved. For a start, only one single detached house to accommodate 12 candidates and a new refectory will be built. If there are more candidates in the future, other houses can be built. The existing structures will be renovated and/or expanded.
  5. The funds to build the new structures will be sourced from the Vincentian Solidarity Office (VSO). The other Provinces are also expected to donate for the construction of the new structures as well as the renovation of the existing ones.
  6. The formators will be mainly from the Philippines. Formators from other Provinces will be invited to give talks/sessions and visit their candidates during the year.
  7. The IS directors will meet on November 7-9, 2018 in the Philippines in order to prepare a common IS Program. Fr. Vic Torres, CM shall host this meeting.
  8. Vietnam is planning to send their candidates to study English for a couple of months before the start of the IS.

In the afternoon, Fr. Miles Heinen, CM presented the Solidarity Project. This project is focuses on fostering solidarity among the various Provinces of the CM in relation to financial resources or the “patrimony of the poor.” It includes more efficient management and reporting of finances, accountability, transparency, training of Provincial Economes, sourcing funds from different agencies and fundraising initiatives from the Provinces.

The following days were spent on listening to reports from different Provinces. Fr. Biju Chittooparamban, CM, Executive Secretary of the APVC also made his report. At some point the members of the Culture and Charism Committee (CCC) were invited into the room. The chair presented his report and asked the mind of the APVC regarding their responsibilities as a group.

At the end of the presentations and discussions, the APVC made the following resolutions:

  1. The Culture and Charism Committee (CCC) is officially disbanded. Instead, list of resource persons with expertise and specialization will be created. These persons can be asked to do research and reflection for the Asia Pacific region and may be invited as resource persons during regional meetings, workshops, conferences, etc.
  2. The host Province (and not the CCC) shall organize the APVC workshops/seminars for formation, social work, parish ministry, popular missions, education, etc.
  3. The organizing Province may ask any of the resource persons to assist, e.g. give reflections or talks.
  4. Indonesia will host the APVC Popular Mission experience and sharing program from July 12-16, 2018. A maximum of 3 confreres per Province may attend.
  5. The Asia Pacific Regional Formators Workshops will be hosted by North India in 2019; Vietnam in 2021 and Philippines in 2023.
  6. South India will host the 2020 Workshop for Young Confreres (ordained between 1-5 years). Each Province may send a maximum of 3 confreres for this 6-day program.
  7. Oceania will host a workshop on preventing sexual abuse of minors later this year. All Provinces are encouraged to send at least one participant.
  8. Oceania will also host the Education Ministry meeting in 2022.
  9. The Philippines will host the APVC meeting in 2019.
  10. The APVC website will be managed by the Executive Secretary. It has been developed in North India but will be transferred to the Philippines eventually.

The APVC gathering was not all meeting. The delegates had a chance to talk to each other about issues, collaboration and plans. Aside from the daily Eucharist and prayers, the delegates went to the famous Shillin “night market” and visited St. Anne’s Home, a subsidiary of the Buenen Foundation, which is a CM foundation for children with disabilities. The China Province did a superb job in organizing the meeting.

On the last day, Fr. Gregg Bañaga, Jr., CM was elected President of the APVC for the next 3 years. The Executive Secretary will be appointed from the Philippines.

Fr. Gregg Bañaga, Jr., CM

 

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