Today is a historic event in the life of the Philippine Province.  During the Eucharist in honour of St. Thomas, the apostle which was presided by Fr. Tomaž Mavrič, CM, Superior General, nine seminarians were admitted to the Asia-Pacific Internal Seminary (a common internal seminary for the Asia-Pacific Region as approved by the General Assembly of  2016)  as provisory members of the Congregation of the Mission. They are the following: Sem. John Anifaemamu (Solomon Is.) and Sem. Vilimoni Tukana (Fiji Is.) from the Province of Oceania, Sem. Vincentius Septian Budi Arista and Sem. Fery Dedek Evangualeon from the Province of Indonesia, Sem. James Gorea (PNG), Sem. RC Lagamayo and Sem. Kempee Llorico from the Philippine Province, Sem. Tien Qouc Nguyen and Sem. Tang Khoi Vuong of Vietnam Province.  Likewise, five seminarists pronounced their Bons Propos (Good Purposes) and received copies of the Constitution and Statutes of the Congregation. They are the following: Sem. Jovannie G. Cabando, icCM, Sem. Earl Vigel T. Delgado, icCM and Sem. Charlie B. Olojan, icCM from the Philippine Province, Sem. Jingbin Lyu, icCM, from the Chinese Province, and Sem. Michael Nihonipo, icCM, (Solomon Is.) from the Province of Oceania. 

In his homily, Fr. Mavrič, CM used the occasion to remind the confreres that we are always in the process of on-going formation and conversion. And as such, we need to be rooted always in the Common Rules and Constitution of our Congregation. He encouraged everybody to allot time to read a short passage from these two manuals like reading the bible, so as to find the sense of our mission entrusted to us by Christ in the spirit of Vincent. Eventually, he added, it would also deepen our identity, charism and spirituality.    

After breakfast a summary of yesterday’s proceedings with interviews from confreres regarding their thoughts about what can their province do to help in the solidarity project of the congregation was communicated in a video presentation.  

A very impassioned and thought-provoking conference on the topic “Migration and the New Faces of Poverty in the Context of the New Evangelization” was delivered by Fr. Daniel Franklin Pilario, CM. of the Philippine Province.  There was an introductory video that was presented. Then he explored the phenomenon of migration through the centuries that has created new forms of poverty that we need to address. He summoned the assembly to engage itself in the promotion of this work to the migrants as our response to the call of new Evangelization. There were clarification and discussion after his talk. 

Fr. Christian Mauvais, CM, Visitor of the Province of France, presented a talk on a unique situation regarding the association of married permanent Vincentian deacons in their Province. After his talk there were some clarifications and suggested options to its distinctive affiliation in the Province. Then a slide presentation was shown regarding Maison-Mère, the Mother House of the Congregation in France which celebrated its 200 years last 2018 (1818-2018). Since it has served so many confreres, formations sessions and other important activities of the Congregation, Fr. Mauvais, CM appealed to the assembly that the Congregation must ensure the preservation of its vitality and vocation. Since in 2025 the Congregation will celebrate its 400th founding anniversary then repairing the whole structure would be an appropriate response to the upcoming milestone.   

After siesta the Financial Status of the Congregation was reported by Fr. Paul Parackal, CM, Econome General. With the promising situation of the financial aspect of the Congregation we are assured of our continued work for the poor in many parts of the world. The assembly was reminded of their roles as Visitors, superiors and treasurers in the management of our finances. After the presentation an open forum followed. 

After the coffee break in the afternoon, the proposed revision of The Practical Guide for the Visitor that was done by a commission which was submitted to the General Curial was explained by Fr. Francisco Javier Álvarez, CM, Vicar General. Suggestions from the assembly regarding the document will be accepted till September 15 of this year. The commission will again meet on October for its final draft to be submitted to the General Council in December, 2019. The rest of the time was used for clarifications, questions and discussions. 

The evening prayer was led by Fr. Raymond Van Dorpe, CM, Western Province, USA.

Fr. Raymundo A. Regua, CM
Chronicler, Philippines