We started the day with the visit to the Manila Cathedral also known as The Minor Basilica and Metropolitan Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception located in the Plaza Roma, Intramuros, the historic walled city of Manila. The next stop was the nearby San Agustin Church in baroque architecture that was opened January 19, 1607, considered as the oldest church in the country and designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993. We also visited the Augustinians’ Memorabilia in antiquity located in a museum adjacent to the church.
After our lunch sponsored by the Central House (used to be the CM Provincialate before) located in San Marcelino St., Ermita, Manila we proceeded to the adjacent Adamson University Museum. Then Fr. Tomaž Mavrič, CM, Superior General, blessed the new Marian Museum and the MMA (Miraculous Medal Apostolate) Religious store located on the ground floor of the Marian Center, the building of the Central House Community.
Afterwards everybody went to the Adamson University Theatre for the Vincentian Family meeting with the Superior General. More than half of the twenty six branches of the Vincentian Family in the Philippines were in attendance as introduced by Fr. Gregorio Bañaga, CM, in his opening remarks. Fr. Mavrič, CM in his talk presented the great collaboration of the members of the Vincentian Family in the different activities in the international level during the celebration of the 400th anniversary of the Charism last 2017. Among them were the Pilgrimage of the heart of St. Vincent in France, “13 houses”, a project for the homeless and St Vincent de Paul festival in Arts. Thereupon an open forum was held
Then it was followed by an intermission number from Lk418, a singing group of young Vincentian confreres from the Philippines, who rendered songs much to the delight of the assembly. The activity was concluded with the Votive Mass of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal presided by the Superior General and the Visitors among the concelebrants.
In his homily, Fr. General emphasized that living out our Vincentian Charism can be likened to the medal which has two sides: one part is seen which pertains to our works of Charity and the other one is not seen because it’s on the back of the medal which is our spirituality. He connected this with Vincent’s experience in 1617: seeing the spiritual poverty in a rural area around the village of Folleville and the material poverty in the city of Chatillon. As Vincent was responding to these needs he was undergoing his own conversion in the Trinity, Incarnation of Christ, Eucharist, Divine Providence and the Blessed Virgin Mary among others. His works of charity made him discover Christ in the poor and the poor in Christ. He challenged all to follow Vincent’s way of living out our charism in this process. Finally he gave the assembly a short phrase that one can use to respond if somebody would ask, who are we as Vincentians? A Mystic of Charity was his answer. Truly, two sides of the Medal!
Late afternoon we had dinner prepared by Adamson University at the grounds of STC (St. Theresa’s College), a former school of the Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (ICM). The Visitors were welcomed by no less than the President of the University, Fr. Marcelo Manimtim, CM, who in his welcome address acknowledged the presence of the Board of trustees, top administrators and confreres of the school. He also mentioned that year 2018-2019 was good for the institution for they have graduated a total of 4,230 students: 95 in the Elementary, 1,723 in Junior and Senior High School and 2,412 in College.
The guests were serenaded by the beautiful voices of the Adamson University Chorale and entertained by the graceful dances of the Adamson University Folk Dance Troupe. The last dance called “Tinikling”, dancing between bamboo poles being tapped, beat and slid on the ground brought the house down when some of the Visitors gave it a try with their steps and missteps. Indeed, a wonderful evening!
Fr. Raymundo A. Regua, CM
Chronicler, Philippine Province
July 6, 2019