— Part 2 —
Third Day (November 21st 2019)
The third day of our gathering is a visit to several places of ministries of the Philippines Province. There are several places visited. Among them are the Parish of Birhen ng Lourdes (Bagong Barrio). The parish priest now is Fr. Marcello Andamon OMI. The next destination is Notre Dame Greater Manila (NDGM) schools. In this central of Quezon City, the Oblates run schools from play group, elementary school, junior high school, senior high school. Many people trust to the quality of education provided by the Oblates. Total students here about 3.500. Fr. Jolito de La Cruz OMI is the Superior of the NDGM, with Fr. Harold Lagnaoda OMI. Last, we visit Our Lady of Grace Parish in Kalookan City. We meet Fr. Mamerto Don Garcia OMI (parish priest), Fr. Amador Castillo OMI (Superior of the House), and Fr. Federico Peding Labaglay OMI (former Councillor of Asia Oceania some periods ago).
The OMI Mission in the Philippines is in an area where formerly the centre of crime has been fought since the 1950s. From the description of Bro Joe OMI and Bro. Gonie OMI, the evangelization by the Oblates must depart from an alarming condition, namely poor areas, both in terms of material and human resources. The mission done by the Oblates simply follows what St. Eugene de Mazenod ever said “Make them human, then christian, and finally holy”. From the presentation of the Parish Priest of Birhen ng Lourdes, it is mentioned that an Oblate Brother was also sent to be a pioneer before a big parish like now. The benefits are felt more because Oblates live with the poor.
After visiting these places, we go home base to the Oblate Missionary Centre (OMI), and then discuss about the General Committee of Oblate Brothers (GCOB) facilitated by Bro. Gonie OMI. We all as Oblate Brothers are invited to develop our human capacities in order to be more effective missionaries. We close the third day with silence-oraison prayer in the small chapel.
The Fourth Day (November 22nd 2019)
We begin this day with the usual morning prayer and Eucharistic celebration led by Fr. Antonius WIDIATMOKO OMI. We all are reminded about the main characteristic of becoming a Religious Brother, namely: strong and deep in intimate relationship with Jesus as a person (not as a personality) by exercising intensive daily prayer especially silence-oraison. By doing these, the Brothers do live a significant-prophetic aspect to the community, even to the world. After communion, all the Brothers make a renewal commitment to the vows we have made. It is really a beautiful touching celebration! After breakfast, we visit the Bolduc House where our elder and sick Oblates live. Besides this place, there is another building. That is the Our Lady of the Assumption Scholasticate (OLAS). Here, there are 30 scholastics from 11 different nationalities (3 from Lesotho-Africa, 2 from Kenya-Africa, 2 from Cameroon-Africa, 2 from Hong Kong, 1 from India, 3 from Thailand, 3 from Vietnam, 8 from Philippines, 1 from Korea, 2 from Sri Lanka), some else are in exposure program.
An interesting sight in these two houses of Bolduc and OLAS communities is the maintenance of the physical, spiritual and psychological health of the Oblates. Young psychologists, therapists and Oblates maintain the life span of old Oblates, with both organic gardens, farms and medical health maintainance. That is, the presence of the works of the OMI are not only for the mission out of the community, but primarily in and through community (such as taking care of the old age Oblates).
(by: Bro. Edtwin Sulispriyanto, OMI)