BULLETIN NO. 3
Part-time Secretary for APAC Secretariat
A young lay woman who hails from Mindanao in the south of the Philippines has begun work as a part time secretary at the APAC Secretariat in Manila.
As we are trying to make the Secretariat the hub for APAC communications, she has been employed to assist the official APAC Secretary (Sr Jocy Widwid, pictured at left) in this task.
Should you wish to make any enquiries regarding APAC activities please do not hesitate to contact the Secretariat. The secretary will normally be in the office Monday, Wednesday, and Friday (8am – 5pm). If she cannot help you she will at least be able to put you in touch with someone who can.
APAC SECRETARIAT : Tel. 721-54-45 Fax. 725-27-27.
Province of Cebu
..........The Province of the Holy Infant of Cebu (Philippines) has announced the ordination to the priesthood of Michael Sequio O.S.A. (see photo). It will take place at 4.00pm on 26th August 2006 in Iloilo City, his home town. The venue for the ceremony will be the Chapel of the University of San Agustin Extension Campus in the same city. Bishop Angel Lagdameo, the Archbishop of Jaro, Iloilo will be the ordaining prelate.
,,,,,,,,,,In the ceremony Michael will be joined by another young Augustinian, Victor Gonzaga O.S.A., who will be ordained deacon.
Masters Program in Augustine
A summer program leading to a Master of Arts degree in the study of St Augustine has begun at the Saint Augustine Centre of Studies (SACS) at Quezon City in Metro Manila.
The new Masters program was officially launched at the SACS graduation ceremony on 27th March 2006, and the first units of the program were taught from 10th April to 20th May 2006.
The teachers of these units were Fr Arnel Dizon O.S.A. (An Introduction to St Augustine), Fr Pederito Aparece O.S.A. (Augustine and Neo-Platonism), and Dr Macario Ofilada Ph.D. (The Dialogues of Augustine). All units are taught in the English language.
There are choices of outcome available within the program. These give different options such as equipping the student to teach Augustine to others, or else preparing the student for further studies in Augustine at a doctoral level.
For example the option that leads to a Master of Arts in Teaching Augustine studies Augustinian pedagogy, Neo-Platonism, Augustinian metaphysics and Augustine’s theory of knowledge. It then surveys Augustine’s sermons, letters, and major books.
The full program is expected to require three summers of classes by each student, and variously also some comprehensive examinations or the writing of a thesis.
............Students from overseas or other parts of the Philippine can apply for summer accommodation as SACS (photo at right), depending on its availability.
The next courses will be offered in April-May 2007. Printed information on the course in general and in particular, plus enrolment details, are available in a brochure that may be obtained by writing to the St Thomas of Villanova Institute of Philosophy, Saint Augustine Center of Studies, Fisheries Street, Visayas Avenue, 1100 Quezon City, Philippines.
Young men and women are joining the religious congregations of APAC in increasing numbers. What appears below is a brief report covering the first eight months of 2006.
............The Region of India of the Order of Saint Augustine now has nineteen solemnly professed in initial formation, in a total seminary population of forty-nine candidates. The most recent three professed took their solemn vows on 8th June 2006.
On 4th May 2006 three other young men began their novitiate at the St Augustine Study House at Alwaye, India. As well, an Indian (pictured at right) who previously had been sent for novitiate to Intramuros in Manila, took his first vows on 18th June 2006.
On 25th June 2006 in Australia, there was the Augustinian solemn profession of Minh-Tan Hoang O.S.A. This happened at St Kieran's Church, Manly Vale (Sydney). Tan came to Australia as a refugee during his childhood, completed his education and qualification as a nurse in Australia, and then joined the Order in Brookvale, Sydney in February 2002. He has now moved to Rome for the further study of theology before being ordained to the priesthood.
On 2nd July 2006 the first Korean to make his final profession as an Augustinian of the Assumption. Another is now taking two years for novitiate and language study in France, and two are continuing their theology studies at the Major Seminary of Gwangju. The Assumptionists now have five Korean applicants in various stages of formation.
On 24th July 2006 three sisters made their first profession as Augustinian Sisters of Our Lady of Consolation. They were Srs Mareza Hipe, Eugenia Sobredilla and Flora Vallejera. The ceremony took place at the mother house, La Consolacion Convent in San Juan, Metro Manila, Philippines.
...........On 29th July Sister Agnes Park O.S.A. became the first Korean-born Augustinian contemplative nun, when she professed her first vows at the Mother of Good Counsel Monastery, Bulacan, Philippines. The monastery was established with the assistance of the Italian Federation of Augustinian Contemplative Nuns. This federation supplied the founding nuns, and still accepts the newer members of Bulacan for extended periods of formation in Rome, Italy.
The Province of Cebu presently has ten novices, and in Manila the Vicariate of the Orient has eleven novices, two of whom are from Tanzania. The have twenty-two postulants.
In Papua, Indonesia four novices of the Order of Saint Augustine made their first profession at Sorong on 5th August 2006, and a new group of seven persons began their 2006-2007 novitiate year. These young men had already completed a live-in postulancy for the previous twelve months.
On 10th September 2006 in the Augustinian Delegation of Korea, Kyu-Dong Jacobo Kim O.S.A. and Chang-Ho Johan Kim O.S.A. made their solemn profession.
APAC Spirituality Conference – India, October 2006
A three day spirituality conference on the writings of St. Augustine will be held in Kerala, India on 10th-12th October 2006. The three day conference will be conducted Fr. Thomas Martin O.S.A, (pictured) the renowned Augustinian scholar and lecturer from Villanova University in the U.S.A.. In 2005 he gave a similar conference at Manila.
...........More than a hundred male and female Augustinian religious are expected to attend the conference. This will be the first time that APAC has organized a spirituality conference in India.
APAC Conference for Formation Personnel and Vocation Promoters - Philippines, November 2006
The APAC Formation and Spirituality Commission has organized a conference for religious formation personnel as well as both religious and lay vocations promoters.
It will take place in the Philippines on 19th-24th November 2006 at Charles Borromeo Retreat House at Tagaytay City, which is a beautiful mountainous region within very easy reach of Manila. The facilitators will be Fr. Laurence Mooney O.S.A. and Fr. Paul Maloney O.S.A. of the Centre for Augustinian Spirituality at Greystanes (Sydney), Australia.
Involved in the planning locally are Fr Alan Otadoy O.S.A. and Fr Andrew Batayola O.S.A., the leaders of the APAC Formation and Spirituality Commission.
For more information about costs and booking procedures, contact the APAC Secretariat in Manila: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone the Secretariat at the La Consolacion Convent, 273 Santolan Road, San Juan, Metro Manila.
Signs of the times in Tokyo
.......... The Augustinian parish at Kasai was founded in what in 1969 was a low-rent area of Tokyo in 1969 with perhaps twenty Japanese workers and their families. This Augustinian mission has now become a magnet for Asian workers and students, in addition to the present 500 Japanese parishioners.
..........The first to come were very devout Korean Catholics (see photo above). They were second or third generation residents of Japan from the days of forced labor for Imperial Japan before and during World War II. But now, increasingly, they are vigorous Korean young men and women arriving to learn Japanese in order to enter universities or high-tech companies here.
...........Philippine parishioners have increased so much that the Sunday 4:00pm Mass in English is bulging at the seams. Many have put down roots and married Japanese nationals; their children are Japanese citizens who do not necessarily speak English or Tagalog, presenting new challenges to help them grow in the Faith.
........... Most recently,Indian citizens have established a large community here in the Kasai area, mostly for the burgeoning IT (information technology) world and its communications.Hindu and Christian families from India are seen in the supermarkets, wearing sari and native dress, blending into the colorful mix that is modern-day Tokyo.
On a recent Sunday we had a dozen Indian couples with little children at our English Mass,meeting with Brother Arun,a young Indian Jesuit studying Japanese and helping out here at our 4.00pm English Mass.
........... Signs of the times, indeed.Our APAC Augustinian outreach beckons. How can we all help each other better in this globalised world?
............(The above is a shortened version of a report kindly prepared by the Augustinian pastor at Kasai, Tokyo.)
.............For APAC, a new short biography was written about the Japanese Augustinian martyr, Blessed Thomas Jihyoe O.S.A. It is available at: http://www.augnet.org/default.asp?ipageid=1331&iParentid=756
.............Photos of Augustinian ministry in Japan are available in two photo galleries naqmed "Japan: Nagasaki" and "Japan: Fukuoka and Tokyo" at: http://www.augnet.org/default.asp?ipageid=6
Delegation of Korea
...........This year as part of the 750th anniversary of the Grand Union of the Order of Saint Augustine, the Delegation of Korea accepted the invitation from the Life-Long Learning Commission of the Archdiocese of Kwang-ju to conduct a series of monthly retreat days and present lectures on the writings and spirituality of Saint Augustine.
.........The days are being held every month except for Korea's coldest month, January, and the hottest month, August. Five of the members of the Augustinian Delegation of Korea are sharing the task.
.........About fifty lay people and religious have been attending the monthly retreat days regularly and have expressed their delight at having the opportunity to learn more about Augustine and the Order.
..........One lady who attended said to Fr. Jacobo In-Sok Seo O.S.A. (pictured at right) afterwards, “I have come to see the human side of St. Augustine and how his understanding of Christ can help me in my own faith life.”
Augustinians of the Assumption
The Augustinians of the Assumption based in Korea have requested full membership in APAC. This certainly will be granted, although the APAC Statutes require an application for membership to be approved by an APAC Convention.
The Assumptionists first came to Korea in 1987, and on 10th October 2005 blessed and opened their new house in Gwanju, in the South Cholla Province of south western Korea.
The house is dedicated to Notre Dame de Salut (“Our Lady of Salvation”), which is a title under which the Assumptionists honour the Virgin.
The Assumptionists now have five Korean applicants in various stages of formation (see photo above). On 2nd July 2006 one of them became the first Korean to make his final profession as an Assumptionist. Another is now taking two years for novitiate and language study in France, and two are continuing their theology studies at the Major Seminary of Gwangju.
Delegation of Papua
...........The priestly ordination of Bernardus Baru O.S.A. occurred at Sorong, Papua, Indonesia on 30th July 2006. It took place in St Peter’s Church in Sorong (see photo), which is a parish that the Order of Saint Augustine administers for the local Diocese of Manokwari-Sorong.
One of eight children of parents now deceased, Bernardus was born in 1979 in the village of Suswa, an area with tropical jungle surrounding it for 150 kilometres in all directions.
............He completed his primary schooling in Suswa in 1985, and in 1990 completed his secondary schooling at Saint Augustine’s School in Sorong, which is located next to the parish church in which Bernardus was ordained to the priesthood.
He then spent four years at catechetical and pastoral institutes in Java, Indonesia before undertaking the study of philosophy and theology in 1996-99 in STFT, “Fajar Timur”, Abepura – Jayapura. This is a combined institute of a number of Catholic dioceses and religious orders. The Order of Saint Augustine maintains nearby a formation community for all its professed students.
Bernardus was then sent to Saint Monica’s International College in Rome to continue his study of theology. In Rome, he is now studying to obtain a Licentiate from the faculty of Missiology at Pontifical Urbaniana University, Rome. It is from Rome that he returned to Sorong to receive priestly ordination.
Two other Augustinians from the Region of Papua became priests earlier in 2006. With over fifteen of the professed who are studying at STFT in Jayapura seeking priesthood and seven young men now in the novitiate at Sorong, the future prospects of the Augustinian Region of Papua look promising.
...........A photo gallery of the Augustinian ministry in Papua is available at http://www.augnet.org/p/Page1/index.html and second one by going to http://www.augnet.org and choosing the photo gallery named “Papua: Ayawasi.”
Augustinian Sisters of Our Lady of Consolation
............The Augustinian Sisters of Our Lady of Consolation now have the mortal remains of their co-foundress, Mother Consuleo Barcelo y Pages, transferred to a temporary repository located at the left rear-end portion inside the chapel at their mother house at 273 Santolan Road, in San Juan, Metro Manila.
............Mother Consuelo was born near Barcelona , Spain , and worked as a religious sister with orphans from 1883 to 1899. After the Spanish-American War, she returned to the Philippines in 1904, and served until her death there in 1940. She had four consecutive terms as the first superior General of the Augustinian Sisters of Our Lady of Consolation, from 1915 to 1940.
............The process of beatification of Mother Consuelo has been officially forwarded by the Archdiocese of Manila tro the Vatican.
Augustinian Sisters of God's Mercy
............The Augustinian Sisters of God's Mercy are an Indonesian congregation with membership in APAC. Much of the ministry of their 105 religious sisters in fourteen different communities focuses on the provision of medical clinics in the region of Indonesia called Kalimantan Barat (formerly Borneo ).
............Sr Augustini (general superior) and Sr Gabriella Titin (APAC liaison person) attended the APAC Convention in Incheon, Korea in July 2005.
............In the vast region of Kalimantan Barat, many of the Augustinian Sisters work in first aid centres, of which eleven now exist.
............A clinic they began in 1963 has now developed into their largest apostolic venture - the eighty-bed Fatima Hospital at Ketapang, West Kalimantan. Its grand opening ceremony took place on 9th August 2006. Thirty-six of the Sisters will work in the hospital and adjacent clinic, as nurses and administrators. Two doctors are employed full-time in the hospital, and another six part-time.
............Hospital facilities have in fact operated on the site as an enlarged clinic with twelve inpatient beds since 1973 (see photo).
............In writing about the opening of the Fatima Hospital, Sister Augustini said, “Praise the Supreme Lord for His majesty in all miracles in our life. Because of His glory, the development of our hospital is now fully accomplished.”
............Building of the hospital turned into a very protracted process. It was constructed mainly on donations that came from outside of West Kalimantan, and at one crucial point a promised major donation did not eventuate.
............A number of APAC jurisdictions have donated to the Fatima Hospital project. To enquire about doing so, contact Sr Gabriella Titin O.S.A. at Ketapang (who speaks English). The postal address is Augustinian Sisters of God’s Mercy, Jl General Sudirman 31, Ketapang 78813, Kalimantan Barat, Indonesia.
News and general details about the Order of Saint Augustine internationally is located at:
www.augnet.org (in English)
www.osanet.org (in English, Italian and Spanish)