BULLETIN NO. 5
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, Manila: Tel. (country code = 63) 2 721-54-45 Fax: (country code = 63) 2 725-27-27.
Augustinians, Sydney, Australia
Paul Skippen, the employed full-time family and youth ministry coordinator of the Augustinian Parish of North Harbour (Sydney, Australia), is producing a weekly e-newsletter for parishioners who request it.
This e-newsletter is a quite separate production from the printed parish newsletter that is available at the church doors each Sunday.
Sensing a need for easily-available material to assist reflection, spiritual journaling and prayer by parish members of various ages, Paul introduced this practice to this Augustinian parish last September.
The reflection is based upon the Gospel readings of the Mass of the previous Sunday.
Upon request, this weekly e-newsletter is transmitted to people each Monday afternoon as an e-mail attachment. During Lent 2007, Paul intends to provide a similar e-newsletter daily, based once more on the Gospel readings of Lenten weekdays.
Paul is willing to add to the e-mailing list anyone who requests it.
To see a recent copy of this e-newsletter that is attached to this web site, click here.
If you wish to have the weekly e-newsletter (and the daily Lenten e-newsletter) automatically e-mailed to you, send your e-mail address to firstname.lastname@example.org
APAC Spirituality Conference, India, October 2006
A three-day spirituality conference on the writings of St. Augustine was held in Kerala, India on 10th-12th October 2006.
This was the first APAC Augustinian Spirituality Conference to be held in India. The venue was St. Augustine’s Study House, Aluva, Kerala, which was built in 1986 by the Order of Saint Augustine.
The conference was attended by a hundred participants (see photo at left).
As well as men of the Order of Saint Augustine, the other male religious order to attend was the Order of Our Lady of Mercy (Mercedarians).
In that APAC includes all religious orders of the extended Augustinian family in the Asia-Pacific, the conference welcomed members from five female religious congregations: Augustinian Missionary Sisters (known as Agustinas Missioneras in Spain and Africa), Augustinian Sisters Servants of Jesus and Mary (who also serve in the Philippines and in Melbourne, Australia), Augustinian Sisters of the Most Holy Annunciation, Augustinian Sisters (Celletines), and Augustinian Servants of the Saviour for the Evangelization.
To attend the conference, some of these religious sisters travelled long distances from Bangalore and other parts of South India.
The input at the conference was presented by Father Thomas Martin O.S.A, (pictured at the left of photo), the renowned Augustinian scholar and lecturer from the Order's Villanova University in the U.S.A.. In 2005 he gave a similar conference at Manila.
The closing Mass was concerebrated by Frs Tom Martin O.S.A. and Jaison Nedumparambil O.S.A. (at right of photo).
The President of APAC, Fr. Michael Sullivan O.S.A. who resides in Korea said, “This conference generated interest in Augustine in Kerala and beyond, and hopefully will inspire many young Augustinians in India to undertake a deeper study of his writings.”
APAC Augustinian Spirituality Conference, Philippines
On 19th to 24th November the most recent Augustinian Spirituality Conference was conducted by the Asia-Pacific Augustinian Conference (APAC) of the extended Augustinian family. (See photo below).
The conference took place at the University of Regina Carmeli, which is conducted by the Augustinian Sisters of Our Lady of Consolation at Malolos, Bulacan, Philippines, about ninety minutes by road from central Manila.
Forty-seven participants attended for six days. This included ten novices from the Vicariate of the Orient (Intramuros, Manila), eight vocations animators, sixteen formators and thirteen lay and religious campus ministers, school administrators and theology teachers.
Represented in this group were members of six religious orders within the extended Augustinian family. Men came from the Order of Saint Augustine from the Province of Cebu and the Vicariate of the Philippines, and Augustinians of the Assumption. Women came from the Augustinian contemplative nuns, Augustinian Sisters of Our Lady of Consolation, Augustinian Recollect Sisters, and the Missionary Sisters of the Holy Trinity.
With the theme of “Honouring God in Each Other,” the conference was conducted by Frs Laurence Mooney O.S.A. and Paul Maloney O.S.A. from the Centre of Augustinian Spirituality in Sydney, Australia. The methodology used incorporated lectures, discussion in small groups and plenary seminars.
Involved in the planning locally were Fr Alan Otadoy O.S.A. and Fr Andrew Batayola O.S.A. of the Augustinian Province of Cebu. They are the leaders of the APAC Formation and Spirituality Commission.
The Opening Mass was a concelebration, at which the presider was Fr Jerome Mesina O.S.A., Prior Provincial of the Sto. Nino de Cebu Province.
Current news about APAC and its member congregations appears on the web site of the Australian Province at http://www.augustinians.org.au/apac.html
Photographs of the Order of Saint Augustine in the APAC region appear on the Internet at http://www.augnet.org/default.asp?ipageid=6 Select the photo galleries on the Philippines, India, Japan, Korea, Papua and Australia.
Assumptionists arrive in Manila
The Augustinians of the Assumption (a male branch of the Religious of the Assumption) established their first house in the Philippines on 18th January 2006. (They have been in South Korea since 1991.)
Their location in the Philippines is temporarily at Loyola Heights in Manila, where their first community comprises of men from four continents: Europe (from France), Africa (from the Democratic Republic of the Congo), America (from Québec in Canada) and Asia (four professed religious brothers from the Philippines).
Prior to this, young men in the Philippines desiring to become Assumptionists have had immediately to travel to a community overseas, but now the four most recent local candidates are living in the Manila community. This makes a community of seven religious and four candidates.
The Superior, Fr Gilles Blouin A.A., writes thus about the community’s initial plan for their first eighteen months in Manila, “Our first commitment is to community building. We see that strong community life attracts young people who are looking for belongingness, a simple lifestyle and adequate prayer support for their discernment on how to best find their place in the Church and in society today.”
He adds an invitation to all members of the extended Augustinian family, “«Adveniat regnum tuum» is the motto of the Augustinians of the Assumption. This motto inflenced the name for our community: Adveniat House. Feel most welcome to come by if you are in Manila, we are part of the family...”
For further details contact the APAC Secretariate at email@example.com
The Augustinians of the Assumption were founded by Emmanuel d'Alzon in Nimes, France in 1845 as a response to the damage done to the church in Europe after the French Revolution. Today, there are approximately 860 Assumptionists working in 28 countries around the world. They continue to be involved in education, the media, shrines and pilgrimages, ecumenical dialogue, and the missions. In recent years they have established missions in Asia in South Korea, the Philippines, and Vietnam.
The Assumptionists international web site is http://www.assumptio.org/e/index.php
Museum of San Agustin
Within the monastery the famed Museum of San Agustin, under the direction of Fr Pedro Galende O.S.A.(pictured), there is presently a display of a hundred archival photographs that show some of the history of the Church and monastery of San Agustin, Intramuros (Manila), Philippines.
These heritage-listed buildings were constructed by the Order of Saint Augustine between 1587 and 1606.
As well as the museum, the monastery houses the Augustinians who attend to the Church of San Agustin, and also ten novices of the Vicariate of the Orient and the Delegation of Tanzania, both of which jurisdictions are part of the Province of the Holy Name of Jesus (the “Philippines Province”).
For thirty photographs of the Order of Saint Augustine in Intramuros, choose the photo gallery named Philippines: Intramuros after you click here: http://augnet.org/default.asp?ipageid=6
Project thriving in Papua
After more than a year of building works, the Pieter van Diepen Minor Seminary in Papua, Indonesia is now fully operating. It is located at Aimas, a rural area thirty kilometres from the port of Sorong. This minor seminary is named in honour of the Augustinian who was the first bishop of Manokwari-Sorong between 1966 and 1988, Pieter van Diepen O.S.A., who died in retirement in Holland in April 2005.
This diocesan-owned minor seminary is administered by the Order of Saint Augustine. Its resident director is the regional superior of the Augustinian Delegation of Papua. At the minor seminary he is assisted by a diocesan priest, a religious of the Augustinian Sisters of God’s Mercy, and teaching staff.
The present enrolment comprises thirty boys in the second year of junior high school (pictured above), and another thirty boys in first year. All of them reside in an asrama (“hostel”) on the property. Many come from remote villages, and would not otherwise receive a secondary education.
As well, twenty-two external students from Aimas have also enrolled at the minor seminary, which is the only secondary school in the area. All of these local students live at home. Most of them are girls, including three of them who are Protestant Christians. The minor seminary will expand to 250 pupils by the year 2010.
Also on the large property at Aimas is Biara Tolentino, an adult catechetical and ministry preparation program for lay pastoral workers. It is sponsored by the Augustinian Order and the five dioceses within Papua. The Augustinian director of the minor seminary is also the director of this program.
Among the twenty-five men and women in this year-long full-time residential program, there are eleven postulants who hope to begin their Augustinian novitiate in Sorong in August 2007.
The Delegation of Papua now has seven novices at Biara Tagaste in Sorong and nineteen students in simple profession at Biara Kasiciacum in Jayapura.
A photographic coverage of Augustinian ministry in Papua is located at http://www.augnet.org/p/Page1/index.html
Another three Papua photo galleries are available by clicking on http://www.augnet.org/default.asp?ipageid=6
New Augustinian Delegation of India
A new jurisdiction within the Order of Saint Augustine in the Asia Pacific is now in operation. It is the Delegation of India, with Fr Alexander Palliparambil O.S.A. (pictured) as its first regional superior.
The delegation begins with three Augustinian communities in India’s Kerala State; two are formation houses, and one a community in a parish conducted by the Order.
A fourth community will soon begin near a primary and secondary school of 900 students that the Order has acquired in the adjacent State of Tamil Nadu.
In recent times, Augustinian ministry in India was recommenced about twenty years ago by the Vicariate of the Orient, which is based at Intramuros, Manila, Philippines. This Vicariate is part of the Province of the Holy Name of Jesus, which began in Spain to evangelize Asia in 1575, and has popularly long been called the “Philippines Province” (although it almost always has been based in Spain).
With the new administrative and juridical arrangement, the Vicariate of the Orient and the Delegation of India will be equal partners within the same Province. Even so, the Delegation of India has been promised the continued support of the Vicariate of the Orient from which it grew.
For fifty photographs of the Order of Saint Augustine in India, choose the photo gallery named India after you click here: http://augnet.org/default.asp?ipageid=6
Province of Cebu
..........Within the Order of Saint Augustine, the Province of the Holy Infant of Cebu (Philippines) has plans well underway for the development of a retreat and spirituality centre at Consolacion, Cebu (the second locality north of Cebu City). Five hectares – about 13 acres - of land has been purchased on an elevated sloping terrain, with views to the sea.
Architectural plans (above) are now completed. Regarding the plan, all three main structures shown are part of the retreat centre. The bigger building on the right contains the main assembly hall. Its upper floor of which is convertible into a big assembly area of over 100 people, and into smaller conference rooms. The lower floor will be the refectory and kitchen. The basement would contain the utility rooms.
At the left will be the chapel building. Its upper floor will house the chapel proper, while the lower floor will be smaller conference rooms and counselling rooms.
Beyond the chapel to the top-left edge of the drawing is shown three small buildings, two of which are dormitories for single or double occupancy, and one building is intended for group occupancy.
Eventually to be included in the property will be a new novitiate and the Augustinian Provincial house.
For over twenty photographs of the Order of Saint Augustine in the Province of Cebu, choose the photo gallery named Philippines: Province of Cebu after you click here: http://augnet.org/default.asp?ipageid=6
Augustinian Sisters of Our Lady of Consolation in Taiwan
This year the Augustinian Sisters of Our Lady of Consolation, based in the Philippines, have celebrated their silver jubilee of ministry in Taiwan.
The first two Consolation Sisters arrived on 29th September 1981 and, after studying the Chinese language, began their first apostolate in the Chutung Aborigines Centre.
During the past twenty-five years, thirteen Consolation Sisters have ministered in Taiwan, usually in parish ministry. Presently there are two communities. One is at St Paul’s Church, Hsinchu City, with two sisters. Another three Sisters reside at St Paul’s Church, San Min Fushiung Hsiang, Toayuan Hsien.
The five Sisters presently minister in a multitude of ways, each with usually moire than one role. These roles include being the English Secretary of the Bishop, organist at major ceremonies, work with migrants, the charismatic community and Bible study groups, being the presider at Eucharist services in the absence of a priest, ministry of presence at wakes and burials, piano tuition, visitation of the sick and elderly, and spiritual direction.
The future of their ministry look very promising, and eventually the creation of a Center for Spirituality is a goal that has been mentioned.
Delegation of Korea
The Delegation of Korea of the Order of Saint Augustine has announced that an ordination to the priesthood will occur in Incheon, Korea on 27th December 2006.
The candidate, Paolo Kim, (pictured) was born in Incheon, South Korea, and graduated in environmental engineering in 1998.
Deciding to become an Augustinian, he undertook his novitiate and a Bachelor of Theology degree in Korea, and was then sent to Rome to undertake a Master’s degree in Patristic Theology at the Augustinianum in Rome.
He was solemnly professed in Incheon on 5th September 2005 during the celebration of the Korean Augustinian Delegation's 20th anniversary, and was ordained a deacon in Rome by Cardinal Walter Kasper in March 2006.
After ordination to the priesthood on 27th December 2006 at the hands of Bishop
Sixty photos of the Order of Saint Augustine in Korea are available on the Internet by selecting the photo gallery named Korea after you click on http://www.augnet.org/default.asp?ipageid=6
Ordinations in India
Two ordinations to the priesthood and one to diaconate will take place immediately after Christmas 2006 in the Delegation of India of the Order of Saint Augustine.
The first ceremony involves Vans Panamoottil (at right in photo). He joined the Augustinian seminary at the age of seventeen after doing a pre-degree course.
Vans then made his first profession of Augustinian vows on 17th May 2003, and took his solemn profession on 8th June 2006.
Vans became a deacon on 22nd June 2006, and then ministered at St Augustine’s Church in the Moolampillyparish belonging of the Verapoly Diocese. His ordination to priesthood will occur on 27th December 2006 atHoly Cross Church. The church is located Mangad,which is Vans’ home parish belonging to theQuilon Diocese.
At this same ceremony, another young Augustinian, Santhosh Kumar Kolbe Kappil will be ordained a deacon.
The second priestly ordination is of Thomas Paliyathayil (at left in photo). He completed his novitiate in the Order of Saint Augustine on 17th May 2003, and while studying for priesthood made his solemn profession as an Augustinian on 8th June 2006.
He was ordained a deacon on 22nd June 2006. Since then, he has ministered as a deacon at St. Jude's Church, Edathala, a parish belonging to the Verapoly Diocese. His ordination to priesthood takes place on 28th December 2006 at St. Joseph's Church, Chethy, his home parish within to the Alleppey Diocese.
Many photos of the Order of Saint Augustine in India are available on the Internet by selecting the photo gallery named India after you click on http://www.augnet.org/default.asp?ipageid=6
Augustinian Sisters of God’s Mercy
The Augustinian Sisters of God’s Mercy arrived in Indonesia from Holland in 1946, and are now entirely Indonesian in membership. The have fourteen communities and a total of 105 members, including novices and postulants.
Their mother house and most of their ministry is in the region of Indonesia called Kalimantan Barat (formerly Borneo). They have one community serving with members of the Delegation of Papua of the Order of Saint Augustine.
Since May 2005 two of the Sisters have been studying in Manila. They are living in community with four of the Augustinian Sisters of Our Lady of Consolacion on the campus of La Consolacion College, Mendiola, Metro Manila (see photo above). Web site: http://www.lccm.edu.ph/index.php?categoryid=108)
The sisters are Sister Francesca, who is undertaking a Bachelor of Nursing degree, and Sister Felicitas, who is studying psychology. Their study is a four-year programme at La Consolacion College.
The Augustinians of Japan are at present celebrating another step in the progress towards priesthood of one of their members, for on Sunday, 11th February 2007 Noritoku Paul Yamano O.S.A. will be ordained a deacon of the Catholic Church.
Noritoku will be ordained to the deaconate in a religious service that also involves one priest candidate and two diaconal candidates of the Archdiocese of Nagasaki
The ceremony will occur in Noritoku’s home city of Nagasaki. The venue will be the Cathedral Church of Urakami (pictured), which is dedicated in honour of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception. This cathedral was completely rebuilt after the atomic bomb of 1945 exploded immediately above this site.
Further details will be added here as they become available sometime after the ceremony.
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 (the Augustinian seminary on site), 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.
A reflection: The celebration of Christmas in Japan
Just a couple of days ago I read in the local paper that “Christmas illumination” was lit on the evening of 1st November in downtown Fukuoka, the city where I live.
From now on until Christmas Day the bright illumination is lit every evening in a myriad of colors, often with accompanying music.
This will happen in just about every block in downtown, so much so that it almost gives you the impression that Japan is as much a Christian country as any place.
In Japan, with only about 1 percent of the total population being Christian, the celebration of Christmas by the majority has very little to do with Christianity, in fact, next to nothing. While many people do know that it is the celebration of the birth of Christ Child, still many others have little idea of what it is all about.
Christmas Day is not a national holiday in Japan, which places a certain limitation as to how it can be celebrated. For example, even among Catholics Christmas Eve is often much bigger in terms of mass attendance than Christmas Day itself because most people go to work on that day. So Christian families in most cases celebrate Christmas with a good meal on the evening of Christmas Eve or Christmas.
Now my description of the way Christmas is celebrated here is admittedly very sketchy, but one thing I would like to mention as a final remark is that I think underneath all this secular celebration of Christmas is found a deep-seated longing for what is holy and true, whether people are aware of it not.
There is an inner space in all of us that is open to the sacred and it is precisely to this human dimension that Christmas with its symbols of light, evergreen and the manger has a strong appeal, and in it lies ample opportunity for evangelization.
By Thomas Masaki Imada, O.S.A. (Vicariate of Japan)
.............A new short biography was written by Fr Imada 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 named "Japan: Nagasaki" and "Japan: Fukuoka and Tokyo" at: http://www.augnet.org/default.asp?ipageid=6
Augnet, a comprehensive web site on Saint Augustine and the Order of Saint Augustine, was fully redesigned and renovated in May 2006.
It contains over 1,180 pages of text, which also contain over 1,550 illustrations. The Augnet web site was officially "launched" at a ceremony in Sydney in August 2002, with the Augustinian Prior General from Rome as the guest of honour.
New technical features in the renovated Augnet include a search engine, which searches every page of Augnet for any word or phrase that is nominated by a user, and a site map, which quickly allows a visitor to see and understand the local arrangement of Augnet's sections and sub-sections.
About 1,830 large images in extensive photo galleries illustrate of Augustinian events and places internationally. Between August 2002 and April 2006 Augnet has served 63,000 different hosts/URLs, and presumably many of these hosts have visited Augnet more than once.
These hosts have downloaded 734,000 pages of Augnet. This is an average of 17,000 pages per month, 580 pages per day and 24 pages per hour throughout that period of forty-four months.
Visit this web site at http://www.augnet.org
News and general details about the Order of Saint Augustine internationally is located at:
www.osanet.org (in English, Italian and Spanish)