Bro. Roque, SM reflects on his renewal of Vows

DSCF1399Bro. Roque Rebito, SM, a Filipino Marist seminarian on Pastoral in Tonga renewed his Vows on 22 March at Api-fo’ou College Hall in Tonga.  Fr. Pat Devlin, SM, Philippine District Superior received his vows. He reflects:

I am a temporary professed Marist Religious for three years now. Every renewal is a special time for it gives me opportunity to look back and see the small steps and big steps that I have taken in this life and also to look forward and anticipate what life would be if I would continue traversing the less travelled road.  My voice still trembles, my feet shakes, my heart pumps faster than normal. My renewal is a manifestation of the great love of God. The love of God and my love of mission keep me going to continue sailing in my Marist journey.

My renewal of vows this year is a unique experience. Renewing my vows outside Philippines is a different experience. I personally experience how God looks after those who trust and believe in Him. Life has been full of challenges in the mission but God has been so great.

I renewed my vows in the presence of the students, staffs, friends, and confrères. The school tried to make the occasion more special. They beautifully sang two of my favourite songs. It was a fist time experience to most of them to witness a renewal. I personally wanted to renew my vows in the school for many reasons; to promote vocation, to awaken the desire of the young people to choose religious life, and also to show my gratitude to the students and staffs of the whole school for welcoming me in their place and them being part of my journey.

I am grateful to Fr. Patrick Devlin, sm (my superior) for his presence and who personally accepted my vows and for the support of the whole District of the Philippines-Thailand. I am also grateful for the support of my Marist confreres here in Tonga and to all who have been part of my Marist journey; my family and many friends.


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Bro. Nino, recommits himself to the SM

Bro.Nino recites the formula of the Profession, while Fr. Gil and Kirsten stood behind him as witnesses.
Bro.Nino recites the formula of the Profession, while Fr. Gil and Kirsten stood behind him as witnesses.

Bro. Nino Memorial,sm, from Sto. Nino, South Cotabato, renewed his temporary vows in the Marist Community in Ranong, Thailand, on March 25, 2013. With the presence of the MMR volunteers and staffs, Nino joyfully committed himself once again to the church and to the Society of Mary. Fr. Kevin Medilo accepted the vows in behalf of the Superior General.  Fr. Gil Casio, sm and Kirsten Sloan, a health volunteer from New Zealand, stood as witnesses of Nino’s promise.

In his homily, Fr. Frank Bird encouraged Nino to be gentle and be patient to himself everytime he fails to reach his expectations in living the Religious Life. He also emphasized Nino’s role as a religious in today’s time, i.e. to be the light of this generation.

Nino is very thankful to his Marist confreres and to his family who have been part of his journey as a Marist Religious. Particularly, he offers this commitment to his deceased father, who has been so supportive, even until his death.





Fr. Suni, SM visits Marists in Mindanao

Tongan Marist Fr. Suni Halapio, SM visits the Marists in Mindanao. He just finished his 3 month Sabbatical Course in EAPI (East Asian Pastoral Institute) in Manila, Philippines. Fr. Suni came to the Philippines in 2010 during the meeting of the MAP leaders in Davao. This is his 2nd visit to the island. Since his visit falls during the Holy week, he will be joining in some of the liturgical celebrations as well as meeting with other Marists living and working in Mindanao. He will return to Tonga for a short vacation and will be assigned in the island of Futuna.

We are happy to welcome to Fr. Suni here in the Philippines! Prayers and blessing in his new journey and mission.

A Pilgrimage in Rome

IMG_4274Rome is the holy city for worldwide Christians just like Rome Forum for the tourists who are coming from over the world. Today more pilgrims from different parts of the world are visiting Rome every day. By the grace of God, I become one of them. Living and studying in Rome is a great gift from God, which I never expected for; it is a pilgrimage that is taking place first time in my life. In this pilgrimage God blesses me with so many surprises: second week of my arrival in Rome, I had a chance to attend Pope’s speech on catechism and I was standing so close to Pope that I touched his hands. I praised God with inexpressible excitement for this unexpected blessing. On second month in Rome, our community organized a pilgrimage to Assisi. For a week, we spent every day on prayer, contemplation and reflection.

Every Sunday morning I spend about 2 hours walking to Saint Peter’s Basilica and attend the Holy mass together with pilgrims who come from over the world. On the way walking to Saint Peter’s Basilica, I pass many churches that are standing beside the roads; I deeply feel how the early Christians and Saints who suffered from the persecution of Rome Emperor kept Christian faith growing through building up churches that are dedicated to the power of God.

I treasure every moment here in Rome. It is a remarkable period of my faith journey. I have seen more and more people are becoming attractive to the power of God and coming closer to God; living within Marist international community, I have experienced the grace of God bringing each diversity toward the goal of fulfilling the will of Heavenly Father.

John Guowang, Marist student studying Theology in Rome

Fr. Frank Bird, SM joined Philippine Mission District

IMG_3132New Zealand Marist Fr. Frank Bird, SM has arrived in Ranong, Thailand. He is the new member of the Philippine Mission District.

Before joining the Philippine District, Fr. Frank has worked in New Zealand in schools and youth ministry. Recently, he received the Delargey Awards given by the New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference recognizing his significant and out-standing contributions in the field of Catholic youth ministry in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Welcome Fr. Frank to the District of the Philippines. Fruitful years in your Marist life in Asia!