Letter from France #3

Dear friends,

Greetings from La Neylière, France.

La NeyliereFr Christopher and I continue to enjoy and benefit from the Colinian Renewal programme here in Southern France.

The weather has been nicer lately, with blue skies and sunshine. La Neylière is surrounded with colourful flowers, plants and blooming trees.

Near CerdonSome of the highlights recently is the stimulating input from different lecturers, and the pilgrimage to places of Marist origins.

Fr Alois Greiler, a German Marist priest, gave us two days of solid and reflective input about the life, mission and martyrdom of St Peter Chanel in Futuna, as well as his meaning to the Marists and Church of today. We are very proud of and inspired by Peter Chanel’s courageous missionary life – the first Marist saint.

Chris and Kabs in CuetOn the feast day of St Peter Chanel, April 28th, we had a pilgrimage to Cuet, where he was born and grew up. Then we celebrated Mass in the church in Cuet. We also visited the museum of Peter Chanel there.

School in Belley w_ Sr TeriAfter Cuet, we continued our pilgrimage to places of humble Marist beginnings in Belley, Cerdon, and the Bugey mountains. Sr. Teri O’Brien of the Marist Sisters gave us a big welcome in Bon Repos, Belley.

We also had the privilege of visiting the older Marist Missionary Sisters in Ste Foy, Lyons. These sisters were very generous and daring missionaries to Oceania and Africa. We also learned that three sisters have recently set out again to start a new mission with refugees in Cameroon, in partnership with Jesuit Refugee Services.

As part of our programme, Fr Chris and I have shared about the culture of Asia, with special focus on the Philippines. We have also shared about the Marist communities and mission of the District of Asia.

God bless,

Fr Kevin Medilo SM

Letter from Manila #1

Dear friends,

Greetings from the busy streets of Manila!CPE Group

Roque and I have settled-in well here in Manila. We have been renting a small room with a double-decked bed here in the heart of the city.

We started our Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) course on 23rd March at Manila Doctors Hospital (Madocs), located at UN Avenue, just a 10 minute walk from our boarding house.

CPE group uniformOur group – composed of 5 religious sisters, 8 diocesan seminarians from St. Mary’s Theologate in Osamiz City, and 1 from the Seventh Day Adventist Church – is the 21st CPE batch at Manila Doctors. The program aims to help us gain skills in assisting the patients who are assigned to us. Furthermore, it helps us to know and confront our life issues. We pursue these aims by means of verbatim papers and processing every week.

At this time, we are having our Mid-Point Evaluation, which means that we are halfway through the course. For the past months, we have been visiting the patients at Madocs. Talking with patients and their relatives allows us to share their vulnerable health conditions and their personal stories. Personally, every time I hear their stories of pain, struggles and joy, I feel for them and somehow, beyond the skills that we are gaining, God gives me the grace to be a compassionate and merciful minster to them.

CPE large groupFurthermore, as I minister among the patients through my visits, our group session everyday gives us a venue to evaluate and process the stories of pain, struggle and joy in my own life. This has helped me to recognize my own wounds, whilst allowing God to transform them into a grace-filled awareness for me to become an effective minister.

CPE - Roque's b'dayFinally, as a temporary community of two Marists here in Manila, we had the opportunity to celebrate Roque’s birthday on 24th April. Roque was very thankful to God for the surprise Mañanita we gave him. In thanksgiving, we had a simple lunch together with our new CPE friends.

God bless you all.

Br Niño Memorial SM