Degree in Philosophy for John Cris, Mark Emzee, and JV Rosebert

received_2052705911411589After 4 years of studying at St. Francis Xavier College Seminary in Davao City, 3 Marist seminarians completed their degree in Philosophy last March 15, 2018. The graduation ceremony was held in REMASE Gym attended by their parents, friends, priests and bishops.

The graduates are John Cris Duerme (Mlang), Mark Emzee Lazaga (Upi), JV Rosebert Burdas (Upi). Together with their 36 classmates, they celebrated their baccalaureate mass presided by Arch. Romulo Valles, DD, the archbishop of Davao. In his homily, Arch. Valles reminded the graduates that their vocation and completion of philosophical are works of God that they should be grateful for. He also thanked their parents for giving their children to the Church to be trained as priests.

During the graduation ceremony, rector Fr. Orlando Angelia, conferred on them the Degree on Classical Philosophy. Fr. Angelia reminded the graduates that their graduation to philosophical studies is not the end but a beginning to another stage of formation which is the theological studies. He further reminded them that as disciples of Christ, they keep learning to follow and love him deeply to enable them to serve the Church effectively.

A happy celebration followed at St. Peter Chanel Community  house. During the simple program, their parents expressed their joy of seeing their sons complete their college studies. They expressed their gratitude to the Marist Fathers for welcoming and shaping their children to the values of Christ. Their parents encouraged their sons to continue in their chosen vocation. They are ready to sacrifice and offer their love and prayers as well. In return, each graduate expressed his gratitude to his parents and to the Marist fathers as well. They owed their achievement to God and to many people who supported and prayed for each of them.

Fr. Lauro Arcede, SM as formator spoke on behalf of the Society expressed his gratitude for the trust of the parents to send their sons to the community. He also reminded the parents to support and continue praying for their sons even if their sons may take a different path in their journey.

JV and Emzee will continue with their postulancy program. Johncris will have his own summer program too. Well done, JV, Emzee and John Cris on your graduation.

Congratulations! We are proud of you!


Fr. Arnold Garferio, SM reflects on his priesthood anniversary

20180202_061231Last February 2, I celebrated my fifth anniversary as a Marist priest. Looking back, it has been a beautiful and grace-filled journey. My experiences, both the joys and challenges, of being a priest have made me firmed to response generously to God’s invitation to serve His people.

The ministries I have rendered to the District also contributed a lot to widen my horizon of what does it mean to be a Marist missionary-priest. The Marist communities as well are important places for me. I find joy, encouragement and support from my confreres. Our community prayers and brotherly love has also been the source of energy in doing my ministries. Serving people from different cultural backgrounds enriches the universal call of my priesthood. I have to serve anyone, regardless of their faith and traditions, colour or race, gender, status and positions in the society.

At this early stage of priestly life I have reflected upon the importance of spiritual life and (formation) as well as a sound understanding of our human giftedness to sustain my priestly vocation. May Our Lady continue to guide me as I follow her Son Jesus.

Prayers and congratulations, Fr. Arnold. Ad multos annos!


First Profession to the Society of Mary

FB_IMG_1516289160056On January 18, 2018,  five young men from four nations make commitment to live as Marist religious. They are Josefo Amuri (Fiji), Jaime Perez and Carlos Olivares (Mexico), Christian Ngoura (Cameroon) and Timothy Hare (Solomon Island).

It is a grace-filled occasion. We witness the great desires of these young men to answer God’s call to follow Him. In doing so, they will be marked with new identity.

Fr. Pat Devlin in his homily says, “You will bear the name MARY. You will be called MARISTS. And the sign of that will be SM you sign at the end of your name which will help you to remember.” He also reminded the 5 newly professed Marists by other meanings which the SM stands for: (Serve Mary; Share Magnanimously; Share the Mission; Same Mind; Sacrifice Myself; and Still a Marist).

The Marist Family was all represented during the ocassion. Attending also the profession was the foster families of the novices from Digos,  friends from Digos and Davao and other religious men and women who the novices met during their Novitiate.

A lovely and simple meal was shared together by all the visitors.

The following day, the newly professed Marists travelled back to their own home country to continue their formation. They are grateful to all the prayers and support they have received during their time in the Philippines.

Heartfelt congratulations to you, brothers Cheers and blessings!

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Young people attend Marist Vocation Jamboree

20170903_104307“Share the gentle presence of God to the world, as Mary did.” This is the theme of the Marist Vocation Jamboree 2017 held in Matti District Catholic Centre, Brgy. Matti, Digos City, Philippines last September 2-3, 2017.  The event was hosted by the Marist Fathers’ Community in Matti, Digos City headed by Fr. Christopher Thadeos Ganzon, s.m.  The activities were facilitated by the vocations directors of the Marist Fathers, Marist Sisters, and Marist Missionary Sisters.  The Marist Brothers of the School were celebrating a perpetual profession of vows and several candidates took first profession of vows on the same day when the Jamboree was happening.

The event intended to introduce the Marist history, spirituality, ministries and vocations to the young people who were seeking to respond to God’s call.  It was a combination of lectures, reflection and sharing, games, prayer, meeting new people and experiencing the missionary parish of Matti ministered by the Marist Fathers.

Several participants expressed their delight for their experience and expressed their desire to keep in contact with the Marists.


New leadership structure in the District of Asia.


For 36 years, the District of Asia has a unique structure in terms of Council since all the perpetually professed Marists are members. This kind of structure has helped and worked in continuing the life and mission of the Marist Fathers in Asia since today.

This year however, after an encouragement from the Superior General Fr. John Hannan, SM and careful discernment and deliberations amongst all members, the District will have its own elected council leaders. Thus, in July 2017, an election was held for the three councillors. The District Superior has already been elected in 2012.

The leadership team for the District of Asia is composed of:

District Superior:

Fr. Patrick John Devlin, SM


Fr. Christopher Thadeos Ganzon, SM (vicar)

Fr. Hermes Larry Sabud, SM

Fr. Lauro Arcede, SM

In 2017, history has been made as we start this structure in our administration here in Asia. We hope that you will pray for our leaders as they begin their duties and responsibilities. In spite of this small council, we still strive to be united and fraternally supportive with each other this year and the years to come.

Congratulations and all the best to the new leadership team!


Marist Fathers in Asia hold annual retreat

IMG_6769Every Marist is required to make an annual retreat, normally in common” (SM Constitution # 125).

During the months of March and May this year, the District of Asia Fathers took time off from their ministries to do their annual retreat. The theme of the retreat was: Marists’ Communion in God’s mission. Fr. Larry Sabud, SM was the retreat facilitator.

Marist priests assigned in our mission in Ranong Thailand had their retreat on 27-31 March 2017 at Seven Fountains retreat house in Changmai. It was an experienced of grace and real communion with God and with one another. The confreres were encouraged and inspired from the input as well for coming together in prayer and reflections.IMG_1731

On the other hand, Marists who are assigned in Davao and Digos had their retreat on 8-12 May 2017 at the Our Lady of Matutum Trappistine Nuns Monastery in Polomolok. Again, we felt blessed and motivated to continue our mission knowing that the Holy Trinity is the one calling and sending us to manifest God’s love and mercy to the vulnerable people God has entrusted to our care.

IMG_6754We thanked Fr. Larry for leading us in our retreat this year. He has shared deep thoughts and insights on the Trinity, Mission and the Holy Spirit as well as the Marist values and spirituality. He himself is a concrete example of everything that he has shared with us.

One of the highlights of our retreat at Polomolok was the cordial and jovial ‘audience’ with the 35 nuns who live and work in the monastery.

We also would like to be grateful to all of you who have accompanied us with your prayers. Your spiritual support really helped us to have to have a wonderful communion with the Lord and with each other. As you prayed for us, many of you were also remembered and prayed in our prayers and mass celebrations.

May our retreat bear fruits to our individual lives and to the people we serve in our missions.

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