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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Marists celebrate Easter feast!

IMG_6610Marists around Davao come together to celebrate Easter Sunday. The Chanel community in Tulip Drive hosted the gathering. The formators of the International Novitiate also joined the celebration.

It was a simple and lovely evening of sharing stories and enjoying the  table fellowship. Prior to this, the Marists have worked hard to prepare for the Paschal Triduum and so it was just fitting to relax and be revitalized again for the new week to come.

From all the Marist Fathers here in Asia, we would like to greet all our confreres, friends and mission partners a Happy Easter.

May the Risen Christ bring you blessing, love, joy, hope and peace!

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Four newly professed Marists say “YES” to God

img_5755The Brothers and Priests of the Society Mary was blessed by the Profession of four newly religious members at Marist International Novitiate Community on January 18, 2017.

Yves Tuma (Cameroon, Africa), Emil Kenewata (Bougainville), Hayden Powick (New Zealand)img_5589 and Cameron Mota (Bougainville) professed the vows of Chastity, Obedience and Poverty in a Eucharistic Celebration presided by Fr. Lionel Mechavez, SM, and  concelebrated by Marists priests and  Fr. Al Botero, DCD, the parish priest of San Miguel Parish, Eden, Toril.

On behalf of the Superior General, Fr. Christopher Thadeos R. Ganzon, SM was the homilist as well as received the vows of the newly professed Marists. Fr. Chris in his homily invited the newly professed Marists to be the salt and earth of the world in Mary’s way, living out their religious commitment with joy, confidence and generosity. He reminded them to be men of prayer, to harness their God-given talents, to grow in the Spirit and to be men of mission.

img_5699The celebration was graced by the members of the Marist Family (Marist Brothers, Marist Sisters, The Marist Missionary Sisters and Marist Laity), the Foster parents from Digos, friends and neighbors of the newly professed in particular those who have helped and supported them during the Novitiate year. Acknowledged in a special way were the PM sisters who housed the novices during their 2 month cultural orientation. The RNDM Sisters for accommodating the community for 2 months during the renovation period in the Novitiate house. The Missionaries of Charity for the pastoral placement of the novices in their Home for the Aged Center. The different Marist communities for their welcome and support during the mission immersion of the novices.

After the celebration of the Mass, Sefo (novices-elect) emceed the second part of the day img_5765which is the fellowship lunch. To mark the celebration, the new Marists cut their cake of joy and gratitude! Hayden Powick gave the words of thanks on behalf of his companions in English and in Bisayan language which everyone enjoyed while listening to his slang Bisayan accent. He was great though! He expressed his gratitude to all the people who helped them during their novitiate especially their formators. He asked everyone to continue to pray for them as they begin their religious life.

The profession day went very well. All were very happy and blessed by God and by Mary.

As the newly professed depart to go back to their own country, a new batch of novices are about to begin their novitiate. We are blessed to have 5 men who will begin their novitiate this year. The group is composed of 2 Mexicans, 1 Fijian, 1 African, and 2 Oceanians.

We congratulate our newly professed Marists. Rest assured of our prayers for your new journey.

Prayers and blessing, brothers! Cheers!

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Marist Bridge giving mercy and love

The group of former Marist seminarians who called themselves “Bridgers” held a reach out program to the people of Bandera in Digos City on December 4, 2016.

reach-out-9Led by their coordinator, Wilfredo Francisco, they travelled and spent time with the people of Bandera. The place is located on a mountain which is one of the areas served by the Marist Fathers.

The rain did not hinder the group to do the activity. They prepared food for the people and even gave some gifts and supplies. They had a wonderful time with the people who welcomed them in their place.

The group was very grateful to Fr. Pat and Fr. Arnold who welcomed them in Matti.  Theyreach-out-6 were also grateful for the many people and their friends who have generously shared financial and material resources to make the reach out possible and fruitful

Great initiative, Bridgers! You have given joy to the people of Bandera who were touched by your generosity and kindness. Continue to be an instruments of mercy and love to others.

Thank you also for supporting the Marist mission in Matti District Catholic Center.

Well done!
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Two new Marist priests ordained in Davao.

dsc_9486The Society of Mary-District of Asia is blessed to have 2 newly ordained priests.

Fr. Roque Rebito, sm from Lebak, Sultan Kudarat and Fr. John Gou Wang, sm from China were ordained by Archbishop Romulo Valles, DD, Archbishop of Davao at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish on November 17, 2016 in Davao City, Philippines.

Prior to the ordination, Fr. Roque and Fr. John had a recollection with their faimg_4467mily where there they have the opportunity to meet, pray and share their feelings and thoughts regarding the ordination. Each of their family promised to continue to support them with prayers.

Attending their ordination was their families who travelled from Lebak and China to grace this beautiful occasion. Among those who attended were Fr. John Hannan, sm, the superior general of the Society of Mary as well as Fr. Pat Breeze, sm, the novice master of img_4554Fr. Roque and Fr. John in their novitiate. Many Marist priests concelebrated with some diocesan priests and religious who have known Fr. Roque and Fr. John. Members of the Marist family, friends and relatives have all come to celebrate and witness the ordination.

In his homily, Archbishop Valles, DD reminded Fr. Roque and Fr. John that they are ordained not only for the Society of Mary but for the whole Church. He continued to say that as priests they are to live and minister as the person and presence of Jesus Christ.  He challenged them to be instruments of mercy and to live out the virtues of Mary.

img_4675After the ordination rite, lunch was prepared. During the reception, the SMSM sisters through their students rendered a traditional Tongan dance which Fr. Roque and Fr. John joined along with other guests. Fr. Roque has lived and worked in Tonga for two years during his Pastoral Year as a seminarian.

img_4540The celebration ended with the singing of the Salve Regina to honor Mary for graciously choosing Fr. Roque and Fr. John to bear her name and do her work. Fr. John Hannan, sm gave the final blessing.

We thanked their own families for their joyful sacrifice and generously offering Fr. Roque and Fr. John to God, to the Church and to the Society of Mary. We are grateful also for the many people who have helped, journeyed and prayed for them during their formative years.dsc_9329-2

May we continue to support and pray for them as they begin their life and ministry as Marist priests.

Fr. Roque is the 13th Filipino Marist to be ordained and Fr. John is the first Chinese Marist.

Congratulations Fr. Roque and Fr. John. Blessings and happy years ahead!


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