Members of the Marist Fathers and Brothers of the District of Asia held its District Assembly from 26-30 November 2018 at the District house in Davao City, Philippines. Marists from Thailand and Philippines gathered for five days to share and discuss important issues that concern the District’s life and ministries. The purpose of the gathering is to bring all the members of the District together and discern to where the Spirit is calling us as Marists at this time.
Moreover, the gathering was also intended to review the District Chapter 2016 Declarations and Decisions. Some important matters discussed were our Missions in Ranong and Digos, Vocation Promotion, Child Protection and Safeguarding, Marist Laity, and the Statements and Decisions of the General Chapter 2017.
Every day we start with an hour of Eucharistic Adoration and end it by celebrating the Eucharist. We invited Fr. Joaquin Fernandez, SM, our former Superior General to give his impression and observations of the District. Whole day we come as a District to share and discuss agenda presented by the communities. During these times, we were given opportunity to respond and share our thought and ideas regarding issues that are decisive for sustaining our life and our ministries. The sharing was done in the spirit of fraternity, discernment, listening and care.
In the course of the assembly, we attended the funeral of Tatay Pastor Sabud, Fr. Larry’s father. We sympathized with the Sabud family during their time of bereavement and sadness. May Tatay Pastor enter God’s holy dwelling in peace. We also visited and prayed at the tomb of our confrere Fr. Philip Callaghan, SM, an Australian Marist who died in 2006.
In the middle of the week, we have an opportunity also to relax and recreate. We went to Paradise Island and enjoyed the company of one another while taking a plunge in the deep blue sea. It was a time to be re-energized and take a breather from the meeting.
The assembly culminated with vesper where Fr. Chris Ganzon, SM, the District Superior expressed his thanks to all the members of the unit for their lively and active participation during the assembly. As a gift, he gave each community the book of the biography of Fr. Jean Claude Colin. Dinner was served after the prayer which was attended by the members of the Marist Brothers, Marist Sisters, and the International Novitiate community. It was also a happy occasion to welcome the novices and formators in the District. Those who celebrated birthdays and anniversaries in the last few months were recognized and remembered too.
It is hoped and envisioned that whatever we discussed and discerned in the Assembly will bear fruit in our lives, communities but most especially to the poor and abandoned people whom we serve in our various ministries. We are confident that God will give us the graces to do our work with joy and courage. We are confident that Mary, our first and perpetual Superior, will accompany us and encourage us with her prayers and leadings.
We are very grateful to all of you who have prayed for each of us during our assembly. Please continue to pray for us as we continue to bring the Good news and bring hope to the poor.