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Inter-Provincial Secretariat for Mission and Evangelization Meeting

25 – 27 May, Cebu (Philippines)

29 May 2023

The Secretariat for Mission and Evangelizations of the Province of San Pedro Bautista and Province of Saint Anthony of Padua in the Philippines gathered for a meeting with the General Secretary for Mission and Evangelization, Br Francisco Gomez Vargas, OFM and the General Animator for Mission and Evangelization, Br Dennis Tayo, OFM. It was held at the Franciscan Retirement Community, Minglanilla, Cebu, Philippines on May 25-27, 2023. Graced with presence of the Minister Provincial of Saint Anthony of Padua, Br Renee Dean, OFM, the gathering was participated by the animators of the different ministries of the two entities in the Philippines.

The gathering focused on reflecting the General Document Ite Nuntiate: the Guidelines for the New Forms of Life and Mission in the Order of Friars Minor vis-à-vis the current forms of life and mission of each entity in the Philippines. The document hopes to utilize the concrete experiences of the brothers regarding missions and evangelization.

It was highlighted that traditional way of doing mission and evangelization can be a way of establishing New Forms of Life and Mission since they are very rich grounds to initiate these New Forms. However, the brothers reflected that we need to have a reorientation regarding the term “New Forms.” There is a need to go back to the roots of our charism and to ask what our identity is. There has to be a Franciscan mark in all our ministries.

The brothers further reflected that the term “new” could be a misnomer. This is because there is an understanding that it may imply leaving our old ministries in favor of the new. Thus, what we need is to have reorientation in our own context in the Philippines. There is a suggestion that instead of the term “new”, as entities in the Philippines, we could use “integral” or “wholistic” Forms of Life and Mission.

The participants shared their present difficulties and challenges in living the New Forms of Life and Mission. At the end, common resolutions were made for both entities:
1. that an ongoing discernment and reflection on New Forms of Life and Missions be made to be facilitated by the respective Definitorium utilizing the output of the gathering;
2. that friars working with/and among the poor from the two entities in the Philippines gather for a meeting to reflect experiences and opportunities for New Forms of Life and Missions.

 

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