January 28-30, 2014 – At the start of the year 2014, the brothers of the Mindanao Cluster of the Capuchin Philippine Province came together for the FIRST MINDANAO ASSEMBLY OF THE CAPUCHINS at the Baluan friary in General Santos City, Mindanao. It is but fitting that in this important milestone of the Capuchin presence in Mindanao, the brothers should come together at the first friary established there: the friary of Our Lady of Lourdes, Baluan.
The following brothers took part in the assembly: Fr. Eugenio Juanilo Lopez,OFMCap (Minister Provincial), Fr. Rogelio Calaor,OFMCap (Chairman of Mindanao Cluster), Fr. Danilo de la Pena,OFMCap (Parish Priest of Caburan), Fr. Leny Escalada,OFMCap (Administrator of Caburan), Fr. Hilario Kapitbahay,OFMCap (Guardian of Davao Fraternity), Br. Eligio Landingin,OFMCap (Guardian of Baluan Fraternity), Fr. Ricardo Rara,OFMCap (Chaplain of Nuing Mission Station), Fr. Francis Mesina (Parish Priest of Titay), Fr. Francisco Armario,OFMCap, Br. Pio Clemente,OFMCap, Br. Renante Sasi,OFMCap, Br. Renato Vito,OFMCap, Br. Roque Aristotle Padama,OFMCap, Fr. Flavio Lacson,OFMCap, Br. Joel de Jesus,OFMCap, Br. Paulo Jesus Nazareno,OFMCap, Br. Jasper Espanola,OFMCap and Br. Noe Roxas OFMCap.
The occasion gave the brothers a short respite from their challenging missionary work in Mindanao and also gave them an opportunity to get together and re-strengthen fraternal bonds.
During the assembly, the brothers talked about Caburan and Nuing and studied very closely the proposals given by Bishop Guillermo Afable, D.D. regarding them.
They likewise discussed the planned setting up of a Capuchin Custody in Mindanao considering the present situation we are in and set up distinct strategies on how to make it a reality. The brothers came up with two proposals regarding the future Custody and Fr. Rogelio Calaor,OFMCap was tasked to present it to the Philippine Province in the upcoming Provincial Chapter of May 2014.
A greater part of the assembly was dedicated in re-examining the Vision and Mission of the Capuchin presence in Mindanao. After a thorough deliberation and sharing of viewpoints, they came up with the following Vision and Mission statements:
Vision Statement of the Capuchins in Mindanao:
A converted fraternity of Capuchin Friars Minor responding to the signs of the times and the challenges of the new evangelization.
Mission Statement of the Capuchins in Mindanao:
We, the Capuchin Friars Minor in Mindanao, inspired by the Holy Spirit, walking in the path of conversion, commit ourselves to follow our Lord Jesus Christ, in the footsteps of St. Francis of Assisi, living in Gospel brotherhood, prayer, minority, in loving obedience, poverty and in chastity. Conscious of our limitations and sinfulness, yet trusting in the grace of God, we bind ourselves to give witness to the Gospel values through fraternal dialogue with all peoples, promoting the new evangelization, and living preferentially in solidarity with the poor and the marginalized leading to fullness of life under the guidance of the Church, the maternal care of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and the patronage of St. Pio of Pietrelcina.
The drafting of the new Vision and Mission statements greatly clarifies the direction that the brothers in Mindanao would take in the near future. The statements also serve as beacons to guide their paths and decisions as they try their best to respond to the challenge of our present times: THE CHALLENGE TO BE A CHURCH THAT WALKS WITH THE PEOPLE.
Pope Francis: “I prefer a Church which is bruised, hurting and dirty because it has been out on the streets, rather than a Church which is unhealthy from being confined and from clinging to its own security… More than by fear of going astray, my hope is that we will be moved by the fear of remaining shut up within structures which give us a false sense of security, within rules which make us harsh judges, within habits which make us feel safe, while at our door people are starving and Jesus does not tire of saying to us: ‘Give them something to eat’ (Mk 6:37).”
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