by Fr. Willy Jesena, C.Ss.R.
Review of Life
The confreres began the new year with a review of life. This year was the briefest…only one day. The preparation committee must have focussed on important matters only. The apostolic life got the highest mark as confreres spent much time for people. Vocation was zero…our two aspirants did not get the final push to join the community. We still dream of having a new apostolic community in the southern part of the country. Preparatory research had to start soon. We are engaged in a new experiment. Fr. Peter Charoen has been teaching a group of aspiring Korean lay missionaries the Thai language. These will go on mission among the North Korean refugees in Thailand. May our Redeemer make it successful…
A Successful Experiment
Our novice in 2013 spent his Novitiate Year with this plan: 2 months in Korea, 9 months in Lipa, and the last month back in Korea once more. Even though Bro. Damiano had to struggle much to communicate in English, he benefitted very much from community living. He had an Indonesian Novice Master (with Fr. Willy joining in from time to time). The Socius Master was a Thai, and in the last months, an Indonesian. He had to relate day in, day out, with 4 Sri Lankans and three Filipino novices. The Exodus program with novices embracing both male and female Congregations added to the challenges of Redemptorist formation. Bro. Damiano is now professed and ready to enter second year Theology on March 3, in Seoul Archdiocese Regional Seminary.
A Month of Blessings
On January 24th, the new Korean Cardinal, Most Rev. Andrew Yeom, ordained Bro. Stephano Jung to the priesthood, and Bro. Michael Kim to the diaconate. An estimated 700 people joined us in thanksgiving. Then followed days when the two newly ordained responded to invitations from various parishes and religious communities for Masses. As the month was completed on Feb. 23rd, Brother Damiano Sung made his first profession. Now all the Korean confreres are professed. We have 10 priests, two finally professed Brothers, a deacon, a finally professed student in 5th year Theology, but only one in temporary vows. As you see, we need new formands. Join us in praying for vocations. Our newly ordained confrere is now undergoing the Pastoral Initiation Year in a mission village community.
Back to the Novitiate
Fr. Willy have mixed feelings these days. He has been assigned as Assistant Novice Master in Lipa Common Novitiate. It will only be for one year. Every year, until the confrere being trained for this position will be ready, a former Novice Master will be asked to be a Socius for a year. Who will come after Fr. Willy? Still a mystery. Before the new batch of novices begin their Novitiate Year 2014-2015, they will have a Pre-Novitiate formation for one month. This year, it will be in Mariposa with Fr. Willy as the formator in charge. The month will be a combination of community sharing, some inputs, and visits to communities of the Manila Vice Province. The Novice Master, Fr. Enos Bali, and other confreres will assist Fr. Willy. This is a new program, so please assist the Pre Novitiate community with your prayers…