by Alvin Alba,CSsR
New life, new beginning. It has been 3 months since life here in SATMI once again began. And so far it has been as colorful as the recent Kadayawan Festival.
At the start of the new school year it also marks the beginning of new life especially for us newcomers and newly-professed – and a time of adjustment and at the same time establishing rapports. In just a span of three months a lot of activities already happened such as the recent successful cultural week that ended with a bang. The cultural night (fund-raising) on July 31, 2015 featured SATMI talents and the kabilin theatre group. It was for the benefit of the Nuing Mission.
This year the Redemptorist Formation Community is blessed to have twenty-eight in-house students coming from different units from Asia-Ocenia. Eight first years were added to the community, Province of Cebu- Alvin Alba, Leony Cajilig, Jose Lemue lNadorra, Joey Trillo, Dominic Simbajon; Vice-Province of Manila-Jeffrey Lozano;Province of Thailand Thanapong “Bank” Sawangtammakul, Peerapat “James” Wijitwong as well as two Indonesian fifth year brothers, Fernandez “Fenan” Nangkang and Domisianus Erbing “Erwyn” Wahyu. There were also returnees from their one year foreign and local mission, Jomil Baring – Indonesia, Neil John Capidos– Thailand, Rey Regan Gatdula– Bicol, and Ranmal Fernando –Sri Lanka and Vincent Hoang ThanhTinh-Philippines. As of the moment five students are also having their foreign immersions (Mark Benedicto – Laos, Allan Edward Pandaan – Thailand, Christopher Sta. Ana – Vietnam, and Deesri “Big” Kokiat – Indonesia).
SATMI is quite interesting now since we have a new set of community members. We have Fr. Bert as rector, Fr. James Narisma as parish priest, Fr. Manoling as the church prefect, David Jieng as the formator of the students, Fr. Galen as the socious (soon-coming) and Fr. Arnel as the Pastoral in-charge. We also have Fr. Victoriano Cueto as the SATMI Director and Bro. Karl who is busy dividing his time teaching and conducting mission in Nuing. This semester is also a blessing to have Frs. Patrick Massang and Gerard Louis as visiting professors. As of the moment we are also visited by a dear confrere from Australia, Fr. Michael Mason.
In addition, the past months have been defined by twists and turns, a lot of activities have happened and it was nothing else but fun. Life indeed does not stop here in RFC.
Although some of us have just finished their midterm exams the coming weeks promised to be hectic for us students since some of us still have papers (research, thesis) to submit. One would even see some lights turned-on from some of the student’s room in the middle of the night. However, despite the busy schedules, most of us here do not forgot to pray to gather and ask strength from the Lord. From time to time we also have creative liturgies that nonetheless add color to our spiritual life. In addition Fr. Allen O’Brein and Tom Tancinco come here regularly every two months to direct our spiritual journey.
We have also been doing our apostolate in different areas in the parish every Saturday evening. On a personal note, the apostolate is one of those fulfilling activities that I never grow tired of even after the academic bombardment. For some of us it even has become a source of inspiration, especially in being of service to Christ and others.
Finally, with regard to the physical condition, despite of the hectic schedule and academic demands some of us are getting in shape for the upcoming friendly games with the Regional Major Seminary (REMASE). It has become a challenge to SATMI volleyball team to avenge their defeat last semester and for the SATMI basketball dream team to finally beat REMASE(Satmihas not beaten Remase yet in basketball).Such hype is now present for basketball fanatics here and everyone is hoping to realize that dream or else it will stay as a dream.
We continue to ask for your prayers as we continue in our journey and formation.