by Marthy John Silubrico
Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow
Since our last article in Newsplorer, many events had transpired, and now we are looking forward to new events.
First stop, an update from the previous year.
December. Fr. Enos Bulu Bali,C.Ss.R., our novice master, took a month of vacation in Indonesia. There, he spent Christmas as well as New Year with his family and so Fr. Willy Jesena,C.Ss.R., the Socius, began our classes on (Vice) Provincial Statutes. As part of the Christmas celebration, we also accompanied the priests of the Lipa community in celebrating Simbang Gabi (Evening Christmas Novena) in different Barangay Chapels as requested by the San Sebastian Cathedral of Lipa. It was very memorable for us as we remembered our past mission experiences.
And for this year:
January. The cold spell had enveloped Lipa City since the month of December. We, who are not accustomed to this kind of climate, had no choice but to wear thick sweat shirts just to shield ourselves from intense cold especially in the morning when we have our meditation. We continued to go to 14th street for our EXODUS Module (History of Religious Life and Community Living). We had a chance also to experience the fiesta here in Lipa and we visited the houses of shrine volunteers of Divino Amor (Redemptorist-Lipa). If I am not mistaken we almost covered 10 houses before we called it a day.
February. Many things had happened as we strode through the month of love. We had our last EXODUS module which was on Vows in Context. This module is very fitting to cap our novitiate year and journey with fellow novices from different Congregations as we are about to take our first profession of vows. We had also our EXODUS Evaluation, Retreat and Culmination activities. It lasted for three days. The first day was allotted for the evaluation and the venue was our International Novitiate House. We had an open house so that other novices could have a glimpse of our environment. The two other days were held in San Sebastian Retreat House, Lipa City.
We also had the chance to join Alphonsian Gathering. This was a gathering of different Congregations that in one way or another follow the spirituality of our dear founder, St. Alphonsus. It was a one big happy family gathering highlighted by sharing and games. Oh, did I forget to mention that we did it on February 14?
March. Final Retreat. A ten-day retreat for us novices in Tagaytay City. Fr. Allen O’Brien, C.Ss.R of the Province of Cebu, was our retreat master. It was a time for us to reflect as well as reaffirm our decisions for the next step of formation. We thank God for the gift of solitude and openness to the promptings of the Holy Spirit as we looked deeper into ourselves and on God’s gift of vocation to us. We also had our last PSI (Psycho-Spiritual Integration) sessions with Ate Nidz.
As of the moment, we look forward to:
April. New batch of novices will be accepted on April 1, while our batch will finish our Novitiate canonical days on April 15. So from April 1 to April 15, the number of the novices will increase to more than twenty (20). It’s quite a big number for our International Novitiate of the Conference of Asia-Oceania. Praise be to God for the rich vocation!
And so these are the events of yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Thank you everyone for accompanying us in our novitiate formation. Happy Easter!