By Dennis D. Galan
The acceptance ceremony marked the beginning of the canonical year for the 9 novices for the Formation Year 2016-2017. The 9 candidates coming from 5 units of the conference arrived for this year’s novitiate program. This group is composed of 4 Filipinos, 3 coming from the Province of Cebu and 1 from the Vice Province of Manila; and 5 other different nationalities composed of 1 from the Province of Bangkok, Thailand, 2 from the Region of Korea and another 2 from the Region of Colombo, Sri Lanka.
During the opening mass, they formally expressed their desire to join in the novitiate program of the congregation and accepted by Rev. Fr. Ariel Lubi, C.Ss.R., Superior of the Vice-Province of Manila and the coordinator of the common novitiate program with Fr. Enos Bulu Bali, C.Ss.R. and Fr. Willy Jesena, C.Ss.R., the Novice Master and Socius respectively. The newly installed novices then received the copy of the constitution and statutes of the congregation, the “Ratio Formationes Novitiatus” and Redemptorist cross as symbols of their journey to their canonical year.
The event was also graced by the members of the Redemptorists Lipa community namely Fr. Dennis Despues, C.Ss.R., Community Superior; Fr. Ernie Garcia, C.Ss.R.; Fr. Raymond Urriza, C.Ss.R. and Fr. Leo Mar Arenillo, C.Ss.R. Lunch party followed after the mass and the ceremony. The senior novices were also present and did all the preparations for the occasion.
The following are the novices of the Common Novitiate of the Asia-Oceania Conference for the Formation Year 2016-2017:
- Province of Cebu: JON REY ISMAEL P. BATAYOLA, DENNIS D. GALAN, J-LOUIE M. MARTINEZ
- Region of Korea: JEONG SIK PARK, HAN KYUNG TAEK
- Province of Thailand: THANAKRIT MAHALAPCHAI
- Vice-Province of Manila: RUEL A. BALUZO
- Region of Colombo, Sri Lanka: J.A.D. THARINDU NUWAN, N. SUMETH SUMEDA FERNANDO.
These young men speak different languages and came from various cultures and with distinct family histories but with the same goal in coming together in the formation. They are many but with only one desire of becoming a disciple of St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori in the mission of proclaiming plentiful redemption to the poor and the most abandoned. They envisioned themselves to become missionaries who are strong in faith, rejoicing in hope, burning with charity, on fire with zeal, in humility of heart and persevering in prayer and follow Christ the Redeemer with hearts full of joy, denying themselves and always ready to undertake what is demanding, share in the mystery of Christ and proclaim it in Gospel simplicity of life and language, that they may bring to people plentiful redemption (Cons. 20).
Immediately after the installation, the novices started knowing each other and integrating themselves in the different Redemptorists communities in the Vice-Province of Manila. They commenced their ecumenical year with the Month of Integration program. This year, the candidates began their stay in the community as novices already for the formation has changed the pre-novitiate program to the month of integration as part of the novitiate year.