AOFC Conference 2013

Formators from the different Oblate units in the Asia-Oceania region gathered together in Manila and Cotabato City for the biennial Asia-Oceania Formators Conference from January 13 to 19. Delegates came from Australia, Bangladesh, Hong Kong/China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Sri Lanka, Thailand-Laos, and Vietnam with the Philippines as the host province. This year’s theme was “The Context of the Youth Today” (Contextual Formation). The objectives were:

(1) to provide a forum to listen, converse and exchange ideas based on the theme;

(2)  to discern and be aware of the spirituality, values, attitudes, and interests of today’s youth;

(3) to be able to revisit the present formation program and explore the possibilities vis-à-vis the context of youth;

(4) to strengthen the fraternal bonds among the AO formators;

(5) to have a glimpse of the context of the formation of the Philippine Province;

(6) to clarify AOFC issues and concerns.

The delegates then flew to Cotabato City and had the chance to visit the different formation houses in Tamontaka and the Juniorate at Notre Dame University.
Speakers at the Cotabato session were Archbishop Orlando QUEVEDO, OMI, who talked about “The Challenges of Formation in Today’s Context.” Archbishop Quevedo then celebrated the Holy Eucharist and ended the session with a sumptuous meal. The afternoon speaker was Fr. Jun MERCADO, who talked about formation within the concrete socio-political realities such as the recent Peace Agreement. Plenary sessions followed each talk.

A Business Meeting followed the next day. The agenda included:

(1) the recent directives and concerns from the General Formation Committee regarding oblatology, formation of formators, common preparation for perpetual vows and internationality. The presenter was Fr. Francis ZABALA;

(2) the Oblate International Scholasticate in Manila: a review and update reported by Fr. Mon BERNABE;

(3) issues on formation of formators, challenges of being a formator, the formation of Brothers and concerns coming from the General Formation Committee, presented by Fr. Paul MARIAMPILLAI.

In the afternoon, the delegates visited Notre Dame of Midsayap College where they were welcomed by Fr. Rogelio TABUADA, the administrative staff, faculty and students. The delegates were entertained with songs and dances from the students followed by a light meal. The delegates then headed to Santo Niño Parish where they concelebrated the Novena Mass in honor of Santo Niño. They were warmly welcomed by Frs. Zalde OROLA, Jerry VILLAS, and the parishioners with a sumptuous dinner. (Noel GARCIA in www.omiphil.org)

(Source: OMI Communications, www.omiworld.org)

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