Philippines. The Provincial Chapter was formally opened at 8:00 AM with the enthronement of the Word of God led by the Vicar Provincial and Prefect of Spirituality, Fr. Victor Sadaya, CMF. Seated at the presidential table were Fr. Josep Abella, CMF, the General Superior and
presider, Fr. Renato Manubag, CMF, the Provincial Superior, and Fr. Benedict Dilag, CMF, the Provincial Secretary.
Before beginning his reflection, Fr. Josep Abella, CMF, read a number in the Claretian directory regarding the absence of chapter members, since Fr. Angel Calvo, CMF has not yet arrived from a conference in Indonesia. He arrived later in the afternoon.
The President then brought to mind some reflections on the last General Chapter and its focus on how to live our missionary vocation today. He noted the changes in the composition of the General Chapter members, wherein 23% were from Asia. Thus there is a challenge of interculturality in the congregation.
He also raised some concerns of the congregation, like the decline of the number of brothers who contribute a lot in helping us focus on our religious and missionary identity rather than in the clerical state. In this regard, he congratulated a Filipino Claretian brother, Arnel Alcober, CMF who works at the Claretian Secretariat for Justice and Peace of the Congregation in Rome. He ended with the recommendation that the Philippines should be thankful to the generous Claretians who came to the Philippines to start and continue the mission.
After his inspiring message, we proceeded to the formalities of opening the Provincial chapter. The Claretian directory and Constitutions were read; Fr. Benedict Dilag, was elected Chapter Secretary; the chapter rules were approved. The President asked the chapter members to write in a piece of paper some nominees to become moderators.
Later he made the following appointments: Frs. Elias Ayuban Jr. and Victor Sadaya, moderators;
Frs. Desiderio Martin and Maximino Rodriguez, checkers of the minutes;
Fr. Christopher Ligason, communications;
Fr. Angelito Ancla, chronicler;
Frs. Jonathan Bitoy, Efren Limpo and Samuel Canilang, drafting committee.
The schedule of the provincial chapter was approved. Fr. Abella presented the dynamics of the groupings for the discussion of the reports of the different prefectures.
After a short break, the provincial secretary, Fr. Benedict Dilag, presented a summary of the Government Report. It was followed by the financial report presented by the Provincial Econome, Fr. Santiago Gonzalez. Lunch followed. In the afternoon, the reports were studied first personally and then by groups.
At 6:30 PM, Fr. Josep Abella, presided over the mass, assisted by Fr. Santiago Gonzalez, CMF. The homily was shared by both. Dinner followed after the mass.
The whole body gathered at 8:15 PM to begin the reporting of the different groups. Very limited comments were made. After the group reports, every member was given a sheet for the election sounding. The meeting ended at around 9:00 PM.