Sr. Mary Anne summarized her work in HEAL as “learning from individuals and groups in a “mutually enhancing” Human-Earth relationship. It is an experience of drawing a tremendous power, wonder, beauty, vitality, and energy when we truly connect with the Earth and her life. It is a day-to-day life of walking in the sacredness of the Earth, a gratitude to the primal revelation of God in creation and a life lived in contemplation.”
The Opening Ritual was a “grounding meditation on the five elements: Fire, Water, Air, Earth, and Spirit.
January 17 was the last day of the symposium. Before the closing Eucharistic celebration, the three resource speakers, namely, Fr. Denis Edwards, Dr. Douglas Christie, and Sr. Mary Anne Bellosillo, MMS, responded to comments and questions from the participants.
The closing Eucharist was presided by Fr. Bonifacio Fernandez, CMF with fellow Claretians in ICLA: Fr. Samuel Canilang and Fr. Jonathan Bitoy.Before the final blessing, Sr. Amelia Vasquez thanked the ICLA employees, staff, resource speakers, participants, and all those who have helped in the preparation and holding of the 3-day symposium. She also announced the short courses on January 18-22, 2016 that were part of the Religious Life Week 2016.
RECAPITULATION OF RELIGIOUS LIFE WEEK – DAY 2
Prepared by Prof. Carmencita Rojas
The second day of the Religious Life Week 2016 started with an Opening Prayer led by the ICLA Vietnamese students.
In his second talk entitled A Dark Stillness: What the Night Can Teach Us, Dr. Douglas Christie had five sections.
• Entering the darkness: becoming lost, facing the abyss
• The way of Unknowing (the apophatic tradition)
• The night in contemporary discourse
II. A Journey through the High Desert of the Andes
• The road to Laguna Grande
• Encounter with Los Flamencos del Altiplano
• The unknowable: humility and respect for mystery
• “We are measured by vastness beyond ourselves.” (Simon Ortiz)
III. The Night in Contemporary Human Experience
• Seeking “the God beyond God” (Meister Eckhart)
• “The Baptism of Solitude” (Paul Bowles)
• “Make me night” (Fernando Pessoa)
• Faithful and Virtuous Night (Louise Gluck)
IV. Painfully Aware: Learning to be Lost in the Night
• Entering the Void of the Desert (Edmund Jabés)
• How far does our responsibility go (toward one another, toward the living world)?
• Recognizing our lostness: a way of practicing solidarity
• Dwelling “deep in the lostness” (John of Ruusbroec)
• The difficulty of getting lost (Alejandro Zambra, Ways of Going Home)
• Becoming “painfully aware” (Laudato Si)
V. Conclusion: Entering the Vastness of the Night
Like on the first day of the Religious Life Week 2016 event, there was also Dyad Sharing after the two talks, followed by the Open Forum.
Recapitulation of Religious Life Week Day 1
Prepared by Dr. Tessa Rosana
The Institute for Consecrated Life in Asia started its 23rd celebration of Religious Life Week on the 15th of January 2016. The theme for this year’s celebration is Care for our Common Home in the Cosmos: Ecological Conversion in Religious Life.
The Opening Prayer was led by the students of ICLA from the Philippines and their friends from Indonesia, Malawi, and Vietnam.
In his welcome address, Fr. Samuel H. Canilang, CMF – Director of ICLA – gave the reasons for the choice of this year’s theme and resource speakers.
The whole welcome address is included as a feature article of RLW 2016.
The resource speaker on the first day of the symposium was Fr. Denis Edwards from Australia.
There were two main talks given by Fr. Edwards. The first talk focused on Jesus and the Natural World: The Theological Concept of Deep Incarnation, and the second talk dealt with the Eucharist and Ecological Conversion.
Fr. Denis Edwards summarized his second talk about the Eucharist and Ecological Conversion in four statements:
We bring the whole creation to the Eucharistic table.
In the Eucharist, we praise God with animals and plants, rivers and hills, stars and galaxies.
In each Eucharist, we keep a memorial of both creation and redemption.
Each Eucharist is an event of communion — of what Pope Francis calls sublime communion — with the rest of creation.
After listening to the very insightful talks given by Fr. Denis Edwards, the audience participated in a dyad sharing of their thoughts, feelings, insights, and challenges. It was such an animated sharing that it took some time for the emcee to make them stop to give time for the open forum that followed.
Ms. Menchie Rojas served as the emcee on the first day.
There were around 500 participants on the First Day.
It was an afternoon and evening of fun, of presence, and of presents. That is how the ICLA Community Christmas Party 2015 can be summed up. This was held at the Moraleda Hall on the 15th of December. It started with parlor games in the afternoon organized by the student representatives with the dynamic leadership of Sr. Elvie Camilion of the Academic Department.
The evening program started with catered dinner, which everyone appreciated. This was followed by presentations starting with a Doxology in dance prepared by the First Year students.
Dr. Tessa Rosana, ICLA’s Registrar and Secretary, gave the Welcome Remarks while Sr. Marilou Montalban from the Philippines and Bro. John Yang Zhenxiong from China served as emcees for the program.
The presentations, consisting of dances, songs, and dramatizations, were interspersed with the giving of door prizes to lucky persons, whose names were drawn out by some ICLA professors.
After the various presentations, Fr. Lonely Paul Mashonga announced the winners of the sports tournament and Ms. Eisen Villanueva handed the prizes to the winning groups and individuals. Congratulations to all the winners, especially to the Yellow Team—the over-all champion. Sr. Elvie Camilion also announced the winners of the parlor games.
One of the highlights of the program is the exchanging of gifts. Sr. Elvie read a story and each time the word “right” was mentioned, each person had to pass the gift she or he brought to the person on the right; likewise, when the word “left” was read, each person had to pass the gift to the left. When the story came to an end, the gift in one’s hand became one’s Christmas gift.
After the exchanging of gifts, Fr. Christian Cangkung, CMF gave the closing message and the blessing. The fun and camaraderie continued with community dancing.
Pasko sa ICLA 2015 was indeed a joyful event, where brothers and sisters from different countries were united in celebrating once again the keeping of God’s promise and the coming of the Messiah.
“For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders;
and he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
The Institute for Consecrated Life in Asia held the 11th Missiology Forum on November 27, 2015 at ICLA’s Academic Building Conference Hall. The theme for this year’s forum is Caring for our Common Home: The Challenge of Laudato Si.
The event started with the singing of the Philippine National Anthem followed by the enthronement of the Bible. Fr. Pedro Dumpayan, Jr. served as the emcee of the Missiology Forum.
Fr. Samuel Canilang, CMF, Director of ICLA, welcomed the professors, students, and guests and formally opened the event. In his welcome address, Fr. Sammy explained that this year’s theme of the Missiology Forum is Caring for our Common Home: the Challenge of Laudato Si and the theme of the forthcoming Religious Life Week at ICLA is Care for our Common Home in the Cosmos: Ecological Conversion in Religious Life. These two events— the Missiology Forum and the Religious Life Week— are ICLA’s response to the Holy Father’s encyclical, Laudato Si. These two events seek to deepen and contextualize the message and challenge of Laudato Si from the missiological, theological, and spiritual perspectives. The Missiology Forum is an expression of our solidarity with the whole world, which is threatened by the climate change and other ecological problems. Fr. Canilang expressed his hope that the summit on climate change called by the United Nations will come up with binding agreements and resolutions as well as concrete steps to address all these threatening ecological problems.
In his keynote address, Fr. Oscar Ante, OFM – Missiology Professor in ICLA – presented a summary of Laudato Si, the encyclical letter of Pope Francis on ecology.
Fr. Ante also identified some issues for further reflection and discussion with the hope that we become more active participants in the care of creation.
ICLA Students majoring in Missiology gave situation reports on the ecological problems and challenges in their countries. Fr. Jonathan Balakase from Zimbabwe, Sr. Anna Nguyen Thi Ngoc Hanh, LC from Vietnam, Fr. Robert Pau Gin Mung from Myanmar, and Mr. Romano Bulatao from the Philippines gave their situation reports with slide presentations.
Before Fr. Edgar Javier, SVD, the Missiology Coordinator and professor, gave his analysis of the situation reports given by the four presenters, a group of Vietnamese students performed a dance.
Fr. Javier thanked all those who attended the 11th Missiology Forum. In his analysis, he pointed out the need to rediscover our kinship in the earth community. The earth is our mother and God’s temple. We can learn from the wisdom of the indigenous peoples, who are emerging in the midst of globalization. They are our teachers in saving the earth because we are kins to one another. Caring for the earth should not only be part of our way of life; it should also be part of our spirituality. Fr. Javier concluded his analysis by leaving the audience with two challenges: first, we need to educate ourselves so we can educate our people; second, we need to promote ecospirituality. The Institute provides the students with opportunities to know more about ecology, about the environment, and about ecospirituality.
After the open forum, Fr. Edgar Javier, SVD also gave a brief recapitulation of the Missiology Forum. He highlighted the glaring reality of environmental degradation and destruction. Much of the destruction of the earth, our mother and God’s temple, is due to human activities in the name of progress, in the name of development, or worst, in the name of the present market economy where everything is commodified. Fr. Javier proposed, as a response to the environmental situation, conversion to a life that is simple, to a life that is ecologically conscious, and to a life that is spiritually grounded on mother earth. Fr. Javier ended his recap saying, “The earth is groaning; humanity is crying. We should not be deaf to the cry of humanity nor to the groaning of creation.”
Before the singing of the new ICLA Anthem to end the Missiology Forum, Dr. Amalia Teresita Rosana, Biblical Ministry Coordinator and professor, gave the word of thanks on behalf of the Institute. She thanked Fr. Sammy for making ICLA always available for conferences that are very challenging intellectually, spiritually, socially, and morally. She also thanked Fr. Edgar and the Missiology students for sponsoring the gathering. She gave special thanks to Fr. Oscar for walking us through the great encyclical Laudato Si. Lastly, Dr. Rosana thanked the presenters, the performers, the students from UST, the academic office, and everyone involved in the 11th Missiology Forum.
The Institute for Consecrated Life in Asia (ICLA) is a center for doing theology to revitalize spirituality and mission in emergent churches, particularly in Asia.