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On September 1, 2016, the ICLA Community held the welcoming rites, celebration of the Eucharist and prayer vigil in memory of a faithful and trustworthy member, Mr. Leo Salomon, who passed away on August 28, 2016 due to gastrointestinal bleeding that led to cardiac arrest.

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In his homily during the Mass as part of welcoming the remains of Leo, Fr. Samuel Canilang, CMF – current ICLA Director – mentioned that the first person whose body was brought to ICLA was that of Fr. Domingo Moraleda, CMF – first Director of ICLA – and the second was that of Mr. Leo Salomon, who worked in ICLA for 18 years as Liaison Officer and Support Personnel. Fr. Sammy also narrated that he got three calls from Mrs. Eisen Villanueva, Operations Manager of ICLA, when Fr. Moraleda died and three calls when Leo passed away.

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To Fr. Sammy, Leo was not only an employee of ICLA but an integral part of the Institute – as integral as Fr. Moraleda was and as Fr. Sammy and Eisen are to ICLA. The four of them were at the infancy stage of the Institute. Fr. Moraleda was the Director, Fr. Sammy was the Secretary, Eisen was the Operations Manager, and Leo was the sole Support Staff.

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Leo’s dedication and commitment as well as his sense of responsibility, trustworthiness and reliability are some of the good qualities worthy of emulation.  Fr. Sammy also narrated his observation that at 5:30 every Monday and Tuesday morning, one of the cars got started to fetch Sr. Amelia Vasquez, RSCJ – professor and Head of the Spirituality Department. It was always Leo who did it faithfully. He was a silent worker who never complained and about whom nobody ever complained.

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Fr. Sammy ended his homily with these words: “I personally felt the impact of Leo’s passing away. But I am consoled by the fact that in heaven there are two persons praying for us – Fr. Moraleda and Leo.”

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After the Eucharistic celebration, some members of the staff paid tribute to Leo’s outstanding qualities as a person and as an employee and thanked him for his valuable service to ICLA.

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The ICLA students took turns as groups to stay in vigil until the body of Leo was fetched at midnight on that same day. Some groups had songs, Scripture readings and prayers while others prayed the rosary for the eternal repose of Leo, for strength and courage to carry on for his wife Rachel and his sons Rando and LJ (Leo Jose), for his relatives and friends, as well as for ICLA, for peace in the Philippines and in the world.

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Dr. Tessa Rosana, Secretary and the Biblical Ministry Department Head, wrote this short testimonial about Leo.

To the Staff, he was their Kuya Leo – one with whom they could share their problems or concerns; one with whom they could celebrate their respective birthdays and other occasions.

To the Professors, he was the faithful driver who fetched them and brought them back after their classes. He was very well-mannered and gracious.

To the Administration (Academic Office, Treasurer’s and Physical Plant), he was the Liaison Officer who was most reliable, trustworthy and readily available.

To the CMF Community, he was one of the pillars (together with Fr. Domingo Moraleda, Fr. Sammy Canilang, and Mrs. Eisen Villanueva) in the foundational year (1997) of ICLA.

Indeed, Leo will be missed – but actually he is in a much better place now – in the absolute embrace of the Loving God.

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The new academic year in ICLA officially opened on August 8, 2016 with the Eucharistic celebration presided by Fr. James Kannanthanam CMF, Resident Spiritual Director/Counselor of the Institute. This was attended by the faculty, the students, the administrative staff, the support staff, and some guests. 

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The Academic and C.A.R.E.S. Orientation began with the Welcome Address of Fr. Kristian Paskalis Cangkong CMF, Head of the ICLA Library as well as the St. Anthony Mary Claret College (SAMCC) Library. 

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Ms. Amalia Teresita Rosana, Ph.D, Secretary, Registrar and Head of the Biblical Ministry Department, presented a brief history of the Institute, its Vision and Mission, the degrees offered, and the features of the curriculum with some sample courses. She also explained the Ethical Norms observed in ICLA.

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Ms. Carmencita Rojas, C.A.R.E.S. Coordinator, introduced the supportive role of the Center for Accompaniment, Renewal and Empowerment of Students in the academic-formative program of ICLA. She also introduced the formation program to be implemented and the C.A.R.E.S. Team.

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Sr. Elvisa Camilion, FCJ explained the payment procedures for various fees to be paid by students like tuition fees, student’s documents requested, library locker, photocopying, and conversion/renewal of student visas.

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Ms. Carmencita Rojas, C.A.R.E.S. Coordinator, introduced the supportive role of the Center for Accompaniment, Renewal and Empowerment of Students in the academic-formative program of ICLA. She also introduced the formation program to be implemented and the C.A.R.E.S. Team.

The fourth gathering of the Inter-Institute Collaboration (IIC) group was held on April 27, 2016 at the East Asian Pastoral Institute. Fr. Samuel Canilang, CMF (Director), Dr. Amalia Tessa Rosana (Registrar/Faculty), Ms. LettieTaberdo (CARES Staff/Faculty), Fr. Yosef Ferdinandus Melo, CMF (student), and Sr. Wang PinPin (student) attended the conference. The partner Institutes represented were Assumption Language College (ALC), East Asian Pastoral Insitute (EAPI), Institute for Consecrated Life in Asia (ICLA), Institute of Formation – Fondacio Asia (IFFA), Institute of Formation for Religious Studies (IFRS),Institute of Spirituality in Asia (ISA), Religious of the Cenacle, and St. Vincent School of Theology (SVST).

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Mr. Ramon Chua of Porticus presided the conference. Mr. Philip Booth and Ms. Eva Luk were also present for Porticus. 

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After the opening prayer, which was prepared by the EAPI students together with other students from the partner Institutes, the directors or their representatives gave updates on their institutions. The students present also shared their significant experiences in the Institutes they enrolled in for their studies and formation. Likewise, they shared their career path after completing their academic and formation program. The students come from China, Indonesia, Myanmar, Philippines, Tonga, Vietnam, and Zimbabwe.

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In the afternoon, only the Directors of the 8 Institutes continued the conference with Mr. Ramon Chua, Mr. Philip Booth and Ms. Eva Luk of Porticus. Their discussions centered on the following questions: 1) With Manila now being considered as a hub of formation in Southeast Asia, what challenges does a formation institute face to become a center of excellence? 2)How does Manila compare to Rome or India as a feasible place to go to for Asian or even global formation? 3) What are the opportunities for strengthening unity, cooperation and collaboration among the different institutes? 4) What do they expect from Porticus?

 

 

 

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January 25-29, 2016 marked the National Bible Week (NBW) in the Philippines. This year’s celebration centered on the theme, “God’s Word: Hope for the Family, Strength for the Nation,” anchored on Psalm 33:12 and Acts 16:31.

The annual celebration of the National Bible Week started on the first week of Advent in 1972 as a way of participating in the International Book Year by the United Nations. The celebration every last week of January became official when the late President Corazon C. Aquino issued Presidential Proclamation (PP) No. 44. This was later followed up by former President Fidel V. Ramos in PP 1067, which recognized that "national attention be focused on the importance of reading and studying the Bible in molding the spiritual, moral, and social fiber of our citizenry." These two Presidential Proclamations were actually an affirmation of an earlier proclamation (PP 1923) by the late President Ferdinand E. Marcos on October 27, 1979, in recognition of the Bible as "an excellent source of principles for the development of moral and personal discipline" for Filipinos (Source: Episcopal Commission on the Biblical Apostolate).

ICLA celebrated National Bible Week 2016 through various activities. A Eucharistic celebration, presided by Fr. Sammy Canilang, CMF—Director of ICLA—opened the week-long celebration. Each day of the National Bible Week, the Biblical Ministry students prepared posters with biblical quotes and posted them on bulletin boards in strategic places.

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A poster-making contest with the theme “The Bible and Laudato Si” was also launched with two entries from each major field of concentration, namely, Biblical Ministry, Consecrated Life, Missiology, and Spirituality. Several faculty members and staff of the Institute served as judges in this contest. Prizes included cash, books, and other useful items.

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In the morning of January 29, 2016 the culminating activities included the following: 1) Doxology and Bible Enthronement by the First Year MA Students, 2) Welcome Remarks by Dr. Tessa Rosana, Biblical Ministry Coordinator, 3) Talk by Fr. Jonathan Bitoy, CMF on the NBW 2016 theme, “Word of God:Hope for the Family, Strength for  the Nation,” 4) Dance by Sr. Sandra Toscanoand Sr. JuspinaRakhi Gomes from Bangladesh, and 4) Open Forum.

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The afternoon of the same day was dubbed as Bible Learning and Fun with games like Bible Jigsaw Puzzle, Fill in the Blanks, Parable of the Talents, and Biblical Couples. Prizes were immediately given to the winners.

National Bible Week 2016 in ICLA opened and closed with the celebration of the Holy Eucharist—“the  source and summit of the Christian life" (Lumen gentium, no. 11; cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 1324). 

 

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