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A Filipino Step PDF Print E-mail

The Assumptionists of the North American Province have begun a journey which we hope will lead us to establish ourselves in the Philippines. With the encouragement of the Religious Sisters of the Assumption (who have been in the islands for many years) and with the blessings of the leadership of the Filipino Church, we have begun to accept young candidates from the Philippines. Currently, we have four novices and five candidates, as well as one Vietnamese candidate.

On Monday, October 13, a group of men and women (lay people and religious) interested in making this dream come true met at Saint Anne’s Parish in Sturbridge, Massachusetts, to celebrate Saint Lorenzo Ruis and, under his patronage, to begin plans to support and fund this exciting project.


Thanks to those who took part … and to all those who will join our team in the weeks and months ahead. If you’d like to know more about becoming part of the project, please contact Development Office at 617.783.0400

PHOTO GALLERY

Last Updated on Monday, 20 March 2006 14:44
 
Assumption College Ribbon Cutting Ceremony - 2003 PDF Print E-mail

October, 2003- Assumption College celebrated the opening of the campus’s new Science Center with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Thursday, October 9, 2003. The ceremony took place in the atrium of the new building, with about 275 students, faculty, staff, Assumptionists, and distinguished guests in attendance. AC Press Release

 
Chile Visit -- September 2003 PDF Print E-mail

In late September, Fr. John Franck, the provincial of the North American Province, traveled to Chile to give a series of talks to the novices and to renew bonds with Assumptionists that he met there in 1994 while he was learning Spanish.

During his trip Fr. John was able to participate in Chilean national independence day celebrations in the company of the novitiate community and the community of the Religious Sisters of the Assumption (called also RA) in Santiago. Shortly thereafter, he was present at the opening events of the canonical visitation of Fr. Richard Lamoureux, Superior General of the Assumptionists (a canonical visitation is an official visit made every six years by the superior general to a province in order to encourage, evaluate, and plan).

In Pomaire, Chile, about an hour’s drive southwest of the capital city of Santiago lies the Latin American novitiate for the Assumptionists. Every year young men from throughout Latin America (Mexico, Colombia, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Ecuador) begin their formal, one-year introduction to religious life together. This year, for the first time, a Filipino candidate has joined their ranks, Ricky Montanez, speaking Spanish well enough to profit from this international experience.

Assumption in Chile: an Overview

On November 5, 1890 ten Assumptionists arrived in Chile after a five-week voyage by boat from Bordeaux in southwestern France. The bishop of Valparaiso, Mariano Casanova, had made a trip to Europe the previous year and had met the Assumptionists while on a pilgrimage to Lourdes. Impressed by their dedication and solid doctrinal preparation, he invited them to found a house in his diocese, in the town of Rengo. Later, in 1892, he entrusted to them the small chapel of Lourdes in Santiago. From these humble beginnings the Assumptionist presence has expanded to ten communities in 2003, five parishes (including the “small chapel of Lourdes” which has now become a national basilica attracting thousands of pilgrims each year) and three houses of formation in Chile and two houses in Argentina (another shrine dedicated to Our Lady of Lourdes and a house of formation).

 

 
The Philippines: 7,000 Times Beyond Your Expectations PDF Print E-mail

Return From the Other Side of the Globe, 2003

So read the tourist brochure that we received on our arrival in Manila. The next sentence went on to say: "In the heart of southeast Asia, stretching more than 1,840 kilometers, composed of 7,109 islands, the Philippines stands at the crossroads of the developed Western world and the Orient."

 

By way of proving the brochure right, Fr. Bernard Holzer, a general assistant, and I flew to this crossroads the same day, January 15, he from Rome via Thailand and I from Boston via Alaska and Taiwan. My own expectations had been raised from stories told by Filipino sister friends and recent brother Assumptionst visitors, by newly arrived Filipino candidates, and by lingering scenes from black and white World War II movies; but such images, however vivid, could ever, in any way, prepare one for the reality we experienced.

 

After his visit there last summer, Fr. Roger treated the readers of ANA to a written travelogue that described his own impressions in stunningly colorful and incomparable fashion with his unparalleled eye for detail.... from the jeepneys and the motorelas (forms of public transport) to the exotic array of fruits and local delicacies, from the clogged, polluted streets of Manila to its densely populated slums. From my own treasury of memories, I would like to focus on three.

 

First, there were the sisters themselves, the Religious of the Assumption, 150 strong, who first arrived in the Philippines in 1892 at the request of Maria Cristina, the Queen Regent of Spain, to open a superior normal school for women teachers in Manila. We were warmly received in their homes during our stay (which quickly and easily became our homes), visited a number of their schools (they run about ten in all... from elementary schools to colleges), met many of their students, past and present, talked with their lay collaborators, and benefitted from their vast network of contacts. These are women of extraordinary faith, vision, and commitment. They have a clear mission, intentionally chosen and universally supported, that they pursue with passion and energy.... in Marie Eugenie's words, transforming society through education (a theme brought home to us by former president, Cory Aquino, during our extraordinary visit with her, "Fathers, if you want to do something for Filipino society, educate us. Education is the way out of poverty"). More than in any other country that I know, the sisters have reflected deeply and systematically on the meaning of an Assumption education and have found concrete and impressive ways to bring Marie Eugenie's vision to life. She is everywhere: in photos and paintings on the walls of classrooms, offices, corridors, and chapels; in her principles of education on the lips of teachers and administrators; in the prayers and songs recited by hundreds of their students; in her example embodied in the sisters and their lay collaborators.

 

Secondly, as I have mentioned, it is impossible not to see the spirit of the sisters alive in so many of their lay collaborators, whether Chit Manlapaz, the insightful and vocation-vigilant director of San Simon College in Pampanga, or Maita Magalong, the contagiously enthusiastic executive director of the Filipino AMA (Associate Missionaries of the Assumption), whether the self-directed administrative board that oversees their school in Passi with only part-time assistance from the sisters to Chinit Rufino, the deeply committed and industrious director of the Marie Eugenie Institute (MEI). To convey just a bit the influence that the sisters have had, let me say a word about Chinit Rufino, the director of the MEI. Although Bernard and I had come to the end of an exhausting, three-week, whirlwind visit, we wanted to learn more about the MEI; but, needless to say, we didn't have much gas left in the tank. Not to worry----- Chinit had enough energy to recharge hundreds of batteries. Not only did she explain the extraordinary and elaborate Assumption formation that the Institute provides to teachers and administrators of the sisters' schools; we also learned from her how the principles of an Assumption education are being adapted and incorporated into a comprehensive plan to reform the entire national educational system in the Philippines. How could we not have been caught up in her passion and charm!

 

Thirdly, and finally, there are the young men we met who have shown an interest in an Assumption vocation, almost all of whom have had some contact with the RAs, young men drawn to them, in their words, by what they experienced with the sisters: their vision, their community life, the quality of their prayer, their openness, and their collaboration with the laity. During the three weeks that we were there, I had interviews (usually 1 ½ -2 hours each) with 18 individuals, almost all of whom impressed me with the depth of their reflection and discernment, with their broad experience, with their honesty, and with their spirit of adventure and self-sacrifice. We are talking of teachers (at every level: elementary schools through college), bankers, investment consultants, telecommunication and pharmaceutical salesmen, graduate students, and adult faith formators. In a word, men of quality and substance.

 

However busy our agenda, however fatiguing the pace, it was impossible to return without renewed energy and hope and profound gratitude to the sisters who welcomed us so generously. The spirit of Assumption is indeed alive at this crossroads of East and West, where our experience was "7,000 times beyond our expectations."

Fr. John L. Franck, A.A., Provincial

 

PHOTO GALLERY

 
New Provincial Structure PDF Print E-mail

In January 2003 the Council of the Province meeting in Worcester, Massachusetts, approved the new statutes for the United States region and encouraged the religious in Mexico to consider the possibility of requesting a similar status so as to create three fairly parallel governing structures in the province. With the consent of his council Fr. John Franck appointed Fr. Dennis GALLAGHER the regional superior for the United States and Fr. Miguel DIAZ AYLLON the provincial delegate for Mexico. Fr. Dennis is currently Vice President for Mission at Assumption College, a position he will maintain with the added assistance of an administrative assistant, Br. Paul HENRY. Frs. Dennis and Miguel will begin their new duties on April 1.

The "regionalization" of the province responds to the new reality of the province, i.e. three separate realities with three different languages, churches, cultures, histories, etc. The nomination of a regional superior in the United States was seen as a means to free the provincial to spend more time caring for new efforts in Mexico and Quebec, overseeing planning for the new foundation in the Philippines, maintaining involvement in the development and expansion of Bayard North America, and developing ways to increase collaboration between the three distinct regions of the province, which has drastically declined due to ageing and a decrease in personnel. The provincial will also maintain the direction of the Board of Trustees at Assumption College.

Last Updated on Friday, 14 October 2005 00:31
 
Glastonbury I - Collaboration with the laity PDF Print E-mail

In order to better respond to the new needs of the Church and the world in North America, the religious of the United States organised a time to reflect and share with lay people close to them. This reflection followed several stages.

On 10th July 2002, thirty-two people, religious and lay people went together to the abbey of Glastonbury. There they exchanged their ideas on various fields of activity. The workshop that had greatest success was entitled "Why are the Assumptionists important to me" The sharing was very rich that the participants decided to send their testimonies by mail to the different communities. This was done in September.

The exchange continues …...

Last Updated on Friday, 14 October 2005 00:29
 
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