Fr. Alex Castro, who is home in the Philippines, wrote this July 13. Enjoy!
Greetings from warm Manila!
It is already my 4th week now. (Time flies by so fast!) Last night we had a big celebration of Fr. Bernard’s birthday. This week I will be meeting with the treasurers of each communities individually, and to continue where Fr. Marcel left regarding their budgets.
Since I arrived I am staying at the novitiate which is 30 minutes away from the main house, unfortunately it is not always the case since traffic is always terrible everyday, which doubles my travel time, that is if you are lucky to get a jeepney which is not full “to the brim”! Added to that inconvenience is a very slow internet connection which was installed at the novitiate house last Saturday!
Last week, I had the opportunity to participate in their year-end territorial retreat. They used the Letter on Interiority as their theme for the one week retreat. I thought I would have some free time during the retreat, however, I was asked to facilitate some afternoon sessions where I presented the guidelines for the preparation for the Provincial Chapter which they used for their afternoon sharing. All the communities are almost done with the first phase of the process. This week during their respective local chapters, they will finalize their community reports. Their target date to end the first stage is by the end of August. Fr. Bernard appointed their elected delegates to be their synthesizing group.
Last June 28, I brought most of the brothers in different stages of formation (18 of them!) to our Parish Fiesta in Apalit, Pampanga. Fr. Peter could attest to that big celebration. We ate in at least three houses, the parish rectory while waiting for my Mass, then at our house, then at the house where we watched the fluvial procession (most of them gave up on the third because they were already full!).
This week, and the coming weeks I will be giving some introductory sessions to the novices, and hopefully meeting them individually (7 of them: 4 Filipinos, 1 Mexican, and 2 Koreans).
Hopefully I might have some time to visit my half-sister before I go back to Boston.