June 4 – THE PHILIPPINES, POLAND AND OTHERS
THE PHILIPPINES, POLAND AND OTHERS
The Central Administration decided to hold a meeting of the Asian Provinces in Bangalore early in June 1997; it was called Asia-Pacific Mission Initiative Conference (APMIC); its purpose was to make the participants more aware of the missionnary character of the Institute and to examine some moves to expand in Asia and Oceania. The participants – about 40 from all over Asia – showed great availability and enthusiasm.
There is many a slip between the cup and the lip, but not that time. No later than 4 June 1997 a missioning ceremony took place involving two Indian Brothers who were sent to Papua New Guinea, and a third one to the Philippines. In Papua New Guinea the Central Administration took over from the Province of Malaysia-Singapore, and the Brother sent to the Philippines was to prepare for the establishment of a community there. Other countries were mentioned at the meeting: Vietnam, China, Indonesia, and the Sabah Region in Malaysia. Actually, exploratory journeys were made to these countries by local superiors or members of the Central Administration.
A year after the Bangalore meeting, in 1998, an Indian Brother arrived at New Washington in the island of Panay (diocese of Kaliho) in the central Philippines ; his aim was to start a technical school to be built on the two-hectare piece of land offered by a Catholic family. The foundation stone of the Brothers’ residence was laid on 28 April 1999. The whole Montfortian family will thus have all its members in the Philippines.
In August 1998 two Malay Brothers arrived at Kota Knabalu in the Sabah Region (eastern part of Malaysia), which is nearer to the Philippines than to the Boys’ Town in Batu Tiga in the western part. Their aim was to start a centre including a hostel for young people and a training school (See map, 3 January). ·
Along with these foundations planned at the Bangalore meeting, another was going to start in Poland. Mgr A. Krynski, Rector of the very recent Higher School for Languages in Czestochowa, had come to Angers to see for himself how the Angers Catholic University was being run. Br. Michel Taille, who was a professor at the University, went to Czestochova in 1997 and stayed there six months. Mgr Krynski suggested to Br. Jean Friant, Superior General, the establishment of the first Gabrielite community in Poland. A community was established within the precincts of the.school in September 1998; it consisted of four Brothers, two from France, one from Italy and one from Senegal. Besides teaching French and Italian at the school, they devoted most of their time to learning Polish, rather the sort of a difficult language. In September 1999 a Spanish Brother joined them to strengthen the international community.
The special feature of the new communities in the Philippines and Poland is that they depend directly on. the Central Administration in Rome.