Mission Society of the Philippines
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MSP CENTRAL OFFICE
Rms. 316/318, Pius XII Catholic Center
1175 United Nations Avenue
Paco 1007 MANILA

Phone: (63-2) 524-2977; 524-2979
Fax: (63-2) 524-2995
E-mail: secgen@msp.org.ph

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MSP JOINS THE 2007 AMSAL MEETING

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The MSP joined the recent AMSAL meeting held at the Bahay Pari, within the San Carlos Seminary Complex in Guadalupe, Makati, from December 3-5, 2007. AMSAL stands for the Asian Mission Societies of Apostolic Life. This is a MISAL gathering on a continental level which happens once in two years. The first AMSAL meeting was in Thailand in 1997, followed by Philippines (1999), India (2001), Korea (2003), Thailand (2005). This year the gathering came back to the Philippines and the host was the Lorenzo Ruiz Mission Society (LRMS).

There were five delegates from the LRMS (its five General Council members) and another five delegates from the MSP (Frs Soc Mesiona, Lads Oliver, Pat Casino, Resti Galang and Maiock Tejada). The foreign delegates included three Indians, one Korean and one Burmese. They were Fr Thomas Kannany MST (Vicar General), Fr Peter Kavumpuram MST (Council member), Fr Thomas Yang KMS (Vicar General), Fr Jacob Theckanath, the Executive Secretary of the FABC Office of Evangelization which is based in Goa, India, and a new member, Fr Peter Than, the seminary rector of the Little Way Missionary Priests of St Therese of Myanmar. The consistent Secretary-Convenor of this meeting is Fr Jim Kroeger, MM.

The foreign delegates arrived on December 1, 2007. On the following day, they were toured to the Corregidor Island in order to sense a bit of our history. The meeting proper started on December 3, 2007. The topic discussed during the day was about the Finances. The sharing was geared on learning on how to sustain and to manage the finances. The MSP reporter was Fr Lads Oliver. The topic on the second day was about Disciplinary Questions. The MSP reporter was Fr Maiock Tejada. The topic on the third day was Continuing Education. Afterwards, the business meeting was concluded by Fr Jim before lunctime.

On the second day, the MSP hosted a dinner for the delegates. So there was a chance of interaction between the delegates and the rest of the MSP priests staying at the MSP Central House. There was a cocktail served before the dinner. A lechon was also served during the dinner to the delight of the foreign delegates because it seemed it was their first time to see and taste a roasted pig, Philippine style. Much stories and jokes were shared during this time and the best story teller was Fr Jacob.

In the afternoon of December 5, the last day, the delegates went to the Old Manila. The first stop was the Manila Cathedral. We went inside and proceeded to the tomb of the late Jaime Cardinal Sin and offered some prayers. Msgr Bong Lo (LRMS) said something about the archbishops laid in the tombs and Fr Jim shared a bit of history of those dead archbishops of Manila. The second stop was the St Augustine Church. Again, we toured inside the church and gazed at some of the prized paintings hanging on the wall found at the right wing of the church. The last stop was the Fort Santiago. Most of the delegates were happy to see and know the history of the Old Manila. Fr Jacob commented, “This is the thing I appreciate when I visit a place. I am fed up with gazing at big buildings.”

Then we went back to Bahay Pari. A cocktail was served by the LRMS followed by a hearty meal. After the dinner, Fr Soc invited the delegates to have a coffee at the Fort. While some refused because they were tired, there were also some who came. It was also the chance for them to see the other side of Manila, that is, the modern one. We went to the newly opened One Serendra, took a cup of coffee and enjoyed looking at the surrounding which was filled with Christmas decors and lights. The next AMSAL meeting will be in India (Goa) between the last week of November and first week of December 2009.

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