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Spiritual Year 2017-18

by digital last modified Sep 25, 2017 10:26 AM

By: Fr. Finbar Maxwell

Spiritual Year began on  August 1, 2017 and will finish on  May 31, 2018. There are ten students taking part in the year: four from Korea (Yosup Park, Joseph Garam Jin, Leo Muhn Sung Yun, Ambrosio Shim Hong Seok), three from Fiji (IowaneNiao, Antonio Saula Seeto, Meli Nanuku Farasiko), two from Myanmar (Francis Xavier Nbwi La Aung, Peter Kyaw Zaw) and one from the Philippines (Larry Duerme). Fr. Dan O’Malley is socius (assistant) of the program and Fr. Finbar Maxwell is director of the year.

 

Formation

L-R: (back) Yosup Park, Finbar Maxwell, Dan O’Malley, Iowane Niao, Ambrosio Shim Hong Seok, Joseph Garam Jin

                  (front) Peter Kyaw Zaw, Francis Xavier Nbwi La Aung, Larry Duerme, Antonio Saula Seeto,

                             Leo Muhn Sung Yun, Meli Nanuku Farasiko

 

Spiritual Year is a very special year in the Columban formation journey as it provides an important foundation of prayer and spirituality for the years of life, mission and ministry to come. There is great cultural richness and diversity in the community this year, which is reflective of the overall membership of the Columban Society.  The program is taking place at the Columban formation house at 42 Rosario Drive, Cubao, Quezon City. The purpose of Spiritual Year is to help the students grow in deeper self-awareness, deepen their relationship with God, come to a deeper understanding of the charism and mission of the Society of St. Columban, and facilitate authentic vocational discernment. 

The year is off to a very good start as the students have already come to know each other well, and have worked well together in the various components of the program and in the classes they are taking, here in the formation house and in various locations in the city. Courses include subjects, such as prayer, scripture, personal and spiritual integration, critical reflection, journaling, motivation, values development and theater arts. These and other classes will continue over the course of the year, and will be complemented by a number of retreats, including the 30-Day Spiritual Exercises.

This 30-Day retreat, which will take place over February and March of 2018, could be described as the “peak experience” of the Spiritual Year, as everything in the first half of the year will be a preparation for the retreat, and the weeks and months afterwards will be a reflection on the retreat experience. The heart of this retreat time is a deep encounter with Jesus through the weeks of prayer. The gift of the retreat is that it enables the students to make a more informed commitment to Columban missionary priesthood. This experience will continue to influence the students while preparing for and living out their lives as Columban missionaries.

 

The students are also doing pastoral work in Malate Parish; in Pasay with families for whom the cemetery is their home and at the nearby scholar’s center with the Columban Sisters; and in the Kuya Center for street children in Cubao.

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