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Curatorium 2019 in Manila (part I)

By Fr. Jake Lopez, SDB
Secretary to the Curatorium

Makati Manila, the Philippines, 21 August 2019 -- The first Curatorium (Manila) for 2019 was held in the Provincial House at Makati, Manila, on 21 August, which also happens to be the Birthday of our Rector Major, Fr. Ángel F. Artime, and also Nino Aquino Day (commemorating the assassinated hero of the Philippines democracy movement since 2004 ). Fr. Ivo Coelho (General Councillor for Formation) was a key presence, along with the EAO Regional and Provincials of CIN, FIN, FIS, MYM and PGS Provinces and the delegate of Cambodia (THA province) and Rectors from Canlubang (FIN) and Cebu-Lawaan (FIS) formation houses as well the Novice Director (Fr Philip Lazatin). The full day meeting in two parts (morning - level one and afternoon - level two: superiors only) also involved the newly appointed EAO Formation Coordinator, Fr. Mel Racelis (FIS) and Fr. Jake Lopez (FIN) the new secretary of the Curatorium.

It was only the second meeting of this Curatorium which looked at the Prenovitiate - Novitiate - Postnovitiate stages. Most of the time was spent on the revision of the Statutes that guarantee effective animation and governance of the interprovincial houses in the Philippines. The formators and superiors tackled a number of issues, like joint responsibility for the formation of formators and teaching personnel, a comprehensive system for English language proficiency (from the Aspirantate stage up to the Prenovitiate stage in the Philippines).

As the main tool of institutional accompaniment (supervising, guiding and animating) of the initial formation inter-provincial formation realities, the Curatorium dealt with some ongoing challenges connected to formation issues concerning language, intercultural community dynamics (both formators and formands) as well a healthy 'non-clerical' setting and attitudes fostered during initial formation. Due to the diminishing numbers of prenovices and a variety of other elements, the possibility of one prenovitiate for both Filipino provinces was discussed.

Curatorium members are grateful for the wonderful hospitality of the Provincial house community in Makati (Rector, Fr. Drans Nolasco) , for the straightforward animation of the meeting by Fr. Ivo Coelho and for the good opportunity to meet their confreres who are now in the Philippines. During the day the General Councilor for Formation enlightened the participants with many important insights, also in view of the 'Study on the EAO Formation realities' initiated by the Rector Major in all 7 Salesian Regions. The participants also enjoyed the invitation of the Sandor community for evening prayer and dinner together in Paranaque.

Another Curatorium meeting on the Paranaque-based specific formation houses and DBST (Don Bosco School of Theology) will follow tomorrow (22 August) and will be attended by almost all EAO provinces.

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