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PASPAC e-Newsletter March 2013

Pope Francis made the power of Gods mercy his central message recently as he celebrated Mass at the SantAnna church in Vatican City and delivered his first Angelus address to pilgrims in St Peters Square. During his homily at the local church, Pope Francis said: Mercy is the Lords most powerful message. If we are like the Pharisee before the altar, who said: Thank you, Lord, for not making me like all the other men, and especially not like that fellow at the door, like that publican well, then we do not know the heart of the Lord, and we shall not ever have the joy of feeling this mercy. It is not easy to trust oneself to the mercy of God, because His mercy is an unfathomable abyss but we must do it! He said that God has the ability to forget He kisses you, He embraces you, and He says to you: Neither do I condemn you. Go, and from now, on, sin no more. Only that counsel does He give you. We ask for the grace of never tiring of asking pardon, for He never tires of pardoning.
On December 4, 2012, there was an ordination in Manila at our Passionist Parish in Marikina. Vivien Lugo Nuera, a member of the Passion of Christ Province (PASS) was ordained to the priesthood. The newly ordained, professed in 2007, reached the end of his initial formation with this step. Most of the members of the Vice Province were in attendance for this moment of grace for Vivien and for his Passionist Province in the Philippines. This coming May, the Philippine Province will celebrate a Provincial Chapter. Let us pray for this important moment in

the life of the Province that the Holy Spirit may lead our brothers to decisions that are wise and life-giving. The PASPAC region is particularly grateful to the Philippine Province for its hosting of the International House of Formation for our Language Program. Of the five candidates who went through the Language Program this year, four are currently in Adelaide, Australia at the Novitiate for PASPAC.

The International House of Formation the PASPAC Novitiate in Adelaide, Australia welcomed the third group of novices and a new formation team this past February 14, when eight young men were vested in the Passionist habit and began this year-long initiation into our Passionist Life. This brings to 17 young men who have begun their novitiate training in this Passionist Retreat of St. Paul of the Cross for PASPAC since the first group in 2010. The formation team consists of Fr. Richard Thomson of the Korean Province of the Korean Martyrs, who serves as Director of Novices. Also, Fr. Joseph Matthews of the Vice Province of St. Thomas in India serves as the Assistant Director. They lead eight young men from four different countries in PASPAC. Those are, China (1), Korea (1), Vietnam (3) and Papua New Guinea (3). Not only is this the largest class thus far, it is the most diverse in terms of nationality, with four nations represented. Including the formation team, with Richard from the U.S.A. originally and Joseph from India this brings the total to six nations in the novitiate. Including the Australian community there are Passionists and novices from seven different countries. Please pray for these young men as they begin the journey into deeper union with the Congregation of the Passion.

The Province of the Korean Martyrs, on the first day of March celebrated the Final Profession of vows of Mario Jae-Hyong Ri. Born in 1980, and having made his first profession in 2009, Mario made his final profession this day and faces the completion of his formal studies for the priesthood. It is hoped that he will be ordained deacon and finally priest in the next year. The Korean Province, about to celebrate its 50th anniversary of the initial foundation of the Congregation in Korea in 1964, has spent the last two years since its last Chapter in 2010 with special programs among them being a series of seminars presented by Fr. Paul Francis Spencer to the membership of the Province and including the Nuns, Sisters and lay Partners during the summer of 2012. Recently, the Province has admitted five individuals into formation three in China and two in Korea. For this the Province gives thanks to a merciful God along whom the Passionists of Korea in this fifty year old journey of faith, hope and love. New whom entry postulants are into of the with

Korean Province two of pictured the Mario Ri on their day of Catholic University of Gwangju where they will reside for a year before taking up residence in the Gwangju Retreat of St. Paul of the Cross. Pictured to the right are the three new postulants in China with Fabian Ko and Paul Cho of Korea.

In late April this year, the Passionists in India will celebrate a Congress, at the close of which they will also celebrate the elevation of the Provincial Vicariate of St. Thomas, until now under the Province of the Holy Cross (U.S.A.) as a Vice Province in the Congregation of the Passion. Our Brothers in India are expecting guests from all of the corners of PASPAC itself with the special honour of the presence of our new Superior General, Fr. Joachim Rego, who will preside over the events scheduled. Celebrations will be held in Bangalore at the end of the Congress (3 May) and again on 7 May at Kochi, the site of the initial foundation in India. Fr. Sabinus Lohin, the General Consultor for PASPAC and Bro. Laurence Finn, the current President of PASPAC, will also be in attendance. In the photograph are pictured the members of the Indian Vicariate at the 2012 Retreat for India under the direction of Fr. Tiernan Doherty of the Australian Province. Our Brothers in India are currently serving not only there, but in the Philippine Province, the U.S. Province of the Holy Cross, the Australian Province. There are also serving in Africa (Kenya) and with further plans of expanding their important contribution to other areas in which the Congregation serves. Deo Gratias! The Province of the Holy Cross, no doubt with some sadness, leaves the administration of the to-be-created Vice Province in the hands of our Indian Brothers. The Mother Province, of the Korean Province and the Japanese Vice Province and now of the Indian Vice Province, has played an important and central role in our Asian foundations going back over ninety years to the original foundation in China. For their generosity and thoughtful leadership, all of PASPAC is thankful. (Pictured: Kochi Chapel first foundation in India.)

Our Passionist Brothers in Vietnam continue to prosper and grow. Pictured are the four missionaries in Vietnam Australia, and (from the India, a Philippines during

Korea)

gathering last year in Ho Chi Minh City. The Vice President of PASPAC, Fr. Jefferies Foale has recently returned to Vietnam after undergoing surgery in Australia. Thankfully, it was done successfully. Our five Vietnamese Brothers, also pictured, are in temporary vows and continue their formation in various institutions. Your prayers and support of our Brothers in Vietnam I know would be deeply appreciated as they continue to grow in maturity and deepen their Passionist identities.

As you will recall, the next Assembly of PASPAC will be held in Japan, at our Munakata Retreat Centre which is located near the city of Fukuoka, on the island of Kyushu. This event will be held from 14 until 19 October 2013. During the course of this Assembly, the chief work will be done in committees, that is: Formation, Finance and Personnel. Among the topics to be covered will be consideration of the new Statutes of PASPAC, evaluation of the language programme in Manila, and the various personnel needs that PASPAC will have in the near future, especially for the International House of Formation. Detailed reporting of the finances of the region will be considered and a new budget approved for the years 2014 thru 2015. Officers will be nominated and voted upon for the offices of President, Vice President and Executive Secretary. The General Consultor from Rome will be in attendance, and at least three religious from each of the Provinces and Vice Provinces and Missions in the Configuration, or a combination thereof. The President and Executive Secretary, along with the Leader of each of the entities will attend along with the members of the two Commissions of

Finance and Formation. Just those listed are approaching the limit of the rooms available for our use during the Assembly. Beyond the members mentioned, if there are going to be more members from your entity, please be advised to consult with the Vice Provincial in Japan before you make your travel plans.
In conclusion
This Configuration of Asia and the Pacific is a vast territory with almost 350 professed religious men. We are in ten nations with cultures and languages more diverse as anyplace else on earth. This edition of the Newsletter began with a few words of our newly elected Holy Father, Pope Francis. He brings freshness to the Papacy, despite his many years. He spoke of the need to adjust our vision to include those among us, in all the nations were we serve as Passionists, who are less fortunate and forgotten members of our various societies. It is significant that before mentioning even this fundamental option, he spoke first of our personal relationship with the Lord. That relationship is based upon an intimacy beyond any other intimacy that is possible for us as human beings. This intimacy with Christ the Lord is based most especially upon humility of heart an abiding sense that we need the forgiveness of the Lord for our weaknesses and sins before we can proceed in our many ministries. It is in being forgiven that we learn that we must forgive one another our many transgressions against one another and our living God. This forgiveness of the Lord is one of the few things that we can assume in life provided that we first ask humbly of our God and our Brothers their pardon for our personal faults. May the remainder of this Lenten Season be a time of joy, reconciliation and profound peace for each of you. I close remaining always your brother in the Crucified

Bro. Laurence M. Finn, C.P. President - PASPAC