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Updates from the Davao Redemptorist Community



The month of November was a visitor-filled month for the Davao community. It started with the arrival of Fr. Edwin Bacaltos, C.Ss.R., the provincial consultor & bursar who joined the community for the EPC discernment from Nov. 5-6, 8. He was followed by Fr. Brendan Kelly, the provincial superior who joined the launching of the Perpetual Help Share & Care Program of the parish. Then, it was followed by the ASEAN formators & superiors who started arriving Nov. 10 and stayed until the 15th. Some formators from our province also came for the formation secretariat meeting from Nov. 15-17. Then, formators from the Vice-Province of Manila arrived for the joint formation meeting. There were confreres from other communities who visited us here as well.


Last Nov. 5, the community gathered together for the opening Mass which marked the start of the community discernment. It was three-day discernment and was done separately by the senior community and the student community.


On the evening of November 9th, the community invited benefactors and potential benefactors for the launching of the Perpetual Help Share & Care Association. It is a program of the parish to look for associates who will support the three major charity projects: the medical assistance, scholarship for the poor and the social concerns/IGP program. Many generous people responded. Fr. Amado Picardal, C.Ss.R., the parish priest, presented the program and it was followed by the ritual of commitment from the people. The students helped out in the liturgy and in the singing. It was concluded with a fellowship meal.


Starting the next day, formators and superiors from different units of ASEAN came for a meeting. They were housed at a Franciscan Sisters’ retreat house at Catalunan Grande. The community hosted a dinner on the 11th evening in honor of the visitors. The formators and superiors discussed about the possibility of making SAT a regional theologate. Towards the end of the meeting, they had an audience with students to dialogue with us regarding our experience here.


While some went home, other formators stayed for a few more days. Members of the formation secretariat also came for their own meeting on Nov. 15-17. They were joined by the Manila Vice-Province formators and by Dr. Ma. Belen Vergara, a clinical psychologist who was helping us in our processing.


Other confreres also visited us these past days like Fr. James Narisma, C.Ss.R. from Iloilo, Fr. Martin Tobin, C.Ss.R. from Iligan, Fr. Bing Simacio, C.Ss.R. from Tacloban.


After all the busy meetings and activities, the community finally had time for recollection. On Nov. 22, the community went to Suarez’ Garden for a day of recollection. It was concluded with a Mass for our dead benefactors and loved ones.


This semester, Fr. Abdon Josol has again joined SAT and is now teaching fundamental morals and social morals. We are looking forward for Fr. Tom Groarke, C.Ss.R. to arrive in January as he will be handling sexual morals and bioethics. After almost near a month of classes in SAT, everything is still going well. There is still less pressure in the academics at present.


To celebrate the the Mindanao “Week of Peace” (Nov. 25-Dec 1), the Redemptorist Community and the Mother of Perpetual Help parish sponsored the  Bike for Peace.”  Organized and led by Fr. Amado Picardal, over 300 cyclists participated in the event that started at the church grounds with the blessing of Archbishop Fernando Capalla. The bikers went through 120 kilometers of  rough and mountainous areas in Paquibato and Calinan district – the scene of armed encounter between the NPA guerrillas and the military. Fr. Colm, Bros. John Michael and Roger, and Eddieboy survived the ordeal. Other Redemptorist students came as support personnel – driving support vehicles, taking care of food and drink, etc.