VisMin Franciscans mark 10 years on St. Anthony’s feast

VisMin Franciscans mark 10 years on St. Anthony’s feast
The Franciscan Friars of the Custody of Saint Anthony of Padua Southern Philippines celebrate their first decade as an entity of the Order of St. Francis of Assisi for Visayas and Mindanao on June 13, 2017 in Cebu City. FR. NEIL BADILLO, OFM.

JOSEFINA, Zamboanga del Sur – The Franciscan Friars of the Custody of Saint Anthony of Padua Southern Philippines will celebrate their first decade as an entity of the Order of St. Francis of Assisi for Visayas and Mindanao today, June 13 in Cebu City.

Grateful at ten

Themed “Grateful at Ten: A Hopeful Fraternity in Dialogue Going to the Peripheries with the Joy of the Gospel,” this foundation anniversary of the said Custody will be celebrated with a Holy Mass at San Vicente Ferrer Parish in Cebu’s Sambag II.

To join in the said celebration are 19 friars from the Province of San Pedro Bautista, and from the Custody who have been engaged in the various ministries either as religious brothers or as ordained ministers since their solemn profession 5 years ago.

Fr. Neil Badillo OFM, editor of Dialogue Magazine, said: “The [Franciscan] Order recognizes that the first five years of solemn profession for a Franciscan friar is one of the most crucial years in the life of a religious.”

Crucial years for a religious

The 19 friars underwent the annual accompaniment program, which was held at the Franciscan Spirituality Center in this town on June 3 with a day of exposure with the “bakwits” in Iligan City. Bakwits is the local term for evacuees from Marawi City.

The accompaniment program is designed to animate, nourish, and sustain the fidelity of young friars, which will define whether a friar “will persevere in the chosen life. Hence, special attention is given during the first five years after solemn profession,” explained Badillo.

Fr. Raniel Samong OFM and his team organized the said program to establish and strengthen a support group system among the friars as “batchmates”, who share the same struggles, joys, and dreams. Its goal is to inspire each friar to become an animator to one another during their shared spiritual journey. CBCPNews