LIFE IN CEBU FORMATION COMMUNITY
The Cebu Formation House is located at 4 Kalaw Street, Santo Nino Village, Banilad, Cebu City. The Community for the academic year 2019-2020 is composed of three priests (Frs. John Gould, Bonaventure Gubazire and Boris Yabre) and ﬁve Filipino candidates (Richard, Roberto, Mark, Vincent and Christian). Our candidates come from different islands of the Philippines and have come here to follow God’s call and are aspiring to be part of Missionaries of Africa community.
Our academic year started in August 2019 with a three-week immersion experience at the “Fazenda de Esperança”, a rehabilitation centre for people with addictions, which is located on Masbate Island, about 300km from Cebu City. On our return to the community, together with the formators, we held meeting to decide on how we would like to live together as a community. We came up with a document entitled “Community Orientation Plan” in which we outlined our expectations, means to achieve them, and the obstacles that we might encounter on our discernment journey. During our monthly recollection, we committed ourselves to our Community Orientation Plan under the theme: “Called by Jesus, we commit ourselves to grow in love through openness with one another as we discern our call.”
From a spiritual perspective, our daily life is centred upon Morning and Evening Prayer, coupled with meditation and the celebration of the Holy Eucharist. Every third weekend of month we go for a recollection at Betania Retreat Centre – Lahug with the recollection animated either by one of the formators or someone from outside the community. These moments of recollection help us to be in touch with ourselves as well as to reflect upon our struggles and hopes and how we are being called to deepen our call to become disciples of Jesus in the Society of Missionaries of Africa. At the same time, they provide us with a moment of rest from our academic life.
From an academic perspective, we follow the Philosophy Program (B.A.) at the University of San Carlos, Talamban Campus, located at about 3 km from our Formation House. There we are challenged to reflect deeply. Apart from academic studies, in our community, we are also privileged to follow sessions and programmes, like human formation, English classes and initiation into the Missionaries of Africa Charism. All of these things put together provide us with a well-rounded formation.
We have candidates’ meetings and other platforms where we are free to share our life experiences as well as our challenges. Once a week, during our daily mass, we are invited to share our reflections during Mass. During these moments, we learn to listen to how God is speaking to us through Holy Scriptures and the events of our lives. Birthdays are celebrated on the last Friday of each month.
Every second Sunday of the month, we have an open mass for the Friends of the Missionaries of Africa (FROMAP).
Through these encounters, we are learning to relate with people of different ages and gender. We also do some vocation promotion through sharing our experiences with the young people who came to attend the Mass.
We are grateful to the Missionaries of Africa for granting us this opportunity to learn to become disciples of Jesus, also to discover and to develop our academic potential and to learn more about who I am as a person.
We congratulate our brother Kiran Joseph, from India, who received his ghandourah and rosary at a ceremony held in the Spiritual Formation Centre in Kasama. We keep Kiran and all our young brothers in our prayers.