Thursday, January 29, 2009

With the Filipinos in Macau

Our collaborators in Macau, Divine de Leon and Ian Dacayanan are helping the Diocesan Pastoral Center in Macau. Divine tells us about their work at the Center:

Sometime ago we shared here in our bulletin the opening and blessings of the new Pastoral Center for Filipino Migrants, just few meters away from our office/house. And last November we shared here news about the visit of some of our Bishops from the Philippines. The Bishops were curious and attentively listening to our sharing of the present situation of the Filipino Migrants. They inspired and challenged us: “Every Filipino Overseas Worker should be a true missionary” they told us.

Ian and I work at the Claretian office and recently we also started helping at the Pastoral Center. This work gives us a sense of fulfillment and belongingness to a group that serves our Filipino Migrants. We started by helping in the design and printing of the newsletter called Magkalakbay (co-journeyer / co-pilgrim). You can take a look at it:

The Pastoral Team, under the guidance of three Filipino priests, is divided into the commissions of Worship, Evangelization, and Social Services. Ian and I are now volunteers of the Commission on Social Services. We have our own group where we help in the formation of other volunteers.

Recently there was a seminar called CREM (Catholic Renewal Experience for Migrants). This is in response to the needs that the Pastoral Team saw after evaluating the past years problems in serving and reaching out the Filipino Migrants. There is a need for the Filipino workers and migrants to undergo a renewal and formation. The CREM is a product of biblico-historical reflection on the realities of migration; a monthly activity of the pastoral center.

Having to facilitate and emcee the whole day affair, I had to listen and do the recapitulations at the same time create an activity fitted to the needs at the present moment. This is really a challenge on my part, a longing to reach out and a learning experience to deepen my own personal journey.

Ian assisted on the technical aspects and helping in the preparation of the food and other activities. We are used to handle things like this. We both reminisce the time we had such activities in the Philippines.

Having been here in Macau for some time and being in the Pastoral Ministry and serving and growing with our co-journeyer give us inner joy. God really knows what we long for. Now the weekly formation of different groups has started. The first CREM was an inspiration. Filipino Migrants in Macau give us hope and joy. Maybe the challenge of the Bishops to all Filipino Migrants in different parts of the world can come true, with God’s grace.

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