The Oblate Brothers of the Asia-Oceania Region gathered for the very first time for a fraternal encounter at the Oblate Missionary Centre (OMC), Quezon City, Philippines, in November 2019. Among the 31 Oblate Brothers in the Asia-Oceania Region, 22 participated in the event. They came from various Oblate Units: Indonesia, Vietnam, Philippines, Jaffna, Colombo, Japan, and China.
There were 7 participants from the Philippines (Bros. Gorgonio BONGAO, Joe ADUANA, Emilio UNGSOD, Mauricio ZUYCO, Rodrigo BUENSALIDA, Noel GARCIA, Russel RICABAR), 6 from Indonesia (Bros. Michael ANDHY KUSMAJAYA, Yohanes Baptista ADHI SAMUDRO, Edwin SULISPRIYANTO, Yakobus JUANG, Julianus RIZKI WIDITOMO, Pinansius SAKAI), 3 from Colombo-Sri Lanka (Bros. Anton FERNANDOPULLE, Felician FRANCIS, Kamal MENDIS), 2 from Jaffna-Sri Lanka (Bros. Sebastian AMIR DABARERA, Jenistan THERISPUSPAM), 2 from Vietnam (Bros. Tang KIM LONG, Nguyen VAN HOAN), 1 from Japan (Bro. Nobuhiko YAGI), and 1 from China (Simon CHU KIN YIP).
There was also one special participant, Fr. Antonius WIDIATMOKO, Scholasticate Superior of the Indonesian Province, as the representative of the Asia-Oceania Formators’ Conference (AOFC), underlining the significant and important role of ongoing formation for Brothers.
At the inauguration of the gathering, Fr. Charlie INZON, the Provincial of the OMI Province of the Philippines, presided over the Eucharistic celebration, while Fr. Antonius concelebrated. After the Eucharistic celebration, the Oblate brothers introduced themselves and their current assignment to the other participants present.
The focus of the conference was to encourage the Brothers to be prophetic as Oblates and to be good examples of Religious life while they live among their brother priests. Their identity and mission in the Congregation as well as in the Church was highlighted during the following session. They also discussed how they could adapt themselves to the global developments by improving their various skills, which are needed to spread the Gospel.
The dominant atmosphere of this meeting was Oblate fraternity, joy, and enthusiasm. After a successful meeting, the Brothers returned to their own Units, hoping to have more such encounters in the future.