Davao: “Redemptorist Formation Community in times of pandemic and beyond”

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“Strong in faith, rejoicing in hope, burning with charity, on fire with zeal, in humility of heart and persevering in prayer, Redemptorists are apostolic men and genuine disciples of St. Alphonsus follow Christ the Redeemer with hearts full of joy; denying themselves and always ready to undertake what is demanding, they share in the mystery of Christ and proclaim it in Gospel simplicity of life an d language, that they may bring to people plentiful redemption.” (CSSR const.#20)

This part of the Redemptorist constitution is the very heart of our charism and mission. Having said that, I am firmly convinced that the purpose of RFC is to prepare our formands for mission.

As Redemptorist missionaries, we are mandated to undertake what is demanding in our mission. This also entails the ability and the willingness to risk our lives for the sake of the mission. From the beginning of the lockdown up to the present, the RFC community made its honest effort to continue reaching out to the people in various ways and platforms. We organized online masses, rosaries and communion-giving to the different Christian communities in the parish as ways of reaching out to the people deprived of the Eucharist and other spiritual services. We made ourselves available in our church liturgies. We reached out to the poor and hungry street dwellers by providing them something to eat through our midnight Christ program and participated in our weekly feeding program for the malnourished children in the parish.

The things that we have done during the time of the pandemic may not look so heroic and exemplary achievements, but they were relevant and formed part of our missionary expression and dynamism to bring Christ’s plentiful redemption during this time of global health crisis. For this reason, I thank the whole RFC for your courage and dedication to serve the needy despite the many restrictions and limitations of our resources.

Now that we are gradually going back to normal because the COVID cases are going down and the government has relaxed its protocols, we look forward to go out and engage once more with our wounded and suffering people. As we engage with the world and the people, let us bear in mind that this COVID 19 outbreak has fundamentally changed the landscape of our society. This new development calls for a more creative response on how best we can give ourselves for the plentiful redemption. A new area that we can explore further in our mission is the cyberspace.

Fr. Cris Mostajo, C.Ss.R

The Redemptorist Formation Community (RFC), located in Davao City, Philippines, is a student community comprised of professed Redemptorist students within the Asia-Oceania region
(including Philippines, Thailand, Singapore, Vietnam, Sri-Lanka, & Laos.)

The students undergo their theological formation either for brotherhood or priesthood in the St. Alphonsus Theological and Mission Institute (SATMI), which is located within the same compound.
RFC aims to form Redemptorist Missionaries that are well rounded in all aspects of life, be it in the area of human, spirituality, community, academics or pastoral. It encourages a vibrant and respectful exchange of cultures and tradition and constantly challenges all to reflect on our way of life which could best bring out the message of fullness of redemption to those we come into contact with, especially the poor and the abandoned.

(from Ang Lingganay Review, Davao 2020-2021)

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