By Fr. Alde Bureros, sss
The Provincial Assembly that took place on Tuesday, April 10, prior to the Province of Our Lady of the Assumption (POLA) Retreat proper, was indeed grace-filled - a momentous opportunity to assess in a nutshell the status of the Province and, at the same time, proactively anticipate what is in store in terms of our Eucharistic mission. The talk of Fr. Enrico Gonzales, O.P., on New Evangelization was catching and sensible in a way it evokes the preachers’ integral traits in order to make the Word of God, the Gospel of Jesus, more relevant and appealing to people in this time and age. Likewise, the thoughts and reflections of Mr. Dante Chua from the point of view of the lay, who play a greater role as counterparts of our mission, were enlightening. His candid evaluation of our collaboration with them, to a certain extent, was an eye opener towards our greater appreciation of the laity’s indispensable role in our mission.
The talks given by our distinguished guests certainly jumped off to POLA’s next steps particularly as we are gearing towards our 8th POLA Chapter. As such, the council members were moved to share what they have done so far as mandated by the 7th POLA Chapter in 2014. The report made by each council member is not only a quantitative presentation of positive results but a reflection of how Jesus, our Eucharistic Lord, journeyed with us and with our endeavors. Our praise is due to Him who is the source of our strength and courage; that amidst the enormous challenges that we are facing every day, we are ready to live steadfastly the calling that we professed to God. Moreover, our leaders in the Congregation, the council members, have had their share of “Jesus’ cross” in bearing the weight of the responsibility being entrusted to them. Thus, it is fitting to congratulate them and give them a pat on the back for accepting the challenge in managing the various concerns of the province.
Taking into account the directionality presented by the council members, the assembly was moved to participate in the Small Group Discussion to work on various proposals that are subject to deliberation in the upcoming 8th Provincial Chapter. As an initial assessment, the proposals submitted by the different small groups project the “heart and soul” of the assembly. They reflect what the assembly longed for. They manifest hopeful concerns that hold no other intention but a fruitful pursuit of our Eucharistic mission. With our motto “May Your Eucharistic Kingdom Come,” we bend to God’s providence that with the intercession of our holy founder, Saint Peter Julian Eymard, we may unwaveringly give witness to the great mystery of the Eucharist.