Thursday, June 15, 2006

The Arrival of the CANOSSIAN FATHERS in the Philippines

The Canossian Fathers presence in the Philippines started in the hinterlands of Samar. They began the mission in Jipapad, Eastern Samar and in Conception, Arteche, Eastern Samar. The two pioneer missionaries are Fathers Vittorio Cavallaro and Eduardo Lanzalaco. They are working in a place wherein a road cannot reach because of circuitous rivers and unconquered mountains that isolate the two places.

In 1986 upon the invitation of then Cardinal of Manila, the late Most Reverend Jaime Cardinal Sin, the CANOSSIAN FATHERS in Italy sent some Fathers to start a mission and to open a Seminary in Manila.

The opening of the Seminary (here in New Manila) gave the chance to many young men to follow Christ in the priestly and religious life. Fathers Stefano Arnone and Carlo Bittante were the pioneers of the New Manila (Seminary) Community. Father Stefano returned to Italy.

Not after a long time the pioneering fathers started the mission, that is the Vocation Animation. They invited young men to attend search-in, forming prayer groups, youth encounters and personal contacts.

In November 6, 1987, Father Giovanni Gentelin arrived from Italy to complete the team. The following year, the Pontificio Instituto Missioni Estere (PIME) Fathers gave way for the Canossian Fathers to exercise their ministry to the poor. Eventually, they gave to the Canossian Fathers the administration of the San Pablo Apostol Parish in Magsaysay Village. From then on the Canossian Fathers flourished. Now, the Canossian Fathers is present in Marikina (for the Novitiate and Postulancy Program) and in Tala, Bataan as a chaplaincy of the Parish of St. Josephine Bakhita. Father Gerry Bongcawil, the first Filipino Canossian, is the chaplain.


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