According to the Constitution of the Xaverian Missionaries, the general superior or his delegate should visit at least once each Xaverian community in order to encourage the brothers involved in missionary works. It is in this sense that our delegation of the Philippines has been honored by the visit of Fathers Luigi Menegazzo and Eugenio Pulcini, respectively general superior and counselor in charge of formation and Asia. For almost two weeks, our superiors met each confrere in the delegation in private in order to share with him his difficulties, joys and to motivate each to move forward in our religious commitment.
The visit of our general superiors was much needed after the difficult moment in which our delegation and particularly our Theologate went through: the sudden death of our beloved Martin on October 22 by drowning in a swimming pool and the powerful typhoon which struck the Philippines and particularly our brothers and sisters living in Tacloban City with a death toll of 6,190 according to local media. The presence of someone else assuring us, giving us hope and sharing with us our sufferings was a great consolation. In our meetings either public or private, the general direction has tried to do its best to boost our moral so that we may look and face the future with bright eyes. In their letter sent to the whole delegation, we can read: “Our impression is that the communities of the delegation are basically serene and that each confrere is committed to his own specific activity. This is an indispensable precondition for a fruitful collaboration among the various sectors of your missionary activities. We had the good impression of the formation in Philosophy and Theology communities. We saw also that your missionary vocation animation is on the right path with a simple program but realistic. There is no lack of commitment in the confreres and the pastoral communities are serene…” These simple encouragements of a father towards his children have necessarily played a leading role in pushing forward each to handle his missionary activities in serenity and peace of heart. On Martin’s death, our superiors found suitable words to strengthen us by pointing out all the graces received from Filipino people and the good testimony of his life which became a challenge for all Xaverian students. As future missionaries, we are invited to live a meaningful life which may attract people to God through our deeds and words like Martin did.
As loving fathers, our superiors warned us on many dangers which challenge our missionary and religious commitment in today world. Among many others, we can name the fact of hiding ourselves in “anonymous places” or real and virtual places bereft of history and relationships that are unable to guarantee a personal identity. They are places that make us culturally orphans and witch are sought out strangely enough by those who feel culturally and existentially orphans. The outcome of frequently visiting those places is a serious lack of motivation and charismatic focus.” Living in megamall cities, we run the great risk of taking delight in anonymous places due to the different challenges that our choice is facing in secular world; hence, the warning of our superiors is to be taken into consideration if we are to avoid the risk of losing the meaning and purpose of our presence with people to whom God sent us to. Being missionary in today’s world implies a strong decision which has to lead us to live in the world with an eschatological view. Many are the occasions that may easily distract us and lead us astray from the focus: Jesus.
Our entire delegation was very glad of their visit as we expressed it in different ways during their stay in the Philippines. We are also thankful for their insights, encouragements as for the warnings pointed out in their letter to Xaverian communities of the Philippines. As we journey, we entrust ourselves to God through the help our founder St. Guido Maria Conforti so that we may run counter the consumerism which the world enhances in various aspects.