The Philippine MSSP region is still considered a young mission however by God’s grace and the guidance of the Holy Spirit we are seeing growth. One such development is the presence of a small group of lay people who are attracted by the MSSP charism. These persons have expressed their interest in committing themselves to live the missionary charism in the context of the Pauline spirituality according to the MSSP Tradition initiated by Joseph De Piro. There is no road map for the group, but we are just open to whatever the Spirit indicates to us.
Some of our MSSP Lay members from our community in Manila.
One such indication was to have a shared moment of prayer and retreat as both consecrated and lay people. The Lenten retreat which we held on the weekend leading to the second Sunday of Lent was a good opportunity to be together in prayer. All our brothers in formation as well as the three of us, ordained ministers serving in Manila, together with 9 lay persons, participated in this retreat.
We were guided by Fr Michael de La Guardia, a Salesian priest. Apart from the reflections, calling us to renew our love for the Lord, we had also some significant rituals. One such ritual was the washing of each other’s feet on Saturday night. It was a moment of reconciliation and healing of relationships. On Sunday there was a time for sharing in small groups which proved to be a very enriching moment, as we respectively listened to each other’s struggles and joys. For us consecrated people it is of great benefit to listen to our lay people and see how God works in their lives, lives that are fully engaged in the world of family life, workplace and so on. For the lay it was a blessing to have us consecrated people as their brothers who encourage and sustain them.
The retreat reached its climax in the renewal of the vows of our temporary professed brothers; Marco, Bryan, Can, Paulus and Mario.
On the whole, this shared experience of prayer and reflection is showing us that the Word of God, as interpreted in our charism given through Joseph De Piro, is finding new soil and it is producing fruit.
We would like to thank God for his faithfulness and for allowing his Spirit to guide us.
Our ordained MSSP members together with the brothers which renewed their temporary vows with our Community.