MEETING OF THE PROVINCIAL MINISTERS
OF THE EAST ASIAN CONFERENCE IN KOREA
The provincial ministers of the East Asian Conference had its annual meeting at the OFM Provincial House in Seoul, Korea on October 09-11, 2000. The participants were the Provincial Ministers Br. Joachim Maekawa of Japan, Br. Leonardo Kim of Korea, Br. Oscar Ante of the Philippines, Br. Peter Ho of Taiwan, and Br. Alexis Tran Duc Hai of Vietnam. Also present were the Vicar General Br. Stefano Ottenbreit, Definitors General Br. Xavier Yu and Br. Capistrano Martzall, the SAAOC President Br. Scaria Varanath, and secretary Br. Andres Ma. Rañoa, and staff member Ms. Alma Bolipata.
October 9 Monday
At the opening rites, Br. Oscar, the conference president, presided over at the Holy Eucharist. At the start of the Mass, Br. Xavier and Br. Leonardo welcomed the participants to the meeting. In his homily, Br. Oscar stressed the bond that ties the members from different cultural backgrounds: following Jesus Christ in the example and charism of St. Francis of Assisi.
At the first session, Br. Oscar reviewed the objectives and activities of the meeting, while Br. Carolo Ho explained the house rules and other practical matters. After the short introduction, the participants devoted most of the day to listen to the reports of the provincial ministers on the situation of the provinces vis-à-vis the priorities of the Order.
After the evening prayers, they had supper and recreation together with the members of the Provincial House, led by the guardian Br. Augustine Choi. Br. Stefano and Br. Capistrano arrived later in the evening.
October 10 Tuesday
The Holy Eucharist was celebrated in the morning, with Br. Xavier as the presiding celebrant. During the Mass, Br. Stefano gave his message to the participants. The Vicar General situated the EAC meeting together with the meetings of the JPIC coordinators in Vossenack and of the vocation promoters in Assisi.
The two sessions in the morning were devoted to the dialogue between the Vicar General and the provincial ministers. On behalf of the conference, Br. Oscar expressed gratitude to the Vicar General for what the General Definitory is doing regarding the animation of the Order. In explaining the proposed revision of the structures, the Vicar General stressed the following matters: importance of the spirit behind the proposed re-structuring (our life and attitudes); our Franciscan identity as evangelizing fraternity; role of the general definitory as animators; and, the need to integrate different aspects holistically.
In the first session of the afternoon, Br. Carolo read the report of Br. John Lee, conference coordinator on Service for Dialogue. Incidentally, Br. John provided the provincial ministers a survey questionnaire to help create a resource center for the commission. Afterwards, Br. Oscar read the report of Br. Alan Castillo on the meeting in Cali, Colombia. Thereafter, the Vicar General, the responsible person for the Service for Dialogue, responded to the questions raised about this office. Among other concerns, he expressed his expectation that the EAC should exert more efforts in this area.
In the last session, Prof. Hee Sung Keel, a Korean resource person, gave a lecture on inter-faith dialogue. He explained the reasons why we should be committed to interreligious dialogue. He also listed down some ways on how to engage in fruitful dialogue. Finally, he enumerated some issues related to interreligious dialogue in the Asian region. After the input, the participants were given a chance to ask questions.
October 11 Wednesday
At the first session in the morning, Br. Scaria stressed the importance of the relationship between the two conferences, which should promote greater communion and build closer links. Then, he shared information about the SAAOC concerns, especially what happened in the most recent meeting in Australia.
The participants then spent two sessions on studying, clarifying and giving opinions regarding the proposed structures of the Order in the local/provincial, intermediate and general levels.
At the last session, the participants read the reports of the conference coordinators on formation, mission and JPIC, making some comments on the Statutes presented by the latter. Then, the president and the secretary gave their separate reports. Afterwards, the ministers elected the new conference officers. Elected were Br. Peter Ho as president and Br. Leonardo Kim as vice. The ministers also decided that the place for the next meeting of the combined conferences would be in Taiwan towards the end of June of 2001. The meeting ended with the celebration of the Holy Eucharist, which was presided over by the new EAC president, Br. Peter Ho.
© Macmade on Sat, Nov 4, 2000 at 11:28:06 by John Abela ofm (Communications Office - Rome)
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