The month of May is a time where friars come together in one place from different communities primarily to do annual retreat in preparation for renewal of vows of the simply professed. But is also an opportunity to get together for days of study, sportsfest and have activities known in the Philippines as “Family Days.”
Retreat for Profession and Renewal of Vows
This year, the retreat conducted by Rev. Fr. Martin Mary, the Philippine delegate, was held in Franciscan Seraph Retreat House in Talisay. The theme of this year’s retreat was: “Religious Life: Pleasing Aroma of Christ to God” (2 Cor 2:15). Its a biblical retreat based on the Letters of St. Paul to the Corinthians. There were 36 friars who participated in the retreat, four of whom are novices preparing to make their first profession of vows. The rest are friars who renewed their vows. It was certainly a fruitful and intense retreat when we revisited again the basics of religious life as act of worship based on the spiritual outline of St. Paul’s Letters to the Corinthians.
Sportsfest and Inter-Community Competition
Gathering of young men and boys will certainly be a “high octane” gathering where the spirit of fraternal competition and sportsmanship prevailed. Various outside sports were organized ranging from basketball, volleyball and football. The teams were organized according to the community where they belong: Tolotolo Friary Team, Gaboc-Cagayan Team, Naga Friary Team, Lagro-Talamban Team. In the end, the hosting community of this year’s sportsfest, namely, the Tolotolo Friary Team emerged to be the Champion. Awards night followed for all participants to bring back to their respective communities.
Family Days and Getaway Activities
The hot summer season of May in the Philippines is a wonderful opportunity to get away from the “congested” (yes, literally) small space of our community in Tolotolo Friary. It was planned and decided that everyone will come and visit Cabantuan Island near Cebu. It was cherished moments of fraternal sharing, of laughter, playing and being refreshed away from schools, apostolate and the daily routine of life. Family days are moment when we try to remove tensions in the community and be able to have light and enjoyable conversations together. It is a means in creating a spirit of family bonded with love and mutual understanding. Plus, the place is gorgeous to visit.