FEB 25-28 Asian Mission Societies Meet at Pilar (AMSAL 2019)

The Korean Mission Society, Mission Society of the Philippines, Thai Mission Society, Lorenzo Ruiz Mission Society, Missionary Society of St. Thomas the Apostle and the Society of Pilar will be participating in the meeting of Asian-Born Missionary Societies of Apostolic Life (AMSAL) at the Pilar Animation Centre, Pilar, Goa. This is the 12th meeting of AMSAL.

February 25, 7.30 p.m. The entire Pilar complex priest members gathered together in the Pilar Animation Hall, presided over by Archbishop Felipe Neri Ferrao to welcome the AMSAL members. With kumkum, arati and garlands the guests were welcomed in Indian style by the postulants of the Pilar sisters who also presented a welcome dance. Each of the members of AMSAL were then introduced. The Archbishop spoke of the missionary impact of the Goan faithful. He spoke extensively of the greatest missionary of Asia, St. Joseph Vaz. The theology students entertained with instrumentals.

February 26:  The serious business of the sessions began. Each of the societies presented their apostolate by power points.

Fr. Seby Mascarenhas, the Superior General of the Society of Pilar presented the Society founded in 1887 in Agonda in Goa and reorganised in 1939. It now has 339 members in 30 dioceses of India and 8 other countries.

Fr. Jonathan Germinanda, Superior General, presented the Missionary Society of Philippines. It was founded in 1965 on the occasion of the 400th anniversary of Christianity in the Philippines. it was the wish of the Bishops Conference. They are now 72 members working in 8 countries.

Fr. Anthony Periyanoor, Superior General, presented the Missionary Society of St. Thomas the Apostle. IT was founded in Kerala in 1968 as a wish of the Syro Malabar bishops to have a missionary society. It has 365 priest members and they work in 12 countries besides India.

Fr. Adrian Pelosin is an Italian PIME father who worked for 41 years in Thailand. he wished for a Thai Missionary Society. While he was recovering from illness in Italy, the Thai Bishops Conference decided to start one. he went back and collaborated to found the Thai Missionary Society in 1990. They now have 29 priests.

Fr. Gabriel Kim, Vicar General of the Korean Missionary Society presented his society. It is a common theme that the bishops wanted a missionary society. so too was it in Korea. Founded in 1975, they now have 78 priests in 8 countries.

Fr Jomar Burgos presented the Lorenzo Ruiz Mission Society founded in 1997 by the Archbishop of Manila for the Chinese peoples. 

In the evening the AMSAL delegates visited the Sanctuary of St Joseph Vaz. And then had a pleasant relaxation at Zalor beach
February 27, 2019
It was an emotional day for everyone as the AMSAL members celebrated mass on the tomb of St Francis Xavier. They then walked along the Rua Direita, the main street of Velha Goa of the 16th century which ran from the banks of the Mandovi, past the Gandhi circle of today, towards the pillar of Inquisition and on towards Cruz dos Milagres. AMSAL members walked from the Mandovi through the Viceroy Arch, the Se Cathedral, St Francis Church, St Catherine Chapel, Sta Monica, St Augustine ruins and drove to Sta Ana in Santan!

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Fr. Tiburcio Ferrao then gave a stirring talk on Missio ad Gentes in history and for today. Moving from a Missiology of Proclamation, to a Missiology of the Kingdom to a Missiology of Faith in Jesus alone, he passionately pleaded for Missio ad Gentes without which the Society would die.
The evening was spent with tea at the Bishops house and dinner in the Generalate.
February 28, 2019
The AMSAL members were awestruck at the devout crowds as they celebrated the 7.30 a.m mass on the day of Fr Agnelo. It was followed by a session on Inter Religious Dialogue with Mr Bhide, Mr Gurucharan Singh  and Fr Ivan Almeida.

 

In the afternoon Fr. Aleixo Menezees, Rector of the Rachol Seminary regaled us with the history of the Rachol Seminary as history unfolded from 1610 to today and then treated the members to a sumptuous dinner with Goan delicacies.
Next was a visit to the Damodar temple at Zambaulim and the church of Rivona. The interaction with the temple priests was enriching and enlightening.The secretary and priest is a former IB officer!
The meet concluded in the Novitiate of the Society of Pilar at Colem, 60 kms from Pilar. The Novice Master Fr Alex Luis with his 8 novices gave us glimpses into their living.
All members were touched by the diverse programs. But the Mass at the tomb of St Francis Xavier was the most moving of all.
The next meet will be organized by the Thai  Missionary Society in Cambodia.