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Monday, November 21, 2011

Malaysian IFFAsia graduates gathered for the first time

The Institute of Formation, Fondacio Asia (IFFAsia) based in Quezon City, Philippines was established in 2006 by the International Fondacio Community. It seeks to form young leaders from across Asia through a 10-month integrated formation program focusing on human, social, spiritual/theology and pastoral formation. As of date, some 80 young adults had been formed and are currently involved in mission work in their respective dioceses / parishes of their home countries throughout Asia.
The ten Malaysian graduates
Out of the 80 graduates, 10 are from Malaysia ~ five from Peninsular, three from Sabah and two from Sarawak. The graduates are Mag Chin and Lucy of the 1st batch, Ezekiel Raj, Josephine Tay and Wilfred James of the 2nd batch, Nina Chan of the 3rd batch, Cecilia Ong and Roselinah Francis of the 4th batch and Monica Lisa and Anna Teresa Peter Amandus of the 5th batch. Currently, three other Malaysians are undergoing formation in the 6th batch and are due to be send off, come March 2012.

Taking advantage of the Malaysian Youth Officers Meeting on 24th - 28th October 2011 in Penang, the 10 IFFAsia graduates planned much earlier to have a 3-day get together immediately after the said meeting.
Ezekiel and Wilfred, who were instrumental of the get-together, prepared the ground work and the event was held in Fr Murphy's House, Penang from 28th - 30th October 2011.
The seven graduates
Seven of us made it to the get-together, aimed at reflecting on one's vocation and direction after the formation in IFFAsia. Apart from that we shared about our personal journey, the plan ahead and exploring ways to network and supporting one another in our mission as bearers of hope. Also in attendance was Florence Alexius, the Country Responsible for Fondacio Malaysia.
Sharing in a relax environment
Praying and reflecting
Florence Alexius, Country Responsible for Fondacio Malaysia

During the 3-day gathering, the graduates shared of their joys and challenges being in mission. The sessions were really inspiring and motivating. Everyone was motivated, strengthened, refreshed and renewed. The members came out with a three-year plan which include formation, personal development plan, partnership in combined youth activities and mission trips.

Our plan
The gathering was simply marvelous and amazing. The spirituality we shared awakened us. Some of us met for the first time and yet the interaction was natural, comfortable and warm. The bonding and falling into clique came normal. Is it because we wear the same label from IFFAsia where we are send off to be bearers of hope and giver of light?

Our get-together is an acknowledgment that we are not alone in the mission of Christ. We will hold on together to go forth to make Christ's name known, loved and honored. Whenever we are uncertain, fall, feeling far from Him or even being crushed at times, God will send angels among us to guide and cheer us up.
Here we go!

Anna Teresa Peter Amandus is IFFAsia 5th batch graduate, send off in March 2011. She is currently the Director of the Youth Office in the Diocese of Sandakan.


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