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Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Thanks-giving and Send-off Mass for IFFAsia Batch 9 Graduates

Article by DS, photos by
Shirley and Peter Joseph
Fairview, Quezon City : The Institute of Formation, Fondacio Asia (IFFAsia) has achieved yet another milestone in its journey. 13 young leaders of Batch 9, from 8 different countries across Asia have completed an 11-month formation; one each from China, Mongolia, Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines, two from Laos and three each from Malaysia and Myanmar.  
2nd left: Imelda Soidi, 3rd left : Jellferlyne and 4th left : Amylyn
The three graduates from Malaysia, all from Sabah are Jellferlyne Joseph from the Diocese of Sandakan, Imelda Soidi and Amylyn from the Archdiocese of Kota Kinabalu.
The 8.30 am Thanks-Giving and Send-Off Mass was held at the Good Shepherd Cathedral, Fairview Park on Sunday, 8th November 2015. His Excellency, Most Rev Joel Baylon DD, the Bishop of Legaspi and the Chairperson of IFFAsia, presided over the Mass, con celebrated by seven other priests.
In his homily, the bishop said that people in the contemporary world are more concern on how people look at us rather than who we are, the actual person within us. This phenomena leads us to wear different masks in life, to look good, pleasant and successful.
The prelate cited the two events of the unnamed widows in scriptures; one, giving her two coins away to the treasury of the church and another offered her last handful of meal and a little oil to a prophet, they gave of their essence and not their surplus. Both incidents are gentle reminder that as followers of Christ, we are to be generous in the little we may have.
Addressing the young leaders, this is what the prelate said, 'As you go home to your family and friends and to your sending organizations, do remember these three significant matters while in mission; Look not at yourself but on others and God. Always prioritize on others. Be generous and take risk, always in the grace of God. Put your trust in God and He will do the rest'

Alice Tan, the Director of IFFAsia presenting the graduates to Bishop Baylon

Francis Tan from the Diocese of Sandakan putting on 
the cross on one of the graduates from Sabah
Alice Tan, the Director of IFFAsia, presented the young missionaries to Bishop Baylon in the presence of the entire congregation to be send forth in mission to their people and communities of their sending organizations. She asked the people to pray that God will guide the young people to be genuine witnesses in the renewal of the Church in Asia.
After the Holy Mass, IFFAsia held a special program and refreshment at the Institute at Radio Varitas Asia. Some 100 people; partners, supporters and well wishers attended the send off fellowship, themed 'Live Christ, Share Christ.' 
The event commenced with IFFAsia theme song, 'It's good to see you here,' and 'I want to know you a little more.' 
Alice Tan in her welcoming speech, extended her heartfelt thanks and acknowledged the presence of partners who have journeyed with IFFAsia throughout the years of mission. She thanked the local churches, the various religious and lay organizations and sending organizations for their belief in IFFAsia in training and forming young leaders, proclaiming the Good News with joy.
The slide presentations on the journey in IFFAsia began with a quote from Pope Francis, 'Dear young people, do not bury your talents, the gift that God has given you. Do not be afraid to dream of great things.' It touched on the 11-month life journey in the Institute, focusing on pastoral, human development, social and spiritual formation. The experiences and love acquired must be passed on to others.
The event concluded with everyone on the floor doing two traditional dances from Sabah and Myanmar respectively. 

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