The friars of the Custody of St Anthony (Malaysia-Singapore-Brunei) share their dreams and hope for the Custody in conjunction of the Declaration of Autonomy and in thanksgiving for the gift of vocation.
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In conjunction with the declaration of the Autonomous Custody of St Anthony (Malaysia-Singapore-Brunei), The Genesis Special Edition 2023 commemorates many friars of different background and origin who have laid the foundation in Singapore and making the dream come true for the locals in Singapore and Malaysia.
Our deepest gratitude and appreciation to all friars and friends who have been part of the formation of the Custody.
On April 17th, 2023, I renewed my Temporary Vows for the third time in Indonesia’s Francis Friary Chapel in Jakarta. It dawned on me that I had the experience of renewing my vows in the hands of three Provincial Ministers and my Custos to date. From my first profession of vows in the Philippines to my subsequent two renewals in Singapore and now in Indonesia.
This year, I find myself in my Franciscan year. God has led me to Indonesia to strengthen the connections between St. Anthony Custody of Malaysia-Singapore and St. Michael the Archangel Province of Indonesia. But the main reason I am here is to learn more about Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation and Eco-Pastoral, both in the fieldwork and in structured administration.
While being away from my brothers in the St. Anthony Custody of Malaysia-Singapore, I believe that God has prepared a unique path for me to experience Him. This path may be less traveled, but I trust that it is the right one for me. In every journey, be it healing from past wounds, restoring our hearts, or facing challenges in life, I believe that God is with me every step of the way.
At times, my focus may shift, and I may feel discouraged, but I know that the choice to follow this path is mine. This opportunity has taught me to step out of my comfort zone, encounter new things, and deepen my Franciscan spirituality as an Itinerant, much like Saint Francis of Assisi. He always praised the Lord in his journey and encounters with people.
In my encounters with the friars and people of Indonesia, I aspire not only to appreciate the differences and similarities in culture and language but also to allow God to guide me to see what He wants me to see and be what He wants me to be. Despite my weaknesses, I bear witness to how beautiful the world is made for all of us.
As I made my Third Renewal of Vows, I trust in God the Father to continue giving me the strength to see the world through the eyes of His Son, Christ Jesus.
Pada tangal 17 April 2023, saya memperbaharui Kaul Sementara untuk ketiga kalinya di Kapel Biara Fransiskus Jakarta, Indonesia. Saya menyadari bahwa saya telah memperbaharui kaul dalam tangan tiga Pelayan Provinsi serta Kustos. Berawal dari Kaul Pertama di Filipina, pembaharuan di Singapura dan kini di Indonesia.
Pada tahun ini, saya menjalani tahun Fransiskan. Saya meyakini bahwa Allah sendiri yang membawa saya ke Indonesia untuk mempererat hubungan antara Kustodi St. Anthony Malaysia-Singapura dan Provinsi St. Mikhael Malaikat Agung Indonesia. Selain itu, Saya juga belajar lebih banyak mengenai Komisi Keadilan, Perdamaian dan Keutuhan ciptaan serta Ekopastoral, baik dalam kerja lapangan maupun dalam hal tata administrasi.
Meskipun berada jauh dari saudara-saudara di Kustodi St. Anthony Malaysia-Singapura, saya percaya bahwa Allah telah menyiapkan jalan yang unik bagi saya untuk mengalamiNya. Jalan ini mungkin kurang dilalui, tetapi saya percaya bahwa jalan ini adalah jalan yang tepat bagi saya. Setiap perjalanan, baik itu penyembuhan dari luka batin, pemurnian hati, atau menghadapi tantangan hidup, saya percaya bahwa Allah selalu bersama saya.
Terkadang, fokus saya mungkin berubah dan mungkin merasa putus asa, tetapi saya sadar bahwa pilihan untuk mengikuti jalan ini adalah pilihan saya. Kesempatan ini telah mengajarkan saya untuk keluar dari zon selesa, mengalami hal-hal baru, dan memperdalam spiritualitas Fransiskan saya sebagai seorang musafir dan perantau (Itinerant), seperti Santo Fransiskus dari Asisi. Dia selalu memuji Tuhan dalam perjalanannya dan dalam perjumpaan dengan setiap orang.
Dalam pertemuan saya dengan para saudara fransiskan dan orang-orang di Indonesia, saya diteguhkan tidak hanya untuk menghargai perbedaan, persamaan budaya ataupun bahasa, tetapi juga membiarkan Allah membimbing saya untuk melihat apa yang Dia ingin saya lihat serta menjadi seperti apa yang Dia inginkan. Walaupun memiliki kelemahan, saya menjadi saksi tentang betapa indahnya dunia yang diciptakan bagi kita.
Ketika memperbaharui kaul Ketiga, saya percaya pada Allah Bapa yang terus memberi saya kekuatan untuk melihat dunia melalui mata PutraNya, Yesus Kristus.
We are blessed to have two new novices in 2023. On 14 January, Friar Peter Michael, Director of the Novitiate at St Anthony Friary, received Friars Jorgerson Japar and Nicholas Lee into the Novitiate programme.
Novitiate is a sacred time during which the novices undergo an intense period of formation to know and experience the Franciscan way of life. It is a year for them to understand themselves, to form their minds and hearts more deeply in the spirit of St Francis, and to test their resolution and suitability for the life of a friar.
The novices begin their day with Morning Prayer and Mass at 7 am. They then attend classes on Franciscan Spirituality, Franciscan History, the Writings of St Francis and St Clare, and the Constitutions of the Order. At noon, they have Midday Prayer followed by lunch and then personal time. At 6 pm, they gather with the rest of the community for Evening Prayer followed by dinner and then Night Prayer at 8 pm.
Novices also have household chores. They cook for the community twice a week and do some cleaning and gardening. On Thursday mornings, they assist in teaching Catechism classes at St Anthony’s Primary School.
Please keep Jorgerson and Nicholas in your prayers as they continue on their Novitiate journey.
Fifteen young men joined the Franciscan Vocation Discernment Retreats held in Singapore and Kuching last November and December. The aspirants accepted the invitation to Come and See Franciscan spirituality and the Franciscan way of life for different reasons, but they all shared the same desire: to seek the will of God in their lives.
Friar Giacomo Bini OFM, former Minister General of the Franciscan Order, said, “Nowadays, fraternal holiness is more effective than personal holiness.“ Inspired by this wisdom, the retreat was planned to help the aspirants learn more about God and about themselves through a fraternal living experience.
Over four days and three nights, they prayed, reflected, ate and shared as a fraternity. It was a safe space where everyone could be open and honest in sharing. The aspirants came as individuals, but it did not take long for each to feel a sense of belonging to the fraternity they formed during the retreat.
Eight aspirants (from Singapore and West Malaysia) at the retreats in Singapore (3-6 November and 15-18 December) and seven (from Sarawak, East Malaysia ) at the retreat in Kuching (1-4 December).
The new “fraternity” in Kuching was even inspired to compose a song together. They titled their song “Panggilan Hidupku” (My Vocation).
The aspirants left the retreat grateful for the brief experience of Loving God the Franciscan Way. Some expressed interest in discerning more intensively about a vocation to the Order in the next few years. Others said that the experience had opened their eyes to new possibilities and would help them make more informed decisions.
The friars involved too were grateful for the retreat experience. As Friar Robin Toha, who is part of the Vocation Team, said, “It is a joy to share life with the aspirants. Often, their stories inspire me and renew my commitment and desire to love and serve God and others as a friar.”
We ask for your prayers for these young men as we continue journeying with them, that they may discern the will of God for their lives.