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It finally started! The Verbum Dei Asian Australian Encounter with the theme “Push out A Little From the Shore” (Luke 5:3) started yesterday Thursday, November 28. The participants were welcomed by the kind people of the Betania Retreat House.
The encounter opened with the Holy Eucharist officiated by Fr. Bong Guinoo, concelebrated by Fr. Iwao Ikegami and Fr. James McTavish.
Fr. Bong shared in his homily the importance of being one as a family in mission not only here in the Philippines but in other parts of the world. He invited the people to “Push Out a Little From the Shore” in our following of the Lord.
Before the end of the day there was a formal welcome of the different communities here and abroad. There was a skit, videos from the President of Verbum Dei, Fr. Rodrigo Carrizo; and from the head of the male branch, Fr. Ismael Barros. Sr. Antonieta Vargas, the General Superior of the Female Branch. addressed to us her message personally, as she is currently visiting the female communities in Asia. The program ended with a prayer of thanks giving leaded by Fr. James McTavish and Sister Rachel Lumain, the hosts of the encounter.
It was a great day for the participants. It's sure that a lot of surprises await us as the encounter unfolds and the other delegations arrive.
Here are some photos of our first day: