MANILA, July 15, 2015 –- With nearly 500 years of the Christian faith urging it forward, the Philippines doesn’t only field an unheard number of Filipino missionaries to other continents, particularly, Europe, it has also become a formation hub for members of the clergy, seminarians, and sisters from abroad.
This was the part of the Episcopal Commission on Mutual Relations’ (ECMR) report during the 111th Plenary Assembly of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) this week.
Sr. Joy Carmel L. Jumawan, Carm. O.L., ECMR’s executive secretary said from August 2014 to July 2015, there were 449 religious men and 1,115 religious women sent abroad to do missionary work.
193 religious congregations
During the same period, 343 religious men and 651 religious women arrived in the Philippines from Vietnam, China, Indonesia, and South Korea and are currently studying in various colleges and universities.
These foreign and Filipino missionaries come from a combined total of 193 religious congregations.
Most Filipino priests come from the Society of the Divine Word while nuns come from the Reparatrix Sisters of the Sacred Heart.
Foreign missionaries in PH
During the 1960s, it was common to see Redemptorist missionaries from New Zealand and Australia, Jesuit educators at various colleges and universities across the country as well as American missionaries from the Society of the Divine Word in a number of provinces where they also managed schools. There were also Belgian missionaries from the CICM in northern Philippines.
In recent years, Filipino missionaries from the Society of the Divine Word and the Salesians of Don Bosco were assigned to East Timor while nuns from the Religious of the Virgin Mary were posted in Kupang, West Timor in Indonesia. (Melo M. Acuña/CBCPNews)