MANILA, Aug. 18, 2015 – “100 years of Taking Care of the Interest of Jesus.”
This is theme of the 2015 centenary of the Oblates of St. Joseph (OSJ) in the Philippines, a congregation pastorally managing 21 parishes, 5 seminaries, 2 renewal centers, and various schools all over the Philippines.
In preparation for this grand celebration, the OSJ planned a three-year program with the theme, “100 years of taking care of the Interests of Jesus”.
Kicking off in 2013, a year dedicated to Saint Joseph, the foster father of Jesus and the patron of the congregation, the 2nd year, 2014, then honored its founder, St. Joseph Marello.
Some 21 Italians and one American missionaries as well as 117 perpetually professed members (priests and brothers), 20 junior professed brothers, 7 novices, 8 postulants, 76 college seminarians, and 84 minor (high school) seminarians have been taking part in various activities to mark the event and to revisit the memories, the sacrifices, and the heroism of OSJ missionaries and most especially, of Divine Providence.
The congregation organized national and regional symposia. Cagayan de Oro City Oblates organized a Caravan for Saint Joseph Marello. Conferences on the lives and holiness of St, Joseph and St. Joseph Marello were given to further promote devotions to these two important protagonists in the OSJ’s lives.
On Aug. 26, the climax of the celebration will begin with a symbolic walk from a designated starting point to the town center of San Jose, Batangas. Archbishop Giuseppe Pinto, Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines, will preside over a Holy Mass, with bishops and priests concelebrating. Local and foreign delegates, seminarians, parishioners from the OSJ parishes, faculty, staff, and students of OSJ schools, members of other religious communities, families, and friends are expected to be there.
Lipa Archbishop Ramon Arguelles will celebrate a Eucharistic celebration to mark the send-off ceremonies on Aug. 29.
Then Bishop of Acqui, Joseph Marello founded the OSJ an Italian congregation of religious priests and brothers, in Asti, North Italy on March 14, 1878, with the intention of promoting and of taking care of the interests of Jesus in imitation of St. Joseph.
At first, Marello only intended this group to observe the evangelical vows. He wished that the members would dedicate themselves to a life of charity and of availability to the pressing needs of the Diocese of Asti, but it would eventually spread to other parts of the world. (Allen Cartagena / CBCP News)