Motivation and Prophetic Words

In 1976, the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the death of St. Hannibal Mary Di Francia motivated the proposal of “opening a Mission so as to spread the Charism of the Father” and was translated into a decision by the General Council “to find a venue in far-off lands for the apostolate of the Congregation.” The initial options were Mozambique, Angola and El Salvador. However, the final choice fell on the Philippines. Cardinal Rossi of the Propaganda Fidei advised the Rogationists, “Go to the Philippines. There you will be able to garner a lot of vocations, and with more priests, open Missions in Asia and Africa in later years.” In retrospect, those words uttered about four decades ago were indeed prophetic. Today, the St. Matthew Province is the most prolific circumscription in the Congregation. It is extensive both in geographical sense as well as in number of members. It comprises the Philippines, South Korea, Vietnam, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea. Until two years ago, India (now a separate Quasi Province) too was part of it. As of the end of 2013 (cf. Annuario 2014), one out of four Rogationist priests is a Filipino, and one out of three Rogationist confrere is of Asian origin. Their presence goes beyond the jurisdiction of the circumscription in Asia but extends to Cameroon (Africa); the USA and Mexico (the Americas); Italy, Albania, Poland and Spain (Europe). Reflecting the situation of the Catholic Church at the global scene, the constant growth of the Rogationists in Asia clearly impacts the entire Congregation.
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