Second Decade (1986-1995): Focus Moves from Formation to Apostolate. Socio-Educational Institutions and First Experiences of Mission outside the Philippines

The assistance to the poor and the human promotion, without doubt, were present in the parish and seminary programs. Examples of these were: the catechism classes in the depressed areas of the parish, the scholarship programs and the Sunday oratory for poor children known as Fr. Hannibal’s Children. However, the Rogationists’ specific apostolate of for education and human promotion of the youth would find its distinctive expression in the Philippines through Saint Anthony’s Boys Village in Silang, Cavite. In June 1987, the first batch of orphans and youth-at-risk were received in the Village. In the same campus, the Rogationist Academy (which would develop into the Rogationist College) was inaugurated.
The essential socio-educational dimension of the Congregation was a necessary complement to vocation formation. The formation of Rogationist candidates does not happen in a void but within concrete contexts. Furthermore, Rogationists are formed for the mission of education and the commitment to human promotion. For this reason, the Rogationist socio-educative institution provided both the concrete field for practical training of young religious as well as the new area of apostolic commitment for the first batches of Filipino Rogationists who, starting in the mid 80’s, would be ordained priests. Later, similar socio-educative institutions rose: Saint Anthony’s Boys Village and the Rogationist Academy in Davao (1990), the St. Hannibal Multi-Level School in the Parish in Multinational and the Rogationist College – Paranaque (2008). These institutes remain until now distinctive marks of the Rogationists’ commitment to the youth of the Philippines.
The availability by some of its members to go to foreign missions also characterized the second decade of the Rogationist presence in the Philippines. In 1987, the Rogationists started its presence in India. At the initial stages some Filipino Rogationist students studying in Rome assisted the Italian formators in India. Later, Religious in Practical Training came directly from the Philippines. Consequently, India would become part of the “Philippine-Indian Delegation”. Some of the first Filipino Rogationists were assigned to India as formators and the first Indian confreres spent a good part of their formation in the Philippines. This state of affairs lasted until the mid 90’s. In this period, too, some other Filipino confreres worked as missionaries in Rwanda and Albania right after their ordination to the priesthood.
The experience of the international community in the Center Studies in Rome, Italy of those taking the specialization, the presence of Indians in the Center of Studies in Paranaque, Philippines, the experience of Practical Training outside the Philippines, the assignment of Filipino confreres to Rogationist communities in other countries were some of the factors that contributed to favorable openness of the Philippines to foreign missions which would remain a hallmark of the Rogationist reality in the Philippines. Today, some 20 Filipino Rogationist priests are assigned in communities outside the Philippines.
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