A Claretian missionary from the East-Asian delegation had a foretaste of what it looks like and how it feels like being in the mission areas with Filipino Claretians of the Philippine Province. Sch. Francisco “Ken” Masuda, CMF from Tokyo formation community in Japan spent at least three months in the Philippines for his exposure as part of the program after finishing his studies in Licentiate of Sacred Theology in Sophia University.
He spent his first two months in Claret Theology house and had the chance to visit the mission works of Claret Urban Poor Apostolate (CUPA) in Rodriguez, Rizal. For some weeks, he was accompanied by some of the scholastics in reaching the different apostolate ministries such as Philippine Orthopedic Hospital (POC), New Bilibid Prison, and Home for the Aged. With his last month of stay, he went to Ormoc to witness the mission there particularly the ongoing housing projects for the Yolanda victims. He was with Frs’. Lary Miranda, CMF, Rene Manubag, CMF, and Christopher Ligason, CMF. It was also on the 22nd of September when he renewed his vow presided by Fr. Josep Maria Abella Batlle, CMF, superior general of the congregation who was conducting his canonical visit in Ormoc.
For his remembrance, Sch. Ken will not forget witnessing the faith of the people during his stay in the Philippines. “Truly, these people live in faith,” he said. “The youth especially imitates their elderly – that is something you can’t find in Japan.” He was also amazed by the devotion of the Filipino Catholics to the Sto. Nino and the Black Nazarene. “It’s amazing how they connect their lives with their faith,” he said. He did not miss saying how the Claretians in the Philippines accompany people on different walks of life. “They (missionaries) work not only to proclaim but to share the Word,” he added. Processing himself towards the end of his exposure, he learned deepening his spiritual life. He was rediscovering the importance of apostolate and prayer life. He said that both are inseparable. “Whenever I pray now, I would see faces of those people I met. I feel God embraces me with people. And my spiritual life changes meaningfully,” he said.
After Philippines, Sch. Ken will go directly to Taiwan to receive his new mission assignment.