“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He has anointed me…” This verse from the Gospel of Luke (v. 4:18) was a fitting theme for the Launching Mass of IFFAsia’s Batch 12 (SY 2019). It was held on January 27, 2019 at Radio Veritas Asia Chapel for the nineteen participants, from nine Asian countries – Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, South Korea, Vietnam, and two new countries, East Timor and Bangladesh. As the participants embark on their eleven-month formation in the Philippines, they were blessed by the presider, Bishop Joel Baylon, the Chairman of IFFAsia Board of Directors. During the Rite of Commitment, they entrusted their formation process to the Lord by bowing before the Paschal candle representing Christ, the Light of the world received in their Baptism, and reverencing the Word of God by placing their hand on the Bible. Following the Mass, a fellowship took place for IFFAsia participants, staff, members of Fondacio Philippines community, mission partners, sending organizations, including families and friends. Also present were some of the participants’ foster families from the Christmas season. Over lunch, all present were entertained by a program put together by the participants, and led by two emcees, Izu from Myanmar and Jecy from the Philippines. Their performances not only showcased their unique cultures and talents, but also highlighted their ability to come together and collaborate on a project. It was a truly beautiful display of unity amidst diversity!
During the event, Bishop Baylon, was also given a surprise greeting for his forthcoming birthday. He expressed his hope that IFFAsia will continue to form and develop more young leaders for the Church and society in Asia. The formation is just the beginning of the participants’ mission. There will certainly be challenges along the way, but in the words of the lyrics of their opening performance, “When Jesus says “YES”, nobody can say “NO”!
Would you like to know more about our participants? Watch this brief introduction video https://youtu.be/O5nTaYYzf9Q.