I am now in Zamboanga City, in the island of Mindanao, south Philippines. I had problems connecting in the past days, so you might have been frustrated trying to know …where is Fr. Sergio?
I spent few days in Manila, at our parish “Mary Queen of Apostles.” You would not believe how many are the members of the parish. They are about 120,000, more than a Diocese! Unfortunately, continuos rain prevented me to go around and take pictures.
But we could go to Tagaytay, where PIME has an International Seminary. I was the first Rector in 1999. I totally forgot how heavy rain can be in this period in Tagaytay. It was really scary. Fr. Steve Baumbusch is the present Rector, with Fr. Piergiacomo Urbani as Spiritual Director. It is a great team, really! The community is not very large, just 11 seminarians. Perfect number for a very alive and committed group of young men preparing for missionary priesthood in PIME. Seven of them are from India, two from Myanmar and one from the Philippines. I interviewed all of them and the stories of their vocations are very interesting.
I am now in Zamboanga City, where officially PIME has its Regional House. I have so many memories of this place! My mission – Sibuco – is not too far, four or five hours by truck and then by boat. I used to come here every three or four months to rest, eat some good food and try to call my parents.
But here – in May 1992 – they killed one of our missionaries, Fr. Salvatore Carzedda. The memory is still very alive with me. From the airport, we passed by the exact point where they shot Salvatore. My heart missed a beat.
Monday we will start the retreat and – sorry – but I will not be able to write anything, being totally available for the particpants of the 2009 Euntes course. Euntes – as you may know from the August issue of PIME World – is a PIME endeavor to help our Asian brothers and sisters develop missionary spirituality and awareness.