Newsletter of the District of Asia

 Jan - June 2006

Father Purdy’s Letters
March - April 2006

St Bernard Noviciate
Santa Barbara, Iloilo

Dear Friends and Benefactors,

“The Harvest is indeed great, but the laborers are few. Pray the Lord of the harvest that He send workers into His field.” Happy news from St. Bernard Novitiate! In the past few months several young men have come to the novitiate to try a priestly or religious vocation. It is the answer to many prayers, prayers especially to the Mother of God, the Mother also of the clergy. Since August of last year, to conclude each rosary, one extra decade is said ‘for vocations from the Philippines’. How encouraging it is to see clearly the hand of God and Our Lady’s Motherly care in sending more young men to the novitiate. At the moment, we have five aspirants to the religious or priestly life and I am in contact with others also seeking to join us.

The number of men coming to the novitiate presents a certain problem; a shortage of rooms. Because of the shortage it is necessary to move ahead with the development of the second floor. At present there are six rooms upstairs, leaving the other half of our large building undeveloped. In order to develop the area, the plywood flooring needs to come up, a concrete floor is to be poured and partitions made. The costs of building do not compare to other nations, however, money is still needed for the project. In this month of St. Joseph, we pray to him for assistance in this project in order to provide for the vocations coming to us. We also entrust ourselves to your generosity.

As some of you know, we are finally able to build a church in the city of Bacolod. This is located about one hour ferry ride from Iloilo City. The church will be a great blessing and the result of ceaseless efforts of the faithful. Approximately 130 faithful now attend Mass in a shopping mall, which certainly does not promote the apostolate, nor does it convince people of our Catholicity. The ceremony of ground breaking took place on February 25. Attending the ceremony were four Filipino-American benefactors from California, as well as the Taculing Barangay Captain (Community Chief).

An encouraging aspect of our apostolate in Bacolod is the very active Legion of Mary. I enclose for your perusal an email sent to me by the president of the Praesidium Immaculada Concepcion of the Legion of Mary in Bacolod.

“It has been almost a year since the Bacolod Legion of Mary was born last March. We started with 8. Now we are 11... We are a young and struggling group trying to be and meet what it takes to be an army of the Blessed Virgin Mary...”

“Currently, we have 5 catechism centers with an estimated 180 kids and adults participating. These are in Brgys. Taculing (the site of the proposed church), Sum-ag, Tangub (new) and also inMalalusan, all in Bacolod City and in a barangay ofMurcia (new) -a town east of Bacolod. The last one is where a Protestant group is gaining ground, having converted some Catholics into their faith. This alarmed one Legion member from that place. With great effort, she and a partner started to catechize the people there. Gladly and by prayers, her group is growing. Another center will hopefully be started soon, being targeted by 2 members. The legionary spirit and energy just keeps them going and going...”

“The Junior Legion is expected to grow more. Many teens from the new catechism centers have expressed interest in joining the group. This poses a challenge to the organizers on how to go about this development. Presently, there are 25 active junior members.”

Fr. Adam Purdy
Novice Master

full letter of Fr. Purdy


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