There  are  at least in the  Philippines) but  the written histories  belong mostly to the older Provinces, i.e China and the Philippines.  For our seminary formation  we need some materials so that our students and professors could  read and get to know the other provinces in Asia.

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The 2011-2013 "Catalogus Provinciarum, Domorum ac Personarum" (Vincentian Directory) shows  the progress  of the  Vincentians in Asia,  the most populous continent.  Several significant notes from the  2012-2013 "catalogus " are:  1) the inclusion of the Vice Province of Vietnam with  55 priests, seven  deacons and 26  scholastics and a median  age of 45 years.  2) The youth  of  the Asian  provinces. The median age of South India Province is 42.9; North India 47.2; Indonesia 49.5; Orient 54.9; Philippines 50.4; China 59.8;  Vietnam 45.  3) South  India and  the Philippine Province  are tied for  the highest number of  priests at 106.  4) The Philippine Province  has two  bishops, while North India has one.  Despite  the encouraging  progress in Asia, the number of Vincentians working in the continent is minuscule in relation  to  the Asia population.

Australian and  the Philippine Province


                On January 25,2013,  the  Philippine  Province  celebrated  the  golden anniversary of ordination to the Priesthood of  Father  Constancio Gan,CM and Father Renato Ruelos,CM,  the first two native Filipino Vincentians to reach the  golden anniversary (1963-2013) after Father Jesus Maria Cavanna (1988).  While it  was a big occasion for  the  P:hilippine Province,  a great credit  should go  to the Province of Australia where  they  and several other Vincentians finished  their  theological formation.  Our Australian trained Filipino confreres  are  rightly  proud of  their formation which   was not only  intellectual and  spiritual  but also  social  and  sports oriented.  The  Philippine  Province was very fortunate and privileged  to find Provinces  that  sacrificed a lot  for  helping  in  the formation of  the Filipino  Priests who  would  become very eager and  zealous missionaries around the world. The  Spanish  Provinces, the  American Provinces, the Australian and the Roman Province  have  provided  a very important source of formation  which is also  being transmitted  not only to new Vincentians  but  to diocesan seminarians as well.


Education of Women and the Daughters of  Charity in  the Philippines.


As of 2013,  there have been two women Presidents in  the Philippines: President Cory  Aquino and President Gloria Arroyo Macapagal.  In addition, there  were many  Senators, Congresswomen,  business leaders who proudly  represent  women  in the political, social and educational  fields. The Daughters of Charity, who arrived in the Philippines with the Vincentian Fathers  in 1862, were  the early educators of Filipino women who  made it possible  to produce highly educated  women  during  the past  150 years.


A recent study on education,  published by Marya Svetlana Camacho  in  “Manila, Selected Papers of the 20th Annual Manila Studies  Conference, July 28-29,2011,”  concluded with the following words: “The Daughters of Charity was  the first religious community that came from Spain to undertake teaching as a primary  mission in the Philippines.  Till then,  the existing beaterios served as centers  of feminine education as conceived  at that time, in a private capacity.  Secular colegios like  Santa Isabel were exceptional. The Daughters of  Charity  brought  with  them  curriculum and a pedagogy developed  over the years in Europe, representative and  supportive of  the modernization  recently  legislated for the Philippines. Their assignment to run  the Escuela Municpal de Ninas de Manila  was a concrete gesture of  the city government to advance  the education of girls along the lines of the aforementioned reform.” (Marya Svetlana Camacho, “Reforming Women’s Education in Mid-Nineteenth Century Manila” in Manila, Selected Papers of the 20th Annual  Manila Studies Conference, July 28-29,2011, pp.53-73.


Vincentians in Asia in  the book "The Vincentians"  by Mezzadri and Onnis

The book "The Vincentians, a General History of the CM. Volume 2" by Luigi Mezzadri and Francesca  Onnis is a very rich  mine of information for the history of the Vincentians  all  over the world.  This short article is limited to noting the information about Asia during the eighteenth century as  contained in  the  book.  In general, the book has many information  about Asia that  were not readily available, mostly  because of the language barrier.

The Vincentian presence in China and India, and, to some extent in Vietnam, is  very  well developed based on  the records of missionaries in those countries. It is important to note  that there are scattered information throughout  the  book but  the index is quite comprehensive.  One should not  be satisfied  to look  up; China, India or the Philippines; one has to look  up various cities in those countries  to find added data.  By the way,  the Philippines is not mentioned in the index  but  Manila  had  two references which  could lead  to other details.  There was  no Vincentian house in Manila before  1862  but there were several  Vincentians (e.g. Fr.Pedrini) who must have  passed  through the city in  the eighteen  century.  On page 505 of the book, it  is said  that "Manila was only  200 leagues from China." According to Google , 200 leagues is equivalent to 690.46 miles; as a matter of  fact , Hongkong in China is 734 miles from Manila.

Here are some  place names in Asia as  listed in the index of the book: China,Beijing, Dongtang, Fukien, Jiangxi, Macau, Nanjing;  India, Goa; Manila; Tonkin, Cochinchina; Malacca. Sometimes , the cities are given  more references  than the countries, for example Goa  has more  references than India; Manila has more references than the  Philippines, etc.

Overall, the book is a great scholarly and informative work and, hopefully, the next volumes  will continue to provide the Vincentians a historical  glimpse and inspiration to continue following in the  footsteps of St.Vincent de Paul.



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