VINCENTIAN DIRECTORY 2011-2013
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.