Pope Francis this week sent his greetings and prayers to the Association of Major Religious Superiors in the Philippines (AMRSP) on the occasion of its 50th anniversary.
“The Holy Father recalls with gratitude the contributions of generations of consecrated persons to the building up of the Church through their multiple apostolates and work of charity,” read the pope’s letter through the Vatican’s secretary of state, Cardinal Pietro Parolin.
The message was read by Cardinal Charles John Brown, apostolic nuncio to the Philippines, in a video message (see further below) during the association’s joint biennial online convention this week.
The pope expressed his prayer that the association’s meeting “will inspire the consecrated men and women in the Philippines to discern fresh ways of bearing witness to the joy of the Gospel and forming vital communities of missionary disciples.”
The theme of this year’s ARMSP celebration is “Singkwenta sa Limang Siglo: 50 Years of AMRSP on the 500th Year of Christianity in the Philippines, Celebrating the Gift of Consecrated Life in Mission at the Service of God and of Humanity.”
The AMRSP is a joint forum of the Association of Major Religious Superiors of Men in the Philippines and the Association of Major Religious Superiors of Women in the Philippines.
It was formed in the early 1970s after the formation of the associations of men and women in the 1950s as a result of directives from the Sacred Congregation of Religious to form “permanent organizations of religious communities of (women/men) in the Philippines in the person of the major superiors.”
The original statutes of the associations said the purpose of the associations was “to coordinate the aforesaid Religious communities, to study the problems of common interest, and to assure their more effective solution through close collaboration.”
They are also mandated “to coordinate the activities of all institutes of consecrated life and societies of apostolic life” of men and women in the Philippines, “to study matters and problems of common interest and to assume their more effective solution through dialogue and cooperation.”
Watch this video of Cardinal Charles John Brown, apostolic nuncio to the Philippines, reading the pope’s message.