The Melanesian Brotherhood Head (MBH) Brother Matthias Tovotasi, The Anglican Church of Melanesia Board of Mission Secretary Rev. George Elo and the MBH Secretary Alphonse Garimae visited two (2) Melanesian Brothers (Tasius) and three (3) Palawan Novices in the Diocese of Palawan in Philippines from 26th June to the 8th of July 2014.
The purpose of the visit is to strengthen the partnership between the Anglican Church of Melanesia and the Iglesia Filipina Independiente through the work of the Melanesian Brotherhood in the Missionary diocese of Palawan.
During the visit, The Head Brother Matthias Tovotasi thanked Br. Andrew Letade and Br. Simon Peter and the three (3) Filipina Novices namely Jay-R Domingo, Nestor Nacionales and Romel Basilio for their continuing work in helping Melanesian Brotherhood grow in that part of the world.
“I thank you two for your dedication and commitment in serving Palawan Diocese and other Dioceses in the Philippines” Br. Tovotasi said.
The Melanesian Brotherhood of the Anglican Church of Melanesia has been sending Brothers since 1997 when the Diocese of Palawan of the Iglesia Filipina Independiente (IFI) was moved with work of the Melanesian Brotherhood. Following that invitation, a Religious Order of young men to serve in the Philippines began following the pattern of the Melanesian Brotherhood with in the three – fold Religious Vows of Poverty, Chastity and Obedience.
During this visit, the team also met with the Supreme Bishop at the IFI Head Office in Manila on 26th June
2014 in which the Most Rev. Ephraim Fajutagana, D.D acknowledges the work of the Brotherhood in Palawan. In his words the supreme bishop told the group that despite of financial difficulties for the smooth running of the Brotherhood it will be a wrong decision for the Brotherhood to consider withdrawing its mission from Palawan Diocese. MBH Secretary also said that they met with Rev. Dr. Terry Revolido and talked about the possibility of training from the Aglipay Central Theological Seminary (ACTS) for the training of Novices at Pulot Household.
Lectures from different subjects will travel to give lectures to the Novices. However, this depends entirely on finance. ACTS is one of the Theological Institution in Philippines. It was also agreed during this visit that there will be admission of 3 Novices as professed Brothers on 28th October this year 2014 at Pulot Household. They also agreed on a request to send another 2 Brothers to join Br. Andrew who served almost 15 years as Brother and Br. Peter who served 3 years.
In Manila, the Head Brother officiate the Holy Eucharist and Rev. George Elo shares from the word of God to parishioners around Pulot House hold who travelled some 30 Kilometres to attend the Mass.
Though the work of the Brothers to serve in Philippines grew, there is still need for financial support on Novice training programme in Pulot household, Palawan, the MBH Secretary Mr. Alphonse said.
Mr. Alphonse said, according to the Brother In charge, Andrew Letade; many young men are interested to join the Brotherhood but due to financial difficulties they did not accept them.
In that regards Mr. Alphonse made an appeal on behalf of the Head Brother and the Brotherhood in the Solomon Islands or abroad to support the training program in Palawan. Contact the Anglican Church of Melanesia MBH Secretary Mr. Alphonse Garimae on email firstname.lastname@example.org or Phone (+677) 26355 at Chester Rest House for queries or make a donation. Your donation will go towards expanding the word of God to our brothers and sisters in the Diocese of Palawan, Philippines. Let’s put our hands together to build the church of God as it is in heaven.