Cotabato (Fides Service) - At this time of increasing tension in southern Philippines with fighting between the regular army and the separatist rebels of the Moro National Liberation Front the Oblate Missionaries of Mary Immaculate renew commitment to work for peace and reconciliation. This statement was made by recently elected new provincial superior of the congregation Fr. Ramon Ma Bernabe, who will take office on 15 February during a solemn Mass in the chapel of Notre Dame University in Cotabato.
Notre Dame university, run by the OMI missionaries, is renowned throughout the country for the quality of its education and also various activities to promote dialogue between religions and cultures, to prevent social, ethnic and religious conflict and further economic, social and cultural development in Mindanao. Precisely the university’s attitude of openness draws many Muslim students to the campus.
The Mass for the installation of the new OMI provincial superior will be presided by Archbishop Orlando Quevedo of Cotabato who wished the new provincial all the best for his pastoral service. By way of reply Father Bernabe affirmed the commitment of the Congregation for promoting reconciliation and peace at grass level on the island of Mindanao. Among the priorities of the OMI community in the Philippines to act as a bridge in society working to promote social harmony and peaceful living together of people of different ethnic and religious origin.
(PA) (Agenzia Fides 14/2/2005 righe 26 parole 278)