DSC03302Every first week of August, our Religious Family of the Incarnate Word organize the cultural week. Since August 6th is the Feast of the Lord’s Transfiguration we carry out some cultural activities in order to celebrate and remember our specific purpose of evangelizing culture, which is plainly shown in this liturgical feast.

We launched the activities on Sunday, the 2nd by visiting the beautiful heritage town of Taal of Taal. (For more details of this cultural click here )

The following day the Convivium took place. From the Latin ‘living together’ in the Institute, Convivium, is one of the events during the cultural week which takes place near the Feast of the Transfiguration, is an event that seeks to cultivate the natural artistic talents of the members of the Institute in the various cultural feats. Unlike the Polyglosis which are presentations of the works of others, in the Convivium, the brothers are exhorted to present their own original works and talents.

DSC03382In the Convivium this year, the brothers were treated to an original story by Bro Bernardo Ibarra. It’s a fictional story entitled Miracle in the Darkness that revolves around an imagined episode during the Flight to Egypt. Bro Samuel from Taiwan presented a work of Chinese calligraphy, 3 words meaning that God is the origin of all things, attributed to the Qing Emperor Kang Xi. He first explained the paraphernalia of the Chinese calligrapher’s craft, explaining the special paper used, the brush, the ink cake and the ink stone used to grind the ink to the consistency and viscosity desired by the calligrapher depending on the style of calligraphy that he has chosen to do. Bro Victor from Mexico then presented on guitar 2 famous works by Johann Sebastian Bach, Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring and Ave Maria. A long poem on Santiago Matamoros, the patron of his hometown, was presented by Bro Emil in Tagalog. The fellowship was further heightened by snack served during the break, in a truly convivial atmosphere.

The next day  a video conference of our Founder, Fr. Carlos Miguel Buela was presented, where he explains the history of China’s evangelization and what things must be necessarily taken into account. (Click here to see the video)

DSC03503Continuing with the cultural activities the Polyglosis was performer. It originates from from the Greek words poly, which means many and glossa, meaning tongue or language. Language is a very important part of culture. In keeping with the charism of the Institute to evangelize culture in all its forms, polyglosis serves the purpose of introducing this literary element of culture to the brothers. In what must be a record of some sort, this year, presentations were made in 15 languages. Readings of the 13th chapter of First Corinthians in Greek mingled with poetry in Latin and moralistic folk tales in Malay. A long patriotic poem was declaimed in Tagalog and a song in Cebuano to the Santo Niño manifested the deep faith and devotion of the Filipino people. An excerpt of the Nestorian Steele in Mandarin, the Salve Regina in Taiwanese Hokkien and a selection from a famous poem by Qu Yuan in Cantonese reflected the diversity among the Chinese speakers. There were also presentations in Japanese and an excerpt of the Speech of Hernan Cortés to his confreres in Spanish and the Chanson de Roland in its original French.

Lastly we had the feast and the liturgical celebration of the Lord’s Transfiguration. This Feast of the Transfiguration is indeed a very important feast in the Institute whose mission is to evangelize. Our directory of Spirituality says: “The miracle of the transfiguration, by which Christ showed His disciples the glory and beauty of His body,

[…] reminds us of the specific end of our small Religious Family: to evangelize the culture– to transfigure it into Christ” [# 122]

The Religious Family of the Incarnate Word, comprising the of the priets, seminarians and novices of the Houses of Formation in the Philippines as well as the sisters of the Servants of the Lord and the Virgin of Matará gathered together at the Church of Mary Mediatrix of All Grace in Lipa. On this occasion, several brothers

institute-of-the-incarnate-word-ive-mass-vicar-provincial-father-luis-zapata-transfigurationThe Mass was celebrated by Fr. Luis Zapata, IVE, Vice Provincial of the Province of Our Lady of Sheshan which covers most of East Asia, and by Fr. Diego Ibarra, IVE, the Rector of the Seminary. as well as the parish priest of the Church of Our Lady, Mediatrix of All Grace, Father Dado Castillo who so generously allowed the use of the Church for this ceremony.

Even inconveniences such as the lack of electricity did not hamper the joyful spirit that pervaded the event as family members from near and far witnessed the brothers line up in front of the altar to profess their First Vows while others renewed their temporal commitment to live out the Evangelical Counsels of poverty, chastity and obedience.al.

The combined choir of the IVE brothers and SSVM sisters added to the festive atmosphere with hymns such as Palestrina’s Ecce Quam Bonum and O Sanctissima.

After the Mass, a festive lunch was offered to all, and the priest and brothers of the IVE, sisters of the SSVM and the family members and friends who graced the occasion were treated to a feast served by the IVE brothers.

Following the meal, a festive fogón added to the joyful atmosphere as the religious family displayed their talents in musical pieces and song. Instrumentals such as Pachelbel’s Canon in D on violin and piano and religious songs in Tamil, Mandarin, Tagalog, Spanish and English reflected the diversity of origin of the members present and capped a beautiful celebration for the greater glory of God.

We thank God for all the benefits He has given to us throughout this week.