A HISTORY OF TEAMS IN CEBU, PHILIPPINES
The first team formed in Cebu in 2000 under the founding guidance of Fr Jose Burgues, the Piarist Fathers Vice-Provincial Superior of the Philippines and Japan
The Cebu Sector celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2010 by which time the Cebu Sector was well-established
The Cebu Sector has developed a strong committee structure with committees responsible for Finances, Communication, Expansion, Documentation and Marketing, Programs and Religious activities.
The Sector has a rich annual program of activities, incl. the Lenten Recollection, Family Fun Day, Weekend Couples Retreat, Charter Mass and Commissioning of Responsible Couples, Information Day, Formation Day, Advent Recollection and Christmas Gathering.
The Cebu Sector has become increasingly supportive of the Piarist parish community through very active participation in preparing liturgies for regular weekly Sunday Mass, special feast day celebrations and the ordination of Piarist priests.
Teachers from the Sandhurst Diocese of Victoria (Australia) visited the Cebu Sector over 5 years as part of their cultural awareness program – from 2012 to 2016.
Leadership and Formation programs for team members were implemented in Cebu by the Oceania Regional Team in 2006 and 2016.
There have been regular visits from members of the International Responsible Team – in 2002, 2005, 2008 and 2009.
The Piarist Fathers have been very supportive of the teams in Cebu by being active Spiritual advisors and encouraging team members in all their team activities.
The Oceania Region brought members of the Sector Team to Australia to attend Oceania Regional Conferences and Formation activities in 2001, 2008, 2017 and 2019.
Three of the Spiritual advisors and two of the Sector Couples attended an International Teams Gathering in either Lourdes, Rome or Fatima.
Sue and Adrian Fordham (Liaison Couple for the Philippines)
We have been in Teams in Canberra since 1984 and, on behalf of the Oceania Regional Team, the Liaison Couple for the Philippines since 2003.
Liaison for us is an important part of Team life and a great way of contributing to the Team life of other members. Since 2003 we have been fortunate for the opportunity on two occasions to visit the Teams in Cebu, where Teams in the Philippines is concentrated. During both these fortnight-long formation visits, the mutual benefits associated with liaison were always at the forefront. We were able to inform Cebuano Team members about the range of activities that characterised Team life in Australia – such as our annual Charter Mass, Formation activities, Sector retreats, the role of ‘home-grown’ liturgy in Team meetings and approaches to annual planning.
We ourselves have gained so much from our liaison responsibilities. Over this time, as our friendships have deepened with members of the Cebu Sector so too has our understanding of family, social and work life in the Philippines and the Filipino culture. In many ways we ourselves have benefited more from our opportunity to liaise with the Cebu Sector and remain indebted to all Cebu Team members.
We would thoroughly encourage other couples to accept liaison responsibilities with Teams in both isolated regions and elsewhere in Australia. It is an exciting and valuable experience, and an essential part of Team life.