AOMC 2009 Report

A Brief Report on the Asia Oceania Mariological Conference (AOMC)

– Sister Celia Chua, MIC

September 11 -16, 2009, Philippines

The very first Asia Oceania Mariological Conference (AOMC) was held in Batangas, Lipa City from September 11 to 16, 2009 with the theme Mary and the Re-evangelization of Asia Oceania: forerunner, witness, and fullness.

Archbishop Socrates Villegas, the convener and chairperson of AOMC, together with many benefactors and volunteers from the Philippines, prepared well for the conference. The conference was a success! There were about twenty-five foreign delegates from Australia, China, Italy, India, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, and Vietnam. Some delegates and speakers were from the Marianum and IMRI. Another thirty observers from the Philippines were archbishops, bishops, priests and lay people.

For each of the three days, the three principal talks used the framework of Scripture-Magisterial-Anthropology. The flow of the program started with the sixth National Day of the Pilgrimage to Lipan City at the Shrine of Mary, Mediatrix of Graces. The first working day of the conference emphasized that Mary is the forerunner of evangelization from the perspective of dialogue. It was Mary who prepared the way for Jesus her Son. Her dialogue with the Angel in Luke's gospel was the scriptural foundation for discussion, with Lumen Gentium , chapter eight, as the Magisterial teaching, and the experiences of dialogue in India as context.

The second day focused on the role of Mary in social transformation. The Magnificat in the context of the Visitation and true Marian devotion are tools to the reign of justice, peace and unity in the world. The mission of justice is at the heart of authentic evangelization. Sharing details of Marian devotion in the Philippines and in China encouraged solid theological and anthropological studies.

The third day underlined the holiness of Mary. Mary leads us to holiness. Her perennial calls for penance, prayer and conversion are pathways to holiness. Meditation on Mary at the foot of the Cross turns our minds to the image of Our Lady of Sorrows. Mary, mother of the Church guides us to charity which is the fullness of holiness. The transforming experiences of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan testify in a moving and real way to a response of genuine on-going conversion.

The concluding Eucharist was celebrated at the Manila Metropolitan Cathedral by His Eminence, Gaudencio B. Cardinal Rosales, D.D., and Archbishop of Manila. It was decided that the next AOMC will be held in 2011 in the Philippines.

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