AOMC 2011 Report

Summary of the Second Asia-Oceania Mariological Conference

– Sister Celia Chua, MIC

"Mary and the New Evangelization of Asia-Oceania: a Perspective on Human Development"

September 8 to 12, 2011, Capuchin Retreat House, Lipa City, Philippines

The Second Asia Oceania Mariological Conference (AOMC) is hosted by the Archbishop of Lipa City,Ramon Argueles, DD, STL, currently the president of the Mariological Society of the Philippines. There are about 120 participants: five Archbishops and five bishops, some thirty foreign delegates (Mariologists and Marian Experts, teaching Mariology in different Institutes) and local observers including religious men and women, lay people members of various Marian Movememts.

At the opening of the Conference, the message from Fr. Vincenzo Battaglia, ofm, President of Pontificia Academia Mariana Internationnalis ( PAMI) is read by Fr. Jean Pierre Sienne Lasoul. Some highlights are: "The value and the importance of this congress especially when we consider the fact that the theme of the thirteenth general assembly of Bishops synod to take place in October 2012 is "The New Evangelization for the Transmission of the Christian Faith." "Blessed John Paul II mentioned the Virgin Mary as the Star of the New Evangelization and the radiant dawn and sure guide for our steps" (Novo Millennium Inuente No. 58) and Pope Benedict XVI calls Mary, the Star of Hope. ( Spe Salvi, 2009)

PAMI wishes this conference to be a fruitful gathering, as it goes in depth in the Marian reflection on the New Evangelization in Asia-Oceania for the promotion of an authentic human development.

There is a balance between academic papers presented by Mariologists and Marian-devotions-related topics shared by Marian experts. For example: "What is New Evangelization in the Perspective of Asia-Oceania?" "Mary Role in the New Evangelization," "Mary's and the Social History of the Catholic Church, the Principle of Gratuitousness and Human Development," "The Magnificat of the Poor in Asia-Oceania: an Exposition in reference to Verbum Domini." There is also a rich sharing of Marian devotion and reflection such as " Mary in the Reconstruction of Japan after the Triple Disasters," "Marian Iconography in the History of the Philippines," "Mary and the Evangelical Thrust for Asia-Oceania," "The Face of Mary in the Ancient Churches of India," "The Growing Church in Vietnam with Our Lady of La Vang."

The organizing committee gathers positive evaluations and encouraging comments from the participants, and anticipates the coming of the third conference which will be held and hosted by the Mariological Society of India in Bangalore, India, 2013. There is also an open invitation from PAMI for 2012 Mariological Congress at Mariannum, Rome.

Photo taken from the Carmelite Sisters Convent in Lipa City. Right, Sister Isabel Neumann, ISSM. Fourth from left, Sister Celia Chua, MIC

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