Being chosen to attend the Asian Young Franciscans Gathering is a privilege to reflect deeply on ones calling to mission, and to grow, amidst many challenges, and become a better servant and missionary to all. It is also a grace to be sent to intensify in one`s self the missionary spirit, and to nurture the universal dimension of the Order. Indeed, the AYFG is a great blessing for me, a great opportunity to be more open to other cultures, to test one`s flexibility and one`s ability to adapt to the different missionary endeavors internationally.


This year the AYFG was participated by delegates from countries who are members of the East-Asian Conferences (EAC) and the South-Asian, Australia-Oceania Conferences (SAAOC) of the Franciscan Order. Fifteen countries were represented this year`s gathering.


My experience in the AYFG made me greatly appreciate the diversity of cultures and the rich history of faith expression of different religions and how they remain strong in their faith in the context of a communist government. To be always on the go, to be enthusiastic in what we do, to be grateful and joyful in simple things and to be courageous to mingle and be with the poor – these are my realizations after my encounter with different peoples in the spirit of prayer, mission and dialogue. The sharing of issues and challenges in mission in our respective countries made me understand that our differences must be treated with utmost respect, and the brighter side of our commonalities must be emphasized to enhance a fruitful collaboration.


All these realizations were put forward in concrete when we celebrated our Franciscan Joy during which we shared our talents in singing, dancing and gifts. It was a night that we forgot our being Filipino, or Vietnamese, etc. Everyone was just filled with gladness and gratitude for being in the midst of brothers. Truly, that joyful event rejuvenated our spirit to the celebration of fraternity and life.


The most memorable experience, one that I will never forget all my life, is when our bus, on the way to the Novitiate in Dalat, left without me. I was left behind! Filled with anxiety all kinds of thoughts came to mind. But then some concerned people came. After they learned of my problem, they offered to bring me to the novitiate house in Dalat! I felt like crying in gratitude. So, I learned, that a missionary is never left behind or alone. For God is always there to his rescue.


(Fr. Orly Jimeno, OFM)




Fr. Dexter’s Article on AYFG 2016    


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