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Fr Litoy Asis appointed Melbourne’s Episcopal Vicar for Catholic Migrants and Refugees

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The announcement on his new appointment is revealed through this Note Verbale.

Reverend Monsignor Joselito Cerna Asis, the newly designated Episcopal Vicar for Catholic Migrants and Refugees in the Archdiocese of Melbourne.

On 28 July 2020, His Grace, the Most Reverend Peter A Comensoli, Archbishop of Melbourne, has appointed the Reverend Monsignor Joselito C Asis, as Episcopal Vicar for Migrants and Refugees in the Archdiocese of Melbourne.

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According to the Code of Canon Law (Law of the Catholic Church), an Episcopal Vicar is appointed by the Diocesan Bishop to take charge of the pastoral care of a certain type of affairs or over the faithful of a specific rite or over certain groups of persons (cf. CIC canon 476). In case of Monsignor Asis, he will be the episcopal point of reference for the pastoral care of the Catholic Migrants and Refugees in the entire Archdiocese of Melbourne. He will also act as the representative of the Archbishop of Melbourne concerning migrants and refugees affairs.  

Added to his responsibilities, being also the concurrent Chaplain to the Filipino Catholics in Melbourne, is to be the over-all Coordinator among the various Migrant Chaplains within the Archdiocese. Among the activities that Msgr Asis will oversee is the annual Mass for Migrants and Refugees usually celebrated on the last Sunday of August at St Patrick Cathedral.

While we pray for Msgr Asis in his new task, we are also counting on the continued support from the various Filipino Communities in Melbourne. Let us be models of cooperation and solidarity among other migrant communities in Melbourne.

Message from your Chaplain

Father, heal our vulnerable humanity

“Lord, heal our land. Father, heal our land. Hear our cry and heal our broken land”. This the recurring phrase in the song: Lord, Heal Our Land composed by Tom and Robin Brooks and popularised in the Philippines by Ms Jamie Rivera. Almost every day it is being played on the radio, on the TV and on social media to remind all to pray for the healing of the world from COVID-19.

For us, Filipinos who are so emotional and mababaw ang luha, this song brought us all to kneel and pray: “Father in Your mercy, forgive our sins. Father in Your mercy, come heal our land”.

It has been almost six months since we entered into quarantine to avoid the widespread of the deadly novel coronavirus. And we are still uncertain when it will end.

So far, this pandemic has taught us how vulnerable and interconnected we are. Good vibes, as well as bad ones, surface. 

Commendable are the efforts of so many people who have been offering evidence of human and Christian love for neighbours, dedicating themselves to the sick even at the risk of their own health. Many of our Filipino frontliners are living witnesses to these. Indeed, they are heroes!

A stark reality, however, becomes evident. The pandemic has also exposed the plight of the poor and the great inequality that reigns in the world. The virus, while it does not distinguish between people, has found in its devastating path, great inequalities and discrimination. Our Filipino frontliners, especially health workers, are not spared. 

Thanks to our strong faith in God! This is what we hold on these days. Our Christian hope and charity; solidarity among the least; respect for one another; these are the essential attitudes we must take to heart. Unless, we hold firm to our faith and to take care of one another, starting with the least, and with those who are most impacted by the virus, “we cannot heal the world,” says Pope Francis. 

So, my dear kababayans, let us hold on the words of Our Lord, Jesus Christ who assured his disciples: “Courage! It is I! Do not be afraid!”(Mt 14:27). In the face of the seemingly endless fear, Jesus assures us that He is with us. He is Emmanuel (“God-with-us”)!  

Faith and Hope, constantly seen in our moments of prayer: these are our victorious weapons. Let us embrace Jesus and His Cross. Here, we will find the courage to embrace all the hardships of the present time. Let us also learn to surrender our own life agenda. In so doing, we allow ourselves to new forms of hospitality, fraternity and solidarity.

Kapatid, kapit lang kay Lord. Embrace hope. It is the strength of our faith, which eventually frees us from fear and gives us inner peace!

Fr Litoy Asis
Chaplain to the Filipinos

READ MORE: How deep is your root?

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