On January 25th, the entire Church celebrates the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul. The Vincentians, on that same day, celebrate the Foundation Day of the Congregation of the Mission. St. Vincent considered the sermon on general confession, which he preached during a mission in the village of Folleville on this day in the year 1617, as the beginning of the missions to the country poor and the origin of the Congregation itself. January 25th for us is Foundation Day.
This year January 25th also marks the beginning of yearlong celebrations marking the 100th anniversary of our Province in the Republic of Panama. On that day the city of Colon will be the focus of the first celebration with a walk to Mount Hope Cemetery, where several great Vincentian missionaries are buried, acknowledging the contributions of earlier confreres.
At 10:00 A.M. in St. Joseph’s Church a celebration of the continuing Panama Mission will be marked by the Ordination to the Priesthood of Norberto Abrego, C.M. Bishop Alfonso Cabezas, C.M. of the Eastern Province will be the celebrant of the Ordination. I will be joining the confreres in Panama for this celebration along with Fr. Gregory Cozzubbo, C.M., Fr. James Maher, C.M, Fr. Michael Nguyen, C.M., Fr. Elmer Bauer, C.M. and Sister Margaret Walker, D.C.
On January 26th, Fr. Norberto will celebrate his first Mass at St. Joseph’s Church in Colon.
Each year on Foundation Day we have much to be grateful for but this year we give special thanks for our newest priest and 100 years of service by this Province to the people of Panama.