From South Africa to Different Corners of the Globe: Christian Formation as “Pilgrimage”

Mark Lesage, Estela Padilla


This is the story of how Anselm Prior, OFM, inspired a priest and a lay team from the Parish of St Joseph in Las Piñas, Philippines, who attended the Lumko international course in Lesotho, South Africa in 1992. Concurrently within this narrative lies the birth of Anselm Prior’s doctoral dissertation, for Prior “discovered” his thesis while working in the Bamboo Parish in Manila, taking the parish as the subject of his theological study. This parish team later established a pastoral centre—Bukal ng Tipan—serving the dioceses of the Philippines, and more widely dioceses in Asia and Europe. Inspired by the travelling, the authors explore the image of pilgrimage in discussing inculturation or contextualised Christian formation. The narrative informs the reader of the international reach of the Lumko Pastoral Institute under Anselm Prior, and how the Lumko template has influenced pastoral renewal throughout the Philippines and much of Asia. It is also a case study of how the turn to systematic reflection on experience during the last half century has decided the direction of theological undertakings in Asia and beyond.

The first part of the article is written by Mark Lesage then parish priest of St Joseph Las Piñas, sharing the beginnings of a mission journey with Anselm Prior of Lumko and the parish. The second part is written by Dr Estela Padilla sharing how the inspiration of contextualised Christian formation from  Lumko was further developed by Bukal ng Tipan and then shared with Asia and Europe.


Anselm Prior; Lumko; participatory church; shared vision; Las Piñas Parish; church renewal

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Copyright (c) 2017 Mark Lesage, Estela Padilla

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