Newsletter of the Berlin Phil. Community, June 2004 Issue

from berlin with love
      When Fr. Erasio Flores, SVD, came to Germany's capital he brought with him a prayer message for the Filipino women. "Lord it's a mystery how you have sent the Filipinas in Berlin straight into the heart of the family as housewives. You must have an important mission for them. Help them to live up to it," prayed Fr. Flores at one of the bible sharing meetings.
      For the 95% of the Filipinas married to Germans since living in Berlin, Fr. Flores is referring to them as the new missionaries. Through the christian way of life and church devotions that they are fervently practicing, a lot of their husbands have been converted until now from the Evangelist Church to the Roman Catholic.
    Evidence of this phenomenon can be noticed in the growing number of the church goers on Sunday and Holyday masses held in the Heilig-Geist Kirche, Bayernallee, Berlin.  Fr. Erasio Flores, a born Cebuano, has come a long way not only to Berlin but to among other places: the rain forests of Indonesia and Angola, the towering mountains of Ecuador, the romantic cities of Madrid and Rome, to carry on the cross and passion of Jesus Christ as a member of the Society of the Divine Word, (SVD). Born in 1933, he was ordained priest in 1959. He served as major superior of the SVD Region of Mindoro from 1970 to 1977, after which he was elected to the SVD Generalate in Rome as general consultor. In this capacity he served the Congregation from 1977 to 1988. Since 1989 he has been engaged in the special pastoral ministry of the SVD ministering the Filipino migrants first in Madrid; then, since 1996 until April 2004 in Berlin.
      A funny or serious incident always inspires Fr. Flores to reflect a lot. He considers an encountered experience as a single golden thread. When interwoven, he perceives it as God's loving intervention in all circumstances in the "ups and downs" of his life. His formation years involved a lot of self-struggle. But God's hand had led him through and he became a priest. He says: "I love my vocation, though I'm far from being a model missionary, much less a religious priest. I am particularly grateful to Fr. Josef Jaschik, a German priest, who led me into the SVD. He used to refer to his leading me to the seminary as compellere entrare, in the context of the Parable of the
    Workers in the Vineyard, Matthew 20, 1-16".
      It is not all work and no play. Just like any normal human person, Fr. Flores mingles oftentimes with people: young or old, Polish or Turkish, men or women, gays or lesbians, in night spots specially in a karaoke cafe and bar. He likes to sing popular oldies by Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole and among others Matt Monroe, varying his voice between baritone and tenor to the delights of his listeners.
      A champion of the opposed minority people, one can depend on Fr. Flores to stand and fight for the rights of those who need his support. While conflict management is the forte of Fr. Flores, he has used it oftentimes to settle personal grievances with charisma, courage and mastery of the subject.
      Fr. Flores will always be remembered because of the funny stories he loves to tell. And one of these stories is a classic example of the Filipino value on his deep sense of freedom: “A professor and his friend were walking in a market square in Madrid. After observing someone, the professor commented, ‘That one must be a Filipino.’ His friend asked: ‘How could you be so sure?’ ‘The sign before the door say’s - DO NOT ENTER - but he still entered,’ answered the professor.”

       The Berlin Community bids you farewell with this reflection:
    "Happy are those who think first before they act, and pray first before they think; by so doing they would be able to avoid making so many blunders. Though you are not present with us, we know God is always there ready to help you in every kind of need and situation."


    Consul Leo Ausan

      On that particular Sunday afternoon, Fr. Flores and the Philippine Community Center celebrated a thanksgiving mass and a party to commemorate a small miracle: the extension of Consul Ausan's appointment in Berlin was granted until June 2004. The community had helped to pray for him so he could stay longer for the simple reason that he was always there when they needed him. Consul Ausan also did pray to have enough time, just to finish his master's degree in the European Union Laws.
       And now, the time has come to close the final chapter since the tears have long been gone. To you, Agnes and Leo, we say these parting words as morale support to remember along the byways. For what is a man, what has he got? If not himself then he has none. The
    record is, you showed us your best and you did it your way!
       We say these things then, to you sincerely:

    You were there with us to enjoy our "Ausflug in Britzer Garten”.
      You were there with us when we honored a day for all Mothers.
      You were there with us when we celebrated Independence Day.
      Then, you were there with us when we gathered together for the Easter and Christmas Holidays.
      You were there with us when we needed a spontantaneous stage singer and Polynesian dancer.
      You were there with us when we needed a speaker to say a few inspiring words for the birthday celebrants.
      You were there with us when we needed a Consul and adviser to clarify some legal problems.
      And inspite of your hectic schedule, you were there simply for us...

“Berlin Philippine
Community Center
celebrates Santa Cruzan”

"Mirror, mirror on the wall, who's the
fairest of them all?"
"THIS YEAR'S MOTHER'S DAY" "Flores de Mayo participated in by the community children"
Scroll up