By Roy Lagarde
May 5, 2021
The Association of Major Religious Superiors in the Philippines (AMRSP) is changing its name after 50 years.
The recent AMRSP biennial joint online convention decided on a modification of its name into a ‘more inclusive’ denomination: Conference of Major Superiors in the Philippines (CMSP).
Franciscan Fr. Cielito Almazan, AMRSP co-chairperson, said the decision was made “to reflect the more inclusive nature of the Body”.
As early as February 2020, the association’s joint executive board began discussing the proposal to change the name of the association.
Fr. Almazan said the matter was also brought up in their first virtual general assembly in September last year.
After more than a year of consultation, he said the proposal was adopted with the help of Fr. Elias Ayuban, the Provincial Superior of the Claretian Missionaries of the Philippine Province.
A canon lawyer, Fr. Ayuban worked for many years at the Vatican’s Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life until 2019.
“He walked us through the rationale, the process and the implications of this change of name,” said Fr. Almazan, whose co-chair is Sr. Marilyn Java, RC.
This year’s online convention was held on April 28 to 30, with Brazilian Cardinal João Braz de Aviz, Prefect of CICLSAL, as their keynote speaker.
Formed in December 1970, AMRSP is a joint forum of the Association of Major Religious Superiors of Men in the Philippines and the Association of Major Religious Superiors of Women in the Philippines, founded in 1955 and 1957 respectively.
For many decades, the association served as a common voice for men and women religious and an advocate for their individual charisms.
To date, the AMRSP membership counts 292 women congregations and 99 men congregations.