Galvez Period (1993-1998)

On October 4, 1993 Father Gregorio I. Pizarro, SVD officially handed over the PMS responsibilities to Father José Antonio Santos Galvez (1959- ).

            Father Galvez stated that his aims were: “forming mission consciousness, fostering spiritual and missionary cooperation, promoting vocations for the missions, and bringing about the efficient collection of funds.”

Manila was the scene of a confluence of religious and missionary activities in January of 1995.  Pope John Paul II visited the Philippines (January 12-16); the Tenth World Youth Day (“The Manila Phenomenon”) was celebrated (January 10-15); the FABC held its Sixth Plenary Assembly (January 10-19), celebrating its silver jubilee of foundation in Manila (1970-1995).

Pope John Paul II used this opportunity to exhort everyone to engage in missionary evangelization.  At the Welcome Ceremony on January 12, 1995, he stated: “The Church in the Philippines knows that it has a special vocation to bear witness to the Gospel in the heart of Asia.”

The Pope told the bishops (CBCP) on January 14: “Asia needs your help if it is to hear the Good News of Christ crucified and risen.”  Remarkably, the Pope’s words echoed his 1981 message: “There is no doubt about it: the Philippines has a special missionary vocation to proclaim the Good News, to carry the light of Christ to the nations.”

Father Galvez, Sister Dael, RVM and Sister Cazar, CM had participated in the Holy Childhood Association Seminar-Exposure (February 12-24, 1995) held in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

The Mission-Sending Ceremony in 1997 saw 62 missionaries joining the annual event (12 lay, 20 female and 30 male religious).  Noteworthy also is that Philippine mission statistics (1997 Catholic Directory of the Philippines, 655-666) list 439 men and 1,284 women serving in foreign mission.

Father Galvez completed his term as PMS National Director in 1998; soon he was tapped to serve the PMS in Rome.  On April 4, 2000 Galvez received his appointment as Secretary General of the Pontifical Society of Saint Peter the Apostle; he served in that position until 2005.

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