25 Years of SCJ Presence in India

On October 6, 2019, falls the 25 anniversary of SCJ presence in India. It started in 1994 with the arrival of +Fr. Martin Van Ooij, SCJ, a Dutch missionary in Indonesia, who later was joined by other missionaries from different provinces. Many of them, due to the visa restrictions or other commitments in their places, were able to stay only for six months. Some others managed to stay longer. In this way many missionaries from different entities passed through India, of whom some have already gone to the Lord. Also, some of the missionaries moved to the Philippines or China.

Officially, the Mission in India became a District of India on May 1, 1999, thirty days before the Philippines became a District (May 31, 2019). It grew very rapidly. Today the District of India has around 100 members of which a half are priests. Some of their priests are assigned in other entities of the congregation. They have 13 communities.

The two-day celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Dehonian presence in India started on October 5, 2019, with the Holy Eucharist presided by the General Superior Very Reverend Fr. Carlos Luis Suarez Cordorniú, SCJ. The homily was a shared reflection by several Dehonians. After the homily, the district’s first Lay Dehonian made a year-long commitment to Dehonian spirituality; Fr. Carlos Luis received her commitment.

The Holy Mass was followed by a cultural show and Agape. The celebration was held at the SCJ Theologate in Eluru, Andhra Pradesh, South India.

The main celebration is scheduled on October 6, 2019. Among the invited guests were former missionaries to India, heads of different entities and members of the congregation. Philippines is being represented by the Regional Superior Fr. Lukas Hadi Siswo Sasmito, SCJ and Fr. Showe Bala Reddy Nekkanti, SCJ.

Congratulations to the District of India!

Silver Jubilee of Religious Profession of Vows of Sr. Yollie C. Novabos, TMM

On October 1, 2019, the memorial of St. Therese of Lisieux and patronal feast of the pious association of Theresian Missionaries of Mary (TMM), Sr. Ma. Eulogia “Yollie” Novabos, TMM, celebrated her Silver Anniversary of religious vows of Chasity, Poverty and Obedience.

On this occasion during the concelebrated Mass, presided by Most Rev. Antonio J. Ledesma, SJ, D.D., Sr. Yollie repeated her commitment to God, the Church and her community.

The association of the Theresian Missionaries of Mary (TMM) was founded in 1985 by a Columban missionary Fr. Francis Chapman, SSC. As of now the community has 14 members on final and temporary vows working in different places and apostolates within the Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro. The motto of their group are the words of St. Therese “My vocation is love.”

Sr. Yolly, who comes from Lugait, Misamis Oriental, made her first profession of vows in 1994. As a religious, she was assigned in many different places and positions. The longest time she spent in St. Joseph School in El Salvador City as a financial oficer. Since July 16, 2014, Sr. Yollie has been working for the Priests of the Sacred Heart (SCJ) as a secretary in the fundraising office.

During the same ceremony her co-sisters renewed also their vows.

The celebration was attended by many diocesan and religious priests from the Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro, family members, friends and benefactors of the community. At the end of the Mass all participants placed red roses at the feet of St. Therese known as a “little flower.” The celebration was held at the “Our Lady of the Snows” Parish in El Salvador City.

Patronal Feast at San Lorenzo Ruiz Parish

On September 28, 2019, the parish community of San Lorenzo Ruiz Parish in Quezon City, Diocese of Novaliches, celebrated its Feast of the Patron – San Lorenzo Ruiz, martyr and first Filipino saint.

The celebration started at 4:00 PM with the solemn procession and was followed by the Holy Eucharist presided by Most Reverend Bishop Emeritus Antonio R. Tobias, DD, at 6:00 PM, and community diner at 7:30 in the evening. Prior to this event the community held a special novena that was held on 9 consecutive Sundays at 10:00 in the morning. The celebration was attended by the members of the Dehon House community and the Regional Superior, Fr. Lukas Hadi Siswo Sasmito, SCJ.

The parish was officially established on August 15, 1987. Since 2016, the parish is being served by the SCJ community.

Welcome of a New Member in CDO I

On September 23, 2019, the formation community in Cagayan de Oro City has officially welcomed Fr. Sergio Matumoto, SCJ, as its new member. Fr. Sergio is a Brazilian. He arrived in the Philippines in 2011 as a scholastic. He studied Theology at the Ateneo de Manila University and was ordained priest in 2016 in Brazil. His first assignment was at the Holy Cross Parish (Parokya ng Banal na Krus) in Tandang Kutyo, Tanay, Rizal (Diocese of Antipolo) as an assistant parish priest. In 2018 he went to Rome to prepare himself to be a formator. In Cagayan de Oro he will be in charge of the Senior High and Pre-College students.

The welcome ceremony was joined with the birthday celebration of one seminarian Allen Fornis and Miss Norelyn T. Novabos, the secretary in the fundraising office.

“Rejoice & Be Glad” – Annual Retreat in Cebu

From September 9 to 13, 2019, 34 members of the SCJ Philippines Region participated in the spiritual retreat conducted by Fr. Eugene Cañete, MJ.

The theme of the retreat was “Rejoice & Be Glad” – Celebrating 30 years of Missionary Presence in the Philippines, and was held at the Redemptorist Retreat House of the Holy Family in Lahug, Cebu.

Besides personal questions, the participants were invited by the facilitator to examine anew the challenges of their ministry in the changing reality in order to become the Heart of Jesus to the people to whom they are called to serve.

Fr. Eugene Cañete, MJ, has been founding member of the Missionaries of Jesus (MJ). From 1996 until 2001, he has been serving in Zambia, Africa, as a member of CICM Congregation. Presently is working as a professor at the St. Vincent School of Theology, Maryhill School of Theology, and ICLA, and is involved in Formation of Missionaries of Jesus in Antipolo City.

8th Parochial Fiesta Celebration in San Roque Parish

The community of San Roque Parish, Bagong Silang, in the Diocese of Novaliches, celebrated its 8th Parochial Fiesta on August 18, 2019. With them were friend priests from the Diocese particularly from Sto. Nino Vicariate and the nearby SCJ communities–Dehon House Scholasticate, San Lorenzo Ruiz Parish (Tandang Sora, QC), Banal na Krus Parish (Tandang Kutyo, Tanay, Rizal). The Holy Eucharistic celebration was presided by the outgoing bishop of the Diocese of Novaliches Most Rev. Antonio R. Tobias, D.D. at 10:00 in the morning.

After the Thanksgiving Mass, the parish community gave a plaque of recognition and appreciation to the key persons who were of great help in the parish fiesta activities namely the Bishop himself Most Rev. Antonio R. Tobias, D.D. and the distinguished government leaders of the City. It was followed by a simple banquet prepared by and shared with the community.

Prior to this celebration were the Novena Masses offered for the Patron Saint and other activities. The community actively participated in the BEC Night, Search for Little Miss San Roque, Patronal Procession, and Street Dancing.

By: Bro. Julius Socorro, scj

Celebration of Fr. Dehon’s Death Anniversary

On August 12, 2019, the formation community of Cagayan de Oro, together with the SCJs from nearby communities, members of the Dehonian Family and friends of the Congregation, celebrated 94th Death Anniversary of Fr. Leo Dehon, the founder of the Priests of the Sacred Heart.

The celebration was presided by the Regional Superior Fr. Lukas Hadi Siswo Sasmito, scj.

As usual the celebration was concluded with a common meal.

Similar celebration was held in Dehon House in Manila.

SCJ Meeting in Tandag Kutyo and Anniversary Celebration at San Lorenzo Ruiz Parish

On July 16, 2019, the SCJ Philippine Region held its regular meeting at the Holy Cross Parish (Parokya ng Banal na Krus) in Tandang Kutyo, Tanay, Rizal (Diocese of Antipolo).

On the following day on July 17, 2019, all SCJs gathered at San Lorenzo Ruiz Parish, Tierra Verde Homes I, Brgy. Culiat, Tandang Sora, Quezon City, to celebrate in Manila Zone, the 30th Anniversary of SCJ Presence in the Philippines. The Thanksgiving Mass was presided by the outgoing bishop of the Diocese of Novaliches, Most Rev. Antonio R. Tobias, D.D., at the moment an apostolic administrator of the diocese.

Bp. Tobias was one of the two bishops, who together with Most Rev. Federico O. Escaler, S.J., D.D., of Prelature of Ipil, accepted the Priests of the Sacred Heart into his Diocese of Pagadian in 1989.

On July 1, 2016, Bp. Tobias entrusted to the Dehonians San Lorenzo Ruiz Parish, where he also ordained many SCJ deacons and priests.

The SCJ Philippines Region is thanking Bp. Antonio for his friendship and fatherly care.

Celebration of Benefactors’ Day in Cagayan de Oro Community

Each year on Sunday after the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart, the formation community of Cagayan de Oro invites benefactors from the area for a special Thanksgiving Mass. In this way, the Priests of the Sacred Heart want to say “Thank you” to those who support them spiritually and financially. For benefactors it is always an opportunity to learn more about the spirituality and different projects of the Congregation.

This year, the celebration of Benefactors’ Day was held on June 30, 2019. It started with the Holy Eucharist celebrated by  Fr. Francis Pupkowski, scj, who is also in charge of the Fundraising Office and Fr. Lukas Hadi Siswo Sasmito, scj, the superior of the SCJ Philippine Region, Fr. Patro C. Gier Jr.,scj, a former missionary from Finland and Fr. Szymon Bendowski, scj, the assistant parish priest from Immaculate Concepcion Parish in Aluba.. At the end of the Mass, the benefactors could watch a short video presentation containing an information about one of the projects run by the Philippine Region Kasanag Daughters Foundation, Inc.

As usual, the celebration was culminated with a common meal. It was noticed that every year the number of benefactors participating in the Thanksgiving Mass is bigger and bigger.