Episcopal ordination of Fr. Heiner Wilmer, SCJ

The date of the episcopal ordination of Fr. Heiner Wilmer, SCJ,  the 10th Superior General of the Dehonians, has been announced.

Msgr. Heinz-Günter Bongartz invites you to the celebration, which will take place at the Cathedral of Mariä Himmelfahrt in Hildesheim, on September 1st at 10:00 a.m.

Fr. Heiner will become the 71st bishop of the diocese.

The presider and ordaining bishop will be the archbishop of Hamburg, Msgr. Stefan Heße. Other concelebrants are to include Msgr. Franz-Josef Bode (Osnabrücker) and Msgr. Norbert Trelle (bishop emeritus of Hildesheim). The papal bull will be presented by Archbishop Nikola Eterović (apostolic nuncio).

Meeting of the SCJ Formators in Rome

From April 16 – 20, 2018, the Dehonian formators, particularly the rectors of the scholasticates, are meeting in Rome to discuss the needs and challenges of formation at the stage of Theology.

The Philippines is being represented by Fr. Delio Ruiz, SCJ, the head of the formation team and rector of the Dehon House in Manila. We entrust this meeting to the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

Pilgrimage in Celebration of Jubilee Year of the Diocese of Maasin

This year 2018, the Diocese of Maasin is celebrating its Golden Jubilee as a diocese. On this occasion, besides the different activities and celebrations, each parish is encouraged to make a pilgrimage to the heart of the diocese. Heading this call by the Most Rev. Precioso Cantillas, SDB, DD, the parishioners of Medalla Milagrosa Parish in Talisay, Hilongos, on April 9, 2018, went to Maasin. On the way to the Cathedral they also visited: San Roque Parish in Macrohon, Monte Cueva and Divine Mercy Shrine in Matalom.

The Diocese of Maasin was canonically erected on August 14, 1968, through a papal decree issued March 23, 1968. In June of the same year, the Most Reverend Vicente T. Ataviado, D.D. who was up to then a parish priest of Masbate, Masbate Island, was appointed as its first bishop. He was consecrated on August 8, 1968, and installed as the First Bishop of Maasin on August 14 at Our Lady of Assumption Parish Church in Maasin, the capital of Southern Leyte.

From 1595 to 1910, the area which now comprises the Diocese of Maasin belonged to the diocese of Cebu. From 1910 to 1937 it belonged to the Diocese of Calbayog. From 1937 to 1968 it came under the jurisdiction of the Diocesan of Palo in Leyte. Today it is a suffragan of the Archdiocese of Cebu.

The diocese comprises the entire province of Southern Leyte, and the towns of Matalom, Bato, Hilongos, Hindang, Inopacan and Baybay in the province of Leyte, with the Maasin Parish Cathedral as the seat of the diocese. Distributed within its 2,505 square kilometers of land are 38 parishes and 1 quasi-parish. To facilitate administration these parishes have been grouped under 6 vicariates.

The province of Southern Leyte is located in the southeastern portion of the island of Leyte. And the small island of Limasawa off its southern coast is historically significant as the place where Magellan landed, after having sailed from the island of Homonhon in Samar, to celebrate the first Catholic mass in the Philippines. The chieftain of Limasawa, Kolambu and his men, with Magellan and his men, attended that first mass celebrated by Father Pedro Valderrama on March 21, 1521 . Until 1960, the island of Limasawa belonged to the island province of Leyte.

Leyte and Samar were once considered one single political unit by the Spanish government, falling under the administration of the government of Cebu. They were separated from Cebu in 1735 but still remained as a single province until 1768, when they were finally split into two provinces, with Tacloban as the capital of the entire island province of Leyte. In 1960 Southern Leyte was made a separate province with Maasin as its capital.

The population of Southern Leyte is made up mostly of Cebuano-speaking people because of its closeness, geographically, to Cebu and Bohol. This population has now reached a total of 558,804, of which 90 per cent are Catholics.

Construction of the New Church in Talisay

Three months after the groundbreaking for the new church in Talisay, Hilongos, the construction is taking its shape. With the help of volunteers from Brgy. Bun-ot, Brgy. San Agustin, Brgy. Tabunok, Brgy. Talisay, Brgy. Bantigue and many others, the two biggest beams of the church building were filled.

The nonstop filling work started on April 6, 2018 at 8:00 AM and  ended on April 7, 2018 at 3:00 PM. Among the helpers were also women and young people, who in different ways shared with enthusiasm their time, treasure and talent.

For more pictures, please click here

“Walk with Mary” 2018

On April 9, 2018, more than 400 parishioners of the Immaculate Conception Parish in Aluba, Cagayan de Oro City made their “Walk with Mary.” The walk started at the “Our Lady of Snows” Parish Church in El Salvador City and ended at the Divine Mercy Shrine.

Divine Mercy Shrine is located at the Divine Mercy HillsPSB-Ulaliman, El Salvador City, Misamis Oriental which is overlooking Macajalar Bay. The shrine has a 50-feet long  statue of the Divine Mercy , the biggest statue in Asia.

The pilgrims were accompanied by their parish priest: Fr. Janusz Burzawa, SCJ and the parochial vicar Fr. Niño Etulle, SCJ.

The walk was held a day after the feast of Divine Mercy Sunday and was culminated with the Eucharistic celebration.

For more pictures, please click here

 

Divine Mercy Sunday 2018

Fr. Heiner Wilmer to be Bishop of Hildesheim, Germany

On 6 April 2018, the Holy Father, Pope Francis  had nominated Fr. Heiner Wilmer, SCJ, to be a bishop of Hildesheim, Germany.

Fr. Heiner was born 9 April 1961 in Schapen. He grew up on a farm in Emsland. In 1980 he graduated at the Leoninum, a high school operated by the Dehonians in Handrup close to his hometown. In the same year, he entered the novitiate of the congregation in Freiburg. From 1981 to 1986 he studied theology in Freiburg and romance philology (romance languages) in Paris. After that he was ordained as priest by Archbishop Oskar Saier, the archbishop of Freiburg. He then went to Rome to study at the Gregorian Pontifical University; his focus was French philosophy. In 1991 Wilmer earned a Doctor of Theology in Freiburg, where he dealt with the concept of mysticism in the philosophy of Maurice Blondel. His works were awarded the Bernhard Welte Prize.

Shortly after that, he studied for a Master of Arts in History. Sometime before he finished his first master’s degree Wilmer met the Dutch priest Henri Nouwen. At the request of Nouwen, Wilmer represented him for four months as a pastor at L’Arche Daybreak in Toronto, a facility for people with disabilities. After that he worked for two years as a school counselor and taught religion, political science and history at the Liebfrauenschule Vechta (a German high school) in Niedersachsen, Germany. In 1997 he went to the United States for a year to teach German and history at the Fordham Preparatory School, a Jesuit high school in the Bronx (New York). Upon his return, he became headmaster of the SCJ high school Leoninum in Handrup.

In 2007, Fr. Wilmer was elected for Provincial Superior of the German Province of the Dehonians.

Five years later he published a book (“Gott ist nicht nett – God is not kind”) in which he reflected on his faith and his decision to become a priest.

On May 25, 2015, Fr. Wilmer was elected by the Dehonians as its 10th Superior General.

He succeeded Fr. José Ornelas Carvalho, SCJ, who held the office for 12 years (two six-year terms). Carvalho is now bishop of the Diocese of Sétubal (Portugal).

Fr.Wilmer speaks French, English, Spanish and Italian in addition to his mother tongue German.

MA Thesis Defense of Fr. Sergio Shoiti Matumoto, SCJ

On April 2, 2018Fr.Sergio Shoiti Matumoto, SCJ, member of the Philippine Region, has defended his MA Thesis entitled “Shema Israel! An Investigation into the Meanings and Significance of ‘Ehad in Deuteronomy 6:4-5”  The Board of Examiners was composed of Fr. Marian​​o Cisco, C.S., S.T.L., S.T.D. and., Fr. ​Rogel Anecito Abais, S.J., S.T.D. ​and.​, and Fr. Manuel Montesclaros, S.J., S.S.L  The MA Thesis Adviser was Sr. Helen Graham, ​M.M., ​Ph.D.  The defense was held in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree Master of Arts in Theological Studies with field of specialization in Biblical Theology.

The Shemaʿ Yisrael (Deut.6:4-5) is an important verse of the Old Testament. It is recited by the religious Jews twice daily and even Jesus quoted this passage in Mark 12:29-30. It states that God is One and also the commandment to Love the Lord. This thesis investigates the meaning of ’ehad in the context of the Shemaʿ since there is no consensus among the translators if it should be translated as “one” or “alone”. The study notes grammatical as well as theological and historical arguments of the possible translations. It is considered that a more appropriate translation for today’s reader is “the Lord is One”. Also, the study discusses the meaning of Love in Deuteronomy and its significance since “Love the Lord” is a consequence of believing that “the Lord is One”. Moreover, it gives some meanings for the “Lord is One” and its relevance for today’s believers. This thesis also proposes a spirituality of unity and tolerance through the Shemaʿ and through the belief in One God because for believers in the past and for some in the present belief in One God leads to violent attitude towards those who who have other beliefs.

Alleluia! He is Risen!

God our Father,
by raising Christ your Son
you conquered the power of death
and opened for us the way to eternal life.
Let our celebration today
raise us up and renew our lives
by the Spirit that is within us.
Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

Celebration of the Patron at Kasanag Daughters Foundation

On a gloomy late afternoon March 19, 2018, the Kasanag Daughthers Foundation (KDF), Kauswagan, Zone 1, Cagayan de Oro City celebrated the feast of Saint Joseph, the husband of Blessed Virgin Mary, the foster father of Jesus and the Patron Saint of KDF.

The celebration started with the celebration of the Holy Eucharist at 5:45PM, officiated by Rev. Fr. Franciszek Pupkowski, SCJ, the outgoing regional superior of the Philippine Region, assisted by Deacon Nathaniel Robilla, SCJ, vicar deacon of the Immaculate Conception Parish and concelebrated by Rev. Fr. Niño Etulle, SCJ, assistant parish priest of Immaculate Conception, Rev. Fr. Khoa Viet Nguyen, SCJ, formator of aspirants in the Sacred Heart Formation House, CDO I and Rev. Fr. Joseph C. Butlig, SCJ, project coordinator of KDF.

Approximately, there were more than 90 people who attended the celebration, including the 24 daughters residing in the foundation, former kasanag daughters, staffs, counselors, board members, local benefactors, seminarians, collaborators, friends and guests.

Indeed, the celebration went very well and it was concluded with a simple dinner together.

By: Fr. Joseph C. Butlig, SCJ