Feast of the Patron and Establishment of St. John Paul II Chaplaincy in Talisay

20161022_112453June 11, 2016 marks the official start of SCJ presence in the Diocese of Maasin. The local bishop, Most Rev. Precioso D. Cantillas, SDB, DD, entrusted to the Congregation a part of the Immaculate Conception Parish in Hilongos, particularly St. Pope John Paul II Southern Mission Territory with its main chapel in barangay Talisay. The idea behind this agreement is twofold: on the side of the Diocese, it is to answer the spiritual needs of the faithful and develop this area into a future parish and on the side of the Congregation is to expand the SCJ presence into the Visayas Region.


On October 22, 2016, on the liturgical memorial of St. John Paul II, the Southern Mission Territory was elevated to the rank of Chaplaincy. The Bishop of Maasin in his “Decree of Establishment” declared the following: “Since the Faithful in the southern part of the Immaculate Conception Parish needs the constant presence of the Minister of the Catholic faith in response to the mission of the Church to foster the growth of the catholic faith, and to care for the spiritual desires of the Catholic Communities in the said area; and after having duly consulted the Diocesan Board of Consultors, with the full knowledge of the Presbyterium, I, Precioso D. Cantillas, SDB, DD, Bishop of Maasin, hereby solemnly decree the canonical establishment of the Chaplaincy of St. John Paul II, with all the rights and privileges accrued to such an entity in accordance with the Code of Canon Law, and our Diocesan Statutes and Decrees.

The Jurisdiction of this Chaplaincy will be composed of the following barangays: Talisay, Kanghaas, Tabunok, Tuguipa, Hitudpan, Lunang, San Agustin, Bun-ot, Catandog I, Catandog II, Bantigue of the Municipality of Hilongos, Leyte… 

…Moreover, I designate Fathers of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (SCJ) to look after this new chaplaincy. I also designate the chapel of Talisay to be the official chapel of the Chaplaincy…”

The “Decree of Establishment” was read during the Holy Mass by the Chancellor of the Diocese Fr. Alexes Villarubin, JCL. The concelebrated Mass was presided by Msgr. Oscar A. Cadayona, the Vicar General from Maasin, while the homily on “Life and Legacy of St. John Paul II” was delivered by Fr. Francis Pupkowski, SCJ, the SCJ Philippine Regional Superior. Among the concelebrants were Msgr. Antonio M. Gaviola, PC, the Pastor – Moderator of Hilongos Parish, Fr. Conrado C. Saavedra, Jr.,, Fr. Joseph Butlig, SCJ, Fr. Elpidio Luza Jr., SCJ, Fr. Arthur Guevara, SCJ and Fr. Christopher Alburo, SCJ.

Seminar for “Baby” Parish Priests and not only

20161018_085154This year the SCJ Philippine Region was entrusted with three new pastoral areas. Because of this several SCJs for the first time became parish priests. Although they were assigned in the parishes and have some pastoral experience many things for them are new. Being an assistant to the parish priest is  like sitting in the front seat, but not being a driver. According to the Canon Law “The Parish Priest is the proper pastor of the parish entrusted to him… exercising the pastoral care of the community entrusted under the authority of the diocesan Bishop, whose ministry of Christ he is called to share…” (Can. 519). The role of a Parish Priest is twofold: as an administrator and as a shepherd, who acts in the name of the local bishop and is accountable to.

In many dioceses there are special orientation seminars for new parish priests, so they would be properly informed of their duties and responsibilities. One of them is the Diocese of Novaliches, where the SCJs are entrusted with two parishes: San Lorenzo Ruiz Parish in Quezon City and St. Roque in Bagong Silang, Caloocan City.

Following this good example, the SCJ Philippine Region, considering the needs of new parish priests, organized similar activity. Initially it was intended for those who are directly involved in the parish ministry, but finally it was open for all the members of the region. The seminar was held on October 18 – 19, 2016 at the Dehon House in Manila. On the first day, Fr. Rei Flores, the Chancellor of the Diocese of Novaliches, presented the theme “Canonical and pastoral implications of the office of the Parish Priest.” On the second day, Msgr Antonio Labiao, the Vicar for Pastoral Affairs of the same diocese, shared his insights on the theme “Parish Church: Community of Communities” and financial management of the parish. On the first evening, the group was graced with the presence of Bishop of Novaliches, Most. Rev. Antonio R. Tobias, DD, who joined the Holy Mass and supper.

Renewal of Vows in Manila

On September 28, 2016, the SCJ community at the Dehon House in Manila celebrating the memorial of St. Lorenzo Ruiz, the first Filipino saint martyr, also witnessed the renewal of religious vows of one of its members. During the Holy Eucharist, Fra. Vincent Bat Nguyen, SCJ, a member of the SCJ Vietnam District, renewed his vows of Chastity, Poverty and Obedience in the Congregation of the Priests of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The vows were accepted by his superior Fr. Francis Vu Tran, SCJ, the main presider of the ceremony, which was attended by a number of SCJs, religious from different, male and female, congregations and friends. As usual, the ceremony was followed by a simple yet delicious dinner.

St. Lorenzo Ruiz – First Filipino Saint

231St. Lorenzo Ruiz is the first Filipino saint. He is also the first Filipino martyred for the Christian Faith. Lorenzo Ruiz was a layman, married, and had two sons and a daughter. Born in Binondo, Manila, about 1600’s, he was educated in the school of the Dominicans there. He served as an altar boy and later was a helper and clerk-sacristan in the church of Binondo. He was a member of the Confraternity of the Rosary. He made his living probably as a calligrapher, one who renders documents in beautiful penmanship for private or official use. To be sure, that work denoted an accomplished and educated person, especially at a time when many an illustrious personage were far from excelling in this art. An adverse event made him leave the Philippines in 1636.

When he was in his late twenties or early thirties, he became involved or was accused of being involved in a criminal case, the circumstances of which are far from clear. Whether he was involved or not, one thing was clear, he was afraid that, as a consequence of a trial or mistrial, he might be given a death sentence. Upon landing in Japan where Christians were being persecuted, he was arrested and imprisoned together with his companions. He underwent inhuman tortures and valiantly confessed his Christian Faith. Refusing to renounce his Faith, he told his executioner that he was ready to die for God and give himself for many thousands of lives if he had them. On September 27, 1637, he was hung from a gallows by his feet, his body falling into a pit. After two days of agony, he died of bleeding and suffocation. His body was cremated and the ashes thrown into the sea. He and fifteen companions, martyred in the same persecution, were beatified by Pope John Paul II in Manila on February 18, 1981 and elevated to full honors of the altar by canonization on October 18, 1987 in Rome. Their feast day is on September 28th.

Parish Feast and Installation of Parish Team

20160925_110603San Lorenzo Ruiz Parish (SLRP) located in Gabriela Silang Street, Tierra Verde 1 Homes, Congressional Avenue Ext, Quezon City is the newest place of SCJ presence in the Philippines. It was entrusted to the SCJs by Bishop of Novaliches, Most Rev. Antonio R. Tobias, DD, on July 1, 2016. The parish is a walking distance from the SCJ Theologate (Dehon House) and has an important place in the history of the SCJ Philippine Region for being a venue of many sacerdotal and diaconal ordinations.


On September 25, 2015, the parish community celebrated its 29th Feast of the Patron. It was also the date of official installation of the new pastoral team with Fr. Aloisio Back, SCJ as a parish priest, Fr. Rechie Gier, SCJ as a parochial vicar and Fr. Candido Bayron Jr., SCJ as a pastoral aid. The  ceremony of installation was held during the main Holy Mass at 10:30 in the morning and was attended by many parishioners, SCJs, religious and visitors.

At the moment the SCJs run 6 parishes, 1 chaplaincy, 1 mission area and 3 formation houses located in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.

For further information please visit: History of the Parish


Dehonians 2016

The Story Behind the History…

Our pilgrimage to the CITY OF SAINTS – POLSKA inspired and impressed us deeply.

Dehonian Fathers, Brothers, Sisters, Lay and Youth had gathered together as one bringing stories and experiences to tell and to share during the World Youth Day 2016! This  encounter  brought lot of conversion in our  lives as pilgrims and rekindle the fire of our faith. It was indeed a one , big, happy, healthy Christ- centered family.

… Their generosity is so visible, they open their houses to let us in, their hearts and life to us.

Young people (not just the Dehonians) from all over the world of different culture and languages and with different family backgrounds were united. It is a clear manifestation that only through and with Jesus that made us one . (As what the spirituality and charism of Fr. Dehon “ Sint Unum” is about). We are one because we have one heart – the Heart of Jesus.

Every place we visited marks the memorable history of our life – to name them: the Majdanek Concentration Camp, the Sanctuary of our Lady of Płaszów, the Sanctuary of Divine Mercy in Kraków – Łagiewniki, the Sanctuary of St. Faustina, the Bishop’s House, the Catholic University of Lublin. In Niegowić (first parish of John Paul II). Among all those places we visited, the story behind AMAZING POLAND, the Majdanek Concentration Camp touched us the most. Polish, Jewish, young and old people, and even churches experienced lots of extraordinary tortures, deprivation of freedom and life (80,000 or more people have been killed in one day).

With those historical places we visited, and from the story of life and faith they kept, it was obvious how steadfast their love and faith to God which made them surmount in the midst of so much difficulties and tortures. As a result, numerous saints are from Poland.  A BLESSED and AMAZING POLSKA!

The journey continues even after the World Youth days.

This time the encounter never ends. As Pope Francis said “the World Youth Day ends today but it continues tomorrow at home because it where God wants to meet you.” and YES! It is! with our extended home in Poland.

Bishop Vilsom Basso, scj from Maranhao, Fr. Andrzej Sudol, Fr. Piotr Chmielecki and Fr. Szymon Bendowski came and spent time with us. We met their families and friends and a warm welcome we received from them and they provided  many things more than we deserve and imagine.

Bishop Vilsom serves us our Dehonian Holy Father. A father who guides and never leaves us. The new community (from Kielce, Mielec, Gorki, etc.), friends of the scj fathers are again became our family too.

Travelling…Visiting familes, communities, places… Sightseeing? Its knowing more about Poland and the people around.

Visiting Kraków the Old Town, Salt Mine in Wieliczka, Tatra Mountains in Zakopane, Antique Polish Village in Kolbuszowa, Baranow Castel Monastery at Swiety Krzyz, Holy Cross Shrine, and the Shrine of Jasna Góra (Black Madonna) in Częstochowa it is indeed an additional reward, witnessing how people pay respect to those sanctuaries and shrines, how they treasured and preserved and even the nature itself.

In Salt Mine in Wieliczka, hardwork were very obvious with those details and structures inside in 135 feet below the ground. We witnessed how amazing it was preserved and it proved how ordinary people who are working hard with firm faith, dedication and love bring out extraordinary works.

Upon our journey we did not just visit this historical – religious places but also those people who helped us a lot through monetary and spiritually. Again, this marks another history in our life.

Being together with the priests in all the events of the DYM and WYD and the continuation of our pilgrimage after WYD which  some of us feel uncomfortable of being with them for almost a month, was a great opportunity to know them better .The virtue of humility is transparent to Bishop and other SCJ priests who were with us in our Poland journey. Bishop Vilsom Basso, is a man of service. He served us coffee, washing the dishes that we used after our meal, Jesus’ words are alive in the life of Bishop Basso: “He came to serve and not to be served.” Dehonians as we are, will continue our mission of reaching out and serving others especially those who needed most the love and mercy of God.

(By: Young Dehonian Pilgrims)

Thanksgiving Mass in Cagayan de Oro

20160819_181128On August 19, 2016Fr. Sergio Matumoto, SCJ, celebrated his second Thanksgiving Mass with the Formation Community in Cagayan de Oro City .

In his homily, using the artwork of the late Filipino artist Joey Velasco, “Hapag ng Pag-Asa” (Table of Hope), a local depiction of Da Vinci’s Last Supper that shows Filipino street children dining with Jesus, Fr. Sergio presented Jesus as a good shepherd with a heart full of love and compassion, who is close to all the poor and suffering, and as such is the source of hope and model to imitate.

The Holy Eucharist was followed by the one-by-one personal blessing of all participants and a common meal after.



Community Building Workshop – Seminar

21 members of the SCJ Philippine Region participate in the “Community Building Workshop – Seminar” that takes place at the Sacred Heart Formation House in Cagayan de Oro City from August 15 – 18, 2016. It is a follow-up activity of the seminar that was held in 2014. The aim of this workshop – seminar is to provide the participants with necessary skills and tools enabling them to build better and stronger relationships within the local communities and the entire region.

The seminar is conducted by Ms. Francisca Bustamante and Fr. Roy Ragas, SJ from EMMAUS Center for Psycho-Spiritual Formation and consists of moments of prayer, reflection and sharing among the members of the different communities.

Celebrations of the Founder in Manila and Cagayan de Oro

On August 12, 2016, two formation communities in Manila and Cagayan de Oro joined the congregation-wide celebration of 91st Death Anniversary of the Founder of the Priests of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Venerable Fr. Leo John Dehon (1843 – 1925).

In Manila, the celebration of the Founder was at the same time a Thanksgiving Mass of Fr. Sergio Matumoto, SCJ, who was ordained a priest last June 3, 2016, in Brazil and just returned to the Philippines. The community was joined by the members of the three nearby pastoral communities.

In Cagayan de Oro, Fr. Rico Lapinig, SCJ, who just returned from the World Youth Day in Krakow, Poland, was the main celebrant. In his homily, Fr. Rico combined the life message of the Founder and of the Holy Father, Pope Francis. The celebration was attended by SCJs from Aluba Parish and Dansolihon, Lay Dehonians, Dehonian Youth and friends.