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


Celebration of the Founder and Installation of the New Administration

The celebration of 175th Birth Anniversary of Fr. Leo Dehon, the Founder of the Priests of the Sacred Heart, on March 14, 2018, was connected with the 6th anniversary of Erection of the Philippine Region and installation of the new administration.

The main celebration, held at 6:00 pm at the Sacred Heart Formation House in Cagayan de Oro City, was preceded by a meeting of all members of the Region. The meeting started with a short recollection, conducted by Fr. Delio Ruiz,SCJ, and adoration, followed by the proper agenda.

In the afternoon, during the Holy Eucharist presided by the outgoing regional superior Fr. Francis Pupkowski, SCJ, the newly appointed superior Fr. Lukas Hadi Siswo Sasmito, SCJ, made his “Profession of Faith.” The new superior will be accompanied by four Councilors: Fr. Rico O. Lapinig,SCJ, Fr. Delio Ruiz, SCJ, Fr. Patrick L. Gutib, SCJ, and Fr. Janusz Burzawa, SCJ.

From the left: Fr. Lukas Hadi Siswo Sasmito, Fr. Rico O. Lapinig, Fr. Delio Ruiz, Fr. Patrick L. Gutib, and Fr. Janusz Burzawa


The celebration, as usual, was attended by the SCJs from all communities, members of the Dehonian Family, religious, and friends.

We wish all the best to the new administration and support it with prayers!

Happy 175th Birth Anniversary of Fr. Leo Dehon

Leo Dehon was the son of a wealthy family in the North of France (La Capelle ). Against the wishes of his father, Dehon decided to answer the call to the priesthood. He studied in Paris and Rome, earning doctorates in law, theology, canon law and philosophy. In 1871 he began his ministry as a parish priest in the working-class town of Saint-Quentin. The living conditions of the workers and their alienation from the Church led him to promote numerous social and educational initiatives such as: a Youth Center for young workers, construction of homes for the workers, and groups to study the social situations of the people. As Dehon began to be more and more involved in social ministry, he began to feel the need of a community whose life would be rooted in God’s love symbolized in the Heart of Christ. So in 1877 he not only founded Saint John’s College, but also the Congregation of the Oblates of the Sacred Heart, later renamed the Priests of the Sacred Heart. While his spirituality in the tradition of the French School (Berulles) lead him to a life of union with Christ, the influence of the Ignatian tradition gave him the ability to live this union and make it fruitful in the midst of a society undergoing rapid change. Dehon’s spirituality is mainly from these two traditions, which promote an awareness of the presence or absence of God in the midst of a world characterized by the social question. For Dehon, the contemplation of the pierced side of Jesus fully reveals the mystery of a love that is in solidarity with the fate of those who are oppressed and marginalized, especially the workers. In 1889 he began the publication of a periodical entitled The Kingdom of the Heart of Jesus in Souls and in Society. Two years later Pope Leo XIII published the encyclical Rerum novarum, the same Pontiff then invited Dehon to preach his encyclicals.

In the 1890s Dehon put all his energy into the social formation of the clergy through conferences, seminars and publications. He urged them to «get out of the sacristy» and «go to the people.» His Social Christian Manual became an authoritative commentary on Rerum novarum. In the Christian Democracy movement Dehon tried to convince Catholics to join the democratic system and the struggle for a more just society. This commitment is the most authentic expression of Christian Democracy as «the kingdom of justice and charity for the good of all, with a particular
focus on the workers and the poor … Christian democracy, the triumph of the Gospel, is the realm of the Sacred Heart. « Recognizing the commitment of the Dehon, Pope Leo XIII appointed him Consultor to the Index Congregation.

At the same time Dehon sought to consolidate his young congregation that was growing continuously. From the beginning he sent confreres to distant missions. In 1903 when the Priests of the Sacred Heart were expelled from France, their presence in Belgium, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Brazil , Congo and Italy provided a life beyond the tragedy of the France. The definitive recognition of his congregation by the Holy See came in 1906. The last years of his life were marked by World War I and the resulting consequences for his works and his congregation. At the same time period saw an intensification of his activity as a spiritual writer. He reflected further and deepened his writings on spiritual life with Trinitarian hermeneutic. Even after leaving the public arena of social activity he remained faithful to the contemplative dimension of his life – an action that characterizes his life. He wrote in 1910 : «I have been led by Providence to plow many furrows, but two in particular will leave a lasting mark: Christian social action and the life of love, reparation, and immolation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. On every page, my books, translated into several languages, bear this dual movement originating from the Heart of Jesus. Thanks be to God» (NQT XXV /1910, 33).

He asked his confreres to continue this life of love for the poor being convinced that for Jesus «the poor are another himself» (OSP IV, 138). On August 12, 1925, Leo Dehon died in Brussels. Today about 2200 Priests of the Sacred Heart (SCJs) are present in more than 40 countries around the world.

By: Fr. Stefan Tertunte

Preparing for the Birth Anniversary of the Founder

On March 14, 2018, the Congregation of the Priests of the Sacred Heart of Jesus will celebrate the 175th Birth Anniversary of their founder Venerable Fr. Leo Dehon. On this occasion, the General Superior Very Rev. Heinrich Wilmer, SCJ, wrote a special letter entitled Christ, refuge of the afflicted and sinners“. Analyzing the different human situations and needs of today’s world, he invites all members of the Dehonian Family to interpret it with the “Open Heart and Mind” and eyes gazed on the compassionate and merciful Heart of Jesus, in the light of the Dehonian Spirituality.

Announcing the year of the “Wounded Heart”, which will begin on March 14, 2018, and will end with the celebration of the Sacred Heart in 2019. He wrote “For us, the “Wounded Heart” is the icon of the 21st century, transmitting a message that goes beyond the word. This symbol is capable of accepting the feelings of women and men of this world. The icon of the “Wounded Heart” can reveal the inner and intimate life of desires and expectations, frustrations and sufferings. It refers to the feelings of many people, brings to life their anguishes and tears, their torture and suffering in the blood. All that is close to man bears the sign of the wound.” 

The Philippine Region on March 5, 2018, as a part of spiritual preparation for the Birth Anniversary of Fr. Dehon and installation of the new administration will start a special novena prepared by the Spirituality Commission. (Novena before the 175th Birth Anniversary of Fr Leo Dehon)

Celebration in Dansolihon

On January 9, 2018, the Hesus Nazareno Chaplaincy in Dansolihon celebrated its Patronal Feast. Also, on that day the Archbishop of Cagayan de Oro, Most Rev. Antonio J. Ledesma, SJ, DD, the main celebrant, blessed the new church.

The construction of the new church has officially started on January 24, 2017, and is completed in around 80 percent. Thanks to the industriousness of Fr. Jan Krzysciak, SCJ, the priest in charge of the chaplaincy, and cooperation of the Christian community the new church could rise up so quickly. Fr. Jan in these efforts is being helped by Fr. Dennis Macasero, SCJ – his assistant and Bro. Yohanes Sismadi, SCJ.

Hopefully, the next Patronal Feast will be held in a completely finished new church.

Regional Assembly 2018

On February 5, 2018, the SCJ Philippine Region started its annual assembly. The assembly is being held at the Sacred Heart Formation House in Cagayan de Oro City and is attended by 30 confreres, including Fr. Eduardo Aguero, SCJ from Macao (ICA) and Fr. Khoa Viet Nguyen, SCJ representing the District of Vietnam.

The theme of the assembly, as proposed by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), is “Renewed Servant-Leaders for the New Evangelization”  and is dedicated to the Clergy and Consecrated Persons. “We aim towards the integral renewal of the values, mind-sets, behavior and life-styles of the Clergy and Consecrated Persons. Following the example of the Good Shepherd, they are invited to become servant-leaders who care most especially for the least, the lost and the last.” (CBCP Pastoral  Exhortation On the Occasion of the Opening of the 2018 Year of the Clergy and Consecrated Persons, First Sunday of Advent, 03 December 2017).

As usual the assembly started with a short reflection on the theme guided by Fr. Eduardo Aguero, SCJ, service of reconciliation led by Fr. Patrick Gutib, SCJ, confession and adoration.

In the afternoon of the first day, the participants following the guide questions shared their personal experiences and insights regarding last year and the main topic of the assembly.

The day ended with the Eucharistic celebration presided by Fr. Francis Pupkowski, SCJ, supper and common recreation.

The second day was dedicated to the reports by communities and different fields of activities of the region.

The main topic will be elaborated on the third and fourth day of the assembly under the guidance of the main moderator Fr. Eduardo Aguero, SCJ.

The assembly is going to conclude on February 9, 2018.

STD Dissertation Oral Defense of Fr. Delio Ruiz

On January 29, 2018, Fr. Delio Ruiz, SCJ, member of the Philippine Region, has defended his STD Dissertation entitled “MINISTER OF CHRIST JESUS: A Study of Cultic Language in Romans 15:14-21 in the Context of Paul’s Missionary Framework.”  The Board of Examiners was composed of Fr. Renato Repole, S.J., S.T.D. (Principal Examiner), Dr. Markus Locker (Adviser), Fr. ​Herbert Schneider, S.J., S.T.D., and Fr. Antonio de Castro, S.J., S.T.L., E.H.D. The defense was being held in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree Doctorate in Sacred Theology with field of specialization in Biblical Theology.

“In this study, the author draws upon the apostle Paul’s Old Testament background and the Pharisaic Judaism’s context TRACING Paul’s use of cultic language in Romans. Cultic language in Paul’s letters does not ONLY refer to a number of terms related to the Temple services such as offering sacrifices. Paul ALSO uses cultic language outside the context of the Temple in order to explain his arguments, creating an imaginative context for his theological and ethical message (cf. Phil 4:18; Rom 12:1).

The study focuses on the letter-frame (Rom 1:1-15; 15:13-16:27), especially the closing section, the so-called “neglected endings,” where Paul explains the nature of his mission to the Gentiles (Rom 15:14-21) and his travel plans (15:22-32). An essential part of the study is that Romans 15 SHOULD not be considered merely as an appendix of the letter, and that one still can learn more of the whole letter. In view of the significance of cultic language in Romans the investigation seeks to clarify the meaning of Paul’s self-description as “ministry of Christ Jesus” and his “priestly service of the gospel” with its result, “the offering of the Gentiles” (Rom 15:16).

The use of cultic language aids Paul in defining his ministry to both Jewish and Gentiles Christians in a comprehensible and compelling manner (Rom 15:14-21). In doing so, the apostle emphasizes his appeal to fraternal relation and mutual acceptance within the believers in the house churches in Rome (15:7-13). Thus, both groups would be united in worship and communal response to the gospel (Rom 15:5-6; 15:16).”  (http://lst.edu/community/news-a-features/1099-std-dissertation-oral-defense-of-fr-delio-ruiz-scj-argentina-on-29-january-2018)

The defense, held at Tipanan ni San Ignacio, Loyola School of Theology, lasted for almost two hours and was attended by the SCJs and friends from Metro Manila, Cagayan de Oro and Macao.

Congratulations to Fr. Delio, the new Doctor in Sacred Theology!

Farewell to Fr. Aloisio Back

After 26 years of missionary service in the Philippines Fr. Aloisio Back, SCJ went back to Brazil. On January 18, 2018, the community of the Dehon House Community in Manila bade its farewell to Fr. Back for the service he has rendered in different parishes and formation houses.

Fr. Aloisio arrived in the Philippines in 1992 together with Fr. Giuseppe Perantoni, SCJ, who later on was kidnapped and held in captivity for 6 months. After finishing his language course (Cebuano) in Davao City, his first assignment was in Dimataling as an assistant parish priest. After that, for many years Fr. Al, as he used to be called, was working as a formator: Master of Postulants, Master of Novices and Formator in the SCJ Theologate in Manila. Most of the Filipino SCJs are his “spiritual products.” His last assignment was as a parish priest in San Lorenzo Ruiz Parish in the Diocese of Novaliches (Quezon City). In addition to that, he was accompanying the young SCJ clergy.

Fr. Al will be always remembered as a person full of wisdom, friend of the young SCJs and a man of obedience. His guiding principle was to be “useful and less disturbing.”

The SCJ Philippine Region thanks Fr. Aloisio for all he has done for its growth and development and wishes him all the best!

Groundbreaking for New Church in Talisay

On January 1, 2018, the Christian Community of Quasi-Parish Medalla Milagrosa (Miraculous Medal) in Talisay, Hilongos, has witnessed the groundbreaking ceremony for the new Church.

The event, accompanied by a heavy rain of the typhoon “Agaton”, was presided by Most Rev. Precioso D. Cantillas, SDB, D.D, the Bishop of Maasin Diocese. The community  hopes to celebrate New Year 2018 in the new Church.