“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 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.

Celebration of First Profession of Vows and Solemnity of the Sacred Heart

Today, on June 28, 2019, the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart, three (3) SCJ Novices from the Philippines, Agustin M. Indangan Jr., Aldrin R. Ayaton, and Carl Ryan N. Opeña, made their commitment to God in the Congregation of the Priests of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. By the profession of three vows: Chastity, Poverty and Obedience, they declared their readiness  and will to follow Jesus more closely. They were preparing for this moment for almost fourteen (14) months under the guidance of the Novice Master Fr. Indra Pamungkas, SCJ and Fr. Yohanes Sono Pribadi, SCJ, the “Socius.” Together, with eight (8) Vietnamese Novices, who made their First Profession of vows in Vietnam last May 31, 2019, they have had been learning about the Congregation, the Founder, vows and religious life.

The ceremony that was held on the 141 anniversary of the foundation of the Congregation of the Priests of the Sacred Heart, took place at the Novitiate Fr. Dehon in Lower Lucoban, Dumalinao, Zamboanga del Sur, and was attended by the SCJ confreres from the area of Pagadian, Cagayan de Oro, and Manila, family members and friends of the newly professed religious. The vows were accepted by the Regional Superior, Fr. Lukas Hadi Siswo Sasmito, SCJ.

The newly professed will move to the Manila Community at the Dehon House, where they will study Theology and prepare themselves further for the ordination to the priesthood.

On the same day, in the afternoon, the SCJ area of Cagayan de Oro celebrated the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart, the patronal feast of the Congregation. The concelebrated Mass was presided by Fr. Ruel C. Paalisbo, SCJ, who offered this Holy Eucharist as a Thanksgiving Mass for the gift of his vocation and ordination. After the homily all SCJs renewed their act of oblation made 141 years ago by their founder Venerable Fr. Leo John Dehon.

Renewal of Vows in Manila

On June 14, 2019, in the Sacred Heart Retreat House and Seminar Center, 132 B, Gonzales St., Loyola Heights, Quezon City, six SCJs on temporary vows: Bro Argol C. Chavez, Bro. Rene D. Adorable, Bro. Francis S.J. Atayza, Bro. Giovanni B. Bautista, Bro. Rackie M. Roxas and Bro. July P. Zambrano, renewed their vows of Chastity, Poverty and Obedience in the Congregation of the Priests of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (SCJ). The renewal was accepted by the superior of the Philippine Region, Fr. Lukas Hadi Siswo Sasmito, SCJ, and witnessed by the members of SCJ Zone of Manila.

Mass of the Holy Spirit – Acceptance of new Postulants and Aspirants in CDO

With the invocation of the Holy Spirit, on June 10, 2019, the formation community in Cagayan de Oro I officially started new academic year 2019 – 2020. During the Holy Eucharist presided by the Regional Superior, Fr. Lukas Hadi Siswo Sasmito, SCJ, three (3) Aspirants (2 Vietnamese and 1 Filipino) were accepted into the Postulancy Program, six (6) into the Aspirancy and five (5) into Orientation Year. The new Postulants were given Bible, while all the others “Rules of the House.” Altogether there are twenty (20) young men, who expressed their wish to follow their vocation in the Congregation of the Priests of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (SCJ).

Dehonian Youth Mission 2019: A Christ-Like Journey

In celebration of the Year of the Youth and in unity with the 30th anniversary of SCJ presence in the Philippines, this year’s Dehonian Youth Missionaries (DYM) summer mission is mainly centered on the theme: “Sharing Dehonian charism, serving the Gospel and living in the community.” With open minds and open hearts, 17 young missionaries (from the Philippines, Vietnam, and East Timor), bravely said “YES!” to the call of meeting God through serving His people in the humble sitio of Balongkot, under Jesus Nazareno Chaplaincy of Dansolihon, Cagayan de Oro City.

Just like how it normally is, the activity started with a 3-day stay-in formation seminar, called “Umol”. It is composed of spiritual inputs, recollection, and team building, on May 20-22. This is to establish camaraderie among the missionaries before we were sent forth to the mission area on May 23. The mission proper started in the afternoon of the same day, respectively.

We visited the Christian households in the area, blessed their homes and had faith sharing with the families. We also conducted activities like Flores de Mayo, animation, community building, recollection, and Taizé Prayer. One of the many challenges was to reorganize and strengthen the community’s core group and establish a strong foundation for the adult catechists and the youth.

What inspired us aside from the community’s warm welcome was the fact that we were sent there to see Christ in every person we meet and every situation we face. Moreover, we became missionaries not only to the people in Balongkot, but also to each of our fellow missionaries as true prophets of love and servants of reconciliation; embracing the community life selflessly regardless of our differences. Thus, this has been a clear manifestation of the SINT UNUM taught by our founder, Ven. Fr. Leo John Dehon.

By: Rexy Gracey