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.

Meeting and Celebration in Vietnam

20160812_182234On August 12, 2016, the SCJ District of Vietnam celebrated not only its 3rd Foundation Anniversary and 11 years of SCJ presence in the country, but also installation of a new superior and his council and acceptance of new candidates. The ceremony in which Fr. Francis Vu Tran, SCJ, replaced in the service of authority, Fr. Rino Venturin, SCJ,  took place at the chapel of Nha Dehon (Dehon House) in Ho Chi Minh City, during the Holy Mass presided by Fr. Paulus Sugino, SCJ, the General Councilor for Asia. The celebration was attended by members of the SCJ District of Vietnam, Fr. Thomas Vinod, superior of SCJ District in India,  representatives from the Philippine Region, SCJ candidates, priests, religious from different congregations, benefactors and friends.

The day before, on August 11, 2016, the new and old District Council discussed common formation issues with the Philippine delegation: Fr. Delio Ruiz, Fr. Laurentius Suwanto and Fr. Francis Pupkowski.

The meeting and installation of the new superior was for all the participants a great opportunity to enjoy the hospitality of Vietnamese confreres and to visit some interesting sites.

Institution of New Lectors and Acolytes

img1470655756526On August 8, 2016, on the Memorial of St. Dominic de Guzman, three SCJ scholastics (Fra. Joel Bolo, Fra. Julius Socorro and Fra. Victor Lingasa) were instituted for the ministry of Lector and other three (Fra. Junlou Arcayos, Fra.Bat Van Nguyen and Fra. Roger Pausanos) for the ministry of Acolyte. The rites of installation was carried out during the celebration of the Eucharist presided by Fr. Francis Pupkowski, SCJ, superior of the Philippine Region at the chapel of Dehon House, Tierra Verde Homes II, Quezon City. .

The Ministry of Lector and Acolyte are preparatory stages required before the reception of Holy Orders. The Lector is tasked to proclaim the Word of God (except the Gospel) at Holy Mass. He may also announce the intentions for the Universal Prayer and, in the absence of a psalmist, recite the Psalm between the readings, and the Acolyte is tasked to assist the priest at Holy Mass as “Altar Server” and to distribute Holy Communion when necessity demands.


Meeting of SCJ Asian Zone’s Young Priests in Indonesia

Asian SCJ Priests Meeting

From July 31 to August 10, 2016, representatives from Indonesia, India, Vietnam and Philippines have joined the 2nd Meeting of the SCJ Young Priests in Indonesia. Besides the common activities, the participants are given the opportunity to visit some important and interesting places of SCJ presence and of the host country. The SCJ Philippine Region is represented by: Fr. Marlo N. Piloton, Fr. Christoper C. Alburo and Fr. Joseph D. Muego.