O Risen Lord!

O Risen Lord,
the way, the truth and the life,
make us faithful followers
of the spirit of your resurrection.
Grant that we may be inwardly
renewed; dying to ourselves
in order that you may live in us.
May our lives serve as signs
of the transforming power of your love.
Use us as your instruments
for the renewal of society,
bring your life and love to all
and leading them to your Church.
This we ask of you, Lord Jesus,
living and reigning with the Father,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God forever. Amen

Alleluia! The Lord is Risen!

The resurrection of our Lord is the source of our hope and joy. It gives us the confidence that death is not the last word, but eternal life. In the resurrection, death is overcome by death! Christ’s victory over sin and death reveals to us that sin can be overcome by love.

Faith in the Risen Lord makes us confident that everything as promised by God would be fulfilled, when there will be peace, love, harmony, freedom – and death and suffering will be no more. However Easter is not simply a proclamation that there is life after death, but most of all an invitation to live the resurrected life. This means allowing the power of the Risen Lord to live in and through us, to live the spirit of Christ by imitating Him in life and in death.

As we celebrate Easter, let us show ourselves to be people of joy and hope, prophets of love and reconciliation. With Christ’s resurrection, the future is certain and has been anticipated in the resurrection of Christ. A Christian never gives up on sinners or in any difficult situation, challenge or trial because he or she knows that Christ, who has overcome all things including death, can do the same for us as well.

Celebrating Christ’s victory over sin and death let us pray that:

  • Those who are homeless will be given suitable shelter and accommodation.
  • Those who are hungry will be given the food and drink which they need.
  • The lives of all people will be respected and valued from beginning to natural death.
  • The people of every nationality and creed will live in harmony and peace with respect for each other and for the planet we live on.

As disciples of the Risen Lord, let us also be that light of Christ for those in darkness.  Let us bring the joy of the gospel to the world by reflecting the Risen Lord in us, by living joyful lives filled with love and compassion. Let us be a resurrected people and testify to others that Christ is indeed risen in us!

Wishing you a blessed and holy Easter!

1st Grand Fiesta of the Holy Name Society in Dumalinao

On March 19, 2017, on the feast of Saint Joseph, approximately 800 male members of the Holy Name Society, excluding their wives and children, attended the ”1st Grand Fiesta Celebration.” The festivity took place at Saint Isidore Parish, Dumalinao, Zamboanga del Sur. It started with the Celebration of the Eucharist presided by Fr. Lukas Hadi Siswo Sasmito, SCJ and concelebrated by Fr. Franciszek Pupkowski, SCJ Regional Superior, Fr. Joseph C. Butlig, SCJ Regional Secretary, Fr. Donald Longno, SCJ Regional Councillor, Fr. Laurentius Suwanto, SCJ Scholastic Formator, Fr. Robertus Sutopo, SCJ, Balongating Sub-Parish in-charge and Fr. Joseph Muego, SCJ, Tigbao Sub-Parish in-charge. It was followed with a cultural program prepared by the participants.

The Holy Name Society was founded in 1961 by one of the Columban Fathers. Mr. Didong Sandalo was the first president. Unfortunately, the organization did not last long and it came to an end sometime in 1964.

In 2005, the organization was revived through the initiative of Mr. Roberto Torrecampo Anding, who became the president. This time the group was given a new name Mga Alagad sa Parokya (MAP) with 28 members. Among the various activities the group committed itself to clean the church every 3rd Saturday of the month. They also started to participate actively in the BEC  and Bible study every 3rd Thursday of the month. In addition, the group volunteered to prepare food during big celebrations and occasions of the parish.
In 2006, Fr. Janusz Burzawa, SCJ seeing the need of men’s participation in the church, officially recognized the organization and proposed to go back to the old name of Holy Name Society. Fr. Janusz supported very much this group during his time as a parish priest, which is continued by the present parish priest Fr. Lukas Hadi Siswo Sasmito, SCJ.

The celebration is a way of thanksgiving to God for all the graces and blessings received by the group and to encourage them to continue their mission in serving the parish. Today, the organization extended their services and membership to the sub-parish of Balongating and sub-parish of Tigbao.

By: Fr. Joseph Butlig, SCJ

Celebration of Founder’s Birth Anniversary in Cagayan de Oro

The celebration of the 174th Birth Anniversary of Fr. Leo John Dehon on March 14, 2017, in Cagayan de Oro Formation House was composed of two main parts: short recollection in the morning and Holy Eucharist in the afternoon.

The recollection was prepared and guided by Fr. Rico Lapinig, SCJ, the Master of Aspirants. In his reflection, Fr. Rico focused on the three temptations of Christ in the life  of priests and religious today. The participants were asked to identify the different temptations in life, which on one hand can lead to a sin, but if rejected to a personal growth.  They were also asked to share what are their inner strengths in rejecting the temptations and how do they try to preserve their priesthood and religious life and grow in holiness.In the afternoon, members of the Dehonian Family, which also include the Dehonian Youth Missionaries and Lay Dehonians, employees and friends of the Priests of the Sacred Heart joined the concelebrated Thanksgiving Mass, presided by Fr. Francis Pupkowski, SCJ. Before the end of the Mass, members of the Dehonian Youth Missionaries made their renewal of commitment. As usual, the celebration was followed by a common meal.

Mass Wedding in Dansolihon

img_0883On February 25, 2017, fifty one (51) couples from the Jesus Nazareno Chaplaincy in Dansolihon got married in the Catholic Church. According to the parish priest Fr. Jan Krzyściak, SCJ, this was the first batch of three hundred twenty (320) couples being prepared for the Sacrament of Matrimony. Due to the different circumstances like lack of money or papers many of the couples were living in this irregular situation for several years. With the help of the local SCJ community (Fr. Jan Krzyściak, Fr. Szymon Bendowski and Br. Yohanes Sismadi) and some lay leaders, they were able to correct this irregularity. The SCJs helped them to gather all the needed documents and organized special catechesis. Each couple had to attend five preparatory meetings. All the administrative expenses were handled by the chaplaincy.

Thanksgiving Mass in Aluba Parish

20170226_093621On February 28, 2015, the Immaculate Concepcion Parish in Aluba, Cagayan de Oro City, started officially the construction of a new parish church. After two years of work, the new church is almost completed and looks impressive. To commemorate this anniversary, on February 26, 2017, the parish held its  special “Thanksgiving Mass.” The Eucharistic celebration was presided by Fr. Florencio Salvador, SSJV,  a former pastor of this parish, who was assisted by Fr. Pedro Sumbilon, also a former parish priest, Fr. Klaudiusz Rokicki, MIC and three SCJs from the neighbor community of the Sacred Heart Formation House.

After the final prayer, Fr. Janusz Burzawa, SCJ, the present parish priest and initiator of this project, thanked all the involved people for their support and countless efforts, that made this dream come true. Fr. Janusz also expressed his hope that in three or four months more, the church can be consecrated by the local bishop Most. Rev. Antonio J. Ledesma, SJ,DD.

Institution of New Acolytes

dsc03269On February 13, 2017, three SCJ scholastics (Fra. Victor Lingasa, Fra. Julius Socorro and Fra. Joel Bolo) were instituted for the ministry of Acolyte.  The rite 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 Acolyte is a ministry to which a person is specially appointed by the Church to assist the deacon and to minister to the priest. His duty is to attend to the service of the altar and to assist as needed in the celebration of the Mass. He may also distribute Holy Communion as an auxiliary minister at the Eucharistic liturgy and to the sick. An acolyte may be entrusted with publicly exposing the Blessed Sacrament for adoration but not with giving benediction. He may also, to the extent needed, take care of instructing other faithful who by appointment assist the priest or deacon by carrying the missal, cross, candles, and similar functions. The ministry of acolyte is reserved to men and conferred by the bishop of the diocese or, in clerical institutes of religious, by the major superior, according to liturgical rites composed for the purpose by the Church.

Meeting of Continental Dehonian Theological Commission of Asia

commissionMembers of the Continental Dehonian Theological Commission of Asia (CDTC AS) met for the first time on February 11 – 12, 2017 in Manila. The commission composed of 7 members coming from 6 SCJ entities (Indonesia – 2, Vietnam – 1, India – 1, Taiwan – 1, ICA – 1, and the Philippines -1) was officially created during the Major Superiors’ Meeting in Rome last November 2016. The meeting was also attended by two General Councillors from Rome Fr. Artur Sanecki and Fr. Paulus Sugino who helped the commission to start. Until now the Asian Zone was represented on the Theological Forum of the Congregation only by one person, Fr. Francis Purwanto from Indonesia.

The general purpose of this commission is contribution to the reflection on the “Dehonian Identity” in the world, in the context of Asia.

One of the main topics of the meeting was preparation of the seminar in Indonesia “Charism and devotions – towards an inculturated Dehonian identity” that will be held in July 2017 in Yogyakarta.