November 26, 2013 is a milestone in the history of the Philippine Region. Significantly, aside from being the date when we commemorate the SCJ Memorial, on this day, four of our Filipino Brothers have been ordained priests, namely: Elpidio Luza, Niño Etulle, Joseph Butlig and Marlo Piloton. They are, as their aphorism during the ordination mass states, “Anointed to share in the priesthood of Christ.” They finished their initial formation in the Philippines.
The meaningful and solemn Eucharistic celebration was presided by Most Reverend Archbp. Antonio J. Ledesma, SJ of the Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro. The ordination took place in San Antonio de Padua Parish Church in Nazareth, Cagayan de Oro City which is the home parish of Fr. Elpidio. The church was overflowed with religious from different congregations, family members, relatives and friends as well as guests of our other three neo-presbyters during the Holy Mass. They came from various parts of the Philippines.
Archbp. Ledesma, in his homily, shared about the importance of priesthood. Following Christ and being his witness is the ultimate and fundamental aim of priesthood. Bishop also reminded the three roles of priesthood: prophetic, priestly and royal. Each of it should be practice in the spirit of service to the people. Finally he expressed his gratitude to the Congregation of the Priests of the Sacred Heart. He recalled his personal experience where he met SCJs missionaries in Prelature of Ipil for the first time. He mentioned remote parishes and missions where the SCJs work and projects they run. Also he thanked them for helping the victims of calamites in the Philippines including the recent one: Yolanda, and earlier: Sendong in Cagayan de Oro.
After the Mass, the reception and fraternal gathering followed at the Sacred Heart Formation House in Aluba, Cagayan de Oro. It is the seat of the Administration of the SCJ Philippine Region as well a formation center. This place is where the houses of Philosophy and Postulancy are located. More than 1000 guests took part in the dinner. Many of them stayed until evening and joined the celebration of the Memorial of the SCJ Martyrs. It was a beautiful and momentous feast day for all of us. Indeed, November 26, 2013 will be remembered as a distinct day in the history of the Philippine Region in which four new priests joined us in our Dehonian mission here.
We are grateful to the Lord for gift and vocation of the four new priests. They will join us in the mission of the Philippine Region. May they be always faithful to God and follow the charism of Fr. Dehon, our founder.
Vivat Cor Jesu!
Fr. Andrzej Sudol, SCJ