A few more reflections from the road in the Philippines

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"I've been trying a lot of food I've never had before!" said Fr. Steve. We aren't sure if this face means that he likes his latest Philippines meal or? “I’ve been trying a lot of food I’ve never had before!” said Fr. Steve. We aren’t sure if this face means that he likes his latest Philippine meal or?

As noted earlier, Fr. Stephen Huffstetter is visiting our communities and ministries in the Philippines. Today we have a “two-fer” — one text written on Sunday and one today for the province blog. Internet connections being a bit unreliable when traveling, we got both at once: 

Cagayan de Oro

I’ve seen and experienced so much in such a short time. I have much to think about and process and so many questions about a culture so new to me. Fr. Aloisio and Fr. Khoa served as today’s tour guides and gave me background on how our parish projects and formation programs developed and changed in the 25 years since the first SCJ foundations here. Fr. Al said that when he first arrived…

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Visiting students and ministries on Mindanao

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College program

As noted previously, Fr. Stephen Huffstetter is spending much of September learning about our communities and ministries in the Philippines and Vietnam. Today he writes from Cagayan de Oro, where he visited with undergraduate formation and the Kasanag Daughters Foundation.

Cagayan de Oro, Mindanao

Our boat arrived in port just after sunrise. Watching the crew maneuver the large ship into the dock with fist-sized ropes and mechanical winches gave me an appreciation of their skill at a complex task. Too often I take for granted the daily labors that produce and transport our daily bread.

Our pre-novitiate formation house is located in this university town. When we drove through the college campus I was surprised to see all the students wearing high school-type uniforms. It saves a lot on student expense as they don’t have to compete with the latest styles, and gives campus security a clue as to who are…

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Seeing the impact of SCJ community in the Philippines

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Fr. Steve with SCJs in the Philippines Fr. Steve with SCJs in the Philippines

As noted yesterday, Fr. Stephen Huffstetter is visiting our missions in the Philippines and Vietnam this month to learn about the community and its ministries there. Today he writes on the way to Mindanao:

In the past few days I’ve traveled using many different modes of transportation. I write this from a bunk in a cabin on a ship bound overnight for the Island of Mindanao. The Philippines consists of over 7,000 islands, and in many places, water is the primary means of passage.

photo 1a SCJ parish in the Philippines

Monday we toured an SCJ parish on the outskirts of Manila. St. Roque is in the Bagonsilang district of Caloacan City. Fr. John Karl, the pastor, tells me that there are 50,000 families here in one of the densest parts of the city. He, Fr. Nino and Deacon Chris live in a simple concrete block…

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Quezon City, the Philippines

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A few of our theology students in the Philippines A few of our theology students in the Philippines

Fr. Stephen Huffstetter is spending much of September visiting our communities and ministries in the Philippines and Vietnam. His first stop is the Manila area (Quezon City is a part of the Philippines Capitol region) where he is staying with our student community there. From there he writes:

After a trio of flights lasting two, 12 and 4 hours I was a weary traveler when I finally landed in Manila Friday night. I was warmly greeted by Fr. Delio, the head formator, and Sergio and AJ, two of our students. Metropolitan Manila has around 12 million people, and even at 10 p.m. the mass of cars, motorcycles and jeepnys was bumper to bumper. We drove past highly developed  shopping and nightlife areas with advertisements like you might find in Times Square, as well as row upon row of densely packed cinder…

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