Sunday, May 17, 2015 marks the start of the XXIII General Chapter of the Congregation of the Priests of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, which is the highest legislative body of the congregation held every six years. It started with the prayer and common supper during which the chapter participants shared the food and beverages from their respective countries. It was also the time of introduction of all the participants. All together, there are 78 participants: 8 members representing the General Curia, 20 Provincial Superiors, 4 Regional Superiors and 46 elected delegates. The SCJ Philippine Region is being represented by Fr. Francis Pupkowski, the regional superior and Fr. Donald Longno.
On May 18, the first full day of the chapter, participants had a day of reflection led by Fr. Carlos Luis Suárez Codorníu of Venezuela. The day ended with an opening: the opening mass celebrated by Fr. José Ornelas Carvalho.
Tuesday, May 19, was the first day of “business” for the General Chapter. The delegates, staff and invited guests were seated and the superior general, Fr. José Ornelas Carvalho, gave his “State of the Congregation” report. The report, which was the summary of the last six years of activities of the General Administration and the whole Congregation, was accepted with applause.
Wednesday, May 20, 2015, began in small group discussions, reflecting on the general superior’s report.
In the afternoon, it was time for finance. The general treasurer, Fr. Aquilino Mielgo, gave his report; he was followed by the commission of financial experts who had done an external audit of the congregational finances.
Patron Saint of Dumalinao and Kumalarang Parishes
St. Isidore has become the patron of farmers and rural communities. In particular he is the patron of Madrid, Spain, and of the United States National Rural Life Conference.
When he was barely old enough to wield a hoe, Isidore entered the service of John de Vergas, a wealthy landowner from Madrid, and worked faithfully on his estate outside the city for the rest of his life. He married a young woman as simple and upright as himself who also became a saint—Maria de la Cabeza. They had one son, who died as a child.
Isidore had deep religious instincts. He rose early in the morning to go to church and spent many a holiday devoutly visiting the churches of Madrid and surrounding areas. All day long, as he walked behind the plow, he communed with God. His devotion, one might say, became a problem, for his fellow workers sometimes complained that he often showed up late because of lingering in church too long.
He was known for his love of the poor, and there are accounts of Isidore’s supplying them miraculously with food. He had a great concern for the proper treatment of animals.
He died May 15, 1130, and was declared a saint in 1622 with Ignatius of Loyola, Francis Xavier, Teresa of Avila and Philip Neri. Together, the group is known in Spain as “the five saints.”
After the Final Profession of Vows, the two (2) members of the Philippine Region and one (1) member of the Vietnamese District: Bro. Ronald M. Basco, Bro. Sergio Shoiti Matumoto and Bro. Dinh Van Nguyen were ordained deacons. The celebration was held at the San Isidro Parish in Dumalinao, Zamboanga del Sur, which belongs to the Diocese of Pagadian. The three SCJs were ordained by the local bishop Most Rev. Emmanuel Cabajar DD, CSsR, on May 14, 2015, the day before the Patronal Feast of the Parish. St. Isidore, the farmer, is a very popular patron saint in the Philippines, especially in the rural areas of Mindanao. In fact, both parishes in Zamboanga del Sur served by the SCJs, Kumalarang and Dumalinao, have him as their patron saint.
Today, on May 13, 2015, the following members of the Philippine Region and Vietnamese District: Ronald M. Basco (PHI), Sergio Shoiti Matumoto (PHI) and Dinh Van Nguyen (VIE) made their Final Profession of Vows: Chastity, Poverty and Obedience in the Congregation of the Priests of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
During the same celebration three (3) Novices: Rene Boy Soccoro (PHI), Dinh Nguyen (VIE) and Son Nguyen (VIE) professed their first vows of Chastity, Poverty and Chastity.
The vows were accepted by Fr. Franciszek Pupkowski, superior of the Philippine Region. The ceremony was held at the church of St. Isidro Parish in Dumalinao and was witnessed by SCJs coming from different communities, religious sisters, families and friends of the professes.
On June 13, 2015, Fr. Janusz Burzawa, scj will celebrate his 25th Anniversary of Ordination to the Priesthood and on July 20, 2015, Fr. Robertus Sutopo, scj his 25th Anniversary of Religious Life.
Using the opportunity of being together for the monthly meeting, the profession of vows and ordination to the diaconate, the Philippine Region organized a simple celebration of Thanksgiving to God for the gift of their vocations. Fr. Janusz was the main celebrant and Fr. Robertus delivered the homily. The celebration took place in the Novitiate Fr. Dehon in Lower Lucoban, Dumalinao on the Eve of the Final Vows of three (3) SCJs and First Vows of three (3) Novices on May 12, 2015.