Feast of the Patron and Establishment of St. John Paul II Chaplaincy in Talisay

20161022_112453June 11, 2016 marks the official start of SCJ presence in the Diocese of Maasin. The local bishop, Most Rev. Precioso D. Cantillas, SDB, DD, entrusted to the Congregation a part of the Immaculate Conception Parish in Hilongos, particularly St. Pope John Paul II Southern Mission Territory with its main chapel in barangay Talisay. The idea behind this agreement is twofold: on the side of the Diocese, it is to answer the spiritual needs of the faithful and develop this area into a future parish and on the side of the Congregation is to expand the SCJ presence into the Visayas Region.

 

On October 22, 2016, on the liturgical memorial of St. John Paul II, the Southern Mission Territory was elevated to the rank of Chaplaincy. The Bishop of Maasin in his “Decree of Establishment” declared the following: “Since the Faithful in the southern part of the Immaculate Conception Parish needs the constant presence of the Minister of the Catholic faith in response to the mission of the Church to foster the growth of the catholic faith, and to care for the spiritual desires of the Catholic Communities in the said area; and after having duly consulted the Diocesan Board of Consultors, with the full knowledge of the Presbyterium, I, Precioso D. Cantillas, SDB, DD, Bishop of Maasin, hereby solemnly decree the canonical establishment of the Chaplaincy of St. John Paul II, with all the rights and privileges accrued to such an entity in accordance with the Code of Canon Law, and our Diocesan Statutes and Decrees.

The Jurisdiction of this Chaplaincy will be composed of the following barangays: Talisay, Kanghaas, Tabunok, Tuguipa, Hitudpan, Lunang, San Agustin, Bun-ot, Catandog I, Catandog II, Bantigue of the Municipality of Hilongos, Leyte… 

…Moreover, I designate Fathers of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (SCJ) to look after this new chaplaincy. I also designate the chapel of Talisay to be the official chapel of the Chaplaincy…”

The “Decree of Establishment” was read during the Holy Mass by the Chancellor of the Diocese Fr. Alexes Villarubin, JCL. The concelebrated Mass was presided by Msgr. Oscar A. Cadayona, the Vicar General from Maasin, while the homily on “Life and Legacy of St. John Paul II” was delivered by Fr. Francis Pupkowski, SCJ, the SCJ Philippine Regional Superior. Among the concelebrants were Msgr. Antonio M. Gaviola, PC, the Pastor – Moderator of Hilongos Parish, Fr. Conrado C. Saavedra, Jr.,, Fr. Joseph Butlig, SCJ, Fr. Elpidio Luza Jr., SCJ, Fr. Arthur Guevara, SCJ and Fr. Christopher Alburo, SCJ.

Seminar for “Baby” Parish Priests and not only

20161018_085154This year the SCJ Philippine Region was entrusted with three new pastoral areas. Because of this several SCJs for the first time became parish priests. Although they were assigned in the parishes and have some pastoral experience many things for them are new. Being an assistant to the parish priest is  like sitting in the front seat, but not being a driver. According to the Canon Law “The Parish Priest is the proper pastor of the parish entrusted to him… exercising the pastoral care of the community entrusted under the authority of the diocesan Bishop, whose ministry of Christ he is called to share…” (Can. 519). The role of a Parish Priest is twofold: as an administrator and as a shepherd, who acts in the name of the local bishop and is accountable to.

In many dioceses there are special orientation seminars for new parish priests, so they would be properly informed of their duties and responsibilities. One of them is the Diocese of Novaliches, where the SCJs are entrusted with two parishes: San Lorenzo Ruiz Parish in Quezon City and St. Roque in Bagong Silang, Caloocan City.

Following this good example, the SCJ Philippine Region, considering the needs of new parish priests, organized similar activity. Initially it was intended for those who are directly involved in the parish ministry, but finally it was open for all the members of the region. The seminar was held on October 18 – 19, 2016 at the Dehon House in Manila. On the first day, Fr. Rei Flores, the Chancellor of the Diocese of Novaliches, presented the theme “Canonical and pastoral implications of the office of the Parish Priest.” On the second day, Msgr Antonio Labiao, the Vicar for Pastoral Affairs of the same diocese, shared his insights on the theme “Parish Church: Community of Communities” and financial management of the parish. On the first evening, the group was graced with the presence of Bishop of Novaliches, Most. Rev. Antonio R. Tobias, DD, who joined the Holy Mass and supper.