On 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.
On 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.
On 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.
Members 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.
Passing by Cagayan de Oro City, Fr. Eduardo Aguero, SCJ, the founder of Kasanag Daughters Foundation, had a chance to visit the institution again. On February 5, 2017, Fr. Ed celebrated a Holy Mass for the clients and staff, which was also attended by many former members and their families who came to meet their spiritual father and friend. Besides recalling the “old times” it was a great opportunity of sharing their experiences and taking some pictures together.
On February 6, 2017, the SCJ Philippine Region started its annual assembly. The assembly is being held at the Sacred Heart Formation House in Cagayan de Oro City and is attended by 35 participants. Among the invited guests there are: Fr. Paulus Sugino, SCJ, the general councilor from Rome, Fr. Phong Tran, SCJ, Fr. Vincent Sri Herimanto, SCJ and Fr. Khoa Viet Nguyen, SCJ, members of the Vietnamese District.
Since the theme for the Year 2017 endorsed by the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) is “The Parish: Communion of Communities”, the assembly will reflect and try to elaborate some common guidelines of the Dehonian ways of doing things based on the SCJ spirituality and the pastoral needs paying special attention to the “Marks of Mercy”, in formation, with the poor and in evangelization, as proposed by the General Administration in its programatic letter “Mercy in the footsteps of God.”
The first day of the assembly started with the reflection on the “Vow of Obedience” delivered by Fr. Paulus Sugino, SCJ, and was followed by the rite of communal reconciliation led by Fr. Szymon Bendowski, SCJ, personal confession and adoration. In the afternoon, the group started personal sharing, to be continued on the next day and followed by reports from communities and different commissions. The day was concluded with the Holy Eucharist presided by the regional superior Fr. Francis Pupkowski, SCJ.
On February 8, 2017, in the afternoon, Fr. Florencio Salvador, SSJV, from the Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro, will help the group to focus on the main theme by giving a special input, which will be one of the basis for discussions and workshops during the following days.
The assembly will conclude on February 10, 2017 at noon with the Holy Mass presided by Fr. Paulus Sugino, SCJ.
On February 6, 2017, at the Generalate in Rome, the special preparatory commission for the next General Conference, that will be held in Manila in July 2018, started its works. The commission headed by Carlos Enrique Caamaño Martin, SCJ, the vicar general, is composed of five members: Fr. John Karl Cabaluna SCJ (PHI), Fr. Grzegorz Piątek SCJ (POL), Fr. Carlos Lobo SCJ (MOZ), Fr. Quang Nguyen SCJ (USA) i Fr. Joao Carlos Paschoalim SCJ (BSP).
One of the most important objectives of this meeting is to come out a concrete theme for the General Conference. The theme will be based on the conclusions of the XXIII General Chapter, the Programmatic Letter of the General Administration, and discussions that took place during the Major Superiors Meeting last year.
The commission will conclude its first meeting on February 10, 2016.