Wishing you a blessed New Year 2020

“Before the calendar turns a new leaf over, before the social networking sites get flooded with messages, before the mobile networks get congested, let us take a quiet moment out to wish you a wonderful, happy, healthy and blessed New Year!”

God, thank you for a new year. May everyone be willing to begin anew with a clean slate. We know that you are always ready to forgive us. Help us to be willing to forgive ourselves and to forgive one another.

As we begin a new year, remind us of our truest values and our deepest desires. Help us to live in the goodness that comes from doing what you want us to do. Help us to put aside anxiety about the future and the past, so that we might live in peace with you now, one day at a time.

25 Years in the Lord’s Service

On December 28, 2019, Fr. Lukas Hadi Siswo Sasmito, SCJ, the Superior of the SCJ Philippines Region, together with Fr. Vincentius Sri Herimanto, SCJ, the General Councilor in Rome, have celebrated their 25th Anniversary of Ordination to the Priesthood.

The two of them, together with Fr. Paulus Sarmono, SCJ, and one diocesan priest Fr. Emmanuel, were ordained on November 23, 1994 in Palembang by the Bishop of Palembang, +Most Rev. Joseph Soudant, SCJ.

The celebration was held at 6:00 PM in the Sacred Heart Parish in Metro Lampung, Indonesia, the place of origin of Fr. Lukas. In the past the parish was run by the Priests of the Sacred Heart (SCJ). As of now there are more than thirty SCJ priests coming from this parish.

During his homily Fr. Vincentius stressed the importance of the family in promoting and supporting vocations. He also shared about his personal vocation and the role his father played in it.

The celebration was attended by many SCJs working and coming from the area of Lampung, Palembang and Jakarta, including a long time Polish missionary Fr. Józef Kurkowski, SCJ. The Philippines were represented by Fr. Francis Pupkowski, SCJ, and Fr. Janusz Burzawa, SCJ. Among the people attending this celebration, especially the second part, were some Muslims.

Search-in Seminar in Cagayan de Oro

On December 27, 2019 four out of thirty-five applicants who passed the initial qualification exams responded the invitation to attend the search-in at Sacred Heart Formation House, Aluba, Macasandig, Cagayan de Oro City.

Out of four candidates three are coming from Surigao area and one coming from Kauswagan, Lanao del Norte area. Rev. Fr. Joseph C. Butlig, SCJ vocation director and Rev. Fr. Sergio Shoiti Matumoto, SCJ orientation year formator of the Philippine Region conducted the following sessions; General information about the congregation of the Priests of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (SCJ), the ministry and presence of SCJ Communities in the Philippines, vocation in general, vocation story of Rev. Fr. Sergio, the stages of formation and the life of the founder of the congregation and charism.

In addition, the applicants were interviewed during the search-in to evaluate and assess their motivation and desire why they wanted to become a religious priest. For two days the applicants were given the chance to experience seminary life. The search-in activities started and ended with the celebration of the Eucharist. Moreover, the vocation director will schedule a home visitation of the families of applicants that is prospect to be admitted in the formation program.

By: Fr. Joseph C. Butlig, SCJ

Wishing you a Blessed Christmas!

The reason for Christmas is Jesus. Christmas is the celebration of God’s great love for us.  God loves us so much that he sends his Son Jesus to become one of us in order to bring us back to him.

Let us keep Christ as the heart of our Christmas, the reason for all of our joy, Let us reflect on the season’s true meaning… the birth of our Savior.

Whenever we see decorations that sparkle and tree lights that glimmer and glow, Let us remember the star that shone brightly and lit up that night long ago.

Whenever we wrap up our presents to others and dream of the gifts we’d like best… Let us remember God’s gift of a Savior – the gift that outshines all the rest.

May this Christmas celebration bring us peace and joy in our hearts and homes. And may God’s blessing be with us throughout the whole year 2020.

Celebration of the Immaculate Conception Feast in Aluba Parish

On December 8, 2019, the Immaculate Conception Parish in Aluba, Cagayan de Oro City, celebrated its Patronal Feast. The concelebrated Fiesta Mass was presided by Fr. Julius Clavero, SSJV, the parish priest of St. Francis Xavier Parish in Pueblo, Cagayan de Oro City. As usual the main celebration was preceded with nine day novena and other activities, such as a Parish BEC Family Day on November 30, Walk for Fun on December 7, and culminated with the Acoustic Band Concert on December 8.

The Immaculate Conception  is also the Principal Patroness of the Philippines and this year is celebrated on December 9.

In 1854, Pope Pius IX’s solemn declaration, Ineffabilis Deus, clarified with finality the long-held belief of the Church that Mary was conceived free from original sin. In proclaiming the Immaculate Conception of Mary as a dogma of the Church, the pope expressed precisely and clearly that Mary was conceived free from the stain of original sin. This privilege of Mary derives from God’s having chosen her as Mother of the Savior; thus she received the benefits of salvation in Christ from the very moment of her conception.

This great gift to Mary, an ordinary human being just like us, was fitting because she was destined to be Mother of God. The purity and holiness of the Blessed Virgin Mary is a model for all Christians.

The Immaculate Conception Parish in Aluba is being administered by the Priests of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (SCJs) since June 1, 2011. At the present Fr. Janusz Burzawa is the Parish Priest and is assisted by Fr. Szymon Bendowski, and Fr. Ruel C. Paalisbo.