Celebrating Feast of St. Joseph at KDFI

St. Joseph is not only the Saint Patron of the Universal Church, but also one of main patrons of the Congregation of the Priests of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (SCJ) and a Saint Patron of Kasanag Daughters Foundation, Inc. (KDFI). Each year, on March 19, the foundation holds a special celebration, which starts with the Holy Eucharist and ends with a simple meal. As usual, the celebration is attended by beneficiaries of the foundation, staff, board members, former daughters, benefactors, SCJ priests and friends. The purpose of this  is to honor  their patron and thank him for his protection and guidance.

This year the main celebrant was Fr. Joseph C. Butlig, SCJ, the KDFI coordinator, who at the same time celebrated the feast of his Patron Saint.

St. Joseph, the spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the foster-father of Jesus, was probably born in Bethlehem and probably died in Nazareth. His important mission in God’s plan of salvation was “to legally insert Jesus Christ into the line of David from whom, according to the prophets, the Messiah would be born, and to act as his father and guardian” (Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy). Most of our information about St. Joseph comes from the opening two chapters of St. Matthew’s Gospel. No words of his are recorded in the Gospels; he was the “silent” man. We find no devotion to St. Joseph in the early Church. It was the will of God that the Virgin Birth of Our Lord be first firmly impressed upon the minds of the faithful. He was later venerated by the great saints of the Middle Ages. Pius IX (1870) declared him patron and protector of the universal family of the Church.

St. Joseph was an ordinary manual laborer although descended from the royal house of David. In the designs of Providence he was destined to become the spouse of the Mother of God. His high privilege is expressed in a single phrase, “Foster-father of Jesus.” About him Sacred Scripture has little more to say than that he was a just man-an expression which indicates how faithfully he fulfilled his high trust of protecting and guarding God’s greatest treasures upon earth, Jesus and Mary.

The darkest hours of his life may well have been those when he first learned of Mary’s pregnancy; but precisely in this time of trial Joseph showed himself great. His suffering, which likewise formed a part of the work of the redemption, was not without great providential import: Joseph was to be, for all times, the trustworthy witness of the Messiah’s virgin birth. After this, he modestly retires into the background of holy Scripture.

Of St. Joseph’s death the Bible tells us nothing. There are indications, however, that he died before the beginning of Christ’s public life. His was the most beautiful death that one could have, in the arms of Jesus and Mary. Humbly and unknown, he passed his years at Nazareth, silent and almost forgotten he remained in the background through centuries of Church history. Only in more recent times has he been accorded greater honor. Liturgical veneration of St. Joseph began in the fifteenth century, fostered by Sts. Brigid of Sweden and Bernadine of Siena. St. Teresa, too, did much to further his cult.

At present there are two major feasts in his honor. On March 19 our veneration is directed to him personally and to his part in the work of redemption, while on May 1 we honor him as the patron of workmen throughout the world and as our guide in the difficult matter of establishing equitable norms regarding obligations and rights in the social order.

—Excerpted from The Church’s Year of Grace, Pius Parsch

St. Joseph is invoked as patron for many causes. He is the patron of the Universal Church. He is the patron of the dying because Jesus and Mary were at his death-bed. He is also the patron of fathers, of carpenters, and of social justice. Many religious orders and communities are placed under his patronage.

Patron: Against doubt; against hesitation; Americas; Austria; Diocese of Baton Rouge, Louisiana; California; Belgium; Bohemia; bursars; cabinetmakers; Canada; Carinthia; carpenters; China; confectioners; craftsmen; Croatian people (in 1687 by decree of the Croatian parliament) dying people; emigrants; engineers; expectant mothers; families; fathers; Florence, Italy; happy death; holy death; house hunters; immigrants; interior souls; Korea; laborers; Diocese of La Crosse, Wisconsin; Archdiocese of Louisville, Kentucky; Diocese of Manchester, New Hampshire; Mexico; Diocese of Nashville, Tennessee; New France; New World; Oblates of Saint Joseph; people in doubt; people who fight Communism; Peru; pioneers; protection of the Church; Diocese of San Jose, California; diocese of Sioux Falls, South Dakota; social justice; Styria, Austria; travelers; Turin Italy; Tyrol Austria; unborn children Universal Church; Vatican II; Vietnam; Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston West Virginia; wheelwrights; workers; working people.

Symbols: Bible; branch; carpenter’s square; carpenter’s tools; chalice; cross; hand tools; infant Jesus; ladder; lamb; lily; monstrance; old man holding a lily and a carpenter’s tool such as a square; old man holding the infant Jesus; plane; rod.

Source: https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/calendar/day.cfm?date=2019-03-19

Prayer to Joseph,
Who is Known by Many Titles

Faithful Joseph:
Teach us to listen and not be afraid to trust
as you did in God’s promise.

Loving Joseph:
Teach us to love courageously with a heart
that is free and just.

Protector Joseph:
Teach us to protect one another and all
that belongs to God.

Dreamer Joseph:
Teach us to dream a world where all are neighbors;
a vision illuminated by God’s light.

Teacher Joseph:
Teach us to keep the Word of God close to our hearts, and to proclaim it in word and action.

Gentle Joseph:
Teach us to be gentle with our power and
strong in our tenderness.

Parent Joseph:
Teach us to be for all persons a living lesson
of goodness and truth – a blessing for all
generations to come.

Amen.

Celebrating Founder’s Birth Anniversary in Cagayan de Oro, Manila and Dumalinao

March 14, the Birth Anniversary of Fr. Leo John Dehon is remembered and celebrated by the entire Dehonian Family around the world. It is also a special day of prayers for new vocations to the priesthood and religious life, especially to the Congregation of the Priests of the Sacred Heart (SCJ). On this day, all the SCJs and all lay associates, inspired by the life and works of Fr. Dehon, gather together to reflect on the charism of their founder, which they consider as a special gift from God to the Church.

As usual, the Sacred Heart Formation House in Cagayan de Oro  City, together with members of the Lay Dehonians and Dehonian Youth, joined this worldwide celebration of the 176th Birth Anniversary of their founder. During the Holy Eucharist, Fr. Francis Pupkowski, scj, the main celebrant and homilist, presented the life and vocation of Fr. Dehon, whose driving force of all his activities was to bring about “The Reign of God in souls and society.”

Besides the members of the Dehonian Family, the celebration was attended by all the SCJs from the neighbor communities, friends and benefactors. The celebration was culminated with the common super prepared by the formation community.

Similar activities were held in Dehon House in Manila and Novitiate Fr. Dehon in Lower Lucoban, Dumalinao, Zamboanga del Sur. In Manila the Holy Mass was presided by Fr. Lukas Hadi Siswo Sasmito, SCJ, the Regional Superior, who instituted Bro. Argol Chavez, SCJ, to the ministry of acolyte.

Diocesan Clergy of Mindanao Convention 2019

Two SCJ’s: Fr. Joseph Muego and Dn. Joel Bolo joined the Diocesan Clergy of Mindanao Convention (DCM) held in Ozamis City from February 18 – 20, 2019. The theme of this year’s convention is ”Mindanao Clergy : journeying with the Youth”. The Convention is attended altogether by 373 bishops, priests and deacons from 21 dioceses.

Renewal of Marriage Vows at San Lorenzo Ruiz Parish

On February 16 – 17, 2019, ninety (90) couples from the San Lorenzo Ruiz Parish in Quezon City, Diocese of Novaliches, renewed their Marriage Vows in this love month of February. The Family and Life Ministry organized this activity to celebrate the inspiring and grace-filled union of the married couples in the parish.

All six (6) Masses of the parish including the Saturday anticipated Mass held the Renewal of Vows. The couples were requested to wear white or their Sunday’s best dress for the event. Upon their arrival each couple was welcomed and escorted by the usherettes to their reserved seating places at the front of the Church.

The ceremony was integrated within the Mass. They were serenaded by the Music Ministry and received the special blessing from our assistant parish priests, Rev. Fr. Showereddy Nekkanti, SCJ, Rev. Fr. Donald Longno, SCJ and guest priests Rev. Fr. Delio Ruiz, SCJ, and Rev. Fr. Rechie Gier, SCJ.

After the Mass, the couples took pictures and everyone was given a copy of their vows in the form of a certificate and was handed a stem of heart balloons.

The Parish Youth Ministry meanwhile, distributed packets of chocolates and candies to all parishioners who attended the Mass.

By: Fr. Niño Etulle, SCJ

Dehonians join “Walk for Life” 2019

San Lorenzo Ruiz Parish (SLRP) joined the entire Catholic Church in its stand to “Walk for Life” on February 16, 2019 at the Quezon City Circle, led by the Assistant Parish Priest Rev. Fr. Showe Reddy Nekkanti, SCJ. The SLRP Community was well represented with participants from the Parish Pastoral Council, Religious (Dehonian Brothers and Adorers of the Blood of Christ Sisters), Youth and other ministries of the parish.

There was a prayer procession of the Holy Rosary for life; video presentation on the persecution of Christians around the world; youth sharing on Extra Judicial Killings, lowering the age of criminal liabilities, purity and chastity, family life, environment, corruption, and protecting the sanctity of life in general.
The event culminated to the celebration of the Holy Eucharist presided by His Eminence Luis Antonio ‘Chito’ Tagle, Archbishop of Manila.

Also in Cagayan de Oro City the Dehonian seminarians joined the simultaneously held march.

The “Walk for Life” is a marching event, wherein participants walk hand-in-hand, to show united support to Christian values.

It was initially organized as a form of action or protest against cruelty and killings, with one example being the extrajudicial killings stemming from the war against drugs and drug abuse.

The activity is also a way of showing support to the marginalized communities, especially those who have experienced abuse, neglect, and denied of their human rights.

“Walk for Life” is being participated by priests, bishops, church personnel, those faithful to the church, and those with a stand in preserving life of all.

The first “Walk for Life” event took place at the Quirino Grandstand in Manila on February 18, 2017 and was attended by thousands of members of Catholic and Christian Churches, as well as from religious and non-religious organizations.

Regional Assembly 2019

On February 11, 2019, 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 confreres, including Fr. Alexander Sapta Dwi Handoko, SCJ, General Councilor for Asia from Rome, Fr. Quang Nguyen, SCJ, the Vice Provincial of the US Province and Fr. Khoa Nguyen, SCJ, from the District of Vietnam.

The assembly started with the welcome address of the superior of the community Cagayan de Oro I, Fr. Patrick Gutib, SCJ and the Regional Superior Fr. Lukas Hadi Siswo Sasmito, SCJ, followed by a service of reconciliation led by Fr. Francis Pupkowski, SCJ. The next activity was a short reflection by Fr. Delio Ruiz, SCJ, focusing on the “Year of the Youth” in the Philippines and the 30th Anniversary of the SCJ presence in the Philippines, ending with the adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and confession.

In the afternoon of the first day, the participants following the guide questions shared in groups their personal experiences of the last year in the light of the incoming anniversary.

The day ended with the Eucharistic celebration presided by Fr. Lukas Hadi Siswo Sasmito, SCJ, followed by the supper and common recreation.

The second day was dedicated to the reports by communities and different commissions of the Region. The main celebrant  of the Eucharist was Fr. Robertus Sutopo, SCJ, who on February 12 celebrated his 50th birthday.

On the third and fourth day the group will discuss the agenda that came out of the reports, future celebrations and plans.

The assembly is to conclude on February 14, 2019 lunch time.

Viva Pit Senyor!

Today, on the 3rd Sunday of January, the Church in the Philippines celebrates the Feast of Santo Niño, one of the most popular religious celebrations not only in Cebu City, but also in the entire Philippines.

Short History of the Image of Santo Niño de Cebu

In April 1521, Ferdinand Magellan, in the service of Charles V of Spain, arrived in Cebu during his voyage to find a westward route to the Indies. He persuaded Rajah Humabon and his chief wife Humamay, to pledge their allegiance with Spain. They were later baptized into the Catholic faith, taking the Christian names Carlos (after Holy Roman Emperor Charles V) and Juana (after Joanna of Castile).

According to Antonio Pigafetta, Italian chronicler to the Spanish expedition, Ferdinand Magellan himself presented the Santo Niño to the newly baptized Queen Juana as a symbol of the alliance. To her husband Carlos, Magellan presented the bust of “Ecce Homo”, or the depiction of Christ before Pontius Pilate. He then presented an image of the Virgin Mary to the natives who were baptized after their rulers. Magellan died on April 27, 1521 in the Battle of Mactan, leaving the image behind. Legends say that after initial efforts by the natives to destroy it, the image was venerated as the animist creation deity Bathala. Many historians consider the facial structure of the statue made from Belgium, where Infant Jesus of Prague statues were also common.

In 1980, Filipino historian Nicomedes Márquez Joaquín wrote about the 44 years after Magellan’s soldiers left before the next Spanish expedition came under Miguel Lopez de Legazpi. Joaquín said that the statue was once denounced by natives as originally brought by Magellan, but was reinforced again by de Legaspi which the natives continued to dispute claiming that the statue came originally from their land.

On April 28, 1565, Spanish sailor Juan de Camus found the statue in a pine box amidst the ruins of a burnt house. The image, carved from wood and coated with paint, stood 30 centimeters tall, and wore a loose velvet garment, a gilded neck chain and a woolen red hood. A golden sphere, a replica of the world, was in the in the left hand, and the right hand is slightly raised in benediction. Camus presented the image to Miguel Lopez de Legazpi and the Augustinian priests; the natives refused to associate it with the gift of Magellan, claiming it had existed there since ancient times. Writer Dr. Resil Mojares wrote that the natives did so for fear that the Spaniards would demand it back. The natives’ version of the origin of the Santo Niño is in the Agipo (stump or driftwood) legend, which states that the statue was caught by a fisherman who chose to rid of it, only to have it returned with a plentiful harvest.

The statue was later taken out for procession, afterwards which Legaspi then ordered the creation of the Confraternity of the Santo Niño de Cebú, appointing Father Andres de Urdaneta as head superior. Legaspi instituted a fiesta to commemorate of the finding of the image, and although the original celebration still survives, Pope Innocent XIII moved the celebration to the Third Sunday of January to avoid conflict with Eastertide.

The Minor Basilica of Santo Niño (Spanish: Basilica Minore del Santo Niño) was built on the spot where the image was found by Juan de Camus. The parish was originally made out of bamboo and mangrove palm and claims to be the oldest parish in the Philippines. Pope Paul VI elevated its rank as Minor Basilica on its 400th year anniversary.

Viva Señor Jesus Nazareno!

Feast of the Black Nazarene, a miraculous statue of Jesus Christ carrying his cross, is one of the most popular religious celebrations in the Philippines. Every January 9 thousands of people join the celebrations in Quiapo  Manila and  Cagayan de Oro City, where the replica of the original statue is located.

The Black Nazarene represents Christ’s passion and suffering, and through the centuries it has become the Filipino people’s symbol of struggle and faith. Devotees have experienced numerous instances of answered prayers and miracles, making the devotion to the Black Nazarene one of the strongest spiritual and religious phenomena in the country.

It is said that the Black Nazarene was carved by an unknown Mexican sculptor from a dark wood in the 16th century in Mexico and then transported via galleon from Acapulco, Mexico to the Philippines on May 31, 1606. According to some stories, a fire that broke out inside the ship reached the statue and blackened even more the image.

It was brought by a group of Augustinian Recollect missionaries who brought it to the Church of San Juan Bautista in Bagumbayan (Saint John the Baptist Church at Luneta). After a couple of years, the Black Nazarene was moved to a bigger church near the area.

On January 9, 1767, the image of the Black Nazarene was transferred (Traslacion) to Quiapo Church (Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene) whose patron is also John the Baptist. Since that time, the annual feast day has been celebrated by millions of devotees thronging to touch the icon and lasting for around 20 hours.

Black Nazarene is also the patron saint of the Chaplaincy in Dansolihon, Cagayan de Oro City, administered by the SCJs. The feast, which is also  celebrated on January 9, was preceded with 9-day novena as a spiritual preparation for the main celebration. Each day, there was a special Novena Mass and procession with the little statue of Black Nazarene around the village of Dansolihon.

The main celebration on January 9, 2019, was held in the new church and was presided by Monsignor Florencio “Boy” Salvador, SSJV, the parish priest of St. Francis Xavier Parish in Pueblo, Cagayan de Oro Cty. The day before, on January 8, 2019, the Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro, Most  Rev. Antonio J. Ledesma, SJ,DD. administered the Sacrament of Confirmation to the 220 young Catholics from different communities of the chaplaincy.