Feast of San Isidro Labrador Parish in Kumalarang

More than 1,000 people attended on May 14, 2017, the celebration of the 36th annual feast of Saint Isidore, the Farmer,  in Kumalarang, Zamaboanga del Sur. Most Reverend Julius S. Tonel, D.D. was the main presider of the concelebrated Holy Eucharist, together with Rev. Fr. John Karl Cabaluna, SCJ,  the parish priest, Rev. Fr. Ronald Basco, SCJ, assistant parish priest, Rev. Fr. Franciszek Pupkowski, SCJ regional superior of the congregation (SCJ), Rev. Fr. Donald Longno, SCJ regional councilor of the congregation (SCJ), Rev. Fr. Joseph C. Butlig, SCJ regional secretary of the congregation (SCJ), Rev. Fr. Rico Lapinig, SCJ Formator of Aspirants ín Cagayan de Oro City (SCJ), Rev. Fr. Joseph Ryan Sereneo, an assistant parish priest from Kabasalan, Diocese of Ipil and Rev. Arnel Palado, a deacon from the Diocese of Ipil.

During the celebration there were 166 young people who received the sacrament of confirmation. Also, 56 extra ordinary ministers of the Eucharist (Kaabag), 82 Basic Ecclesial Community leaders (Alagad/BEC), 16 family life apostolate (FLA), 62 catechists (katekista), 12 members of the Community Based Health Program (CBHP) and approximately 25 members of Legion of Mary, in the presence of their bishop, renewed their commitment to serve the parish and faithfully take their responsibilities and obligations for the greater glory of God.

The bishop in his homily focused on the second reading from the first letter of St. Peter that says “Beloved: Come to Him, a living stone, rejected by human beings but chosen and precious in the sight of God, and, like living stones, let yourself be built into a spiritual house to be Holy priesthood to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” He tried to convey a message that our Church (Roman Catholic Church) which was built in the foundation of Christ has been persecuted by many kings and leaders who attempted to put an end of our Church but they were all unsuccessful. Until now our Church continue the mission of Christ for more than 2000 years already, the reason behind is that our Church is indeed build on the foundation of Christ who continue to lead and protect His Church through the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, we have to make ourselves part of the flock (Roman Catholic Church) under one shepherd who is Christ himself. The celebration lasted more than one hour and half.

By: Fr. Joseph C. Butlig, SCJ

Dehonian Youth Mission 2016

13256273_1086263954764092_3742855200275738128_nIn celebration of the Jubilee Year of Mercy and in unity with the Dehonian Youth Meeting 2016 in Poland, this year’s annual Dehonian Youth Missionaries (DYM) summer mission was mainly centered on the theme: “Lord make me an instrument of your mercy.” With open hearts and joyous spirits, 34 young missionaries (Filipinos and Vietnamese) responded to the call to meet God through serving His people in the mountainous areas of Tignapoloan in the Jesus Nazareno Chaplaincy, Dansolihon, Cagayan de Oro City.

The activity started with a 3-day stay-in formation seminar on May 14-17, 2016 at the Sacred Heart Formation House in Aluba before the missionaries were sent forth to the mission areas of Lower and Upper Tignapoloan on May 17, 2016.

The mission proper started in the afternoon of May 17, 2016, respectively. The missionaries visited the Christian households in the areas, blessed their homes and had BEC session or faith sharing with the families. They also conducted activities in the chapels like Flores de Mayo for the kids, animation, community building, catechesis and recollection for the youth; BEC input and catechesis for the adults. They also facilitated Taizé prayer with confession, and celebrated the Eucharist. One of the greatest challenges was to help strengthen the leaders and reorganize the youth.

What actually inspired the missionaries most was the warm welcome and hospitality of the communities. However, as missionaries, we also embraced the community life selflessly; that regardless of diversity, we achieved unity. We became missionaries not just to the people there, but as well as to each of our brothers and sisters in our respective groups, living to be instruments of mercy to one another. Thus, this became a true manifestation of the inspiration learnt from our founder, Ven. Fr. Leo John Dehon – the SINT UNUM we Dehonians ought to live by.

Vivat Cor Jesu!

By: Rexell Grace R. Gaa
Dehonian Youth Missionary

Benefactors’ Day

Almost every year, on Sunday after the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart, the formation community of Cagayan de Oro invites benefactors from the area for a special Thanksgiving Mass. In this way, the Priests of the Sacred Heart want to say “Thank you” to those who support them spiritually and financially. For benefactors it is always an opportunity to learn more about the spirituality and different projects of the Congregation. This year the celebration of the “Benefactors’ Day” was held on June 5, 2016. The Eucharist scheduled at 10:00 AM was preceded with a short video presentation prepared on the occasion of the Silver Jubilee of SCJ presence in the Philippines and was followed by a lunch together. Fr. Francis Pupkowski, SCJ, in his homily, based on the Sunday’s Gospel, told the congregation how much God loves and cares for each person on the example of Jesus, who gave back to his mother her son, after raising him up from the dead. “As His followers, we are invited to be like Him, he said, to be people of heart and of compassion, to be concerned and involved. We may not perform miracles as Jesus did, but we can show compassion in various concrete ways like assisting a needy person.”  He continued, “Without your support we can do very little, but together we can do a lot.  And for all this I want to thank you, for your open and compassionate hearts. Because of this, many people could feel that ‘God has visited His people!’  As someone once said that the money and the riches we give away are the only riches that we bring to eternity.”

Founding Anniversary of Kasanag Daughters Foundation

On May 21, 2016, the Kasanag Daughters Foundation, Inc. (KDFI), one of the social projects of the Priests of the Sacred Heart – Philippine Region in Cagayan de Oro City, celebrated its 17th Founding Anniversary. The celebration started with the  Holy Eucharist and was followed by the arts exhibit prepared by the beneficiaries of the program, short cultural presentation and common supper. The institution, providing shelter and rehabilitation opportunities to the victims of sexual abuse, was established in 1999 by Fr. Eduardo Aguero, SCJ.

75th Anniversary of Margosatubig Parish

DSC01319On February 21, 2016, Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage Parish in Margosatubig, Zamboanga del Sur, celebrated its “diamond” foundation anniversary. Since the beginning, the parish was served by the Filipino Jesuits. In April 1982, the parish was inherited by the Columban Fathers, and in the end of November 1989 by the Priests of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (SCJ). In the beginning of the SCJ presence, the parish belonged to the Prelature of Ipil and later on was transferred to the Diocese of Pagadian. Since April 2003, up to now, the parish is being served by the diocesan clergy of Pagadian Diocese.

Among the SCJs who served in the parish were: Frs. Hans Sondermeijer, Francis Pupkowski, Eduardo Aguero, Jerry Sheehy, Giuseppe Pierantoni, Indra Pamungkas, Rino Venturin, Benedito Machado, Grzegorz Skowron, Robertus Sutopo, Janusz Burzawa and Bros. Wieslaw Bysiek and Yohanes Sismadi.


There are two SCJs coming from this parish: Fr. John Karl Cabaluna and Fr. Donald Longno.

The SCJ Philippine Region thanks all the Parishioners for their love and support and wishes all the best for the future.


+ Bp. Federico O. Escaler, S.J., D.D.

Bp. Federico EscalerYesterday, on November 28, 2015, the former and the first Bishop of Prelature of Ipil, Most Rev. Federico O. Escaler, S.J., D.D., at the age of 93, has joined the Lord. Bp. Escaler was one of the two bishops who in 1989 accepted members of the first group of SCJs into his Prelature, entrusting them two parishes: Margosatubig (now Diocese of Pagadian) and Kumalarang (Diocese of Ipil).

All members of the SCJ Philippine Region express their gratitude for Bp. Freddy’s fatherly care and love and join the prayers in his intention. May he rest in Peace!


Biography of Bishop Federico O. Escaler, S.J., D.D. (1922-2015)
By Sch. Amado T. Tumbali, Jr., SJ
Asst. Province Archivist

The Most Reverend Federico Ocampo Escaler was born on 28 June 1922 in Manila. On his birthday in 1941, after finishing a degree in Ateneo de Manila, where he also studied his primary and secondary education, Freddy, as he had been called in the Society of Jesus, entered the Jesuits at Sacred Heart Novitiate, Novaliches. However, Freddy and his fellow novices moved to Ateneo de Manila at Padre Faura during the outbreak of WWII. They began Juniorate there on 1 June 1943 but eventually moved to La Ignaciana in Sta. Ana, and then, finally back to Novaliches. From 1945-1948, he studied and finished his M.A. in Philosophy at St. Robert Bellarmine College which was first located in La Ignaciana, and then in Novaliches. He was a regent from 1948-1951 at San Jose Seminary in La Ignaciana where he taught English, Latin, Tagalog, Spanish, Sociology, Philippine Government, and Geometry. He was also the Prefect of Discipline to the major seminarians and moderator of the Sodality, the choir, and INSTA. He studied and finished S.T.B. and S.T.L. at Woodstock College, Maryland, U.S.A. from 1951-1955. He was ordained deacon at Fordham, New York, U.S.A on 18 June 1954 by Bishop Thomas J. Feeney, S.J., D.D. and priest the following day by Francis Cardinal Spellman. From 1954-55, he did some special studies in Guidance and Counseling at Boston College and Fordham University, respectively.

After Fr. Freddy’s tertianship at Palacio del Santo Duque, Gandia, Valencia, Spain in 1956, his first assignment as a priest in the Philippines was Minister at San Jose Seminary in Highway 54. A year after, he was assigned Archivist of the Vice Province and Socius to Vice Provincial Francis Clark. In 1961, he became Superior and Minister of La Ignaciana Retreat House in Sta. Ana. While serving those competencies, he also gave retreats around the country.

In 1962, Fr. Freddy was Rector and President, while teaching Theology, at Ateneo de Davao. In 1966, he was back to Xavier House as Province Treasurer. While in Manila, he was also Chaplain of the Christian Family Movement. In 1973, he was assigned to Ateneo de Cagayan (X.U.) as Rector and President, while teaching Theology. Three years after, he was named as the first Bishop of then to be established Prelature of Kidapawan in North Cotabato. In 1976, he was ordained bishop on the feast of St. Ignatius of Loyola by Jaime Cardinal Sin at Manila Cathedral. From 1976-1980, he was in Kidapawan until his assignment to pioneer the newly created Prelature of Ipil in Zamboanga Sibugay, where he dedicated himself for 17 years until his retirement on his birthday in 1997. Those indeed were tough years, including his first episcopal assignment. “Ipil and Kidapawan were hotbeds of conflict during the time,” as writer Christian Dy describes. Indeed, in 1985, Bishop Freddy was kidnapped and in 1995, another group of armed militants torched Ipil and left at least 53 dead.

Back in Manila, he continued pastoral work as Spiritual Director of Buklod ng Pag-ibig, Chaplain of A.I.M. and the Cenacle Prayer Group. Towards the end of 2015, a mass was discovered in his liver for which he declined further intervention. He died on 28 November 2015 in his family ancestral residence in San Miguel, Manila.