Farewell to Fr. Aloisio Back

After 26 years of missionary service in the Philippines Fr. Aloisio Back, SCJ went back to Brazil. On January 18, 2018, the community of the Dehon House Community in Manila bade its farewell to Fr. Back for the service he has rendered in different parishes and formation houses.

Fr. Aloisio arrived in the Philippines in 1992 together with Fr. Giuseppe Perantoni, SCJ, who later on was kidnapped and held in captivity for 6 months. After finishing his language course (Cebuano) in Davao City, his first assignment was in Dimataling as an assistant parish priest. After that, for many years Fr. Al, as he used to be called, was working as a formator: Master of Postulants, Master of Novices and Formator in the SCJ Theologate in Manila. Most of the Filipino SCJs are his “spiritual products.” His last assignment was as a parish priest in San Lorenzo Ruiz Parish in the Diocese of Novaliches (Quezon City). In addition to that, he was accompanying the young SCJ clergy.

Fr. Al will be always remembered as a person full of wisdom, friend of the young SCJs and a man of obedience. His guiding principle was to be “useful and less disturbing.”

The SCJ Philippine Region thanks Fr. Aloisio for all he has done for its growth and development and wishes him all the best!


Remembering SCJ Martyrs in Cagayan de Oro

Each November 26 is a special day of remembrance of all SCJs who have died in the field as martyrs. Since November 26 this year falls on Sunday, the SCJ community in Cagayan de Oro celebrated the SCJ Memorial Day on November 25, 2017. The main celebrant and homilist was superior of the community Fr. Patrick Gutib, SCJ. The celebration was attended by the SCJs from the area of Cagayan de Oro, members of the Dehonian Family and friends. At the end of the Holy Mass took place a 10 minute presentation about the SCJ martyrs. As usual the celebration concluded with a common meal.

Celebration in Balongating

On September 29, 2017, faithful of the Sub-Parish in Balongating, Guipos, Zamboanga del Sur, celebrated their patronal feast of St. Michael, the Archangel. The main celebrant and homilist was Fr. Lukas Hadi Siswo Sasmito, SCJ, the parish priest of St. Isidore, the Farmer Parish in Dumalinao, and was accompanied by SCJs from the Zamboanga del Sur area and from Cagayan de Oro. The Eucharist was clebrated in a local Visayan dialect. As usual the celebration was preceeded by nine-day novena, organized and sponsored by different chapels, members of the sub-parish.The celebration was followed by a cultural show, common meal, and raffle draw, where the main prize was a Honda motorcycle. The money gained in this way will be used for the construction of new formation house for the lay leaders, which the community needs very much.Balongating is a part of the St. Isidore, the Farmer Parish in Dumalinao and was declared as a Sub-Parish in August 1991 by Most Rev. Antonio R. Tobias, DD.

Since February 2003, the parish in Dumalinao is being administered by the Priests of the Sacred Heart (SCJ). The incumbent parish priest, Fr. Lukas Hadi Siswo Sasmito, SCJ, was preceeded by Fr. Janusz Burzawa, SCJ.

Among SCJ priests in charge of Balongating were the following: Fr. Franciszek Pupkowski, Fr. Delio Ruiz, Fr. Arthur Guevara, Fr. Jigger Ganados, Fr. Marcial Aguirre and presently Fr. Robertus Sutopo.

As of now, the sub-parish is composed of 19 chapels in 4 zones. It has all ministries and mandated organizations accredited in the Diocese of Pagadian. So far, the SCJ pesence in that area inspired Deacon Roger Pausanos, SCJ, to enter the congregation of the Priests of the Sacred Heart.

First Profession of Vows

On June 28, 2017, five (5) SCJNovices, three (3) Filipino: Rey Rhet E. Maglinte, Ferdinand T. Quintos, Sylvester Martin A. Santos , and two (2) Vietnamese: Long Doan Quang Hoang  and Van Nam Nguyen , professed their  first vows of Chastity, Poverty and Obedience in the Congregation of the Priests of the Sacred Heart of Jesus,

The vows were accepted by Fr. Franciszek Pupkowski, SCJ, superior of the Philippine Region. The ceremony was held at the church of St. Isidore the Farmer Parish in Dumalinao and was witnessed by SCJs coming from different communities, families and friends of the newly professed religious.

Celebration of the Feast of the Sacred Heart in Cagayan de Oro

The Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus is one of the most important patronal feasts that is significantly observed by the entire congregation of which it is dedicated and named after. This year the patronal feast was celebrated on June 23, 2017.

The concelebrated Mass in the afternoon was presided by the superior of the community Fr. Patrick L. Gutib, SCJ. After the reading of the Gospel, all SCJs renewed their commitment as religious, which was followed by the acceptance of new Postulants. Fr. Francis Pupkowski, SCJ, the Regional Superior, accepted four Filipinos and eight Vietnamese into the Postulancy Program. The candidates were presented by theMaster of Postulants, Fr. Patrick L. Gutib, SCJ.

The celebration, which was attended the SCJs from the nearby communities and many visitors, was followed by a common meal.

Preparation for Final Vows in Manila

From June 4 – 30, 2017, nine scholastics from the Asian Zone (India -5, Indonesia – 2, Philippines – 2) take part in Final Vows Preparation in Manila. The four week activities encompass the following topics: Dehonian perspective of the Religious Vows by Fr. Yudhistiro Adi Fritri Tyassanto, scj from Indonesia,  Apostolic and Social dimension of the Dehonian Religious by Fr. Nino Etulle, scj from the Philippines and Affective maturity and Religious Life by Fr. Michael Agustin Moses from India. As usual the activities will end with five day Spiritual Retreat (June 25 – 29) conducted by Fr. Delio Ruiz,SCJ, who is in charge of the whole preparation. The participants had an opportunity to visit the three parishes run by SCJs in Metro Manila: San Lorenzo Ruiz Parish in Quezon City, San Roque Parish in Bagong Silang and Holy Cross Parish in Tanay.

Renewal of Vows in Manila

On June 16, 2017, six SCJs on temporary vows (2 Filipinos and 4 Vietnamese) renewed their vows of Chastity, Poverty and Obedience in the Congregation of the Priests of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The Eucharistic Celebration was presided by Rev. Fr. Aloisio Back. SCJ, the Vice-superior of the SCJ Philippine Region, and was attended by the SCJs from the nearby communities, scholastics from India and Indonesia – participants of the final vows preparation program and some friends.

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