Parish Feast in Tandang Kutyo

On May 13, 2019, the parish community of the Holy Cross Parish (Parokya ng Banal na Krus) in Tandang Kutyo, Tanay, Rizal (Diocese of Antipolo) celebrated its feast. The celebration started with a procession of the faithful and the Holy Cross at 6:00 am and was followed by the groundbreaking ceremony of the new convent (priests’ residence) at 8:30 am presided by Fr. Manny Cuevas with the presence of some guest priests from the vicariate of San Ildefonso, Parish Pastoral Council and Parish Finance Council members, architect and parishioners. After the blessing, the Holy Mass was celebrated.

The Holy Cross Parish was officialy erected on June 26, 2016, and was entrusted to the Priests of the Sacred Heart. As of now, the parish is run by three SCJs: Fr. Marcial Aguirre, SCJFr. Nathaniel Robilla, SCJ and Fra. Victor Lingasa, SCJ. The parish has a long history of the devotion to the Holy Cross, the symbol of our salvation. Every second Monday of May many people would gather there to celebrate the titular feast of the chapel, not exluding the National Election held on this day. The particular date has a special meaning for the local people as it commemorates the date of finding again the cross after it disappeared from the chapel in mysterious circumstances.

Perpetual Profession of Vows in Talisay, Hilongos

On April 10, 2019, two SCJ confreres on temporary vows, Bro. Victor Lingasa and  Bro. Julius Socorro, made their final commitment to God in the Congregation of the Priests of the Sacred  Heart of Jesus (SCJ). The ceremony  was held in the under construction new church of Quasi Parish Medalla Milagrosa in Talisay, Hilongos, Leyte and was preceded by the SCJ regular meeting a day before. The concelebrated Mass was presided by His Excellency Most Rev. Precioso D. Cantilias, SDB, DD, the Bishop of Maasin Diocese. In his homily, the bishop welcomed all the SCJs and expressed his wish to have another SCJ presence in his diocese.

The final vows of Chastity, Obedience and Poverty were accepted by the Regional Superior Fr. Lukas Hadi Siswo Sasmito, SCJ. Besides the SCJs, the celebration was attended by some diocesan priests from the area, religious sisters, family members of the perpetually professed and parishioners from different chapels, who worked very hard for the preparation of this event.

The Profession of Final Vows in Talisay was the first part of a larger celebration of 30th anniversary of the SCJ presence in the Philippines.

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.

40th Anniversary of Ordination to the Priesthood

Forty (40) years ago on February 21, 1979, Fr. Yohanes Sono Pribadi, SCJ, member of the SCJ Philippine Region, was ordained priest. The ceremony of ordination took place in Metro, Lampung Tengah, Indonesia, his native place and was officiated by the Most Rev. Albert Hermelink Gentiaras, SCJ, Dutch, Bishop of Tanjungkarang. It should be noted that he was ordained as a diocesan priest for the Diocese of Lampung. However, knowing many SCJ priests, Fr. Yohanes had enough opportunities to learn about their charism and spirituality. Besides, the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus was embedded in him by his father, a great devotee of God’s Heart. These all helped him to decide entering the Congregation.

On July 20, 1980, Fr. Yohanes made his first profession of vows and in 1983 the final profession. His first assignment was as a Parish Priest in Trinity Parish in Belitang, South Sumatra, where he served for three (3) years. His next assignment from 1984 – 1988 was in Muara Bungo, Province of Jambi, Sumatra. In 1988, Fr. Yohanes was appointed to join the international mission in the Philippines and sent to the United States to study English.

On May 17, 1989, Fr. Yohanes arrived in the Philippines in a group of eight missionaries, where he stayed until the year 2003. During thirteen years of his stay in the Philippines he was assigned in parishes of Dimataling, Cagayan de Oro City, Bacolod and Kumalarang. Also for many years he was in-charge of vocations.

In Indonesia, Fr. Yohanes was assigned for two (2) years as a parish priest in Kotabumi, Lampung, where he also took care of the dormitory for boys, three (3) years in Jakarta and four (4) years in Pasangsurut, Diocese of Palembang.

In 2014 Fr. Yohanes returned to the Philippines and was assigned in the Novitiate Fr. Dehon in Lower Lucoban, Dumalinao, Zamboanga del Sur. Besides being the superior of the community and assistant to the Novice Master, Fr. Indra Pamungkas, SCJ, he is taking care of the garden and his coffee plantation of which he is very proud of.

As mentioned above, Fr. Yohanes is a member of the first group, the very first missionary from Indonesia, the oldest member of the Philippine Region in age, ordination and first profession. He was born on June 2, 1950. Among his relatives there are four (4) priests: three (3) diocesan and one (1) SS.CC. Congregation of the Sacred Hearts and three (3) religious sisters.

The Thanksgiving Mass was held in the chapel of the SCJ Novitiate in Lower Lucoban and was attended by a number of SCJs, religious sisters and friends from the places of his assignment: Dimataling, Bacolod and Kumalarang.

In his, not very short homily, Fr. Yohanes shared about his vocation, way to the priesthood and experiences. The ceremony was very nice and solemn.

HAPPY 40th ANNIVERSARY OF ORDINATION TO THE PRIESTHOOD!

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.