1st Grand Fiesta of the Holy Name Society in Dumalinao

On March 19, 2017, on the feast of Saint Joseph, approximately 800 male members of the Holy Name Society, excluding their wives and children, attended the ”1st Grand Fiesta Celebration.” The festivity took place at Saint Isidore Parish, Dumalinao, Zamboanga del Sur. It started with the Celebration of the Eucharist presided by Fr. Lukas Hadi Siswo Sasmito, SCJ and concelebrated by Fr. Franciszek Pupkowski, SCJ Regional Superior, Fr. Joseph C. Butlig, SCJ Regional Secretary, Fr. Donald Longno, SCJ Regional Councillor, Fr. Laurentius Suwanto, SCJ Scholastic Formator, Fr. Robertus Sutopo, SCJ, Balongating Sub-Parish in-charge and Fr. Joseph Muego, SCJ, Tigbao Sub-Parish in-charge. It was followed with a cultural program prepared by the participants.

The Holy Name Society was founded in 1961 by one of the Columban Fathers. Mr. Didong Sandalo was the first president. Unfortunately, the organization did not last long and it came to an end sometime in 1964.

In 2005, the organization was revived through the initiative of Mr. Roberto Torrecampo Anding, who became the president. This time the group was given a new name Mga Alagad sa Parokya (MAP) with 28 members. Among the various activities the group committed itself to clean the church every 3rd Saturday of the month. They also started to participate actively in the BEC  and Bible study every 3rd Thursday of the month. In addition, the group volunteered to prepare food during big celebrations and occasions of the parish.
In 2006, Fr. Janusz Burzawa, SCJ seeing the need of men’s participation in the church, officially recognized the organization and proposed to go back to the old name of Holy Name Society. Fr. Janusz supported very much this group during his time as a parish priest, which is continued by the present parish priest Fr. Lukas Hadi Siswo Sasmito, SCJ.

The celebration is a way of thanksgiving to God for all the graces and blessings received by the group and to encourage them to continue their mission in serving the parish. Today, the organization extended their services and membership to the sub-parish of Balongating and sub-parish of Tigbao.

By: Fr. Joseph Butlig, SCJ

Celebration of Founder’s Birth Anniversary in Cagayan de Oro

The celebration of the 174th Birth Anniversary of Fr. Leo John Dehon on March 14, 2017, in Cagayan de Oro Formation House was composed of two main parts: short recollection in the morning and Holy Eucharist in the afternoon.

The recollection was prepared and guided by Fr. Rico Lapinig, SCJ, the Master of Aspirants. In his reflection, Fr. Rico focused on the three temptations of Christ in the life  of priests and religious today. The participants were asked to identify the different temptations in life, which on one hand can lead to a sin, but if rejected to a personal growth.  They were also asked to share what are their inner strengths in rejecting the temptations and how do they try to preserve their priesthood and religious life and grow in holiness.In the afternoon, members of the Dehonian Family, which also include the Dehonian Youth Missionaries and Lay Dehonians, employees and friends of the Priests of the Sacred Heart joined the concelebrated Thanksgiving Mass, presided by Fr. Francis Pupkowski, SCJ. Before the end of the Mass, members of the Dehonian Youth Missionaries made their renewal of commitment. As usual, the celebration was followed by a common meal.

Thanksgiving Mass in Aluba Parish

20170226_093621On February 28, 2015, the Immaculate Concepcion Parish in Aluba, Cagayan de Oro City, started officially the construction of a new parish church. After two years of work, the new church is almost completed and looks impressive. To commemorate this anniversary, on February 26, 2017, the parish held its  special “Thanksgiving Mass.” The Eucharistic celebration was presided by Fr. Florencio Salvador, SSJV,  a former pastor of this parish, who was assisted by Fr. Pedro Sumbilon, also a former parish priest, Fr. Klaudiusz Rokicki, MIC and three SCJs from the neighbor community of the Sacred Heart Formation House.

After the final prayer, Fr. Janusz Burzawa, SCJ, the present parish priest and initiator of this project, thanked all the involved people for their support and countless efforts, that made this dream come true. Fr. Janusz also expressed his hope that in three or four months more, the church can be consecrated by the local bishop Most. Rev. Antonio J. Ledesma, SJ,DD.

Institution of New Acolytes

dsc03269On February 13, 2017, three SCJ scholastics (Fra. Victor Lingasa, Fra. Julius Socorro and Fra. Joel Bolo) were instituted for the ministry of Acolyte.  The rite of installation was carried out during the celebration of the Eucharist presided by Fr. Francis Pupkowski, SCJ, superior of the Philippine Region at the chapel of Dehon House, Tierra Verde Homes II, Quezon City.

The Acolyte is a ministry to which a person is specially appointed by the Church to assist the deacon and to minister to the priest. His duty is to attend to the service of the altar and to assist as needed in the celebration of the Mass. He may also distribute Holy Communion as an auxiliary minister at the Eucharistic liturgy and to the sick. An acolyte may be entrusted with publicly exposing the Blessed Sacrament for adoration but not with giving benediction. He may also, to the extent needed, take care of instructing other faithful who by appointment assist the priest or deacon by carrying the missal, cross, candles, and similar functions. The ministry of acolyte is reserved to men and conferred by the bishop of the diocese or, in clerical institutes of religious, by the major superior, according to liturgical rites composed for the purpose by the Church.

Meeting of Continental Dehonian Theological Commission of Asia

commissionMembers of the Continental Dehonian Theological Commission of Asia (CDTC AS) met for the first time on February 11 – 12, 2017 in Manila. The commission composed of 7 members coming from 6 SCJ entities (Indonesia – 2, Vietnam – 1, India – 1, Taiwan – 1, ICA – 1, and the Philippines -1) was officially created during the Major Superiors’ Meeting in Rome last November 2016. The meeting was also attended by two General Councillors from Rome Fr. Artur Sanecki and Fr. Paulus Sugino who helped the commission to start. Until now the Asian Zone was represented on the Theological Forum of the Congregation only by one person, Fr. Francis Purwanto from Indonesia.

The general purpose of this commission is contribution to the reflection on the “Dehonian Identity” in the world, in the context of Asia.

One of the main topics of the meeting was preparation of the seminar in Indonesia “Charism and devotions – towards an inculturated Dehonian identity” that will be held in July 2017 in Yogyakarta.

Visit of the Founder

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Passing by Cagayan de Oro City, Fr. Eduardo Aguero, SCJ, the founder of Kasanag Daughters Foundation, had a chance to visit the institution again. On February 5, 2017, Fr. Ed celebrated a Holy Mass for the clients and staff, which was also attended by many former members and their families who came to meet their spiritual father and friend. Besides recalling the “old times” it was a great opportunity of sharing their experiences and taking some pictures together.

Meeting of the Preparatory Commission for the next General Conference

preparatory-commission1On February 6, 2017, at the Generalate in Rome, the special preparatory commission for the next General Conference, that will be held in Manila in July 2018, started its works. The commission headed by Carlos Enrique Caamaño Martin, SCJ, the vicar general, is composed of five members: Fr. John Karl Cabaluna SCJ (PHI), Fr. Grzegorz Piątek SCJ (POL), Fr. Carlos Lobo SCJ (MOZ), Fr. Quang Nguyen SCJ (USA) i Fr. Joao Carlos Paschoalim SCJ (BSP).

One of the most important objectives of this meeting is to come out a concrete theme for the General Conference. The theme will be based on the conclusions of the XXIII General Chapter, the Programmatic Letter of the General Administration, and discussions that took place during the Major Superiors Meeting last year.

The commission will conclude its first meeting on February 10, 2016.

Thanksgiving Mass at Dehon House

On January 9, 2017, a day after the ordination, Fr. Dang Van Nguyen and Fr. Luong Van Nguyen celebrated their first “Thanksgiving Mass” for the formation community in Dehon House. Fr. Dang was the main celebrant, while Fr. Luong delivered the homily and words of thanks in the end of the Eucharistic celebration.

After the final blessing both of them gave a special personal blessing to each participant, who in turn kissed the hands of newly ordained priests.

The celebration was attended by the SCJs from the Vietnamese District and Philippine Region, members of their families and many Vietnamese priests and religious sisters of whom many live in Manila. As usual the celebration was concluded with a common meal and special program prepared by the SCJ scholastics.

Priestly Ordination of two Vietnamese SCJs in Manila

20170108_121304On January 8, 2017, on the Feast of Epiphany, which in the Philippines is celebrated on Sunday after January 6, two SCJs from Vietnam: Dn Dang Van Nguyen and Dn Luong Van Nguyen were ordained priests. The ceremony of ordination, as in most cases, took place in the San Lorenzo Ruiz Parish in Tierra Verde Homes I Subdivision in Quezon City, a walking distance from the Dehon House, which at the present is under the pastoral care of three SCJ priests.

The ceremony of ordination headed by the Bishop of Novaliches, Most Rev. Antonio R. Tobias, DD, was held during the main Sunday Mass at 10:00 am, and it was attended by many SCJ confreres from Vietnam and the Philippines, priests and religious from different congregations, family members and friends.

Fr. Dang  is 33 years old and comes from the Diocese of Thai Binh, while Fr. Luong is 37 years old and comes from the Diocese of Bui Chu. Both of them arrived in the Philippines on September 30, 2007, where they underwent the process of initial formation and completed their studies. Prior to this, both of them were active in the Church; Fr. Dang was the organist for the children’s choir and Fr. Luong was the leader of altar servers. Fr. Luong wanted to become a diocesan priest, but due to some circumstances he was not able to fulfill his plans. Instead of entering the seminary he went to Saigon to continue his studies. In Saigon he met Fr. Jerry Sheehy, SCJ, who invited him to join the Congregation of the Priests of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Fr. Dang’s vocation to the priesthood was born when he was still in the grade 6. As he relates “I felt that I am a sinful person and I should become a priest to repair it.” In Saigon where he studied and taught catechesis in a Dominican Parish, he met also Fr. Jerry, who deeply impressed him and helped him to enter the seminary.

Wishing to the newly ordained priests all the best, especially perseverance in their vocation and serving the people, we offer a prayer for them as we expect them to pray for us too.