28 Years of SCJ Presence in the Philippines

From the left: Fr. Jeremiah Sheehy, Fr. Henricus Sondermeijer, Fr. Yohanes Sono Pribadi, Fr. Stephen Schmitz, Fr. Adrian Borst – General Councilor, Pope John Paul II, Fr. Francis Pupkowski, Fr. Eduardo Aguero, Fr. Juan Domingo Griffone and Fr. Rino Venturin.

 

May 17, 1989, is the official date of arrival of first SCJ missionaries in the Philippines. The original group was composed of eight (8) priests representing seven (7) nationalities and five (5) different entities: 3 from Argentina, 2 from Indonesia, 1 from Germany, 1 from Poland and 1 from British-Irish Province.

Prior to that, from October 1988 to March 1989, the group met in the United States, in Hales Corners (WI) to study English, the common language of the group and one of the official languages in the Philippines.

From April 20 – May 3, 1989, the whole group met again in Rome. During series of meetings with the members of the General Administration, different people from the Philippines, the group could learn more about the needs and challenges lying ahead of them. On April 25, 1989, the group of first missionaries came up with the following guiding principles for their new mission:

  • As a SCJ group of missionaries we give the highest priority to Community life. We reaffirm that “Community life is mission itself”.
  • We go to the Philippines to serve the local Church, as communities, according to the missionary spirit of our own Rule of life.
  • We will try to stay together and to live together avoiding situations where a member has to live permanently alone.
  • We intent normally to form communities of at least three members.
  • We are going to share life, responsibilities, pastoral work, projects and money.
  • We are going to meet once a month with the whole group for at least one day.
  • We are going to meet, once a year, for an Assembly and also in a different date for a Retreat.
  • Once a week those who live nearby are invited to come together.
  • While we are a small group, we will share all responsibilities and decisions.
  • There will be a single common money box; there will be neither funds nor private projects. All decisions, on projects, will be taken together by the missionary group.

The group also chose a coordinator, two councilors and a treasurer.

On April 26, 1989, the group was received by Pope St. John Paul II, who gave his apostolic blessing to the new missionaries, after the mass celebrated in his private chapel at the Vatican City, before their departure for Asia.

As usual, at the end of the Mass celebration, the group was guided from the Pope’s Chapel to the library nearby, where the Holy Father greeted his guests.

“When the Secretary of the Pope told him about us, the Holy Father smiling said to us ‘Dehonians, Dehonians, courage in the Philippines’ (Fr. Juan Domingo Griffone).

60th Parish Anniversary and Patronal Feast in Dumalinao

The celebration of the 60th Parish Anniversary and Feast of San Isidro Labrador Parish in Dumalinao, started in the evening of May 14, 2017 and it was held at the Dumalinao Regional Pilot School. More than 600 people coming from 44 chapels took part in the GSK Coronation Night and “Talendadong Parokyano.” The activity was organized in cooperation with Hon. Junaflor S. Cerilles, RMT, the municipal mayor of Dumalinao, Rev. Fr. Lukas Hadi Sismo Sasmito, SCJ, the parish priest, Rev. Fr. Joseph Muego, SCJ and Rev. Fr. Robertus Sutopo, SCJ, assistant parish priests and some SCJ guest priests and seminarians with the Theme: “Year of the Parish – Communion of Communities.”  Although the celebration was interrupted by the “black out”, it did not prevent the people to enjoy the show which lasted for four hours.

The main celebration was held on May 15, 2017. The Bishop of Pagadian Diocese, Most Rev. Emmanuel “Manny” Cabajar, C.Ss.R, D.D., was the presider of the concelebrated Holy Eucharist, together with the parish priest, two assistant parish priests, Rev. Fr. Franciszek Pupkowski, SCJ, the regional superior of the SCJ Philippine Region, 14 SCJ priests and 4 diocesan priests.  The Holy Mass was attended by more than 1,500 faithful coming from Balongating and Tigbao Sub-Parishes, and 44 Chapels of the San Isidro Labrador Parish.

The celebration was concluded with the procession carrying the statue of the patron around the town, followed by a lunch together and short program.

By. Fr. Joseph C. Butlig, SCJ

Perpetual Profession and Renewal of Vows

On May 13, 2017, the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima, Bro. Rogereve Pausanos (SCJ) professed his final vows of Chastity, Obedience and Poverty in the Congregation of the Priests of the Sacred Heart. The celebration was held in the Chapel at the Dehon House in Quezon City, and was presided by the superior of the Philippine Region, Fr. Francis Pupkowski, SCJ, who accepted his vows.

During the same celebration six Filipino and two Vietnamese brothers renewed their temporary vows. The vows of the Filipino SCJs were accepted by Fr. Francis Pupkowski, SCJ, and of the Vietnamese by Fr. Delio Ruiz, SCJ, the superior of the local community.

The celebration was attended by the SCJs from the Metro Manila area, some religious sisters, family members, relatives of the professed and friends.

We entrust Bro. Rogereve Pausanaos and all the brothers who renewed their vows to your prayers. The world needs committed religious and priests who will continue the mission of the Church and of the Congregation.

Feast of the Holy Cross in Tandang Kutyo

 

The Holy Cross Parish (Parokya ng Banal na Krus) in Tandang Kutyo, Tanay, Rizal (Diocese of Antipolo) 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, SCJ, Fr. Sergio Matumoto, SCJ and Fra. Justreel Tuburan, 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.

This year, on May 8, 2017, the celebration of the Parish Feast was graced with the presence of the Bishop of the Diocese of Antipolo, Most Rev. Francisco M. De Leon, DD, who presided the concelebrated Holy Eucharist. The celebration was attended by the SCJs from the Manila area and some diocesan priests.

Alleluia! The Lord is Risen!

The resurrection of our Lord is the source of our hope and joy. It gives us the confidence that death is not the last word, but eternal life. In the resurrection, death is overcome by death! Christ’s victory over sin and death reveals to us that sin can be overcome by love.

Faith in the Risen Lord makes us confident that everything as promised by God would be fulfilled, when there will be peace, love, harmony, freedom – and death and suffering will be no more. However Easter is not simply a proclamation that there is life after death, but most of all an invitation to live the resurrected life. This means allowing the power of the Risen Lord to live in and through us, to live the spirit of Christ by imitating Him in life and in death.

As we celebrate Easter, let us show ourselves to be people of joy and hope, prophets of love and reconciliation. With Christ’s resurrection, the future is certain and has been anticipated in the resurrection of Christ. A Christian never gives up on sinners or in any difficult situation, challenge or trial because he or she knows that Christ, who has overcome all things including death, can do the same for us as well.

Celebrating Christ’s victory over sin and death let us pray that:

  • Those who are homeless will be given suitable shelter and accommodation.
  • Those who are hungry will be given the food and drink which they need.
  • The lives of all people will be respected and valued from beginning to natural death.
  • The people of every nationality and creed will live in harmony and peace with respect for each other and for the planet we live on.

As disciples of the Risen Lord, let us also be that light of Christ for those in darkness.  Let us bring the joy of the gospel to the world by reflecting the Risen Lord in us, by living joyful lives filled with love and compassion. Let us be a resurrected people and testify to others that Christ is indeed risen in us!

Wishing you a blessed and holy Easter!

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.