Thanksgiving Masses of Newly Ordained SCJ Priests

On May 19, 2019, the two newly ordained priests were saying their “Thanksgiving Masses”, Fr. Joel J. Bolo, SCJ in Dansolihon and Fr. Ruel C. Paalisbo, SCJ in Bacolod (Lanao del Norte).

The celebration in Dansolihon started at 8:00 AM and was attended by some SCJ priests from the formation community in Cagayan de Oro and parishioners from the Jesus Nazareno Chaplaincy. The homily was delivered by Fr. John Karl Cabaluna, SCJ, the parish priest of Kumalarang, who once was in charge of the chaplaincy.

After the Mass, Fr. Joel gave his individual blessing to all who approached him and kissed his hands. The practice of kissing the hands of a newly ordained priest is a long-established custom in some countries. During ordination a new priest’s hands are anointed with chrism as a sign of consecration and of the change that has been effected in his soul. The custom of kissing his hands stems from a recognition of the fundamental change that has occurred and of the particular importance of the sign of the hands in priestly ministry. After ordination the priest uses his hands to hold the Eucharistic species during the consecration, to make the sign of the cross while absolving sins, to anoint the sick and dying, and on occasion to impart the sacrament of confirmation.

The celebration ended at the table which is a very essential element in the Philippine culture.

Similar celebration was held at Santo Niño Parish in Bacolod, Lanao del Norte, the place of Fr. Ruel C. Paalisbo, SCJ.

30 Years Anniversary of SCJ Presence in the Philippines

Thirty years ago, on May 17, 1989, the first group of SCJ missionaries arrived in the Philippines. The group was composed of eight (8) priests representing five (5) SCJ provinces and seven (7) nationalities.

After six months in the language school in Davao City, they were entrusted with three parishes: Kumalarang and Margosatubig (Prelature of Ipil) and Dimataling (Diocese of Pagadian). As they say “the beginnings were very simple and challenging.”

Today, the SCJ Philippines Region has 44 members: 34 priests (22 Filipino priests), 1 religious brother, 7 scholastics on temporary vows, and 2 scholastics on final vows. In addition to this 3 novices will profess their first vows on June 28, 2019. At the moment they run 3 formation houses and 8 parishes.

The celebration of this special anniversary started in the morning with the meeting of the families of the Filipino SCJs. The visitors were introduced to the activities  of the Philippine Region and the Founder of the Priests of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Venerable Fr. Leo Dehon.

In the afternoon, the activities resumed at 4:00 PM with the Eucharist presided by Mons. Perseus Cabunoc, VG, SSJV, at the Immaculate Conception Parish church in Aluba.

The Holy Mass was followed by the Special Program held on the grounds of the Sacred Heart Formation House and was composed of the cultural presentation, message of the regional superior, Fr. Lukas Hadi Siswo Sasmito, SCJ, and two testimonies given by Fr. Francis Pupkowski, SCJ, member of the first group, and Fr. John Karl Cabaluna, SCJ, the first SCJ Filipino priest.

The celebration was attended by the family members of the Filipino SCJs, representatives from different SCJ parishes and local benefactors, visitors from Germany, Poland, Indonesia, India, Vietnam, different religious congregations and Archbishop of Cagayan de Oro, Most Rev. Antonio J. Ledesma, SJ, D.D., who joined the second part of the program.

The participants were given special tokens: t-shirt and a mug with the logo of the celebration. The elements of the logo include: a boat which signifies the Philippine Region. The boat sails on blue waves shaped like an open book, which is the Gospel that guides the journey of the region. On the boat there are three passengers, who represent the members of the region and different communities who raise their hands in jubilation and thanksgiving. There is also so called “Dehonian Cross”, the symbol of an SCJ identity and the theme of the celebration: “Sharing Dehonian charism, serving the Gospel and living in the community.”

The Priests of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in the Philippines are thankful to God for all His blessings and protection and all the people of goodwill, who became a part of their success and helped to prepare this beautiful celebration.

20th Foundation Anniversary of Kasanag Daughters Foundation, Inc.

Second activity on May 16, 2019, as a part of bigger celebration of 30th anniversary of SCJ missionary presence in the Philippines, was the 20th Foundation Anniversary of Kasanag Daughters Foundation, Inc. (KDFI).

It started at 4:30 PM with the opening of the “Art Works Exhibit” of the “daughters”, followed by the Holy Eucharist, short program and supper. Fr. Horst Steppkes, SCJ, the Mission Procurator from Germany, cut the ribbon at the entrance to the exhibit room. Fr. Lukas Hadi Siswo Sasmito, the superior of the SCJ Philippines Region was the main celebrant of the Holy Mass.

The program started at 6:00 PM with the introduction of the visitors by Fr. Lukas and Ms. Vivian Yecyec, the KDFI Operations Manager and was followed by short messages from Fr. Horst Steppkes from Germany and Fr. Zbigniew Chwaja, the Mission Procurator from Poland. Both entities are helping to run the foundation through  financial assistance.

The main part of the program was an inspirational talk by Judge Evelyn G. Nery, who underlined the need of not being silent in the face of the sexual abuses, especially on the minors.

As usual, the celebration ended with a dinner during which the guests and visitors could watch the video presentation “KDFI through the Years.”

Up to the present more than 200 girls received help from the institution.

Priestly Ordination in Cagayan de Oro

On May 16, 2019, two SCJ deacons, Rev. Joel J. Bolo and Rev. Ruel C. Paalisbo, were ordained priests. The ceremony of ordination was held at the Immaculate Conception Parish in Aluba, Cagayan de Oro and was presided by the local archbishop Most Rev. Antonio J. Ledesma, SJ, D.D.

Fr. Joel C. Bolo, SCJ, comes from Ugyaban, a part of Dansolihon Chaplaincy served by the SCJs, while Fr. Ruel C. Paalisbo, SCJ from Bacolod, Lanao del Norte, where the SCJs were in charge of the parish from 1994 – 2003.

The ordination to the priesthood was a part of bigger celebration of 30 years of SCJ missionary presence in the Philippines. The ceremony was attended by Bishop of Pagadian, Most Rev. Ronald Lunas, D. D., all members of the SCJ Philippines Region, SCJs from: Germany (Fr. Horst Steppkes), Poland (Fr. Zbigniew Chwaja and Fr. Bogdan Kuta), Indonesia (Fr. Titus Purbosaputra and  Fr. Vincent Sri Herimanto), Vietnam (Fr. Loc Nguyen and Fr. Luong Van Nguyen) India (Fr. Anthony Sundar Raj Mallavarapu), diocesan priests from Pagadian, Iligan and Cagayan de Oro, lay volunteers from Poland, parents and family members of the Filipino SCJs, parishioners from Quezon City, Dumalinao, Kumalarang, Bagong Silang, Talisay, Tandang Kutyo, Dansolihon, Aluba, Margosatubig, Bacolod, family members and friends of the newly ordained priests and other guests.

The ceremony started at 9:30 in the morning and ended with a common meal.

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.

Celebrating Founder’s Birth Anniversary in Cagayan de Oro, Manila and Dumalinao

March 14, the Birth Anniversary of Fr. Leo John Dehon is remembered and celebrated by the entire Dehonian Family around the world. It is also a special day of prayers for new vocations to the priesthood and religious life, especially to the Congregation of the Priests of the Sacred Heart (SCJ). On this day, all the SCJs and all lay associates, inspired by the life and works of Fr. Dehon, gather together to reflect on the charism of their founder, which they consider as a special gift from God to the Church.

As usual, the Sacred Heart Formation House in Cagayan de Oro  City, together with members of the Lay Dehonians and Dehonian Youth, joined this worldwide celebration of the 176th Birth Anniversary of their founder. During the Holy Eucharist, Fr. Francis Pupkowski, scj, the main celebrant and homilist, presented the life and vocation of Fr. Dehon, whose driving force of all his activities was to bring about “The Reign of God in souls and society.”

Besides the members of the Dehonian Family, the celebration was attended by all the SCJs from the neighbor communities, friends and benefactors. The celebration was culminated with the common super prepared by the formation community.

Similar activities were held in Dehon House in Manila and Novitiate Fr. Dehon in Lower Lucoban, Dumalinao, Zamboanga del Sur. In Manila the Holy Mass was presided by Fr. Lukas Hadi Siswo Sasmito, SCJ, the Regional Superior, who instituted Bro. Argol Chavez, SCJ, to the ministry of acolyte.

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!