Entity Superiors Meeting in Rome and other events

The New Superiors Meeting was followed by the Entity Superiors Meeting. It was held at the SCJ Generalate in Rome on November 11 – 15, 2019. In between there were two important events organized by the Dehonian Studies Centre (CSD): International Dehonian Theological Commission (CTID) meeting and the International Conference on the Sacred Heart Devotion titled “Sacred Heart Devotion: Memory – Body – Image – Text; Continuity and Discontinuity.”

The first activity was an annual gathering  of the coordinators of the continental commissions, the staff of the Dehonian Studies Centre, and the two General Councillors, Fr. Léopold Mfouakouet and Fr. Artur Sanecki. The Philippines Region was represented in this meeting by Fr. Delio Ruiz.

The second event on November 8 – 9, 2019, sponsored by the Congregation of the Priests of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the University of Lucerne (Switzerland), was a conference attended by 120 participants including Dehonian confreres from all over the world, lay people, members of religious congregations dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and experts from Switzerland, Germany, USA, Spain and Italy.

The Meeting of the Entity Superiors was attended by 37 confreres from all of the provinces, regions and districts of the Congregation, along with members of the General Government and the main services of the Curia. During five very exhausting days the superiors, among many different topics, reflected on the challenges the congregation is facing, new perspectives, structures, internationality, collaboration among entities, finances, etc.

On November 13, 2019, the superiors of the entities have been invited to commemorate the confreres killed and presented as models for Dehonian consecration and vocation: Blessed Giovanni Maria della Croce and P. Martino Capelli, whose 75th anniversaries of martyrdom are being celebrated and are recognized as important steps in the process of Canon for beatification. The relics of Blessed Giovanni Maria della Croce and the original 1931 document of the renewal of the vows of Fr. Martino Capelli were present in the meeting room. At the end of the day the superiors of the entities and several members of the Generalate community went to the Basilica of St. Bartholomew, to honor these Dehonian martyrs of the 20th and 21st centuries. Together with the Community of Sant ‘Egidio, they prayed Vespers and transferred the relics and memories of these confreres, placing them in the chapels.

For more information please visit the webpage of the congregation http://www.dehoniani.org/en/

Meeting of New Superiors in Rome

Superiors of the different entities of the Congregation, in their first triennium as superiors, take part in a meeting organized by the General Curia in Rome, Italy, from November 5 to 7, 2019. The meeting will be followed by the meeting of all entities superiors that will be held in the same venue from November 11 to 15, 2019.

All participants were welcomed by the General Superior Fr. Carlos Luis Suarez Codorniu, SCJ. In the morning, the new superiors shared their experiences on what they consider as the blessing, cross, hope and fear. The workshop was guided by the General Councilor, Fr. Stephen Huffstetter, SCJ.

In the afternoon, the new superiors met with the General Secretary Fr. Iglesias Pedro Curto, SCJ, who explained the different administrative procedures in the Congregation.

The Philippines Region is being represented by Fr. Lukas Hadi Siswo Sasmito, SCJ. The new superiors had the opportunity to meet Fr. Vincentius Sri Herimanto, SCJ, the new General Councilor who replaced Fr. Alexander Sapta Dwi Handoko, SCJ. Fr. Vincent for many years was a member of the Philippine Mission.

All Souls Day Prayer

November 2 is the Commemoration of All of the Faithful Departed, or All Souls. On this day, we pray that all those who have died, our loved ones, and also those people around the world who we will never meet, through the mercy of God, will rest in peace. 

God our Father,
Your power brings us to birth,
Your providence guides our lives,
and by Your command we return to dust.

Lord, those who die still live in Your presence,
their lives change but do not end.
I pray in hope for my family,
relatives and friends,
and for all the dead known to You alone.

In company with Christ,
Who died and now lives,
may they rejoice in Your kingdom,
where all our tears are wiped away.
Unite us together again in one family,
to sing Your praise forever and ever.

Amen.

Parade of Saints 2019

Like in the previous years, on November 1, 2019, parishioners of the Immaculate Conception Parish in Aluba, Cagayan de Oro, took part in a “Parade of Saints” to celebrate All Saints’ Day. The parade is a counter-culture activity to the pagan celebration of Halloween and an avenue of catechizing children at an early age, and families, about the lives of the saints.

Catholic saints are people who lived extraordinary lives. Each saint, the Church honors, responded to God’s invitation to use his or her unique gifts for the glory of God and the good of others. God calls each one of us to be a saint.

Similar celebration was also held at San Lorenzo Ruiz Parish in Quezon City, Diocese of Novaliches.

All Saints’ Day in the Philippines

The Solemnity of All Saints’ Day, also called All Hallows Tide, All Hallomas, or All Hallows’ Day, on November 1, is a celebration of all Christian saints, known or unknown, canonized or beatified, but more particularly those who have no special feast days of their own. In many countries, including the Philippines, All Saints’ Day is not only for remembering the saints, but also for honoring and paying respects to departed relatives and friends, through prayers, floral and food offerings, vigil, and lighting of candles at gravesites. For Catholics, it is a holy day of obligation, as they go to Mass and participate in ceremonies for the dead.

All Saints’ Day originated from the ancient tradition of honoring the martyrs of Christianity. As the number of persecuted martyrs grew, the church instituted a common commemoration of their faith. Pope Boniface IV consecrated the pantheon at Rome to the Virgin Mary and all the martyrs on May 13 in 609 A.D. Pope Gregory III (731-741) instituted November 1 as the official date of All Saints’ Day.

Filipinos, known for having great respect for their deceased relatives, consider All Saints Day, called “Undas” or Todos los Santos, a day of remembrance, an important liturgical celebration, next to Christmas and Holy Week, that begins at Vespers on evening of October 31 and ends at the close of November 1. Undas is similar to the Mexican tradition of “Dia de los Muertos” or “Day of the Dead,” in which the focus is on family gatherings before tombs of loved ones.

Filipinos go home to their provinces where their loved ones are buried to pay them honor and respect; they offer flowers and food baskets and light candles in cemeteries, memorial parks, mausoleums, and columbariums where they reunite with relatives and friends, share stories and memories, and together pray for their dearly departed. In rural communities, groups of older people, and sometimes children, organize singing groups that go from house to house to serenade families, called “pangangaluluwa” or the Visayan “kalag-kalag” (souling), a practice belived to bring peace to departed souls.

First Dehonian Family Encounter in CDO

Seventy one (71) participants from the SCJ parishes, all over the Philippines, members of the Dehonian Youth and Lay Dehonians, took part in the “First Dehonian Family Encounter”, that was held at the Sacred Heart Formation House in Aluba, Cagayan de Oro City.

The purpose of this meeting, which was a part of celebration of the 30th Anniversary of SCJ presence in the Philippines, was sharing of experiences, learning more about Father Dehon and fellowship among the different groups.

The meeting started on Friday, October 25, 2019, with the Holy Mass to the Sacred Heart of Jesus presided by Fr. Janusz Burzawa, SCJ. On the following day, October 26, 2019, during the morning session Fr. Janusz deepened the theme: “Sharing the Dehonian Charism Serving the Gospel, and Living in the Community” by sharing about the life and works of Fr. Leo John Dehon, and as well  his personal experiences as a missionary in the Philippines for the last 26 years.

In the afternoon, Ms. Elaine Gutang conducted the team building activities. The Eucharist was presided by Fr. Patrick Gutib, SCJ, one of the main organizers of these activities. In the evening, all participants took part in a special program prepared and presented by each group.

On Sunday, October 27, 2019, all the participants attended the Holy Eucharist at the Immaculate Conception Parish, across the street, presided by the regional superior Fr. Lukas Hadi Siswo Sasmito, SCJ. The lunch was followed by the closing activities, namely evaluation and planning. At 3:00 PM the meeting was over and all could return to their respective places. The biggest group came from San Isidro Labrador Parish in Dumalinao, Zamboanga del Sur. Some of the groups were accompanied by their priests.

Hopefully, this was not one time activity, but it will continue in the future.

Ordination to the Diaconate in Dumalinao

On October 16, 2019, two members of the SCJ Philippines Region on final vows: Bro. Victor M. Lingasa, SCJ, and Bro. Julius D. Socorro, SCJ were ordained deacons.

The two SCJs were ordained by the Bishop of Pagadian Diocese, Most Rev. Ronald I. Lunas, D.D., at the San Isidro Labrador Parish in Dumalinao, Zamboanga del Sur.

Dn. Victor comes from Pitogo, Diocese of Pagadian, while Dn. Julius from Bayugan, Diocese of Butuan.The new deacons are assigned, respectively, at the Holy Cross Parish (Parokya ng Banal na Krus) in Tandang Kutyo, Tanay, Rizal, Diocese of Antipolo, and San Roque Parish in Bagong Silang, Diocese of Novaliches.

The ordination was held a day after the SCJ meeting on October 15, 2019, at the Novitiate Fr. Dehon in Lower Locuban, Dumalinao, Zamboanga del Sur and was attended by almost all members of the Philippines Region, priests and religious from the Diocese of Pagadian, family members and friends of the two new deacons.

The ceremony of ordination started at 9:00 am and ended with a lunch at 11:00 am.

25 Years of SCJ Presence in India

On October 6, 2019, falls the 25 anniversary of SCJ presence in India. It started in 1994 with the arrival of +Fr. Martin Van Ooij, SCJ, a Dutch missionary in Indonesia, who later was joined by other missionaries from different provinces. Many of them, due to the visa restrictions or other commitments in their places, were able to stay only for six months. Some others managed to stay longer. In this way many missionaries from different entities passed through India, of whom some have already gone to the Lord. Also, some of the missionaries moved to the Philippines or China.

Officially, the Mission in India became a District of India on May 1, 1999, thirty days before the Philippines became a District (May 31, 2019). It grew very rapidly. Today the District of India has around 100 members of which a half are priests. Some of their priests are assigned in other entities of the congregation. They have 13 communities.

The two-day celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Dehonian presence in India started on October 5, 2019, with the Holy Eucharist presided by the General Superior Very Reverend Fr. Carlos Luis Suarez Cordorniú, SCJ. The homily was a shared reflection by several Dehonians. After the homily, the district’s first Lay Dehonian made a year-long commitment to Dehonian spirituality; Fr. Carlos Luis received her commitment.

The Holy Mass was followed by a cultural show and Agape. The celebration was held at the SCJ Theologate in Eluru, Andhra Pradesh, South India.

The main celebration is scheduled on October 6, 2019. Among the invited guests were former missionaries to India, heads of different entities and members of the congregation. Philippines is being represented by the Regional Superior Fr. Lukas Hadi Siswo Sasmito, SCJ and Fr. Showe Bala Reddy Nekkanti, SCJ.

Congratulations to the District of India!

Silver Jubilee of Religious Profession of Vows of Sr. Yollie C. Novabos, TMM

On October 1, 2019, the memorial of St. Therese of Lisieux and patronal feast of the pious association of Theresian Missionaries of Mary (TMM), Sr. Ma. Eulogia “Yollie” Novabos, TMM, celebrated her Silver Anniversary of religious vows of Chasity, Poverty and Obedience.

On this occasion during the concelebrated Mass, presided by Most Rev. Antonio J. Ledesma, SJ, D.D., Sr. Yollie repeated her commitment to God, the Church and her community.

The association of the Theresian Missionaries of Mary (TMM) was founded in 1985 by a Columban missionary Fr. Francis Chapman, SSC. As of now the community has 14 members on final and temporary vows working in different places and apostolates within the Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro. The motto of their group are the words of St. Therese “My vocation is love.”

Sr. Yolly, who comes from Lugait, Misamis Oriental, made her first profession of vows in 1994. As a religious, she was assigned in many different places and positions. The longest time she spent in St. Joseph School in El Salvador City as a financial oficer. Since July 16, 2014, Sr. Yollie has been working for the Priests of the Sacred Heart (SCJ) as a secretary in the fundraising office.

During the same ceremony her co-sisters renewed also their vows.

The celebration was attended by many diocesan and religious priests from the Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro, family members, friends and benefactors of the community. At the end of the Mass all participants placed red roses at the feet of St. Therese known as a “little flower.” The celebration was held at the “Our Lady of the Snows” Parish in El Salvador City.