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.

19th Foundation Day of KDFI

On May 26, 2018, the Kasanag Daughters Foundation, Inc., (KDFI) celebrated its 19th Foundation Day. It is always celebrated on the last Saturday of May. As usual, the celebration started with the Holy Eucharist. Fr. Francis Pupkowski, SCJ, the main celebrant, was accompanied by Mons. Rey Monsanto, the parish priest of Kauswagan, where the KDFI is located, Fr. Thomas Cassidy, SCJ, a member of the US Province, and Fr. Joseph Butlig, SCJ, the coordinator of the program.

After the Mass, Mons. Rey Monsanto and Mrs. Wilma Gomez, the Board Member of Kasanag, cut the ribbon at the entrance to the exhibit room containing the art works of the residents of Kasanag Foundation. The cutting of the ribbon was followed by a short program prepared by the girls with help of  Mr. Michael “music wizard”Auxilio.

The singing continued after the supper. The celebration which lasted longer than usual was attended by the Board Members of Kasanag, SCJ priests and seminarians, old Kasanag daughters, benefactors and friends. The atmosphere was very nice and alive.

18th Founding Anniversary of Kasanag Daughters Foundation

On May 27, 2017, the Kasanag Daughters Foundation, Inc. (KDFI), one of the social projects of the Priests of the Sacred Heart – Philippine Region in Cagayan de Oro City, celebrated its 18th Founding Anniversary. The celebration started with the  Holy Eucharist presided by Fr. Donald Longno, SCJ, and was followed by the arts exhibit prepared by the girls, very short cultural presentation and common supper. The institution, providing shelter and rehabilitation opportunities to the victims of sexual abuse, was established in 1999 by Fr. Eduardo Aguero, SCJ.  As of now, the institution takes care of 24 girls, aged 7 to 16 years. The project coordinator is Fr. Joseph Butlig, SCJ. Since the beginning, the total number of admittances reached 190.

88th Death Anniversary of Fr. Leo Dehon

 Dehon-POSHUSA“For Him I lived for Him I die” – with these words on August 12, 1925, Fr. Leo Dehon, the founder of the Congregation of the Priests of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, ended his earthly pilgrimage.  In this short summary he enclosed his passion for God and His love that was shown to the humankind through the open Heart of Jesus.  His desire was to establish the “Reign of God in the souls and society.”

Each year, the anniversary of his death is a special event celebrated by the whole congregation and different communities all over the world. Very often it is preceded by a special novena prayer commemorating  the life and works of our Founder, which gives us an opportunity to reflect on our charism and mission in the Church and society. The very day of his death anniversary is a day of thanksgiving for the gift of his life very much celebrated in all formation communities.

Like in previous years, the community in Cagayan de Oro, held a special Thanksgiving Mass and dinner to commemorate this anniversary. The concelebrated Mass was presided by Fr. Andrew Sudol, the formator of Postulacy Program and was attended by SCJ confreres, seminarians and friends of the congregation.