With the invocation of the Holy Spirit, on June 10, 2019, the formation community in Cagayan de Oro I officially started new academic year 2019 – 2020. During the Holy Eucharist presided by the Regional Superior, Fr. Lukas Hadi Siswo Sasmito, SCJ, three (3) Aspirants (2 Vietnamese and 1 Filipino) were accepted into the Postulancy Program, six (6) into the Aspirancy and five (5) into Orientation Year. The new Postulants were given Bible, while all the others “Rules of the House.” Altogether there are twenty (20) young men, who expressed their wish to follow their vocation in the Congregation of the Priests of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (SCJ).
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.
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.
San Lorenzo Ruiz Parish (SLRP) joined the entire Catholic Church in its stand to “Walk for Life” on February 16, 2019 at the Quezon City Circle, led by the Assistant Parish Priest Rev. Fr. Showe Reddy Nekkanti, SCJ. The SLRP Community was well represented with participants from the Parish Pastoral Council, Religious (Dehonian Brothers and Adorers of the Blood of Christ Sisters), Youth and other ministries of the parish.
Also in Cagayan de Oro City the Dehonian seminarians joined the simultaneously held march.
It was initially organized as a form of action or protest against cruelty and killings, with one example being the extrajudicial killings stemming from the war against drugs and drug abuse.
The activity is also a way of showing support to the marginalized communities, especially those who have experienced abuse, neglect, and denied of their human rights.
“Walk for Life” is being participated by priests, bishops, church personnel, those faithful to the church, and those with a stand in preserving life of all.
The first “Walk for Life” event took place at the Quirino Grandstand in Manila on February 18, 2017 and was attended by thousands of members of Catholic and Christian Churches, as well as from religious and non-religious organizations.
On February 11, 2019, the SCJ Philippine Region started its annual assembly. The assembly is being held at the Sacred Heart Formation House in Cagayan de Oro City and is attended by 35 confreres, including Fr. Alexander Sapta Dwi Handoko, SCJ, General Councilor for Asia from Rome, Fr. Quang Nguyen, SCJ, the Vice Provincial of the US Province and Fr. Khoa Nguyen, SCJ, from the District of Vietnam.
The assembly started with the welcome address of the superior of the community Cagayan de Oro I, Fr. Patrick Gutib, SCJ and the Regional Superior Fr. Lukas Hadi Siswo Sasmito, SCJ, followed by a service of reconciliation led by Fr. Francis Pupkowski, SCJ. The next activity was a short reflection by Fr. Delio Ruiz, SCJ, focusing on the “Year of the Youth” in the Philippines and the 30th Anniversary of the SCJ presence in the Philippines, ending with the adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and confession.
In the afternoon of the first day, the participants following the guide questions shared in groups their personal experiences of the last year in the light of the incoming anniversary.
The day ended with the Eucharistic celebration presided by Fr. Lukas Hadi Siswo Sasmito, SCJ, followed by the supper and common recreation.
The second day was dedicated to the reports by communities and different commissions of the Region. The main celebrant of the Eucharist was Fr. Robertus Sutopo, SCJ, who on February 12 celebrated his 50th birthday.
On the third and fourth day the group will discuss the agenda that came out of the reports, future celebrations and plans.
The assembly is to conclude on February 14, 2019 lunch time.
On July 10, 2018, two SCJ Deacons, Rev. Nathaniel D. Robilla and Rev. Rogereve U. Pausanos, received the Sacrament of Priesthood. The ceremony of ordination was held at the Immaculate Conception Parish in Cagayan de Oro City, run by the Priests of the Sacred Heart, and was presided by the Most Rev. Antonio J. Ledesma, SJ, DD, archbishop of Cagayan de Oro.
Fr. Nathaniel Robilla, SCJ, comes from the Diocese of Tagum, while Fr. Rogereve Pausanos from Balongating, Diocese of Pagadian. Until June 27, 2018, Balongating was a part of Dumalinao Parish run by the SCJs.
The new priests will continue their present assignments, Fr. Nathaniel in Parokya Banal na Krus, Sitio Bukal, Barangay Tandang Kutyo, Tanay, Rizal (Diocese of Antipolo), and Fr. Rogereve in San Isidro Labrador Parish in Kumalarang, Zamboanga del Sur.
It is already a tradition that on the Sunday, after the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the formation community of Cagayan de Oro celebrates Benefactors’ Day. It is the way to let the benefactors know more about the congregation and its activities and also an opportunity to thank them for their support and generosity.
This year, the celebration of Benefactors’ Day was held on June 10, 2018. As usual, it started with the Holy Eucharist presided by Fr. Francis Pupkowski, scj, who is in charge of the Benefactors and Fundraising Office. At the end of the Mass, the benefactors could watch a 20-minute video presentation entitled “With Open Heart and Mind”, containing information about the Congregation and activities of the Priests of the Sacred Heart in the Philippines.
It was noticed that every year there are more and more benefactors joining this celebration.
The celebration was culminated with a common meal.
The Feast of the Sacred Heart, the patronal feast of the Priests of the Sacred Heart on June 8, 2018, was celebrated in all formation houses in the Philippines. Many friends of the Congregation, associates, and benefactors, had joined the celebration, especially in Metro Manila and Cagayan de Oro.
In Manila, during the Eucharist. presided by the Regional Superior Fr. Lukas Hadi Siswo Sasmito, SCJ, six scholastics: four Filipino and two Vietnamese, had renewed their vows of chastity, poverty and obedience. Also, all the SCJs attending this celebration renewed their commitment as religious.
A good number of benefactors from Quezon City, Mandaluyong and Makati City were able to attend this event and to meet personally Fr. Francis Pupkowski, SCJ and Sr. Yolly C. Novabos, TMM, from the fundraising office in Cagayan de Oro City. The oldest participant of the celebration was 97 years old.
The benefactors and guests were given a chance to know more about the congregation and its works through the video presentation, entitled “With open heart and Mind”, that was played just after the Mass.
In Cagayan de Oro City, the Holy Eucharist was presided by Fr. Joseph C. Butlig, SCJ, a member of the community. As usual, besides friends of the Congregation, the celebration was attended by members of the Dehonian Family: Dehonian Youth and Lay Dehonians. After the Holy Communion, five new members of the Dehonian Youth made their commitment and the old members renewed their commitment as well. The commitments were accepted by Fr. Janusz Burzawa, SCJ, the councilor of the Philippine Region, who ealier accepted six new Postulants: five Vietnamese and one Filipino.
In both events, the celebrations were very nice and attended by many people, and SCJs from the area, who were not only able to enjoy the celebration, but also the delicious food served afterwards.
On June 7, 2018, the Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro celebrated the Episcopal Ordination of Fr. Raul Dael, SSJV. Fr. Raul is the third priest from the archdiocese, who became bishop. The other two are Bp. Jose A. Cabantan, DD, the Bishop of Malaybalay and Bp. Vilsom Basso, SCJ, who was assigned in the archdiocese when he was called to become a bishop in Brazil.
The new bishop, was on September 29, 2014, giving a spiritual input to the SCJs, who were starting their 1st Regional Assembly in Cagayan de Oro City. In his talk, Fr. Raul emphasized the mercy of God and the importance of being priests and religious after the Heart of Christ.
The main consecrators of Fr. Raul as bishop were: Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, DD, from the Archdiocese of Manila, Archbishop Antonio Ledesma, SJ, DD, archbishop of Cagayan de Oro and Bishop Nereo P. Odchimar, DD, JCD, bishop emeritus of the Diocese of Tandag, Surigao del Sur, who is being replaced by the new bishop Raul.
The celebration was attended by 30 Cardinals, Archbishops and Bishops, hundreds of priests from different archdioceses and dioceses and many people. The celebration that lasted three hours was beautifully prepared. The new bishop and people of Cagayan de Oro and their guests enjoyed also a meal together and the very nice weather.