Sacrament of Confirmation in Dumalinao

On May 21, 2019, 535 young people in Dumalinao (Zamboanga del Sur) received Sacrament of Confirmation. On May 22, 2019, another batch of 530 will be confirmed; 380 from Tigbao and 150 from MAIS area (Mga Anak sa Inahang Simbahan – Children of the Mother Church, barangays:  Pag-asa, Pag-laum, Camanga, Sumadat and Pinig). The ceremony of confirmation was held at the San Isidro Labrador Parish church, during the Holy Eucharist presided by the Bishop of Pagadian, Most Rev. Ronald I. Lunas, D.D., who was assisted by the Regional Superior, Fr. Lukas Hadi Siswo Sasmito, SCJ, Fr. Horst Steppkes, SCJ from Germany, Fr. Yohanes Sono Pribadi, SCJ, from the nearby Novitiate Fr. Dehon and Fr. Robertus Sutopo, SCJ, the parish priest. The last confirmation was held four years ago.

The Sacrament of Confirmation is one of the three Catholic sacraments of initiation. Confirmation in the Catholic Church includes the laying on of hands, and anointing in the sign of the cross with Chrism oil. Confirmation is the third and final sacrament which completes Christian initiation for Roman Catholics, as well as eastern Catholic churches, and is also prominent in the Orthodox Church and other Mainline Christian denominations, including the Church of England, Methodist and Lutheran churches.

Confirmation calls us to live a life of holiness and obedience to God’s will. That call is primarily through a renewal of our baptismal promises that were, in most cases, made for us by our parents when we were baptized. Our parents also made a promise at our baptism to raise us in the faith and teach us about our Church. That might take the form of encouragement to pray the rosary or adopt other devotional practices like the Stations of the Cross to deepen our faith. Hopefully, these statements within our creed were made real for us in our home-life, so that when the time comes for us to receive the Holy Spirit, we would be prepared to confirm our faith. We receive the Holy Spirit in seven unique ways through the gifts of the Holy Spirit. These are:

  • Wisdom – Helps us to rightly order our interpersonal relationships and the centrality of God and his will in our lives.
  • Understanding – Helps us to comprehend the Gospel and the will of God as communicated through his message.
  • Knowledge – The capacity for exploring and pondering God’s revelation along with the awareness that some mysteries of faith are beyond our ability to grasp completely.
  • Counsel – Helps us to choose the path of God when presented with choices that relate to our journey toward him.
  • Fortitude – Also refered to as courage or strength helps us to do what we know is right even when it might be difficult or costly.
  • Piety – Is a strong devotion to God through prayer
  • Fear of the Lord – Is not to be afraid of God, but to be in wonder of his power and might, and to marvel at his majesty.

The blessing that the bishop gives over the confirmands during the Roman Rite of Confirmation encapsulates all of these gifts beautifully

“All-powerful God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
by water and the Holy Spirit
you freed your sons and daughters from sin
and gave them new life.
Send your Holy Spirit upon them
to be their helper and guide.
Give them the spirit of wisdom and understanding,
the spirit of right judgment and courage,
the spirit of knowledge and reverence.
Fill them with the spirit of wonder and awe in your presence.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.”

(CCC 1299)

Empowered by these gifts and the sacramental grace of God, the confirmed Catholic has everything they need to spread and defend the faith in both word and deed, or as many put it, to be a “soldier of Christ.”

Ordination to the Diaconate 2018

On June 29, 2018, the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, two (2) members of the SCJ Philippine Region: Bro. Ruel Paalisbo, SCJ, and Bro. Joel Bolo, SCJ, who a day before made their perpetual profession of vows, were ordained deacons.

They were ordained by the Bishop of Pagadian Diocese, Most Rev. Emmanuel Cabajar DD, CSsR, at the San Isidro Labrador Parish in Dumalinao, Zamboanga del Sur.

Deacon Ruel comes from Bacolod, Lanao del Norte, Diocese of Iligan, while Deacon Joel from Ugyaban, Chaplaincy of Dansolihon, Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro. Both places were marked with the SCJ presence and the two new deacons are the fruits of it.

The new deacons are assigned, respectively, at Immaculate Conception Parish in Aluba, Cagayan de Oro City and San Isidro Labrador Parish in Dumalinao, Zamboanga del Sur.

First and Perpetual Profession of Vows

Today, on June 28, 2018, five (5) SCJ Novices from the Philippines, Rene D. Adorable, Francis S.J. Atayza, July P. Zambrano, Giovanni B. Bautista, and Rackie M. Roxas, made their commitment to God in the Congregation of the Priests of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. By the profession of three vows: Chastity, Poverty and Obedience, they declared their readiness to follow Jesus more closely. They were preparing for this moment for almost fourteen (14) months under the guidance of the Novice Master Fr. Indra Pamungkas, SCJ and Fr. Yohanes Sono Pribadi, SCJ, the “Socius.” Together, with five (5) Vietnamese Novices, who made their First Profession of vows in Vietnam last May 31, 2018, they have had been learning about the Congregation, the Founder, vows and religious life.

During the same celebration, two SCJ brothers on temporary vows: Fra. Ruel Paalisbo, SCJ and Fra. Joel Bolo, SCJ, made their final profession of vows.

Both Professions of Vows, First and Perpetual, were accepted by the Regional Superior Fr. Lukas Hadi Siswo Sasmito, SCJ.

The ceremony that was held on the 140 anniversary of the foundation of the Congregation of the Priests of the Sacred Heart, took place at the St. Isidore Parish Church in Dumalinao, Zamboanga del Sur, and was attended by the SCJ confreres from different parts of the Philippines, family members and friends of the newly professed religious.

The newly professed will move to the Manila Community at the Dehon House, where they will study Theology and prepare themselves further for the ordination to the priesthood.

As we thank God for this beautiful moment, we entrust the new SCJs to our prayers. May they grow in their vocation and become effective instruments of God’s Love to the world.

Parish Feast in Dumalinao and Kumalarang

On May 15, 2018, the two SCJ parishes celebrated their Patronal Feast of St. Isidore, the Farmer. In Dumalinao, the Holy Eucharist started at 9:30 am. The main celebrant was Fr. Lukas Hadi Siswo Sasmito, SCJ, the Regional Superior and Parish Priest. The celebration was attended by a number of SCJs, who will attend the SCJ meeting on May 17, 2018. The celebration of the Eucharist was followed by a common meal, including some “lechons” (roasted pigs).

In Kumalarang, the main celebrant was Fr. Indra Pamungkas, SCJ, the Master of Novices. The celebration of the Eucharist was followed by a common meal and after that cultural show prepared by different zones. Some SCJs were able to attend the second part of the celebration.

In both cases the celebration was very well prepared, so the people from different chapels could enjoy the feast of their patron, St. Isidore the Farmer.

Pilgrim Relics of St. Therese in Dumalinao Parish

The pilgrim relics of Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus is for the fourth time in the Philippines. It arrived on January 13, 2018, and will stay until May 31, 2018, visiting different dioceses and parishes.

At the moment the relics is visiting the Diocese of Pagadian. On April 24, 2018, the relics, for a short time, visited the St. Isidore Parish in Dumalinao run by the SCJs.

The pilgrim relics of Saint Thérèse have visited the Philippines in 2000, 2008 and 2013.

Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus, also called Saint Thérèse of Lisieux, was born on January 2, 1873, in Alençon, France. She died on September 30, 1897, at the age of 24.

She is one of the most popular Catholic saints. As a doctor of the church, she is the subject of much theological comment and study, and as an appealing young woman, whose message has touched the lives of millions, she remains the focus of much-popular devotion.

Relics are the material remains of a saint or holy person after death, as well as objects sanctified by contact with his or her body.

Real or first-class relics include the skin and bones, clothing, objects used for penance and instruments of a martyr’s imprisonment or passion, while representative relics are objects placed in contact with the body or grave of a saint.

The Catholic faithful venerate the relics of saints because as intercessors with God for the living, through their relics—a record of the saint—God manifests his presence.

Patronal Feast Celebration in Tigbao

On October 15, 2017, the Christian Community of Tigbao Sub-Parish celebrated its 23rd patronal feast of Our Lady of Perpetual Help. The main celebrant and homilist was Fr. Lukas Hadi Siswo Sasmito, SCJ, the parish priest of St. Isidore, the Farmer Parish in Dumalinao, where the sub-parish belongs to. He was accompanied by Fr. Francis Pupkowski, SCJ and Fr. Joseph Butlig, SCJ from Cagayan de Oro  and Fr. Joseph Muego, SCJ, the present administrator of the sub-parish.

The Eucharist was clebrated in the local Visayan dialect and was followed by the Sacrament of Baptism of 39 infants. As usual the celebration was preceded by nine-day novena, organized and sponsored by different chapels, members of the sub-parish.

Celebration in Balongating

On September 29, 2017, faithful of the Sub-Parish in Balongating, Guipos, Zamboanga del Sur, celebrated their patronal feast of St. Michael, the Archangel. The main celebrant and homilist was Fr. Lukas Hadi Siswo Sasmito, SCJ, the parish priest of St. Isidore, the Farmer Parish in Dumalinao, and was accompanied by SCJs from the Zamboanga del Sur area and from Cagayan de Oro. The Eucharist was clebrated in a local Visayan dialect. As usual the celebration was preceeded by nine-day novena, organized and sponsored by different chapels, members of the sub-parish.The celebration was followed by a cultural show, common meal, and raffle draw, where the main prize was a Honda motorcycle. The money gained in this way will be used for the construction of new formation house for the lay leaders, which the community needs very much.Balongating is a part of the St. Isidore, the Farmer Parish in Dumalinao and was declared as a Sub-Parish in August 1991 by Most Rev. Antonio R. Tobias, DD.

Since February 2003, the parish in Dumalinao is being administered by the Priests of the Sacred Heart (SCJ). The incumbent parish priest, Fr. Lukas Hadi Siswo Sasmito, SCJ, was preceeded by Fr. Janusz Burzawa, SCJ.

Among SCJ priests in charge of Balongating were the following: Fr. Franciszek Pupkowski, Fr. Delio Ruiz, Fr. Arthur Guevara, Fr. Jigger Ganados, Fr. Marcial Aguirre and presently Fr. Robertus Sutopo.

As of now, the sub-parish is composed of 19 chapels in 4 zones. It has all ministries and mandated organizations accredited in the Diocese of Pagadian. So far, the SCJ pesence in that area inspired Deacon Roger Pausanos, SCJ, to enter the congregation of the Priests of the Sacred Heart.

Ordination to the Diaconate

On June 27, 2017, two (2) members of the Philippine Region on final vows: Bro. Nathaniel D. Robilla, SCJ, and Bro. Rogereve U. Pausanos, SCJ, were ordained deacons.

The two SCJs were ordained by the Bishop of Pagadian Diocese, Most Rev. Emmanuel Cabajar DD, CSsR, at the San Isidro Labrador Parish in Dumalinao, Zamboanga del Sur.

Dn. Nathaniel comes from the Diocese of Tagum, while Dn. Rogereve from Balongating, a sub-parish of Dumalinao. The new deacons are assigned, respectively, at Immaculate Conception Parish in Aluba, Cagayan de Oro City and San Isidro Labrador Parish in Kumalarang, Zamboanga del Sur.

Acceptance of New Novices

On May 16, 2017, twelve Postulants (six Filipino and six Vietnamese) were officially accepted to the fourteen month Novitiate. The ceremony of acceptance took place during the Holy Eucharist in Dumalinao Parish, which followed the meeting of the SCJ Philippine Region. The new novices were presented to the Regional Superior Fr. Francis Pupkowski, SCJ, by the Master of Postulants Fr. Patrick Gutib, SCJ. So far this is the biggest group that entered the Novitiate program. At the moment the total number  of Novices is seventeen. Five Novices (three Filipino and two Vietnamese) will have their first profession of vows on June 28, 2017.

We entrust all the Novices and the Novice Master, Fr. Indra Pamungkas, SCJ, to your continuous prayers.