Celebration of Benefactors’ Day in Cagayan de Oro Community

Each year on Sunday after the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart, the formation community of Cagayan de Oro invites benefactors from the area for a special Thanksgiving Mass. In this way, the Priests of the Sacred Heart want to say “Thank you” to those who support them spiritually and financially. For benefactors it is always an opportunity to learn more about the spirituality and different projects of the Congregation.

This year, the celebration of Benefactors’ Day was held on June 30, 2019. It started with the Holy Eucharist celebrated by  Fr. Francis Pupkowski, scj, who is also in charge of the Fundraising Office and Fr. Lukas Hadi Siswo Sasmito, scj, the superior of the SCJ Philippine Region, Fr. Patro C. Gier Jr.,scj, a former missionary from Finland and Fr. Szymon Bendowski, scj, the assistant parish priest from Immaculate Concepcion Parish in Aluba.. At the end of the Mass, the benefactors could watch a short video presentation containing an information about one of the projects run by the Philippine Region Kasanag Daughters Foundation, Inc.

As usual, the celebration was culminated with a common meal. It was noticed that every year the number of benefactors participating in the Thanksgiving Mass is bigger and bigger.

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.”

Regional Assembly 2019

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.

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.

2nd Regional Assembly Chapter

27 SCJs, after final vows, took part in the 2nd Regional Assembly Chapter, held on June 5 – 6, 2018, at the Sacred Heart Formation House in Cagayan de Oro City. The participants were welcomed by Fr. Rico Lapinig, SCJ, and after that by the Regional Superior Fr. Lukas Hadi Siswo Sasmito, SCJ, who officially declared start of the Chapter. As usual, the first part was a spiritual preparation for the main activity. Fr. Francis Pupkowski, SCJ, led a reflection based on the theme “With open Heart and Mind to the urgent needs of the Church and the World”, which was followed by the Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and Sacrament of Reconciliation.

After the break, Fr. Lukas Hadi Siswo Sasmito, SCJ, delivered the “State of the Region Address” (SORA), summarizing the main activities and achievements, that had happened since the 1st Regional Chapter in 2014. Following this, Fr. Delio Ruiz, SCJ, the chairman of the Preparatory Commission, explained the goal and procedures of a workshop that was going to be held, in five groups, in the afternoon. The purpose of this was to come out with some concrete proposals for the next six years, based on the last and this year conclusions of the assemblies.

On the following day, June 6, 2018, the assembly discussed the proposed motions, coming from the working groups, and voted on it. The last activity of the Chapter was election of the delegate for the XXIV General Chapter in Rome and his substitute, who will accompany the Regional Superior in July 2018.

The 2nd Regional Assembly Chapter was well prepared and conducted in a very fraternal atmosphere.

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.

Acceptance of New Novices

On May 13, 2018, on the Feast of Ascension and Our Lady of Fatima, nine young men (three Filipino and six Vietnamese) were officially accepted to the Novitiate. In this way, they started their direct preparation for the first profession of vows that will be held on June 28, 2019. During this thirteen month journey,under the supervision of the Novice Master Fr. Indra Pamungkas, SCJ, they will learn many things about the nature of religious and community life, the Founder, the Congregation and most of all about the vows they will be going to profess.

The ceremony of acceptance was held in the afternoon in the the Novitiate Fr. Dehon in Lower Lucoban, Dumalinao, Zambonga del Sur. The new novices were accepted by the Superior of the SCJ Philippine Region, Fr. Lukas Hadi Siswo Sasmito, SCJ. The ceremony was attended by the members of the neighbour community in Dumalinao, Fr. Tom Cassidy from the US Province, Fr. Patro Gier working in Finland and Fr. Khoa Nguyen, the formator of Aspirants in Cagayan de Oro.

Celebration of the Founder and Installation of the New Administration

The celebration of 175th Birth Anniversary of Fr. Leo Dehon, the Founder of the Priests of the Sacred Heart, on March 14, 2018, was connected with the 6th anniversary of Erection of the Philippine Region and installation of the new administration.

The main celebration, held at 6:00 pm at the Sacred Heart Formation House in Cagayan de Oro City, was preceded by a meeting of all members of the Region. The meeting started with a short recollection, conducted by Fr. Delio Ruiz,SCJ, and adoration, followed by the proper agenda.

In the afternoon, during the Holy Eucharist presided by the outgoing regional superior Fr. Francis Pupkowski, SCJ, the newly appointed superior Fr. Lukas Hadi Siswo Sasmito, SCJ, made his “Profession of Faith.” The new superior will be accompanied by four Councilors: Fr. Rico O. Lapinig,SCJ, Fr. Delio Ruiz, SCJ, Fr. Patrick L. Gutib, SCJ, and Fr. Janusz Burzawa, SCJ.

From the left: Fr. Lukas Hadi Siswo Sasmito, Fr. Rico O. Lapinig, Fr. Delio Ruiz, Fr. Patrick L. Gutib, and Fr. Janusz Burzawa

 

The celebration, as usual, was attended by the SCJs from all communities, members of the Dehonian Family, religious, and friends.

We wish all the best to the new administration and support it with prayers!

60th Parish Anniversary and Patronal Feast in Dumalinao

The celebration of the 60th Parish Anniversary and Feast of San Isidro Labrador Parish in Dumalinao, started in the evening of May 14, 2017 and it was held at the Dumalinao Regional Pilot School. More than 600 people coming from 44 chapels took part in the GSK Coronation Night and “Talendadong Parokyano.” The activity was organized in cooperation with Hon. Junaflor S. Cerilles, RMT, the municipal mayor of Dumalinao, Rev. Fr. Lukas Hadi Sismo Sasmito, SCJ, the parish priest, Rev. Fr. Joseph Muego, SCJ and Rev. Fr. Robertus Sutopo, SCJ, assistant parish priests and some SCJ guest priests and seminarians with the Theme: “Year of the Parish – Communion of Communities.”  Although the celebration was interrupted by the “black out”, it did not prevent the people to enjoy the show which lasted for four hours.

The main celebration was held on May 15, 2017. The Bishop of Pagadian Diocese, Most Rev. Emmanuel “Manny” Cabajar, C.Ss.R, D.D., was the presider of the concelebrated Holy Eucharist, together with the parish priest, two assistant parish priests, Rev. Fr. Franciszek Pupkowski, SCJ, the regional superior of the SCJ Philippine Region, 14 SCJ priests and 4 diocesan priests.  The Holy Mass was attended by more than 1,500 faithful coming from Balongating and Tigbao Sub-Parishes, and 44 Chapels of the San Isidro Labrador Parish.

The celebration was concluded with the procession carrying the statue of the patron around the town, followed by a lunch together and short program.

By. Fr. Joseph C. Butlig, SCJ