BISHOP CHITO TAGLE IS THE NEW ARCHBISHOP OF MANILA! October 13, 2011Posted by Fr. Felmar Castrodes Fiel, SVD in Pink Sisters, Priesthood, Vocation Story.
Tags: Archbishop Luis Antonio Tagle, Archdiocese of Manila, Bishop Antonio Tagle, Cardinal Rosales, Diocese of Imus, Pope Benedict XVI
The Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI has accepted the resignation of Cardinal Rosales as Archbishop of Manila and has appointed Bishop Luis Antonio “Chito” Tagle as his successor.
I was very happy upon receiving this good news! My great professor is now the new Archbishop of Manila! I first listened to his recollection talk at the Pink Sisters-Tagaytay in 2002. I was so moved that I told my companion, “he can be a good Cardinal!”
My seminarian companion replied: “Have you imagined Bishop as a Pope?” to which I immediately answered: “Yes! Why not?”
When we had our first day of classes with him in Theology of Priesthood, everybody was all ears. My classmates would sure agree that it was indeed a moment of awe. When we heard the ringing of the bell, nobody wanted to stand up. Bishop Tagle looked at us in surprise and asked us, “bakit hindi kayo tumatayo? Ayaw ba ninyong mag-break?” The good bishop received a chorus, “Bishop, gusto pa naming marinig kayong magsalita.”
He said that when he had his Light Talk program, many criticized him because he was interviewing people. They wanted him to do the talking, to which he said, “perhaps the people are not yet ready for a bishop who also knows how to listen.”
Bishop, eheste, Archbishop Chito – more power and more blessings! I am one with you in prayers. Below is the statement of Bishop Tagle:
“His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI appointed me, a humble servant, to succeed His Eminence Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales to the Metropolitan See of Manila. I face this heavy responsibility with much trepidation. Leaving the Diocese of Imus, my beloved home, at the threshold of its Golden Jubilee is not easy. But faith in the gracious Lord and love of the Church give me strength. I know that I would find much good will and zeal for mission in the clergy, religious and lay faithful of the Archdiocese of Manila. In our openness to the Holy Spirit, we could render a joyful and robust witness to Jesus Christ, all for the glory of the Father and the good of the Church and of society, especially of the poor. I entrust the Archdiocese of Manila and my ministry to the loving care of our Lady, Mary Immaculate.” +Luis Antonio G. Tagle 13 October 2011
THE SVD, THE VIRGIN AND THE PHILIPPINES September 11, 2009Posted by Fr. Felmar Castrodes Fiel, SVD in Arnold Janssen, Mama Mary, Pink Sisters, SVD, SVD Philippines Centennial.
Tags: Abra, Binmaley, Bishop William Joseph Duschak SVD, Cebu, City, Dakit Class, Divine Word Missionaries, Fr. Bernard Pues SVD, Fr. Dino Ariola SVD, Fr. Erwin Thiel SVD, Fr. Francis Kutscher SVD, Fr. Georg Heinemann SVD, Fr. George Koschincki SVD, Fr. Godehard Schaller SVD, Fr. Herman Hermes SVD, Fr. Joseph Heuwagen SVD, Fr. Joseph Watzlawik SVD, Fr. Paul Scholl SVD, Fr. Rudy Horst SVD, Fr. Victor Tunkel SVD, Lei Lopez, Mariette Beco, Milagros Dolores, Mindoro, Our Lady of Banneux, Our Lady of the Poor, Pantas Class, Pink Sisters, Sangmithi Class, SASMA, Sr. Bernadette Winkel SSpS, St. Arnold Janssen, Tagaytay, Yobel Class
Note: This is the summarized version of my article that will soon come out in the coffee table book about the 100 years of missionary presence of the SVD (Societas Verbi Divini) or the Divine Word Missionaries in the Philippines.
The Virgin of the Poor – Divine Word Seminary, Tagaytay
THE APPEARANCE OF THE VIRGIN
Have you seen this image of the Blessed Virgin Mary? This is the Lady of Banneux or more popularly known as the “Virgin of the Poor.” On the 15th of January 1933 (24th death anniversary of our founder St. Arnold Janssen), a silent apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary happened to a young girl named Mariette Beco in Banneux Norte Dame, province of Liége, Belgium. In this apparition, the Blessed Virgin introduced herself as the “Virgin of the Poor” and it quickly spread like fire. Soon after, on the Feast of the Assumption of that same year, the chapel requested by Our Lady was blest and was attended by sixty thousand people. On August 22, 1949, the Bishop of Liége recognized the authenticity of the apparitions at Banneux.
THE POVERTY OF OUR BEGINNINGS
It was the poverty of our humble beginnings in the SVD Philippine mission that inspired Fr. Joseph Heuwagen, SVD to bring the first statue of the Virgin of the Poor to our country. From later part of the 1950’s until the 1980s, the German Secretariat of Banneux dispatched statues for their compatriots’ mission stations around the world. During Fr. Joseph Heuwagen’s visit to Banneux in the autumn of 1957, German pilgrims donated him a statue of the Virgin of the Poor. He brought the statue upon his return from his home leave. He wrote,
It is interesting that the customs in Manila released the statue on 15 January, anniversary of the first apparition…The statue arrived in February. As day of its blessing, I chose 2 March, the last day of the apparition in Banneux, so that I would have enough time to make the Virgin of the Poor known through sermons and public relations. (Jungfrau der Armen, n°3/1958, translated by Fr. Rudy Horst, SVD)
The site of the very first statue of the Virgin of the Poor in the Philippines was St. Joseph Parish, Claveria, Cagayan, some 600 km at the northernmost tip of Luzon. Fr. Joseph also reported that the attendance of the rosary has doubled! He added that his confrere was also surprised to see that never in the past two years so many people received Holy Communion during March.
Since then, many statues of the Virgin of the Poor were installed by the Divine Word Missionaries in various parts of the country.
Fr. Francis Kutscher, SVD donated a statue to the people in the town of Binmaley, Pangasinan in 1961. Eventually, the Virgin of the Poor became the patroness of the town’s municipal seat.
Fr. Herman Hermes, SVD also enshrined another statue of the Virgin of the Poor in the village chapel in Velasco, Tayum, Abra in 1962.
Bishop William Joseph Duschak, SVD also received several statues for the Vicariate of Calapan, Oriental Mindoro from 1960s to 1970s. He even encouraged that all people who come to Church must approach the Virgin and greet her first and say goodbye to her after the Holy Mass. One of these statues can be seen at the St. Augustine Major Seminary (SASMA) in Tagaytay City.
Fr. Victor Tunkel, SVD was one of the recipients of the Lady’s image from Bishop Duschak. He had it installed at the Blessed Trinity Parish in Baco, Oriental, Mindoro. When he became the director of Villa Cristo Rey in Christ the King, he procured another image for its chapel. The other image of the Virgin of the Poor beside the Shrine of the Divine Word in Christ the King was installed by Fr. Georg Heinemann, SVD in 1974. He was also the one who installed the Virgin of the Poor in Divine Word Seminary of Tagaytay.
Fr. George Koschincki, SVD was also a recipient of the statue in 1970.
Fr. Joseph Watzlawik, SVD also enshrined the Virgin of the Poor at the Sto. Niňo Parish in Guba, Cebu in 1971.
Fr. Bernard Pues, SVD offered another statue in 1974 to his good friends Feliciano and Thelma Magsakay in San Teodoro, Oriental Mindoro. The statue was transferred to the Magsakay Residence in Paraňaque in 1991 and since then, the statue has joined the annual procession on the feast of the Divine Mercy.
In 1976, Fr. Godehard Schaller, SVD installed the Virgin of the Poor near the tomb of Msgr. Antonio Buenafe, SVD, former rector of ST. Joseph Minor Seminary of Bangued, Abra.
Fr. Paul Scholl, SVD also reported a statue of the Virgin of the Poor at Sto. Niňo Parish in Calapan, Oriental Mindoro in 1984. That same year, Fr. Johan Glanemann, SVD also received a statue for the now Archdiocesan Shrine of the Blessed Sacrament in Tigbao, Leyte.
In 1990, the SVD parish of the Risen Christ in Smokey Mountain, Tondo, Manila also received a statue of the Virgin of the Poor courtesy of Sr. Bernadette Winkel, SSpS. The ever-active Blue Sister spent her apostolate in the area.
Fr. Dino Ariola, SVD received a statue in 1996 and he had it enshrined at the Holy Name University (formerly Divine Word College).
Locally made images of the Virgin of the Poor also circulated. One of these is the one located at the SVD Retreat House in Tangalan, Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro. This image was installed by Fr. Erwin Thiel, SVD. However, this property has been sold to the Locsin family.
On the 50th anniversary of the recognition of the apparitions (1999), three of the four sites visited by pilgrims from Quezon City were related to the SVD and all three were in Tagaytay City: First, the legionaries went to the St. Augustine Major Seminary (once administered by SVD); Then, they also put the invocations to the Virgin of the Poor at the Lady’s grotto in Divine Word Seminary-Tagaytay, and; they also honored the Lady at the cloister garden of the Pink Sisters -Tagaytay.
THE SVD AND VIRGIN OF THE POOR TODAY
The intimacy between the Virgin of the Poor and the Divine Word Missionaries also extended to our co-missionaries. On year 2000, the DWST librarian Woody Mallari installed a local image of the Virgin of the Poor in the DWST library which attracted many seminarians, priests and visitors. Kuya Woody, as we call him, also helped in the propagation of the image.
Since 2006, SVD ordinands in Tagaytay received a statue of the Virgin of the Poor on the day of their ordination, courtesy of Lei Lopez, a good friend of the SVD. The Sangmithi Class was the first to receive on February 2006, followed by Yobel Class on February 2007; then, Dakit Class on February 2008, and Pantas Class on December of the same year.
This is a testament that the Virgin of the Poor continues to draw her SVD sons to herself, especially the younger generations to always connect us with the poverty of our beginnings and to constantly remind us to continue our mission for the poor.
Seminarista Pa Lang Ako Nito
— The author would like to thank Milagros I. Dolores, author of the book The Virgin of the Poor: A Tribute from her Filipino Children.
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Next post will be September 14, Monday.
PHILIPPINE SVD @ 100 August 30, 2009Posted by Fr. Felmar Castrodes Fiel, SVD in Arnold Janssen, Bible Animation, Family Feast, Jesus, JPIC, Mission Anecdotes, Pastoral, Pilgrimage, Pink Sisters, Prayers, Subanipa Diaries, SVD, SVD Philippines Centennial, Vocation Story, XVD.
Tags: Bishop Arturo Bastes SVD, Blue Sisters, Cebu, Fr. Anthony Salas, Fr. Carlos Lariosa SVD, Fr. Eleno Bucia SVD, Fr. Felicito Borres SVD, Fr. Felmar Fiel SVD, Fr. Jingjong Rocha SVD, Fr. Joseph Audiencia SVD, Fr. Juan Scheiermann SVD, Fr. Ludwig Beckert SVD, Fr. Melencio Balay SVD, Fr. Ramilo Mapaye SVD, Fr. Roger Solis SVD, Fr. Ruel Lero SVD, Fr. Tony Pernia SVD, Fr. Virgil Alejandria SVD, Fr.Heinz Kulueke SVD, PHS, Pink Sisters, SVD, University of San Carlos
The Society of the Divine Word (SVD) is now celebrating our one hundred years of missionary presence in the Philippines. On August 15, 1909, the first two SVD missionaries arrived in Manila and began their long journey to Abra, a landlocked province in Northern part of Luzon. With only a bamboo raft, Fr. Juan Scheiermann, SVD and Fr. Ludwig Beckert, SVD journeyed on Abra River to Bangued, the capital. They reached Pilar, Cagotungan, Abra — their mission station, by horse — in their full black cassocks! Perhaps they never thought that one hundred years after, the SVD mission in the Philippines will be this big and this successful. We owe all to the grace of God.
It seems young priests are more comfortable in front of the camera
Last August 17, I arrived in Cebu for the Centennial Celebration of the SVD Philippine Southern Province. More than 100 of my confreres came to celebrate this significant occassion.
Hehe Parang Mag-Ama! Puros Hubag!
With the theme “We Remember, We Rejoice, We Renew”, we were delighted to hear anecdotes about the SVD in the Philippines. Bishop Arturo Bastes, SVD shared to us never-been-heard-nor-published stories about the Divine Word Missionaries in the Philippines (Sample: Did you know that the SVD owned all the Church properties in one of the Archdioceses in the country after the World War II? Mahabang istorya ito!) I was really thankful to the good bishop who happened to be the ordaining prelate during my priestly ordination. So, i also took the opportunity to have photo op with him.
Fr. Tony Pernia, SVD shared about the facts and figures in the Philippine SVD. FYI, Fr. Tony is the Superior General of the SVD worldwide!!! Not only that, he is a Filipino!!! During our time with him, somebody made a remark, “100 years of the SVD in the Philippines is not enough to produce a saint, but enough to produce a Superior General.”
The SVD together with the Blue Sisters and the Pink Sisters
The Pink Sisters are praying for me! Ssshhh, wag maingay!
Our sister congregations also celebrated with us. The Centennial Mass was celebrated at the Pink Sisters Convent together with our lay mission partners, XVDs and the Blue and Pink Sisters. The presider and the mass homilist was Fr. Tony. Agape meal followed.
We also had basketball exhibition game: SVD vs. XVD (ex-SVD seminarians). Did I mention the SVD won? We were on the Sports page of the Sunstar Magazine the following day, and the whole of Cebu knew about it.
Ricardo Cardinal Vidal also joined us for the prayer before the clergy religious night. He also expressed his appreciations for the missionary work done by the SVDs in the Archdiocese of Cebu.
The SVDs listened to a fisherman from Cordova
The last day of the Centennial Celebration proved to be the most memorable and most meaningful for me. Perhaps all my other confreres will also agree. We went to Cordova, where one of the housing projects of the SVD is located. Father Max Abalos, SVD, who spearheaded the project said that it is geared toward the development and liberation of the people from poverty and oppression. The Cordova fisherfolk village has now a cooperative business and will soon establish their dried danggit business.
Mabenta ang mais ng mga fisher folks. Mga pari nag-enjoy!
Our last stop was the Janssenville in Bangkal, Soong, Lapu-Lapu City. Janssenville is another housing project of the SVD. It is a compound of 100 houses with a gate and a chapel for the housing recipients. Together with NGOs, our mission partners, fisherfolks, street children, XVDs, students, visitors, Janssenville settlers and many others, we were given a tour in the area. Fr. Anthony Salas, SVD, JPIC-IDC director, said the houses were built through the consolidated effort of the SVD and the University of San Carlos (USC) community and the beneficiaries.
Fr. Tony is given a tour in the Janssenville Compound
The Holy Mass in the afternoon was presided by Bishop Bastes. He also gave the homily in flawless Visayan language. Hehe Bol-anon man pod diay siya mao nga hasler kaayo mobisaya. Paka-paka oy!
Bishop Bastes, SVD
After that, Fr. Tony led the blessing of the whole village. We blest the 100 houses, one priest per house. (siyempre sama ako doon). It was very touching…ang bawat pamilya may isa-isang paring dala papunta sa kanilang mga bahay. Masaya ang naging kwentuhan ko with the family na nakasama ko.
Fellowship meal followed. It was like a feast. I was happy and thankful to be part of that celebration. Indeed, it was a piece of heaven. More pictures HERE!!!
Congrats SVD and may the Triune God live in the hearts of all.
WOW DAVAO!!! April 30, 2009Posted by Fr. Felmar Castrodes Fiel, SVD in Pink Sisters, Tourism.
Tags: Abra, Crocodile Park, Davao, Divine Word Formation Center of Davao, Durian, Eden Garden, Fr. Bong Cagape SVD, Fr. Jingjong Rocha SVD, Fr. Samuel Clarin SVD, Frt. Manuel Mijares SVD, Pearl Farm, Philippine Eagle, Pink Sisters, Samal Island, Shrine of the Holy Infant Jesus of Prague, Zamboanga
I have been to the different places in the Philippines, practically from A (as in Abra) to Z ( as in Zamboanga). I have conquered mountains, explored caves, photographed peoples and swam our seas. But still, I have to point out out: Davao remains the best place in the Philippines.
Maraming dahilan why many people like Davao. As varied as the reasons and factors may be, still they all summed up to one thing- quality of life: The air is fresh. The city is clean and green. There is real abundance of the freshest harvests from the land and sea. To top it all, the quality of potable water is among the best in the world.
Visit also the Pink Sisters at the Seminary Road, Catalunan Grande. That is only ten minute taxi ride from downtown.
The Shrine of the Holy Infant Jesus of Prague is situated atop Davao’s Matina Hills, where one can enjoy a panoramic view of the city’s sprawling landscape and the other sights to be seen within and beyond it. This place is also good for pilgrimage and worship as the elevation of the terrain has made the shrine serene and tranquil.
Eden Garden resort is located in Toril, Davao city, it is about 10 hectares of forest land which have been turned into a mini garden, forest park. In this place you cannot fail not to appreciate the beauty of the flowers EVERYWHERE. There are all types of orchids found in Eden, in fact, the place very much lives up to it’s name.
Pearl Farm Resort lies in a secluded island off the coast of Davao city. This 11-hectare spread was once a pearl farm, where thousands of white-lipped oysters, transported from the Sulu Sea, were cultivated for their pink, white and gold pearls.