January 15, 2008.

Divine Word Shrine, Quezon City.

128 priests, 2 bishops and more than a hundred SVD seminarians – a sea of white vestments!

We Remember. We Rejoice. We Renew.

SVD friends and several other religious congregations came to celebrate with us in our launching of the Philippine SVD Centennial (1909-2009). Fr. Jerry Orbos, SVD cheerfully welcomed the community: “99 years ago, we were not here. 99 years later, we will no longer be here. Today we are here. Let us capture the moment by greeting each other I am happy you are here.”

Indeed it was a happy moment everyone wanted to capture.

We Remember. The two SVD missionaries who set foot on Philippine soil on 1909 reached their mission area via bamboo raft and horse ride. Whoa! Msgr. Arturo Bastes, SVD, DD, who presided the Holy Mass, related in his homily that the SVD Philippine mission was almost discontinued. On 1914, the Superior General Fr. Nicholas Blum, SVD wanted to abandon the mission because the war posed great danger to the missionaries. But the pioneers insisted to continue the missionary endeavor in Abra. Later on, more and more missionaries came until more and more mission stations were created.

We Rejoice. We have many reasons to celebrate. From the two simple missionary, the Philippine SVD has grown tremendously to become the biggest male religious congregation in the Philippine Church today. It has also produced 12 bishops already, one of which is a candidate for beatification. Our SVD Superior is now a Filipino in the person of Fr. Tony Pernia, SVD. It has also grown in its missionary involvement. Practically, we have covered the whole Philippine archipelago from A (Abra, which is up North) to Z (Zamboanga, which is down South).

We Renew. During the Holy Mass, the perpetually and temporarily professed SVDs prayed the Centennial Prayer composed by Fr. Felix Ferrer, SVD. That was a very solemn moment!

Bishop Bastes strongly encouraged us to “look back at the roots and the spiritual heritage of our founder. This spiritual heritage is laid on the foundation of the Trinity.” He added that “we should radically aim to enable all to achieve the fullness of human dignity by committing to defend it since human dignity in its fullness is participation in the life of the Trinity.”

Indeed, we have already widened our mission horizons. We are 100 years old in the Philippines and we know very well that the bulk of missionary work waiting for us can never be done without the prayers and support of the many people. It always inspires me to see many people helping us in our missions. The book given to me by my spiritual director in college (Fr. Stan Plutz, SVD) “Remembering SVD Missionaries” made me really very appreciative also of the efforts done of our confreres of the yesteryears. Lastly, thanks be to God who have made all these things possible for us. God indeed is never outdone in his generosity.

We Remember. We Rejoice. We Renew.






  1. thanks for sharing with wonderful moments in being a Missionary of the Divine Word… you are doing a good job… Im certain you will be a wonderful missionary someday… 🙂 I will be here lang if you need a mission partner…

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