(This is my second article in the coffee table book of the SVD Central Province on the 100th year of the Divine Word Missionaries/SVD in the Philippines. Until now, nasa printing press pa rin po yata, hehe.)

2808363510103808845oYBRCh_fsIto ang Janssenville

Have you heard of Janssenville?

Janssenville is only one of the many subdivisions built by Fr. Leo Schmitt, SVD. From being Prefect of Seminarians in the archdiocesan seminary of Binmaley, Pangasinan and Christ the King Mission Seminary, Fr. Leo was appointed by Fr. Schűtte, SVD Superior General, to lead the movement called Action Leaven and serve as its Executive Director.  This Action Leaven was born out of the 1960’s turbulent First Quarter Storm where there were so much violations of human rights and social strife resulting from poverty, unemployment and homelessness. This scenario paved way for the birth of

Action Leaven whose aim was the safeguard the rights of the oppressed.

L  -  DDD - 1

Si Padre Leo

The pioneer group of Leaveners was composed of 70 priests, nuns, seminarians, community organizers, engineers and agriculturist among others. It was adopted by CBCP as an experiment for the Archdiocese of Manila. They established 10 pilot parishes. However, in the process, they were confronted with some Leaveners who had the tendency to incorporate leftists’ principles into the movement’s Christian orientation and to some extent, it brought confusion among the members.L  -  DDD - 42

The year after, Fr. Leo’s contract with the Action Leaven ended and Rufino Cardinal Santos appointed Bishop Protacio Gungon as his successor.

However, Fr. Leo did not stop from what he started. Shortly after leaving the Action Leaven, some 800 families sought his help after being forced to leave from Pleasant Hills, Mandaluyong. So, he was thrown into the herculean task of looking for a relocation site  for the squatter community. Together with 2 SVD confreres, 2 sisters and 5 laymen, Fr. Leo created a foundation possessing a legal personality that would address the problem of informal settlers. On September 28, 1971, the SAMAHANG BAGONG BUHAY FOUNDATION INCORPORATION (SBBFI) was formally registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission as a non-stock and non-profit corporation.

1+(35)Si Aga ay nagdonate kay Fr. Leo ng “significant amount” para sa statue ng aming Founder na si St. Arnold Janssen

Motivated by the Bible passage from Matthew 25:40 which states that “what you have done to the least of my brethren, you have done unto me”, the primary objective of the SBBFI is “to help build socially, economically and culturally self-sustaining Christian communalities with the development of the whole person as the ultimate goal”. The foundation provides low-cost housing for the poor but the services it renders cover a wide range of areas including, but not limited to, medical help, pastoral services, production center and establishment of kindergarten schools.

IMG_1803Si Father Leo kinukulit si Fr. Bong na kumakain ng lugaw (?)

From the time of the foundation’s birth, many housing projects were already built: San Antonio Village in Antipolo; San Jose Freinademetz Subdivision in Cogeo, Antipolo; Janssenville Subdivision in Cainta, Rizal; San Agustin Village in Antipolo; San Lorenzo Ruiz in Bulacan and Antipolo; St. Francis Square, Payong, which is also in Antipolo.

It was in 1987 when Gerardo Ozaeta, through Jaime Cardinal Sin, asked the help of SBBFI regarding the squatter problem of one thousand families illegally occupying the 36 hectares of land known as Upper and Lower Manggahan, owned by the Melitona Estates. After continuous organizational work and communication, the homeowners association was formed. When the relocation site was secured the year after, the people made their transfer from Upper Manggahan to the Munting Paraiso, now known as Janssenville, after St. Arnold Janssen.

Originally, Janssenville was part of the St. Anthony of Padua Parish. When the canonization of the then Blessed Arnold became certain, Fr. Leo approached the bishop about the plan of making Janssenville the seat of a new parish to be named after the SVD founder. But, there were strong reservations on the part of the parish priest of St. Anthony. Providentially, through the inspection trip of the Vicar General, Msgr. Roberto de Guzman, the Chancellor of the Diocese, Msgr. Peter Canonero, Msgr. Mariano Balbago and two other priests, it was agreed that a new parish should be erected “to thank St. Arnold for the services of his congregations to the Church, in particular to the Diocese of Antipolo and to promote his virtues.” This vision was accepted by the presbyteral council, the priests and the Bishop. On 30th of November, 2003 the St. Arnold Janssen Parish was canonically erected. Holy Mass was presided by Bishop Gabriel Reyes, DD and concelebrated by Msgr. Roberto de Guzman and Msgr. Peter Canonero together with the SVD PHC Provincial Superior Fr. Joel Maribao, SVD. It was the first and only permanent religious parish in the Diocese of Antipolo. On January 15 the following year, Fr. Leo Schmitt was installed as the first parish priest.

Good+Friday+(1)Ako, si Fr. Leo, Si Fr. Bong, si Fr. Martin

These “little something done for the less fortunate”, as what Fr. Leo calls it, was not  achieved overnight. Some stubborn families did not want to be relocated actually. On 1991, one family even claimed that it was Fr. Leo who ordered the demolition of their shanty, and this appeared in People’s Tonight, a local paper. “Walang awang pari,” was the opening salvo of the newspaper report. Fr. Leo relates “Having worked for 20 years from Smokey Mountain to Jalajala, it pains me very much to be subjected to a malicious smear campaign.” However, those who believed in the purity of his cause, also mobilized themselves to defend the SVD priest who was linked to a controversial demolition case.

1_522523903lMula sa isang maliit na simbahan, ito na ang simbahan ng Janssenville ngayon — the St. Arnold Janssen Shrine Parish

Today, the St. Arnold Janssen Shrine Parish is now on its way to completion. From a small chapel, the big Shrine stands in the very entrance of Janssenville Subdivision as a testament of the growth of the community who participated and believed in each other in planning and development procedures. Fr. Leo asserts that, “You cannot go wrong if you work on the premise of a Christian value and the development of the total person.” Indeed, Janssenville and the other communities founded by Fr. Leo and the Samahang Bagong Buhay Foundation remains a strong source of hope and inspiration in their community building and the upliftment of every person’s dignity.





188 thoughts on “JANSSENVILLE

      • Parang si Manny Pacquiao din po si Fr. Leo. Hindi sumuko si Pacquiao kay Cotto; si Cotto ay na-TKO. Hindi naman naitumba si Fr. Leo ng masamang batikos laban sa kanya, ipinagpatuloy pa rin niya ang kanyang gawain. Hindi sila nawalan ng tibay ng loob at pananampalataya sa Maykapal.

        Tayo kaya? May lakas ng loob katulad ng kay Manny at Fr.Leo?

        Sa pagharap ng pagsubok, ganun din sana tayo… dahil nasa tabi natin palagi si Hesukristo…

  1. Nagpustahan po kami dito.kasayahan lang $5 kung anong round matatapos. nakuha ko ang 4 & 5…kala ko panalao na ako…di akalain na nung nakakuha nung mga late na numbers….na mananalo pa sila

  2. congrats sa lahat ng basers…and kumusta sa inyong lahat dyan…alam ko na napakasaya ninyo rin lahat dyan….Father salamat po sa palaro na ito….masaya rin tayo dito.

  3. Good morning Father at mga kapatiran. sulit po Father panonood kasi pareho nahirapan. Iyan po ang piankamagandang laban na napanood sa laban ni Manny.

  4. Father, hehe, naalala ko yung mga nakahang sa wall sa SVD seminary sa Tagaytay. dun ko unang nakilala si St. Arnold Janssen. at dun ko nalaman ang sagot sa matagal ko ng tanong, ‘ano ang ibig sabihin ng SVD?’ hehe.

  5. Napakaganda nito..sana po ay marami pang matulungan less fortunate.. ganoon talaga buhay hindi lahat ay pupuri sa iyong mga magagandang gawa.

    Sa unang tingin akala ko ikaw yung katabi ni Fr. Leo..si Aga pala 😉

  6. Gusto ko po ito…kasi sinusundan ko po ang buhay ni Mother Theresa at dito po umiikot din ang kanya at kanyang grupo sa kanilang misyon.

    Matthew 25:40 which states that “what you have done to the least of my brethren, you have done unto me”,

    Mabuhay din po si Father Leo sa kanyang misyon.

  7. nyeek si lester ang naka registered dito?…. hehehe ah alam ko na baka pumunta sa bahay ni jason hehehehe 🙂

    tsk tsk ndi ko napansi to ah nagcocoment na rin ang aming autistic sa bahay ni jason … hehehe

    kalaro nila sandi at jason ang aming special brother eh sa farmville hehehe 🙂

  8. wow! Ngayon ko lang nabasa ang kwento at talaga nga palang maganda. Magaling si fr. Leo. Pero talagang ganun siguro, ang punong hitik sa bunga, pinupukol. But God is truly wonderful dahil nagbunga ang paghihirap ni fr. Leo.

      • “ako rin sana magka-eb tayo…baka next year na yan…kasama sina lhen, at iba pa…”

        naku ndi na ako pede ng next year wla na ako nun.., kayo nalang mag eb kahit kayong dalawa lang ok na eh wla ng mag seselos hihihihi (paalam muna kay sr.OJ ha?.. 🙂 ) hihihi 🙂

      • hehehe malay mo baka makapunta ako ng nueva ecija. nakapamiyesta kaya ako sa gapan once at naiblog ko pa. ito ang link o:


        oy lhen, ang kulit kulit ng madreng binigay mo sa akin. umagang umaga pa, kagigising ko pa lang, tinanong na kumusta ang araw ko. haaang kulit. hehehehehe. hopefully, magkikita kami, this december 5. sana magpakita siya sa akin at di siya magtago.

      • hehehe magpapakita sayo yun remember ang padre para madre at ang katekista para sa seminerista ehem (ubo!!ubo!!! ang heart ko lakas ng kabog!!! dug!dug!dug! )

        wag na syang tatawag padz napapaginipan ko si GEO koh waaah ano kya ibig sabihin ni GEO everytime na tumatawag si bes o mag text kinagabihan napapaginipan ko xa….hmmmm?.. matanong nga kay hey or kay stain hehehe 🙂

      • hehehe feel ko nga na magpapakita talaga sa akin si sr. oj. hay naku, kukulitin ako ng kukulitin ako ng chinitang yun. lalo na siguro ngayon na sinabi ko sa kanya na may mga kilala akong mga AR sisters. hehe. kukulitin ko rin siya. magpapapicture kami, ung back to back. lol.

      • sabi ko nga sa kanya nuon na “sistah!! ndi kaya magkapatid kayo ni padz ndi nyo lang alam(inintriga magulang mo noh?…hehehe JOKE!!) kase preho kyong chekwa hahaha

        reply sr.oj: naku yun eh kung tatanggapin nya akong kapatid hahahaha (ang kulit noh?… talga yung sistachinitah na yun)

        cge pa picture kayo ha pero mukhang mauunahan kitang mapicturan kayong dalawa soooon pakikita ko sayo heheehehe
        may nanakaw na akong pix nya eh at may naisip na akong pix harharhar

      • @ TOK, oo may mag seselos na nun… 🙂 isang NUN hehehe 🙂 kase nsa loob na ako next year kaya ndi na makakapag EB kasama ka next year kse m sure wala na ako sa OUTSIDE WORLD nasa bahay na ako ni kuya 🙂 diba padz?.. 🙂

        kaya nga magpapasko na ang bestfriend ko dis decmber sa amin kse baka ndi na kami magkita ….. at mawawala na ako sa blogosperyo…. i coclose ko na itong account ko kse wala akong mapag iiwan ng susi ko….. 😦 may gusto man akong pagbigyan ng susi kaso ayaw nya ndi rin nya maasikaso ang bahay ko kya i ddspose ko nalang….. 😦 kya nagpapakasya na ako dito sa blogosperyo……………..

      • naku, nag-eemo ang ating madre superior. i tell you makaka-blog ka pa. pwede ka ngang umuwi eh sa inyo di ba (either new year or december), and i know sa lapit lang ng formation house nyo, pwede kang pumuslit, ikaw pa (hehe binigyan ng idea).

      • @ tok, aaaayyyy, nalungkot naman aku don! well, hindi naman kami pwede tumutol eh, kasi ibang buhay nayun, i mean, kelangan ng buong buo ung time mu for HIM, nakakalungkot naman tok, so hindi na tayu madalas magkukulitan ditu sa balgosparyo?! till when kaba don?! as in matagal?! naku, kakamiss ka naman now palang, hhmm… im sad,hindi dahil papasok ka sa bahay ni kuya, im sad kasi wala nakung makikitang kakulitan si FR.fiel eh, hehehe, anyhow, im happy naman, kasi happy ka sa disisyon mo, and silip silip ka naman ditu minsan ha?!

        at WOW, kasma pala si BES na mag papasko! hhmm, AKO kaya?! kainis naman, nung kelang magpapasko saka pa ako loveless! ( hinggang malalim ) be happy tok!! now palang miss na kita!! 🙂

      • GAWAIN mo kase kaya ndi ka lumalaki (nagsalita ang matangkad noh?… ) kaya siguro ndi ka lumaki kakaakyat sa pader nung seminerista ka… ahhahaha

        si bes ndi marunong umakyat sa pader mahinahagis sa pader kse may rapel hehehe 🙂 kya nga makakapunta ang lolo mo sa amin hehehe makaka eskapo pag tapos ng retreat nya hahahaha

    • @tok, pwede ka naman pala mag over the bakod eh, punta ka sa net cafe, para mag paramdam sa mga blog.. hehe..

      @ fr. bait naman talaga ni fr. at sa mismong gate talaga dumadaan.. baka po pag sleep na silang lahat?! hehe

      • Hm, the thoughts are probably hidden. I remember when I was a kid, I used to help my Mom washing the dishes. It felt good. That same day, I helped a playmate reach his slippers that accidentally went up the roof. It felt good. A memory of helping someone whom I do not know, flashed back through me, and that happened the same day I helped Mom and my playmate.

        I am doing these things, helping people, for not for me.. But I am happy.. because it felt good. Probably, I am doing it for myself too. As I wanted to be happy, I help other people the best way I can.

        Building houses and homes makes Father Leo happy. Because it felt good when helping others.

        We make someone happy.. and in return, we find ourself happy doing something that makes people happy.

        And redundancy (of happiness) isn’t bad after all.

  9. huwaaaa bc yata ang mga tao kahapon kay manny Pads, sorry po hapon ko na nakita yung text nyo, haha.
    napaka inspiring naman ng buhay at karanasan ni Fr.Leo at talagang maraming natulungan.
    sana yung next na rebulto e kanya naman.

    • yes: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all your seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and perch in its branches.”

  10. very informative and inspiring…wala akong masabi.
    …sawa na akong tamaan ng kidlat…
    bait lagi kitang naaalala tuwing nakikita ko si pacquiao? hawig mo siguro….kapag may manas sya… *lindol*

  11. Pingback: WordCamp 2009 one weekend: The highlights as I see fit « EXODIANS

      • Salamat sa pakiramdam mo Padre.

        Masaya ako sayo na natagpuan mo ang kaluwalhatian sa pamamagitan ng pagsisilbi at pagbabahagi ng iyong kaalaman tungkol sa mga gawaing pang-espiritwal, kulang ako sa ganyan at inaamin kong makasalanan ako.

        Ginawa ko ang mundo ko dito sa blogosperyo para sa aking sarili, para sa aking kapwa Pilipino lalong lalo na ang mga kabataan.

        Sa pagkokomento..kaya nga nga komento..reaksyon sa kung ano ang aking nabasa, kung paano ko naintindihan ang nais ipahiwatig ng manunulat. Yon lamang ang kaya kong ibahagi bilang tagasubaybay sa inyong mundo.

        Magandang araw.

      • hehehe salamat jk. nosebleed ako sa ganda ng iyong command sa tagalog language.

        ipagpatuloy mo ang iyong pagba-blogging. marami kang mai-inspire sa kabutilan ng iyong puso.

        gumagaan ang pakiramdam ko sa mga comments mo. salamat. pagpalain ka ni Bro.

  12. Sou desu. jijijiji…Fad`z, thanks for visiting my abode…

    Already added u in my links mapapadalas ata ako dito jijijiji…

    Oyasuminasai! (Goodnight!) B-)

  13. Marunong kau mag-Kanji? Sugoi na sore Father! Katakana at Hiranaga lang ang alam ko. Nihonggo no shaberu ii ne…Thanks Fad`z, I`m good now…

    I`ve watched your vid…cool…at dumalaw pala kayo sa place namin weeee…I missed Davao…

  14. I learned sumthing new again sa blog mo father! Nice one! Naalala ko rin mga white priest dahil kay Fr. Leo, Dati sa aming barangay mga Columban Fathers ang nagtayo din ng Parish namin.

    Godbless always father!!!

  15. Sa Davao City mismo Fad`z … Pero hindi ako familiar sa Kiblawan sowee… nung estudyante pa ako hindi kasi ako magala jijijiji…

    Daan lang ako Fad`z kahit may sakit…

    God bless!

  16. it’s official: I HATE JOSH GROBAN! sa tuwing bumibisita ako sa site mo eh lagi kong napapaginipan yang “you raise me up” na yan. tapos paggising ko ay ayon at naka “raise” na nga….ay ewan!


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