Perpetual Vows: A Promise for Life

The Communio Class together with Fr. Raymund Festin, SVD (fourth from left), the Provincial Superior of the Philippine Central Province (Photo Credits: Juni Amora Alexander)

 

Congratulations to the Communio Class for their religious profession of Perpetual Vows in the Society of the Divine Word!!!
Frt. Jhun Joel Templa, SVD
Frt. Godofredo Guddie Abaya, SVD
Frt. Ronie Baleli, SVD
Frt. Dennis Ryan Varquez SVD
Frt. Marlon Atenido,SVD

 

“By religious profession members make a public vow to observe the three evangelical counsels. Through the ministry of the Church they are consecrated to God, and are incorporated into the institute, with the rights and duties defined by law.” (Code of Canon Law, par. 654)

As members of a religious institute, the Missionaries of the Divine Word embrace the evangelical counsels, taking the three traditional religious vows of poverty, chastity and obedience.

The SVD Missionaries who were also there for the event.

Poverty means that all possessions are held in common and that no member may accumulate wealth. Chastity means more than abstaining from sexual activity and its purpose is to make the religious totally available for service; it is also a sign that only God can completely fill the human heart. For a member of a religious congregation, obedience is not slavishly doing what one is told by the superior but being attentive to God’s will by prayerfully listening to the voice of the person in charge. Ultimately, these vows are lived out within a community and bolstered by a relationship with God.

 

FAQ: What is the difference between a priest and a brother?

SVD Priests together with Brother Roland (in black)

 

A religious priest or brother belongs to a particular religious order, such as the Franciscans, Jesuits, Benedictines, or Divine Word Missionaries.

 

Each religious order is founded to fulfill a particular need in the Church through various ministries like teaching, monastic prayer and missionary service.

 

Priests perform sacramental ministry such as celebrating Mass and administering the sacraments.

 

A religious brother is a man committed to living the Consecrated Life in response to a call from God. Brothers are engaged in a variety of ministries in keeping with the charism of their congregation and model the person of Jesus through the relational manner in which they serve.

Lifetime Gift of Education

University of San Carlos

 

Congratulations to the all the passers of the Board Exam! I am happy that four of our students from the University of San Carlos made it to the top 10.

 

1. Karen Mae Calam

3. Fiona Cristy Lao

7. Anne Margaret Momongan

8. Jefferson Gomez

 

As a reward, the 4 topnotchers from the University of San Carlos will be given a lifetime “gift of education,” which means that they can nominate a scholar, who, in turn, may choose any course he/she wishes to enroll in at the school.“He/she will let one finish the program then nominate again for the rest of her life,” said Atty. Joan Largo, Dean of the College of Law, University of San Carlos-Cebu.

FAQ: What is the difference between a religious priest and a diocesan priest?

Fr. Manuel Mijares, SVD

 

A religious priest belongs to a particular religious order. Each religious order is founded to fulfill a particular need in the Catholic Church through various ministries. “Order priests” can be assigned to any location and any ministry where their religious congregation is present.

A diocesan priest is one who is responsible primarily to the bishop of his particular diocese, a specific geographical region of the Church governed by the bishop. Within this region, the priest usually serves in a parish, though he may also be involved in other ministries like administration, communications, teaching and hospital or prison chaplaincy.

Both religious and diocesan priests perform sacramental ministry.

 

Building Homes, Building Hope

The housing community in Dumlog, Talisay City

In the early 1990s, two Divine Word Missionaries, Fr. Heinz Kulüke, SVD and Fr. Max Abalos, SVD led the journey with the poor and the marginalized sectors of Cebu City, Philippines. They got involved in the concrete life situations of the fisher folks, urban poor, informal settlers, prostituted women and children and the scavengers of the four dumpsites of Metro Cebu.

 

It was also during this time, that another priest, Fr. John Iacomo, who was very active in the prison ministry started building up kindergartens as a long-term preventive measure for the children of today not to become the prisoners of tomorrow.

 

However, in the process, Fr. John also realized that if children would not have decent homes, and still have the same environment that would not promote good values, they might still go wayward and eventually end up in prison. It would be a never-ending cycle.

Vegetables garden in the subdivision

So, he initiated the San Pio Village project. It kicked off in 2006 and most of the houses were sponsored by the Habitat for Humanity, a foundation that put faith into action by building affordable homes in order to break the cycle of poverty.

 

However, due to health reasons, Fr. John had to go back to Australia. The project was turned over to Fr. Heinz Kulüke, SVD. The new management asked the leadership of the SVD congregation’s social arm, the Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation – Integrated Development Corporation (JPIC-IDC) to manage San Pio Village.

 

Later on, with the leadership of JPIC-IDC, more houses were created and more structures and services were erected: livelihood building, cooperative building, drainage system, water pumps, concrete gate and barriers, multi-purpose building, basketball court, playground and piped water system.

The image of San Pio inside the subdivision

 

Eventually, the word “Janssenville” was attached to San Pio Village as a tribute to the founder of the SVD, St. Arnold Janssen. The JPIC leaders then started calling the housing beneficiaries as their “home partners.”

 

Also, more JPIC-IDC programs and projects were implemented in the village, like scholarship, livelihood, technical and vocational support to selected homeowners.

 

The JPIC-IDC is rooted in the vision of “fullness of life in a transformed society” and it commits to five very important missions: (1) women and children development; (2) human and community development; (3) economic and cooperative development; (4) education, and (5) disaster preparedness and emergency response and rehabilitation.

 

The home partners practice proper waste segregation

 

Palm and Passion Sunday (A)

Palm and Passion Sunday

 

Palm Sunday / Passion Sunday (A)

Isaiah 50:4-7

Psalm: My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?

Philippians 2:6-11

 

Matthew 26: 14-27,66

 

Welcome to the Palm and Passion Sunday!

 

Tandaan po ninyo, ang linggong ito ang isa sa mga may pinakamagandang second readings sa buong taon para sa akin. Ito ay galing sa book of St. Paul to the Philippians: at ang mensaheng ito ay produkto ng pagninilay ng first Christian communities. “Though he was in the form of God, Jesus did not deem equality with God something to be used for his own advantage.” (Philippians 2:6). Sa simula pa lamang, si Hesus ay talagang banal. Ngunit hindi tumigil si St. Paul doon. Sabi pa niya: “Rather, he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in the likeness of men. Thus, he humbled himself, by becoming obedient to death, death on the cross!” (Philippians 2:7)

 

Ang Dios na banal ay naging tao, upang ang tao ay maging banal.

 

This is a special time of the year that we stop to remember and bring back the memories leading to our redemption and salvation. Yes, we remember Jesus’ dying and rising, but let us also remember our own dying and rising with him.

 

Let us ponder upon two questions for today:

 

  1. Do I have true sorrow for my sins?

 

Akin bang nararamdaman ang taus-pusong pagsisisi sa aking mga kasalanan? Ngunit hindi lamang iyan – ang pagsisisi ay hindi lamang iyong makaramdam ng kalungkutan, pananangis at pagtanggap ng parusa sa mga kasalanang nagawa ngunit ang pagbabagong-isip.

 

Ang tunay na pagsisisi ay yaong may kasamang paggawa ng  mabuti (Luke 3:8). Samakatuwid, kung ako’y magdarasal, hihingi ng tawad sa Dios, ako ay tunay na nagsisisi kung ang aral ni Hesus ay akin ng isinasabuhay. It is impossible to change if the person cannot and will not change. Change will come if you change. Imposible ang tunay na pagsisisi kung walang bungang pagbabago sa ugali.

 

  1. Am I willing to carry my own cross?

 

May story ako na naalala ko pa mula sa aking auntie na aking guro noong high school. Sabi niya, one day, a man complained to Christ dahil masyadong mabigat ang krus na kanyang dala. Then dinala siya ni Hesus sa isang lugar na puno ng krus. sabi ni Hesus, pili ka ng krus mo dyan.

 

So, ibinaba nya yong kanyang krus at nagsimula siyang umikot. He saw a very small cross, binuhat niya, then sabi niya: ang gaan naman. So ibinaba niya at naghanap ulit. May nakita siyang malaking krus, binuhat niya, ngunit sabi – sobrang bigat naman!

 

So, hanap siya ng hanap ng krus na babagay sa kanya. Naikot niya ang buong lugar ngunit wala siyang mahanap na krus na sakto lamang sa kanya.

 

Then, all of a sudden, in a corner, may nakita isang krus, hindi masyadong Malaki, hindi rin masyadong maliit. He carried it, not so heavy, not too light. Kaya sabi niya kay Hesus, “yes, Jesus, ito na ang napili kong krus!”

 

Jesus laughed at him. Sabi ni Hesus, that’s the same cross you complained about!

 

Brothers and sisters, while we ponder on the sufferings of Christ, let us also be mindful to accept our own sufferings, knowing that God never gives us trials beyond our capacity. (1 Corinthians 10:13). His grace is always enough for us.

 

Have a meaningful and prayerful holy week po.

 

This is Fr. Felmar Castrodes Fiel, SVD. Witness to the Word.

 

 

 

 

Second Sunday of Lent (A)

This is a Promise!

Second Sunday of Lent (A)

Genesis 12:1-4a

Psalm: Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you.

2 Timothy 1:8b-10

Matthew 17:1-9

 

Welcome to the second Sunday of Lent!

 

Recently I watched the movie Logan. The movie was in 2029 when the mutant population was already disbanded, and Wolverine was left to take good care of Charles Xavier or Professor X. Wolverine lived a hidden life, siya ay naging simpleng taxi driver na lamang. But everything changed when a young girl named Laura, a mutant, came into his life. This girl had his DNA, and she also possessed powers like Wolverine. He needs to help the girl cross the border. I will not mention spoilers, but in this movie, you will a transformed Wolverine, a wolverine with a heart. The greatest movie about Wolverine is not about the mutant, but about the man Logan.

 

Today’s readings center on transformations. In the first reading, Abram was called by God to leave his homeland. Nabago ang kanyang buhay ng sinunod niya ang Diyos. Abram became Abraham, the Father of Faith.

 

In the second reading, sabi ni St. Paul, “We are called to a holy life, not according to our works, but according to the grace bestowed in Christ.” (2 Timothy 1:9)

 

At ang ebanghelyo ay tungkol sa Transfiguration of Jesus. Jesus took Peter James and John into a high mountain and he was transfigured before them.

 

What are the reminders for us today?

 

  1. We have our vocation.

 

Andito tayo sa mundo hindi lamang para magkaroon ng career. Tayo ay may bokasyon. Tinawag tayo ng Dios upang maging bahagi sa Gawain ng paglikha. You are here for a reason, that reason is not only that you become a professional but that you contribute to the holiness of the world.

 

Masasabi mo bang ikaw ay may positibong naiambag sa kabutihan ng lipunan?

 

Father, sasabihin ninyo, mabait naman ako. Wala akong ginagawang masama. Ngunit hindi lamang mabait na walang ginawang masama, kundi ang kailangan natin ngayon ay yaong mabait na may ginagawang mabuti.

 

Sabi sa movie na Logan, “A soldier who will not fight is useless.” Ang sundalong hindi nakikipaglaban ay walang silbi. In the same way, “A Christian who doesn’t serve is useless.” Ang Kristyanong walang ginagawang masama at wala ring ginagawang  mabuti ay walang silbi.

 

I have a beautiful classmate at devcom. She is organizing an outreach program for the indigenous people of Pampanga. She is doing it this season of Lent.

What good will you do this season of Lent?

What sacrifices will you make for the benefit of others?

 

We have a vocation.

 

  1. We go down.

 

During the Transfiguration, sabi ni Peter, Lord, we shall build three tents: one for you, one for Moses, one for Elijah. Sabi ba ni Jesus – go!

 

No, they went down the mountain. Because the living out of service is not in the mountain. Kailangang bumaba because the action is there in the lowland. They need to go back to reality. That is where the action is.

 

When we become knowledgeable, when we become leaders, when we achieve high status in the society – we go down. We serve.

 

As Christians, we cannot transform the world by mere prayers in our convents, in our chapels, in our churches. We go out, we move out, of our homes, of our comfort zones – to get in touch with the realities of the people in our families and communities.

 

We go down.

 

Brothers and sisters, in the second Sunday of lent, we are reminded that everybody has a vocation. What happened to Jesus in the mountain will also happen to us. But before that, like Jesus, we have to embrace first our realities, the realities of life, of suffering, of sacrifices, of joys, of pains. Then, if we share in the cross of Christ, we shall also share in his glory. That’s a promise!

 

This is Fr. Felmar Castrodes Fiel, SVD. Witness to the Word.