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.

 

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.

 

 

 

 

First Sunday of Lent (A)

Beware: Satan is the Father of Lies

Beware: Satan is the Father of Lies

First Sunday of Lent (A)

Genesis 2:7-9; 3:1-7

Psalm: Be merciful, o Lord, for we have sinned.

Romans 5:12-19

Matthew 4:1-11

 

Welcome to the first Sunday of Lent!

 

Tayo po ngayon ay nasa panahon na ng kwaresma. Opening salvo po natin ang Ash Wednesday (March 1) bilang pagpapahayag ng ating pagsisisi sa ating mga kasalanan at paghahanda sa ating mga sarili sa mga gagawin nating mga sakrispisyo. Ang kwaresma po ay 40 days before Easter. Sa taong ito, ang Easter Sunday ay April 16. Kung inyo pong bibilangin from March 1 to April 15, the day before Easter Sunday – mayroong 46 days! Mali yata ang sinasabi mong 40 days Father! Sumobra yata ng anim na araw Father! Hindi po yan sumobra bes, sapagkat hindi kabilang sa counting ang Sunday. This is because from the earliest days of the Church, Sunday is always a feast day, a day of celebration, kaya hindi siya kabilang sa counting. That makes it 40!

 

Today’s gospel reading points us to the three temptation of Christ in the desert. Pagnilayan po natin ang three temptations:

 

  • “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” (Matthew 4:3)

 

What is wrong with being hungry? It is but human to feel hunger? At first glance, the command of the devil seemed very, very trivial. Parang maliit na bagay lang, gutom eh. But we must remember that the perfection of Jesus comes in following the will of the Father. Ang patibong talaga dito ay sundin mo ang gusto ng demonyo. Mag-ingat sa mga trivial matters, mag-iingat sa maliliit na kasalanan. Dyan nag-uumpisa ang big-time na kasamaan.

 

  • “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down.” (Matthew 4:6)

 

What is wrong with throwing himself down? The devil quoted the psalm of trust that told of God’s protection of his people. However, Jesus also knew that His trust was perfect, and that He didn’t need to do anything heroic to prove it. The moment an individual puts God to the test, that person gives evidence that he or she doesn’t actually trust God in the first place.

 

I remember one instance, nakapasok ako sa isang warehouse ng isang parokyano. At doon sa pinakabulwagan ng kanilang warehouse ay nakita ko ang imahe ng Santo Niňo. Ok n asana ako doon ngunit nagulat ako sapagkat katabi ng Baby Jesus ang palakang naka-nganga at pusa pang gumagalaw-galaw. Sabi ng parokyano: “Father, kung di ibibigay ng Dios ang aking hinihinling, ako ay mayroong reserba.”

 

Do you think if you have your full trust in the Lord, you still need lucky charms? God is enough!

 

 

 

  • “All these I shall give to you, if you shall prostrate yourself and worship me.” (Matthew 4:9)

 

This is like saying: “Sambahin mo ako kahit one second lang – at ibibigay ko say o ang lahat-lahat in an instant.” Of course, alam natin, ito ay kasinungalingan lamang.

 

These temptations are very much relatable. Often, Satan whispers to us that we can be immoral, we can behave badly, and gawin lahat ng gusto natin sapagkat wala naman makakaalam di ba – ikaw lang at si Satanas. Hmmm. Mag-ingat, sapagkat si Satanas ang hari ng kasinungalingan. Kung sasabihin niya sa iyong….

 

atin-atin lang ito ha,

this is just between us,

secret lang natin ito ha,

you and me (!!!)

 

wag kang umasa. Ta-traydorin ka lang niya – ginawa niya yan kay Eba. Gagawin din niya sa yo yan.

 

The three temptations of Christ are meant to remind us that Jesus wholeheartedly followed His Father’s will. If we want to also wholeheartedly follow His Father’s will, the devil will also do, everything in his power, to prevent us.

 

In reality, many times we give in. But the Lenten message is that have the grace to say no as reflected by the Lenten connection to our baptism. Dati mayroong tayong order of penitents. Sila ang mga nangumpisal sa kanilang kasalanan and they were assigned to do penance to be done for a long period of time. Then by Easter Vigil, the order of penitents are reconciled to the Christian community. It was for them second baptism.

 

Brothers and sisters, may we see this Lenten season as our journey towards our own renewal of baptismal vows, which we shall observe on Easter Vigil. May our Lenten observance make us even closer to Jesus, not only in thoughts, but also in actions.

 

 

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

 

Christ the King House of Spirituality (Freinademetz Center)

The former Finnemann building inside the Christ the King Mission Seminary is now named Christ the King House of Spirituality (Freinademetz Center). It was blest and inaugurated last February 24, 2017. Fr. Nielo Cantilado, SVD, the outgoing Provincial Superior of the SVD Philippines Central Province, presided the blessing.

 

 

This new center is open for spiritual retreats and recollections, worship meetings and conferences, and many other religious activities. It is located inside the compound of Christ the King Mission Seminary, E. Rodriguez, Sr. Ave., Quezon City.

 

Photo and Text Credit: Fr. Ronald Rey Espartinez, SVD

Photo and Text Credit: Fr. Ronald Rey Espartinez, SVD

 

Fr. Nielo Cantilado, SVD

Fr. Nielo Cantilado, SVD

 

SVD Missionaries and Friends were present

SVD Missionaries and Friends were present

 

Facade of the Building

Facade of the Building

 

 

Rooms

Rooms

 

Multi-Purpose Room

Multi-Purpose Room

 

Chapel

Chapel

 

Session Rooms

Session Rooms

 

Comfort Room

Comfort Room

 

Terrace

Terrace

 

Ground Floor

Ground Floor

 

Session Room

Session Room

 

Session Room

Session Room

 

This building used to be the residence for the associate (young professionals), first year and second college seminarians of the Divine Word Missionaries. Today, the community of seminarians stays at the Buttenbruch Building of the Christ the King compound.

 

 

We thank the following SVD educational Institutions in the Central province for sponsoring the new house of spirituality:

 

 

1) St. Jude Catholic School of Manila,
2) Divine Word College of Legaspi City,
3) Divine Word College of San Jose, Occidental Mindoro
4) Divine Word College of Calapan,
5) SVD Provincialate.

 

 

The renovation and refurbishment took 8 months to finish.