VINCENTIAN NEWS: AUGUST 2017 ISSUE
Vol. 25, No. 8. Quezon City. August 31, 2016
905. Thanksgiving of Hermy Colina.(August 21). Gorgeous and glorious are seldom used to describe a “Thanksgiving Mass” but they are words that come close enough to present a reality which all Christians should work for. The closeness and nearness that a Thanksgiving Mass produce among the Priests and relatives and friends of Fr. Hermy Colina are indeed gorgeous and glorious even if the reality may not be easily accessible. Many of you were unable to experience and share the beauty of Albay and the hospitality of the people but you should reflect and thank the Lord that we do have an ordained Vincentian this year, the 400th anniversary of the Vincentian Charism. How much more gorgeous and glorious can a Thanksgiving Mass become!
There were four diocesan priests several Sisters from Libon Albay, a dozen Vincentian priests from Manila. Some seminarians and guests defied storms and torrential rains and eagerly travelled all the way from Manila to the beautiful Tiwi ,Albay. As part of the homily, Fr.Hermy related his vocation story which really touched a sympathetic chord in the hearts of the people present. Among the Vincentians who made it to faraway Albay were: Frs. Regua, D.Pacheco, Porcincula, Vibar, Pura, Cirujales, Hequilan, Mahumot, Teresas, Sandaga, Oabel, Darryl Dino. The two assistants of the Tiwi parish and a Religious classmate of Fr. Hermy also graced the occasion.
The celebration of the Thanksgiving Mass made it a template for the future especially when there are only two or three ordained at the same time. The organization was superb with housing and accommodation at a Resort nearby and the food was aplenty. They claim that there were nine “litson,” one cow and numerous chicken and fowl made the whole baranggay and neighboring barrios experience and personally share the blessings on the occasion of the celebration.
Diocesan Shrine of Our Lady of Salvation. As a sidelight, it is good to recall that Bishop Teotimo Pacis CM hailed from Tiwi, Albay and later became the Bishop of Legazpi. It was during his time as Bishop (1975) that the title of “Patroness of Albay” was given to the dark-faced image of Our Lady of Salvation. From that time on, the Vincentians have always fond memories of this diocesan shrine whose patroness is celebrated in other parts of the country, notably in Metro Manila and other places where the Bicolanos show their great love and devotion to Mary. The interesting Vincentian twist is that a native Filipino Vincentian , became a Bishop and proclaimed Our Lady of Salvation as patroness of the Province where the most beautiful volcano of the Philippines is located. Praise be to the Lord.
906.Retirement Home in August 2017(four weeks in August). At the end of August, around 10 months after the start of construction, the Retirement Home appears retirement worthy. The beautifulfalse tile corrugated galvanized iron cover the whole building, most of the floors are covered with tiles, the walls have first coating of paint, so everything point to a Feast of St.Vincent inauguration, hopefully.
Although the galvanized iron looks like “tegula tiles,” or ordinary tiles, they are actually just like the galvanized iron on our other houses. The difference is that they were manufactured and formed in such a way that they look like tiles especially when seen from afar.
By August 31, the beautiful outline of the building became visible. The brown bricks which play well with the front of the Santuario and also the old bricks of the Provincial House, were being attached to the north side of the building. The bricks will cover up to the second floor of the building and is one of the important feature of the building. It is beautiful to behold and hopefully enjoyable to stay in.
Those of you who have great historical and architectural perspectives, may try to analyze and find some symbolic or really important transmogrification in the new retirement home. Some have seen the bunker like windows as the ”Hitler Trap” and the castle style wall as crossbow openings where one can fire arrows at the incoming or attacking enemy. The important thing is that the medieval castle and modern fortification blend together to express the desire of all Vincentians to have a Retirement Home worthy of the name.
907. Feast of Cultures 2017 (August 9). As always, the yearly feast of cultures at St.Vincent School of Theology (SVST) was overwhelming. That is a nice word to describe the hodge-podge of activities which involved the students, both clerical and lay, at the SVST. The overwhelming portion comes from the tremendous energy and effort generously expended by the various regions, including one International Region, in an attempt to entertain, feed and make the whole day enjoyable even to foreigners who came from many parts of Asia. There were Chinese, Thai, Kenyan, Fiji, Japanese, Indonesians; some huge and dark, others white and dainty.
The formal part of the programs were the cultural presentations wherein, the various regions expressed their cultural specially in dances, songs and drama for the people to enjoy. A team of three judges provided with written and pre-announced criteria, were around to make sure that the winners are indeed winners even if the opposition may not be that strong.
At the end of the day, the following were adjudged the winners:
National Capital Region…first Prize in Booth.
Visayas (the whole of the West, East and Central Visayas formed one region…1) first Prize in food preparation; 2) also, first prize in Presentation.
There were some issues from the other regions (there were seven in all) because the merging of the Visayas into one, gave them an unfair advantage over the others. They have many more seminarians and Sisters who expertly cooked produced delicious food and performed beautiful dances. Most of all, the Visayans had litchon flown all the way from Cebu.
908. "Door is Open, Please Come In”.
Copied below is the refrain from the English Theme Song of the 400th Year of Vincentian Charism:
“Please come in, the door is open
Please come in, and be at home.
All God’s children are brothers and Sisters
You are family, please come in.”
The message of Mt 25 “I was a stranger and you welcome me”is the major theme of the yearlong celebration of the birth of the charism of St.Vincent de Paul. One of the important features of the English version of the “CMglobal.org” is the availability of the song expressing the need of welcoming strangers. Other languages have adopted the song and published translations in Spanish, French, etc. Hopefully, a member of the Filipino Vincent ian Family will translate this beautiful and meaningful song in honor of st.Vincent into Tagalog , Visayan languages, etc.
(The full text of the theme song is accessible at cmglobal, FamVin, etc.)
909. Random News.
1. Thanksgiving Mass at Tiwi Albay. Fr. Hermy Colina eagerly celebrate his Thanksgiving Mass at Tiwi Albay on August 21. (please see No. 905).
2. Marchiano Rotoni at FEU Hospital. As of August 30, Marchiano Rotoni, the father of Fr. Ariel is still confined at the FEU Hospital in Fairview. Please continue praying for his speedy recovery. Meanwhile, Brother Nelson Malan is at the ICU in San Juan de Dios. Thanks to the attentive care of Fr. Dennis, there are some improvements in his health but we have to wait and see and pray.
3. Virgilio Rendon, brother of Jojo Rendon died at age 63. Some of you must have known him not only because he was present on various important moments in the life of Fr. Jojo. Certainly you must have met him the thanksgiving Mass in Oslob, Cebu. Please pray for the family members of our confreres . Just a week ago, the sister of Fr.Solis, Helena, also left us. Please pray for her eternal repose.
4. Fr. Rex Fortes. Fr. Rex is spending a month of vacation in the Philippines. As you are well informed Fr.Rex is finishing his Doctoral Studies at Louvain University in Belgium. During his vacation, he is trying to improve his basketball knees by undergoing some procedures. It is amazing how he could keep up with the situation in our country despite the distance half way around the world.
5. Chrispinus Kakai Mutondo. He is a priest from Kenya who defended his thesis proposal and passed for the next stage. He was also at SVST last year and was able to finish the course requirement for his MA in Theology.
6. "St. Vincent and the Globalization of Charity". DPH (August 21). Precisely on the holiday celebrating the death of Ninoy Aquino, a global Filipino icon of heroism, the Seminarians at DePaul House (DPH) were regaled by the Vincentian Hour Talk on St. Vincent and the Globalization of Charity.
7. Fr. Danny Carolino CM. At around 11:30 am of August 24, St.Bartholomews’ feast, Fr.Carolino came to the Provincial House. He looked healthy and as handsome as ever, with red cheeks and dimpled smile. He showed some beautiful pictures of our former Spanish Vincentians who worked here in the Philippines for many years: Fr. Lopez, Fr.Barquin, Fr. Moro, Fr. Prado, etc. On one of the pictures were Fr.Lopez with Fr. Moro and Fr. Barquin nearby. As you remember quite well, Fr. Lopez was the last Spanish Provincial of the Philippine Province and has many fond memories of the Philippines. He has so many memorabilia about the Philippines, reminding him of his many years in the country and so important formation work for the Philippine Province. Many of the older confreres recall the gentle, smiling and zealous priest who was so exemplary in his own life especially in his zeal to form good priests for the Philippine Province. I can personally recall the so many inspiring talks and fraternal admonitions which he has given us during those years. I still have a book by Fulton Sheen which he dedicated to me while still a seminarian.
Not to forget Fr.Carolino who is here for a month long vacation after a long time studying Spanish and is now working in Malaga, Spain. He is taking care of so many Filipinos who were some of the earliest OFWs from the Philippines. Way back more than 50 years ago, Spain was trying to modernize and tourism was one of its main attraction, precisely in the Malaga area of southern Spain. Thousands found the opportunity to work and , later some Filipino priests tried to help out in ministering to them. Fr. Carolino has to go to several parishes to say Mass and help take care of the spiritual needs of the Catholics, especially the Filipinos who hunger for the Word of God.
8. From India via China (August 24). Fr. Rindo Karippai, CM.arrived one day late, due to the huge storm that hit Hongkong (no.10) and which killed 15 persons. He is a missionary from India and will be one of the main formators of the China Province. He is known to several confreres, including Fr.Roland Tuazon whom he met during one of the meetings of our Formation Teams. He is very eager to pursue his studies in Psychology and is trying to find a program for PHD in Psychology, preferably at the Ateneo de Manila University. Although quite young (ordained in 2006), Fr. Rindo is being prepared for the big task of forming the future of the China Province. At present we have two Chinese seminarians at the SVS and hopefully more will be coming in the future. It is so interesting to hear so many historical and ecclesiastical stories about India where Christianity was already preached by St.Thomas the Apostle. Fr. Rindo said that the “Vincentian Fathers” founded in India (Kerala) has around 600 Vincentians—even bigger in numbers than the two Indian Provinces combined at present. With his arrival, the SVS community is also saying goodbye to Chrispinus of Kenya who defended his thesis proposal on August 24. He leaves for Kenya and hopefully, after one year will be able to present his thesis at SVST.
9. New Professionals. Fr. Rowen Carlos and Fr. Joel Rescober have once again proven that expertise and needs can be solved right here in our country. They both finished their M.A. degrees and passed the government civil service examination. Fr. Carlos passed the Social Work Examination after studying the courses at Philippine Women University, while Fr. Joel Rescober, who is presently the Parish Priest of San Marcelino Parish, finished his degree at Dela Salle University in Guidance and Counseling. They are true professionals in their chosen professions in the eyes of the Philippine government.
10. Student Assembly at DPH (August 29). It was a wow-worthy General Assembly although it was postponed several times. It was decided to hold the meeting even if there was a big program coming up---the Mission Sending of Fr. Darryl Dino, CM. The wow-worthiness came from the many comments, suggestions and information that were made available for the month. There were lots of information e.g. on the start of the “feeding program”, the retreat at Baguio-Betania and the Sem-Net meeting at DPH. 320 seminarians will come from various parts of the country to have the regular seminary network meeting. But it was the presiding officer that made the meeting even more wow-worthy. He found space for some happy and pointed comments on various issues of the meeting.
11. Mission Sending of Fr. Darryl Dino CM (DPH, August 29). It is now part of the community myth, that the Japan Mission, the longest running and continuous Mission of the Philippine Province continues to hold a romantic and an idealistic hold on the Province. Since 40 years ago (1977), the Philippine Province has been sending talented and zealous missionaries to the Land of the Rising Sun. It was no surprise then, that on August 29, at 6:00 pm, in the presence of 18 priests over 44 seminarians and a dozen of lay people, Fr. Darryl Dino CM had his mission sending at the DePaul House Chapel, the very chapel where he spent four years as theological student. Part of the Mission ceremony was the giving of the Mission Cross which Fr. Gerry Vibar, a member of the Provincial council and the Provincial Secretary, presented to the new missionary.
Victoriano Torres,CM, the head of the Missio ad Gentes Ministry and a former missionary in Japan presided at the Eucharistic celebration. He delivered the homily but it was the thank you and goodbye talk of Fr. Dino,CM that naturally inspired those present. He noted that he was very aware of the difficulties and problems of being a missionary in Japan, not the least of which was the study of Japanese language and culture. He thanked all those who helped in his formation as a Vincentian and projected the many dreams of his that would be fulfilled. He had reflected and dreamt of “Sapporo” where the famous Filipino movie (“Kita-Kita” Alessandra di Rosssi and Empoy)was produced and also of walking and admiring the cherry blossom flowers. All the technological prowess of the Japanese will also be very much appreciated by the new missionary who graduated BS Chemistry from Adamson University before entering the Congregation.
Best wishes and good luck to Fr. Darryl Dino at the start of his Mission in Japan.
Pope Francis. On the occasion of the feast of St.Augustine on August 28, Pope Francis quoted St.Augustine:”You made us unto yourself and our heart is restless until it rests in you.” (Pope Francis@Pontifex)
Rolando S. DelaGoza, CM