VINCENTIAN NEWS: February 2018 Issue
(Volume 26, No.2. Quezon City, February 28, 2018. Edited by Fr. DelaGoza, CM)
949. (Santuario de San Vicente de Paul, QC). Feeding the hungry is one of the corporal works of mercy but sometimes it is forgotten in large cities like Metro Manila with all the multi-storey condominium and hotels going up every day. But amidst the veneer of modernity and progress lies the basic lack of food and shelter.
As part of the 400th Anniversary of the Birth of Vincentian Charism, the SVS Compound of the Philippine Province decided to have a “Feeding of the Street People Program.” The Santuario de San Vicente DePaul is the lead institution and has initiated a weekly program of feeding the street people. This writer once again joined the group who eagerly gave food to the people within around two kilometer radius of the Seminary compound. As earlier reported the feeding team passed through Tandang Sora Avenue, turned right on Mindanao Avenue ,turned left on Congressional Avenue turned left on the Visayas Ave and went back home. This writer paid attention to the reactions of the recipients of the rice, fish and drinks that were given them. They were placed in plastic container for easy delivery. In general the recipients were very happy and showed great appreciation by saying thank you with a smile. The children were a joy to behold---many of families were sleeping under the protection of bigger buildings in the area, e.g. the entrance of a big bank or a restaurant nearby—notably Starbucks, McDoanld’s Wendy’s and Jollibee.
The program at the Santuario has a counterpart at DePaul House where some of the Seminarians take food to the street people almost every other night. They gather the left over from the table of around 50 people from the DePaul House and add some extra food and then distribute them to the people around the area. It is an inspiring thing to see so many of the seminarians getting involved in the feeding program.
950. St. Vincent School of Theology (SVST) Alumni Reunion. (February 6). As always, there were conferences, partying and some games. But this year’s version of the Alumni Homecoming was somewhat special and more inspiring because of the excellent organization and the eloquent homilies and sharing by the Priests Alumni.
One of the most inspiring homilies was delivered by Fr. Del Rio of Tuguegarao Diocese who endured the 12 hours trip to join this year’s reunion. He shared the inspiring moments of his relatively short priestly life noting how the Vincentian charism took deep roots in his mind and heart. He has tried to remember the many pro-poor programs at the DPH-SVST and how he applied them in his parish. One particular thing that he did was to welcome the tribal people and the poor even inside the parish halls to the consternation of some of the more established people in the parish. He also said that he sees to it that the beauty of the flowers is not lost but is exhibited on the parish altars and chapels where he says Mass. This is because he used to enjoy the beautiful decorations done inside the DPH chapel where the flowers compete with the tweeting of the birds in showing the glory of creation. There were more than a dozen priests who concelebrated and they readily agreed with the lay alumni that they have learned a lot St.Vincent de Paul while they were in our institution. “Attorney” Fr. Rowel Erandio, one of our priest alumni from Sorsogon also shared some of his many experiences while working in the Parish and how the Bishop has given him many responsibilities despite the fact that he is only a few years ordained.
It is nice to commune with the alumni who return to the school with varying and inspiring experiences and stories to tell.
951. Adamson Alumni celebration 2018 (February 16). The Alumni Reunion of Adamson University was a glittering display of religiosity, musical talents and community reunion. At least, the February 16 portion was celebrated at the St. Vincent Quad and concelebrated by Frs. Belita, Banaga, Manimtim, Aldrin Suan and DelaGoza. Another priest, graduate of the University also concelebrated. The Holy Eucharist was celebrated at around 5:15 pm right near the San MarcelinoStreet, one of the busieststreets in Manila. One can hear the passing trucks and buses, the taxi and the private cars racing one another towards the United Nations Avenue. But as the Filipinos are famous for popular religiosity, the Mass went on. As in other occasions the Adamson band was playing “oldies”, most of them from sixty years ago, the Beatles, Chicago, Frank Sinatra to the joy of many of those present who are already past their middle years. They danced to the tune of the music.
Global and International. At the reunion at the St. Vincent de Paul Building, several dozen alumni arrived from the United States, Australia, Thailand and the Middle East. Some of them are well established in multi-national companies, others are enjoying retirement abroad and in the Philippines. All were dressed to kill but mostly in Chinese red garments because of the Chinese New Year. The beautiful red silk added grandeur and beauty to the occasion.
The community pride and spirit were also on grand display with the four Filipino presidents having been present. Many of the alumni made sure that they had the picture with the four Presidents and their companions. After a little while and hundreds of digital flashes, one gets tired of so much ostentatious celebration. The food was served to help the people savor the New Year flavor of the Chinese New Year. Meanwhile there was “lion and snake dances” to add more color and variety to the occasion.
Congratulation to Fr. Manimtim and all the AdamsonConfreres and Alumni for the beautiful Alumni Reunion.
952. Closing of the Canonical Visitation of De Paul House (February 16). The air-conditioning unit was switched on after so many months of un-use, the confreres expectantly waited, some refreshments were made available and Fr. Banaga came with his well prepared recommendations for the house of DePaul. It was a welcome moment for the confreres who missed the Canonical Visit for so many years and they paid attention to the ten recommendations with great interest. There were some questions and comments which were fraternally and willingly answered by the Provincial Visitor. Fr. Provincial also gave a talk to the seminarians who were happy to be with the full Vincentian community.
953. A Refreshing Visit (February 20). His Excellency Bishop Gerry Alminaza, DD of the San Carlos Diocese visited the DePaul House and celebrated Mass for all the Seminarians with practically all the Priests having been present. During the twenty minute homily he was open and generous in his thanks and praise for the training his Priests and seminarians are imbibing at DePaul House. He mentioned that his priests who studied at our seminary are very zealous, very conscious of the needs of the poor and are fraternal and community oriented. He expressed the wish that we continue doing our good job. DePaul House and SVST are honored to house the seven Seminarians from San Carlos. It is the highest number of Theologians from San Carlos Diocese which sends its seminarians to Jaro, Cebu and Manila. Bishop Alminaza averred that all his seminarians would like to come to DePaul House for their formation, if there were more rooms available.
After the Holy Eucharist, he talked a little with the Formators then went to eat breakfast with the Seminarians and stayed with them for around two hours. He has seven Theology seminarians at DPH and accepted their challenge to pay them a visit despite the distance from San Carlos City in Negros. It was indeed a spiritually uplifting and emotionally refreshing to see an Ordinary of the Place taking such a great interest in formation of the young candidates to the priesthood.
954. Random News. 1. Silver Anniversary celebration on March 19. It is a rare moment in the history of our Province that six confreres of the Province would celebrate their Silver Anniversary. But March 19 marks the 25th year of ordination of Dario Pacheco, Rolando Tuazon, Jose Rendon, Raymundo Regua, Venancio Lacorte (deceased) Mario Castillo and Peter Solis. The Holy Eucharist will be celebrated on March 19 at the Santuario de San Vicente de Paul.
2a. Fr. Monching Encinares. Our Thailand Mission is alive and kicking mostly because of the direction of the Daughters of Charity and the Seminary for candidates to the Congregation. We have four candidates in the college level and another three in high school. That may not seem too numerous but in a Buddhist country like Thailand, that number is good enough. Fr. Encinares is doing a yeoman’s job in trying to recruit some vocations even from neighboring Burma, Cambodia, etc.. Meanwhile Fr. V. Pacheco is continuing his great work as the Spiritual Director of the Daughters of Charity many of whom are Filipinas.
2. Popular Mission. As summer is early this year, our Popular Mission schedule came out early too: 1) February 16-March 11 at Malimono, Surigao del Sur in Mindanao. 2) March 25 –April 15 at Llanera, Nueva Ecija in Central Luzon. Those who are interested to join the various Mission Teams may contact Fr. Geowen Porcincula, CM.
3. St. Vincent School of Theology. Sister Caroline Megawati of Indonesia is the second PhD earner at SVST. Her dissertation is a groundbreaking study of the status women in Indonesia. Hopefully it will help in the future of that huge country. The SVST has been offering M.A in Theology with two majors: in Pastoral theology and in Moral Theology. The PhD program is part of the affiliation to Louvain University of Belgium.
4. The Seminarians Network held at the Guiguinto Seminary in Bulacan was very well attended (February 17). The DePaul seminarians also eagerly participated at the yearly gathering of the Seminarians which gave an occasion to bond, to talk and to find new ideas about their seminary training.. They reported that there were several hundred seminarians who eagerly participated in the program. As always the one day program was like a ray of light for many of the seminarians who spend their time studying and preparing themselves for the forthcoming Ordination. Fr. John Era took time to accompany the DePaul Seminarians.
5. Two Blessings. 2018 may turn out to be a year of blessings for the Philippine Province. The Retirement Home (Vincentian Mission House) will be blessed on March 18 and the Convent at Mangaldan on March 20. It has been one and a half years since the ground breaking and finally the blessing of the VMH. Although the finishing touches are still being applied, the building is really a beauty to behold. The Convent at Mangaldan will be blessed ahead of the Church, thanks to some generous benefactors and the hard work of Fr. Frank Vargas, Fr. Raul Negrosa, Fr. Emilio Adawe.
6. Thank you. The undersigned and my family are very grateful for the many prayers, Masses and help for the funeral of my sister Elsa who died on February 25. May she rest in peace.
7. New Novitiate House in Trece Martires. There is a committee studying the plans for the Trece Martires Novitiate House in Cavite.
8. Please continue praying for our sick confreres: Fr. Ranny Mahumot in Naga and Fr. Max Rendon in Cebu. Both are relatively alright but they continue to require medical attention from their trusted doctors.
Pope Francis: Fasting makes us more attentive to God and to the neighbor and reminds us that He alone can satisfy our hunger” (Pope Francis at Pontifex, March 3, 3:45 pm).
Fr. Tomaz Mavric. Three steps to be closer with Mary during Lent: pray the rosary, make the virtues of humility and chastity ever more our own, spreading the message and devotion of the Miraculous Medal with renewed zeal (Mavric, Lenten Letter 2018).
Fr. Rolando S. DelaGoza, CM