News and Updates

VINCENTIAN NEWS: February 2018 Issue

Vincentian News
(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