Quis nos separabit a caritate Christi? An gladius?

Saint Paul Scholasticate Newsletter
No. 2 Easter 2007

RIÈCCOCI!
by Giovanni Scalese, CRSP
After the encouraging success of the first issue of iPaul, we show our face again. This time we shall not tell you that we are here (you already know it!), but to continue the talk we started last time. Yes, because it was a real conversation the one begun last December: we wrote, and many of you replied (you can find your messages among the Letters on this issue). We keep no secret of the pleasure you brought us. We will continue talking about ourselves, not because we consider ourselves so important, but because we want to share our human and religious experiences with you: we would like to let you enter, as far as it is possible at a distance, into our lives. With this issue iPaul gets enriched with new contributions: even this, of course, cannot but give us a great pleasure! We would like our newsletter, even in its modesty, to stand out for the quality of its articles. A large space of this issue is about the priestly ordination of two of our scholastics, Jecker and Michael. In the life of a seminary an ordination is always an important event. We know that it is just the beginning of a new journey; but it represents also for the formation community the completion of years-long efforts. It is true, in this case the efforts were made, for the most part, by others; but it does not matter: it is a great satisfaction all the same. HAVE A NICE READING AND HAVE A BLESSED EASTER!

The concelebrant priests around Bishop Tagle and the two newly ordained priests on February 18, 2007 at Lourdes Parish, Tagaytay

May your hearts be filled with joy May your lives be richly blessed By the Risen Lord Jesus Christ.

HAPPY EASTER!
FATHERS THE BARNABITE FATHERS & SCHOLASTICS

No. 2

iPaul
Cover Story

2

ORDINATION TO PRIESTHOOD OF DEACONS JECKER AND MICHAEL
by Isfridus Syukur, CRSP “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me.” Last February 17, 2007 was a special day for our Congregation and also for the whole Church because our two deacons, Rev. Jecker M. Luego, CRSP and Rev. Michael M. Sandalo, CRSP were ordained to the Priesthood. The ordination rite took place at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish Church, Tagaytay City with His Excellency Most Reverend Luis Antonio G. Tagle, D.D., Bishop of Imus as the ordaining prelate. All the fifteen Barnabite Fathers in the Philippines, priests from different religious congregations and from the Dioceses of Antipolo and San Pablo were also present. Two deacons from the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions (PIME) and another from the Diocese of Imus also assisted at the two-hour solemn Mass. The occasion was also graced by the presence of our very own Superior General Right Rev. Fr. Giovanni M. Villa, CRSP and Fr. Mario M. Gadda, CRSP, the former superior and father master of the two deacons in Studentato Romano in Rome, Italy. The Barnabite professed students served at the Mass while the choir of Saint Anthony Ma. Zaccaria Seminary in Marikina City provided the songs and music. Present were, of course, the families, relatives and friends of the two deacons, the Angelic Sisters of St. Paul, the Little Workers of the Sacred Heart, our college seminarians from Marikina and our lay affiliates, and also a number of religious sisters and seminarians here in Tagaytay. After the Mass everyone proceeded to Saint Paul Scholasticate for the reception which was prepared through the generous assistance of friends from barangay San Jose and Buho, Amadeo. Rev. Jecker Robredillo Luego is from St. Bernard, Southern Leyte, Diocese of Maasin. “Jeck” was born on September 26, 1978, in Dolores, Eastern Samar but grew up in St. Bernard, So. Leyte. He is the eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. Mario Luego. He joined the Saint Anthony Ma. Zaccaria Seminary on May 28, 1995 and completed his five-year A.B. Philosophy on March 25, 2000 at Saint Camillus College Seminary in Marikina City. After the novitiate, he professed the vows on May 31, 2001 and was sent to Rome for his theological studies. Rev. Jecker studied in Rome from 2001–2003 and on March 2003, he flew back to the Philippines and opted to continue his studies at the Divine Word School of Theology, Tagaytay City where he is about to obtain his STB (= Baccalaureate in Sacred Theology). At present, he is pursuing his M. A. in Mathematics in De La Salle University, Dasmariñas, Cavite.
(Continued on page 3)

No. 2

iPaul
Priestly Ordination

3

Rev. Michael del Rosario Sandalo, CRSP hails from San Mateo, Rizal, Diocese of Antipolo. Born on June 3, 1979 in Marikina City, Metro Manila, he is the youngest and the only son of Mr. and Mrs. Segundino Sandalo, Jr. Rev. Michael entered the Saint Anthony Ma. Zaccaria Seminary on May 28, 1996. He finished his A.B. Philosophy in Saint Camillus College Seminary in March 2001. He made his First Religious Profession on May 31, 2002 and left for Rome, Italy on June 24, 2002 for his theological studies. “Kuya Mike”, as we fondly call him, obtained his STB at the Angelicum University in Rome on June 13, 2005. Last May 2006, he returned to the Philippines to complete his seminary formation. Rev. Jecker and Rev. Mike made their Solemn Profession on August 6, 2006. They were ordained to the diaconate on September 5, 2006 at the Imus Cathedral. The Priestly ordination of Revs. Jecker and Mike serves as an inspiration for us who are still on the way. As we thank God for the gift of the priesthood, so we thank the two of them for their dedication and faithfulness to the vocation they have embraced. We continue to pray that they may remain steadfast in their faith in God who has called, consecrated and sent them to be His messengers of hope, love and peace to the world. Finally we would like to say to them, “You are priests forever like Melchizedek of old”, “kayo ay Pari magpakailanman!” To the newly ordained priests, CONGRATULATIONS!

A New Journey in the Holy Spirit
by Jecker R. Luego, CRSP
“What do you feel now that you are about to be ordained as priest?” This question was asked to me by a confrere few days before my priestly ordination. I was not that sure what to answer. Honestly, I did not feel anything extraordinary at that time. It was contrary to what people were telling me: “You must be so excited now. Probably you are already experiencing sleepless nights.” Such were the words that I heard from the persons I know. I felt that they were so excited for me. As for me, I was neither so tensed nor excited about my ordination. Why did I feel that way? I did not know. Perhaps I felt that way because I still had so many questions that nobody had given me any satisfying answer. Why did I enter the seminary and had reached this far? Did God really call me or I made myself called? If ever God called me why did he choose me sinner as I am? I am not worthy to the priesthood, but how is it that my superiors approved my ordination? These were the unending questions that bothered me a lot and caused me to forget the excitement of my getting ordained… I was afraid… I was afraid because I am not worthy to become a priest… I was afraid that I might have been wrong in my decision to get ordained as priest. I feared the thought of waking up one day and realizing that I am not for the priesthood. Maybe it was better that I did not reenter the Congregation. Perhaps I would be happy as a layman or a father of a child or two. These thoughts disturbed me a lot. They put my faith and vocation to the test. But God is my faithful companion. He tells me that I should go on despite my imperfections and limitations. I should only trust Him and everything will follow. God has been preparing me for a new journey... As the days passed so quickly, the feeling of excitement did not come to me. I thought that maybe I am not really meant for the priesthood. Or maybe I just did not care about my ordination. But still, I had to go on because I have already come this far with the conviction that God has called me and that I want to become a priest. The thoughts were just part of the trap of the enemy. And in these moments of doubts, prayer has been my sure and only tool to get rid of them. God has been there beside me trying to comfort me in so many ways. And with the persons who encourage me, the “battle” seems not so burdensome. My struggles are so heavy but with God and the people giving me their moral support, they become so light that sure enough I will
(Continued on page 4)

No. 2

iPaul

4

overpower them easily. Yet this does not mean that the thought was banished; on the contrary, it became so intense and annoying. Hence, the “battle” continued... On the eve of my ordination, the excitement, confusion and doubts crept in like a force trying to distract me. The thoughts were very intense that I could barely sleep that night. I could not imagine myself being ordained unworthy as I am. But the words, “who is worthy anyway?”, somehow gave me a reassurance that God has called me so I should respond to him despite of who I am. I may not be worthy, yes, but still it is God who will make me worthy. It is God’s will so I do not have to question it. I know that God’s will for me is always the best. I may have a choice, but my choice must conform to that goodness of God. He knows who I am and He has called me in order to form and mold me into the best person I can be. The temptations are there only to test me, my patience and perseverance... and my faith and trust in God. I once failed before and I do not want to fail again the second time... But I will always accept failures if they are for my betterment... I was excited then because after waiting for so long, I finally reached the end of a first journey. The ordination day had finally come. The first station of my way of the cross came to an end. The end, however, signifies a new beginning. The beginning of a new journey started on the ordination day. Bishop Tagle made me realize that I have to carry the cross that goes along with the ministry that I have received from the Lord. The Father sent to His beloved Son the Holy Spirit. Now, that same Holy Spirit that guided Jesus throughout His ministry will be imparted to me so as to do the things that Jesus did in his lifetime and continues to fulfill in our times through his ministers. On the day of my ordination, I have come to comprehend how heavy the cross would be, but through the Spirit’s grace it would be easy and light. Thus, the new journey has begun... The thoughts and temptations were actually nothing in comparison to the ministry that I will fulfill in my life. The ministry of love is heavier than the thousands of temptations that the enemy would put upon my shoulders. Despite of the weight there will be joys because it would be for the greater glory of God. During the ceremony of ordination the thoughts continued like clanging bells in my mind. They wanted me to stop from getting ordained... I even thought that maybe they were right. They might be telling me something… Yes they were telling me that I am not for the priesthood. I am a useless servant who does not deserve any reward from the Master… Yes, I am a wretched servant but what can I do if God has led me into this kind of life—to become his useless servant who does only what he wills? However, God heals all sickness, even my infirmities and

sinfulness. Thus, I do not fear anything. God’s grace is always there. I should only be open to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. I may be an unworthy and wretched servant, but God’s love moves me within to purify and sanctify me along the way of priesthood. God is always my refuge no matter what happens. In this new journey, I am confident that He will guide me toward the final destination of my existence, toward that door that will ultimately open to me the ever ancient and ever new door of life. Now, a month after my ordination, I have already faced and still face many different trials that sometimes make me think again the decision and action that I have done. The thoughts and temptations become so strong that I need someone stronger. Thank God, He is always there to help me move on step by step. He gives me courage so that despite the burden of my cross I may go on faithfully. However, in the short time of my ordination I would say that I have already failed many times to live out my priestly promise and ministry. The struggle continues... The ups and downs are always there. But God patiently keeps me company. He suffers with me as I carry my daily cross. Eventually, I hope that as I continue to trudge my way of the cross, I may one day receive the promised glory that Jesus made to his servants... Am I worthy? The question still remains. Nobody can answer this... It is only I who can give the answer and I have to live out that answer. God knows everything. I leave to Him the judgment. The struggle continues, but time and again the grace of God is like a flowing stream ready to refresh me and give me the courage and generosity to respond to the call and love of God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Please pray for me... pray for all the priests! Happy Easter!
Faces and moments of the ordination: the two newly ordained priests (on p. 2); the concelebration (on p. 3); the laying of hands on Fr. Jecker (below); Fr. Mike surrounded by his friends from San Mateo, Rizal (on p. 5).

No. 2

iPaul
by Michael dR. Sandalo, CRSP

5

A Message of Thanks from a Young Priest

I just can’t believe it! Am I just dreaming?! No, it is true… PARI NA PO AKO!! I am now a priest. After almost eleven years of struggles and hard work… finally the race is over and a new one has just begun. Looking back at the years long past, I realize how countless were the trials and victories, the joys and sorrows, the “roller coaster rides” of life, even the stress and tensions of doing exams and paper works… all I have gone through. And one thing is sure, amidst all these experiences God has been always my constant Companion—“the wind beneath my wings”, “the oasis in the desert of my soul”, my faithful Friend, my loving Father. Words are not enough to express my humble gratitude and my “utang na loob” (debt of gratitude) to God for His love and goodness. Despite my poverty and unworthiness, of my sins both great and small, He has called me to share in the Priestly Ministry. God, indeed, overlooked my sins and entrusted to me the mission of Jesus, the High Priest. Who would have known that a poor little creature like me would become His instrument of peace and salvation to His people? He did all this out of His love for me. Truly, I have nothing to boast and to be very proud of. My vocation to priesthood and religious life are God’s gifts to me, unworthy as I am. And so, I thank God a hundredfold for these wonderful and great Gifts I have ever received from Him. Thank you, Lord my God! God formed me by using certain individuals. They were His instruments to encourage me when I was down and out; to discipline me during moments of my hard-headedness; to teach me the values that are essential to grow into maturity. God sent these beautiful people to become my companions in my journey. Indeed, I would never become the person I am now without these wonderful people. And to them I would like to express my sincerest thanks and appreciation. —To my friends and relatives and most especially, to my family—my first catechists and formators who led me to the joy of appreciating life. —To our formators especially Fr. Frank Papa, Fr. Aldo Rizzi, Fr. Mario Gadda and Fr. Giovanni Scalese for helping me to understand and savor the beauty and the mystery of my vocation. —To my confreres for their camaraderie, for the laughters and jokes we indulged together and

even the fights and the “tampuhan blues” that enabled me to recognize my shortcomings and weaknesses. To Father General, Fr. Giovanni Villa, to our fathers Fr. Enrico Sironi, Fr. Filippo Lovison, Fr. Gabriel Patil, Fr. Giovanni Peragine, Fr. Giulio Mariani of PIME and all the fathers I know and crossed paths, for their Christ-like example in words and deeds. —To all my friends abroad especially the Filipino workers in Italy; to all my Italian friends—i ragazzi, i bambini e le buone persone, i nostri compagni di corso Giovanni e Leonardo e tutti quanti conosco e con i quali ho fatto amicizia—GRAZIE DI CUORE! —To all my professors and educators especially Fr. Robert Christian, O.P., who all accompanied me towards the appreciation of the truth and the mysteries of our faith. —To all the persons and the children sent by God who taught me humility, patience and compassion. TO ALL OF YOU, MARAMING SALAMAT PO!! And as I have said, a new journey has just begun. Please accompany us with your prayers. Encourage us whenever we get disheartened. Strengthen us when we commit mistakes. I am your priest… please remember me and all the priests in your prayers. Again, thank you and let us work together in the Lord’s vineyard.

No. 2

iPaul
“Sabi ni Father…!”

6

IT TAKES A VILLAGE
by Giovanni Scalese, CRSP
An ancient African proverb says: “It takes a village to raise a child.” It became famous in 1996, when then U.S. First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton published a book entitled It Takes a Village: And Other Lessons Children Teach Us, republished last year as the “10th Anniversary Edition” (Simon & Schuster, December 2006). Personally, I find this proverb deeply wise. Usually we are inclined to think that education is the task of some experts, parents in the first place and teachers. And we are all ready to rail at family and school when we realize that the new generations do not come up to our expectations. It is obvious that the family and school play an invaluable role in the formation of a person; but nobody ever realizes the responsibility of the whole society. We often forget that “No man is an island,” neither as individual nor as part of a community: we are like fish totally immersed in the ocean. We cannot remain unaffected by the water surrounding us. So what could the family and school do when the whole society destroys what they try so laboriously to build? If the message transmitted by society (fashion, advertising, culture, media, etc.) contradicts the values received at home and at school, it is obvious that the child is inclined to consider those values as the part played by some who have to do it by trade: it is mere play-acting; the real values, worth assimilating, are not those taught by parents and teachers but those “breathed” in the environment where you live. When I was a child, our whole “village” spoke more or less the same language: you left your home to go to school or to the parish or to the playground, and you heard everywhere the same messages; you flipped through the newspaper or turned on the radio or TV, and you found the same old story; you could be walking along the road or go to buy milk and you met a passerby or the milkman, who taught you the same lesson. Nowadays it is no longer so: now it is enough for you to open the newspaper or turn on the TV or leave home to realize that there is a “conflict of values.” To which of them to pay attention? Obviously, to the most attractive and the least demanding. The same can be said, mutatis mutandis, with regards to religious formation. Even in this field we are usually inclined to delegate this kind of education to some specialists, the so-called “formators” (if you search for this word in an English dictionary, you will not find it), overburdening them with a responsibility often beyond their real possibilities, always ready to criticize them and to blame them for any failure, and forgetting the responsibilities of the entire “village.” What can a poor Father Master do when everything around him seems to plot against his endeavors? A formator should train his students in community prayer: what good is it if they know that when they are priests everything will be left to their personal initiative? A formator should educate young religious in poverty: what is the use of that, if once priests they will be able to dispose more or less freely huge amounts of money? In all seminaries here in Tagaytay (I do not know elsewhere) students are required to wear, at least in some occasions, their cassock or religious habit: but where is the sense in that if no priest or religious ever uses distinguishing attire? (I remember when I was a student in Rome, one day a confrere came and visited us in our Studentato, and he complained with our superiors because the scholastics did not wear the traditional Barnabite habit. He would have been right, if it were not… that he did not wear it either.) These are just some examples to emphasize how the efforts of formators are totally useless if they are not accompanied by the example and testimony of all. Even in this case, “it takes a village to raise a child.” Correctly, the Ratio barnabitica states: “The whole Congregation feels responsible for the formation of its members” (#93). This norm cannot be implemented just with the however due prayer of all confreres for those engaged in formation; what is necessary is an active involvement of everyone in the educational process; not because one wants to downplay or limit the responsibilities of those in charge, but to confirm, authenticate and strengthen their work with the lived experience of all. Otherwise, certain teachings will be always mistaken for the “fixation” of some saintly Father Master. And I would add that not even the involvement of the whole Congregation is enough if the contribution of the entire Church is missing: bishops, priests, lay people… everyone should feel responsible for the formation of their future ministers. Sometimes some girls… if only, instead of flirting with seminarians, they help them to persevere in their vocation! Then really the whole village would pursue the same goal and maybe education would be far more effective. It takes a village to raise a child… it takes a Church to raise a priest!

No. 2

iPaul
by Roan Cipriano J. Aborque, CRSP

7

TAGAYTAY: HISTORY, TOPOGRAPHY, LANDMARKS
The Saint Paul Scholasticate of the Barnabites in the Philippines is located in the city of Tagaytay, Province of Cavite. There are, however, quite a lot of people who are not familiar with the fastgrowing Tagaytay City. This article is meant to introduce the city of Tagaytay and to invite everyone to come and visit. History A legend tells us that the word “Tagaytay” comes from the Tagalog words “tagá” meaning a big cut made by a large knife or bolo and “itáy” which means father. The story narrates that a father and a son were said to be in a wild boar hunt when the animal they were chasing turned to attack them. As the boar charged towards the old man, the son shouted “taga itay!” which literally means cut with a bolo father. The boy’s repeated shouts echoed in the alleys of the ridge. Heard by the residents, hunters and wood gatherers, the voice became subject of conversation. In time, the place where the shouts came from became known as Tagaytay. During the Philippine revolution of 1896, the ridges and forests of Tagaytay became the sanctuary for revolutionaries including those from nearby provinces. Tagaytay became a chartered city on June 21, 1938 when Philippine President Manuel Luis Quezon signed Commonwealth Act No. 338, a bill authored by Representative Justiano S. Montano of Cavite. Topography The City of Tagaytay (Lungsod ng Tagaytay) is situated in the southern part of the province of Cavite, Philippines. It is approximately 55 kilometers (34.18 miles) away from Manila, the capital of the Philippines. Tagaytay lies 120° 56’ longitude and 14° 16’ latitude. It overlooks Manila Bay on the north and Taal Lake on the south. Tagaytay City is situated on top of Tagaytay ridge, which is 640 meters above sea level, the highest point in Cavite. The ridge provides a spectacular view of Taal Lake and Taal Volcano (the smallest volcano in the world) in Batangas Province. Tagaytay City’s climate is characterized by relatively low temperature, low humidity and abundant rainfall. The city is endowed with a cool and invigorating climate with an average temperature of 22.7°C. Situated approximately 600 meters above sea level, the city is misty and is relatively cooler during the months of December, January and February. Like most areas in the Province of Cavite, the city has two pronounced seasons: dry from November to April and wet during the rest of the year. The climate has made the city very ideal for get-aways, picnics, conferences, country homes and spiritual retreats. Tagaytay has an average humidity of 78% which makes the city cooler than Metro Manila. Northeasterly winds prevail in the city from October to April. Winds come from southwest from May to September. Tagaytay City has vast resources and possesses tremendous potentials for development in tourism and agriculture. It is envisioned to become a city that is rich and comfortable to live in
(Continued on page 8)

No. 2

iPaul

8

and visit, with flowers in bloom and fruits along roadsides, ridges and mountains swathed in green, pure and unpolluted air and climate always invigorating. Landmarks The city of Tagaytay is a tourist attraction for local and foreign visitors. It is an excellent vantage point of Taal Lake and Volcano. Tagaytay offers a breathtaking sight of the famous Taal Lake—a lake within an island within a lake. Tagaytay’s playground is the popular Picnic Grove. With thatch huts lining the gentle slopes and a prime location provides the finest view of the volcano far below. People’s Park in the Sky. An artful blending of natural and man-made attractions, poised on the highest point of Tagaytay City. It stands on a 4,516 sq. meters solid ground and overlooks four bodies of water namely Taal Lake, Balayan Bay, Laguna de Bay and Manila Bay. It is located at Dapdap West and Dapdap East, approximately 6 to 7 kilometers away from Silang Crossing (Rotunda).
The breathtaking view of Taal Volcano (photo: R. Kosek)

The interior of Tagaytay parish church

Tagaytay played a significant role in Philippine history. During World War II, Filipino soldiers found refuge on its vast forests and ridges. It was used as landing site and sanctuary for paratroopers on their way to liberate Manila. The 41st USAFFE (United States Armed Forces in the Far East) Marker is a place where you will know more about Tagaytay’s rich political history. It is located next to the Metro Tagaytay College of Business and Arts, Kaybagal South, Tagaytay City. 11th Airborne Division Marker. On February 03, 1945, the 11th Airborne Division of Lt. Gen. William Krueger’s 8th Army airdropped military supplies and personnel on the Tagaytay Ridge amidst enemy ground fire. Their mission was to secure Tagaytay City and guarantee the easy flow of troops and supplies to Manila, an action later proved as significant to the liberation of Manila. A marker was made at the Silang Crossing to honor the event. Japanese Friendship Garden. This 1,200 sq. meter garden was constructed to inculcate the value of freedom, peace and international unity into the hearts and minds of the people. It is located in front of Development Academy of the Philippines Conference Center, Sungay East, Tagaytay City. Tagaytay City could be on top of the list of places in the Philippines that offer a cool, clean and comforting place to live in. It is indeed a place worth visiting if one needs time for relaxation and family outings. I invite you for an experience of a soothing and relaxing visit.

No. 2

iPaul
Buhay Seminaryo… a Reflection

9

Scholasticate Life: An Integral and Holistic Formation
by Jose Nazareno S. Gabato, CRSP
Most people think that life in the seminary is BO-R-I-N-G. My friends are so skeptical whenever I tell them that seminary life is exciting and challenging. They think that the only two things seminarians do are to pray and to read/study the Bible. With this mindset, they wonder how we are able to live this kind of lifestyle. I admit that we pray a lot and read the Bible often. Yet a seminarian’s life does not only evolve around these two activities. Spiritual life is part of the seminarians’ holistic formation. There are other activities which make life challenging within the fourwalls of the seminary. Such activities make one forget the “call” beyond these hallowed walls. Scholasticate life is an integral and holistic formation. We are not being trained to become mystics or monks. Aside from the spiritual training we are being molded to be rational, compassionate and loving, meek and patient individuals. As future priests we need a compassionate and a loving heart and an insightful mind. Our life in the scholasticate is basically a formation of these qualities and values. Spiritual Life: Source of the Soul’s Nourishment We consider both prayer and reading the Bible as the soul’s “thirst quencher”. Reading the Bible and other spiritual books are not boring practices but consoling and invigorating ones. I never find any books more inspiring than the Bible especially the life of Jesus and His parables. Reading the Scriptures is a very inspiring and satisfying moment for the soul. It makes the soul healthy. It drives the readers to realize God’s love and goodness. Likewise, prayer is the soul’s “thirst quencher”. It makes our spiritual life healthy. It is the source of the soul’s nourishment similar to reading the Bible. It is an integral part of our life’s formation. I believe that a scholastic who does not pray will not persevere in his vocation and he could be likened to a plant in a dry land. It withers and dies due to lack of water. Thus, prayer is very essential in our life. In our scholasticate, aside from having time for one’s personal prayer, we also gather thrice a day for the communal prayers: morning prayer consists of Meditation, Lauds and Mass; evening prayer is composed of Meditation and Vespers; night prayer includes examination of conscience and Compline. We believe that a community that prays together, stays together. Academic Life: Formation of Conscience According to Canon Law (can. 1032 §1) an ecclesiastical degree in Theology is one of the requisites for ordination. In some schools it takes three years to get a degree while in other schools it takes four years excluding the Pastoral Formation Year (PFY). To obtain a degree in Theology is not easy. It takes many long sleepless nights to accomplish paper works and readings. Some even skip their recreation time or afternoon rest in order to study or finish research works. Studying Theology requires great effort and “sacrifice”. A scholastic needs to study hard and exert all his efforts to be prepared academically for his future ministry. I believe that an easy-go-lucky seminarian will be an ineffective and idle minister someday. To be a good priest requires a lot of study, knowledge and personal assimilation of the doctrines, laws and the liturgy of the Church. Intellectual formation is indeed necessary for those who are called to the ministry of priesthood. We, scholastics, know that it is not easy. But no matter how difficult it may be, we are determined “to finish the race”. Discouragements do not exist in our vocabulary. We are convinced that God provides us the strength to overcome any challenge. We will do our best and God will do the rest.

No. 2
Community Life: Formation of the Heart

iPaul

10

Living in a religious community with persons with different mentalities, attitudes and experiences is very challenging. It is not easy to live with people whom you do not choose to be with. Do expect that in a religious community, where people have different faces and colors, different behaviours also exist. If you can bear the most gruesome features definitely you can also bear the most gruesome attitudes! How? Through patience, understanding, love and forgiveness. However, if you are a person who easily gets irritated and annoyed, then you have a limited chance of survival inside the seminary. Living in a community with people having different attitudes and cultures requires great patience and understanding, love and forgiveness. In a “band of men” tensions and conflicts can occur any time. However, it is considered as part and parcel of our community life. If we do not learn patience and understanding, fist fights and “war of words” may happen at any time. And in these circumstances, we are being formed to be patient, to understand, to forgive our confreres who hurt us. Hence, our hearts are being fashioned according to the heart of Christ. Indeed, we do not allow hatred to ruin our day. Apostolate: A Call to Serve We are being formed not only in the seminary. During weekends we have our apostolic activities, also considered as our “pastoral exposure.” Just like the apostles we are sent in pairs (we bring nothing except the guitar and songbook!).

Before, I was anxious and hesitant to have this weekend apostolate. I was worried what would happen to me and to all of us in our apostolate. I was afraid to be assigned in an unwelcoming community. But I realized that it is an important preparation to become future missionaries. We have to prepare ourselves because as religious God may send us to the missions anytime. Indeed, as St. Paul says, “it is the love of Christ that urges us on” (2 Cor 5:14) to go serving the “poorest of the poor” and to preach about this love that drives us to serve. Therefore, our weekend apostolate, in essence, is a form of service. It is in our apostolate that we are being trained to become servants to all. As future priest, we are being fashioned to be like Jesus “who came not to be served but to serve.” We try to inculcate in our hearts and minds the value of service because priesthood is a life of service. We serve not for the sake of helping people but out of LOVE—love of God and of our neighbors. Scholasticate life is a holistic formation. We are not only being formed spiritually. Rather, we are being trained holistically and that makes our life exciting, challenging, inspiring and awesome! Like university students and young bachelors, we also experience difficulties and struggles—and all these make seminary life worth living. Indeed, the life of a scholastic is totally I-N-S-P-I-R-I-N-G and not boring at all.
Moments of community life: liturgical service for the ordination (previous page); outing in Puerto Galera (on the left); the recognition day for Tahanan children on March 14, 2007 (on the top).

No. 2

iPaul

11

FR. GIOVANNI SEMERIA, BARNABITE “SERVANT AND APOSTLE TO THE ORPHANS”
by Thomas Federick S. Tabada, CRSP
To Fr. Semeria our Tahanan Mapag-aruga is dedicated. At the conclusion of the celebrations for the 75th anniversary of his death (March 15, 1931), we would like to commemorate his service to the “poorest of the poor” through this short biographical sketch. Have you ever experienced “selling” yourself? One of our fathers, Fr. Giovanni Semeria experienced this. He used to say, “I sell myself for my orphans”, an expression of his life-long dedication to the service of the orphans. His sense of dedication and self-giving are marked with genuine service and love. He was constantly on the move of helping those in need. For he believes the words of St Luke: “Give and it will be given to you, good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap; for the measure you give will be the measure you get back” (6:38). Who is Fr. Giovanni Semeria? Fr. Semeria was born in the Ligurian coast, Caldirodi (a village in the municipality of Sanremo) in 1867. He lost his father at an early age. At the age of fifteen he decided to dedicate his life to Christ by becoming a Barnabite. The young Giovanni studied philosophy in Rome, where he received a religious and cultural education inspired and enriched with great balance and especially a deep feeling of liberty and responsibility. He attended novitiate in Monza. In 1890 he was ordained priest in Rome where he remained for the next five years. Fr. Semeria was then transferred to Genoa, at St. Bartholomew’s, which will become the center of his future activities. It was in Genoa where he founded the Superior School of Religion (this “school” was created to recognize that the modern thought is suitable to the Gospel. The message of the gospel is not changed but only translated with creativity and expressed it to the new current of theology. However, this caused him to silence and exile in Brussels) and initiated many charitable activities including orphanages he himself established. Fr. Semeria is one of the persons who probably will say, “I am only one but still I am one who cannot do everything. But still I can do something and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.” This famous statement

coming from the Lend-a-Hand Society was visibly seen in the character of Fr. Semeria. He dedicated his life in total service to God. The simple something that he did is a big thing to others; and this something generated a change in the life of the orphans. What is this something that I am talking about? This something is the establishment of two orphanages in 1919: one in Amatrice (Rieti) and the other in Gioia del Colle (Bari). Both were the beginnings of his mission, that is, to help the orphaned children. Within a span of five years, Fr. Semeria established nine shelterlaboratories in Calabria, eleven in Basilicata, four in Campania and three in Abruzzo. He also founded fourteen summer camps on the Alps and one on the shore in Monterosso (La Spezia). Today, these laboratories and shelters are under the direction of the Disciples of Don Minozzi who was his companion in building these orphanages. Fr. Semeria’s works were marked with excellence and service, indeed, an expression of great acts of love. Because of these, he came to be known as the
(Continued on page 12)

No. 2

iPaul

12

servant of the orphans or the apostle to the orphans. Truly, these titles bear his ardor, enthusiasm and spirit towards helping the orphans of the World War I. His animated spirit and his closeness to the children were clearly manifested in his first assignment in Genoa where he became the director of St. Alexander Sauli Club. As director, he trained them in theatrical arts and other skills beneficial to them, aside from teaching religion and sports. This method of approaching the children is also his way of guiding the orphans. He directed the orphans with gentleness yet with firmness. Fr. Semeria was a very prolific writer who wrote a number of books and articles on Theology. However, he was suspected of promoting Modernism in his written works. His wit and intelligence snatched him to silence and exile but this did not stop him in helping others. Nicola Raponi reports about the silencing of Fr. Semeria: “Fr. Semeria had suffered many humiliations as he was accused to profess too daring ideas and was suspected of heresy. He was forbidden to preach, and, though never formally condemned, he was forced to leave his own country into exile, relegated to a remote community of confreres in Brussels. He remained there until the vigil of World War I.” We are then exhorted, by the works of Fr. Semeria, to imitate his great acts of love not by establishing orphanages but through habitually performing small acts of kindness towards our neighbor. It is in these small acts of kindness that we bring sunshine to the lives of others. The famous adage indicates: “Kindness is Christianity with its working clothes on.” It is the kindness in a person that wins our love. Fr. Semeria won the hearts of the people because of his generosity and love to the orphans. Fr. Semeria lived the following words of Mother Theresa of Calcutta: “Let us not be satisfied with just giving money. Money is not enough, money can be got, but they need your hearts to love them. So spread your love everywhere you go, first of all in your home, give love to your children, to your wife or husband, to a next-door neighbor.” Fr. Semeria died on March 15, 1931 in Sparanise (Caserta). His remains are buried in Istituto Padre Semeria di Monterosso al Mare (La Spezia, Italy). The diocesan process for the canonization of Fr. Semeria was started in 1984. We hope that in the years to come the Church will honor him by enrolling him in the long list of saints.
Source: Clerics Regular of St. Paul, A Tradition of Holiness and Scholarship (Philippines: Marikina, 1998), 59-63.

Fullness of life
by Robert B. Kosek, CRSP
Bethlehem, PA, February 18, 2007 Dear Friends of Tahanan: The Most Reverend Bishop Luis Antonio G. Tagle, D.D., Rev. Giovanni Scalese, CRSP, Rector The FMIJ Sisters, The Hospitales Sisters of Mercy, Barnabite Confreres, Saint Paul Scholasticate, Benefactors, Families of the Center and People of Good will: Please and love of Jesus Christ be with you! On the 18th of February 2007 we celebrate the first anniversary of the blessing of Tahanan Mapag-Aruga ni Padre Semeria in Tagaytay, Philippines. Bishop Luis Antonio G. Tagle, Bishop of Imus Cavite blessed the work in the presence of God with these words: “Fullness of Life is what I pray for you.” The Lord has worked great things among us. And we have seen His power manifested among us! Yes, and so our hearts rejoice with His Spirit because of all that God was able to accomplish through us, among us, and for us all throughout this whole year: May God be praised for His marvelous deeds and continue to bless us with His endless love! I must confess that for me an occasion like this becomes an opportunity to reflect upon the unfolding plans of divine presence. Within this divine setting we attempt to unravel and discern God’s desires and act upon them. As I do so I grow ever deeper aware of God’s providential love, and that without it nothing could come to life. I never expected that my fourteen month long Filipino experience would change my soul and heart forever more. That experience afforded me the opportunity to gain more wisdom of heart: to see and hear “that the LORD is great, that our Lord is greater than all gods. The Lord does whatever pleases him, in the heavens and on the earth, in the seas and all their depths” (Ps 135:56). And to know as well that all that spiritual insight was granted to me by God as pure grace: that neither a naked eye sees nor an ear can scrutinize it (cf Ps 135:16). What kind of reality am I referring to? Let me clarify this reality by saying that during that time I became even more assured that: “God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him” (1 Jn 4:16) and more… I have grown into a more profound awareness and appreciation of

No. 2

iPaul

13

what it means to live out God’s love among the poor of this world, i.e., both spiritual and material. How is it possible to learn about God and His godly love amidst immense human poverty and misery? The answer is one: “We have come to believe in God’s love.” This act of faith has a lasting impact on all of one’s decisions in life. Thus “being Christian is not the result of an ethical choice or a lofty idea, but the encounter with an event, a person, which gives life a new horizon and a decisive direction” (Deus Caritas Est, 1). What was my experience of Jesus on the Asian road to Emmaus? Where and in whom did I come to recognize Him? I saw countless faces of the poor and hungry children, mothers’ hands begging for mercy. I heard voices crying in desperation for mercy, and the Lord was in each one of them. Yes, it was Jesus in the poor and hungry asking me for food. Yes, it was Jesus whose hands were begging me for mercy. Yes, it was Jesus’ voice of desperation crying for mercy from me. It was Him indeed! “The Lord has identified himself with them in a special way (cf Mt 25:40). This love excludes no one, but simply embodies a priority of service to which the whole Christian tradition bears witness. ‘This love of preference for the poor, and the decisions which it inspires in us, cannot but embrace the immense multitudes of the hungry, the needy, the homeless, those without medical care and, above all, those without hope of a better future. It is impossible not to take account of the existence of these realities. To ignore them would mean becoming like the ‘rich man’ who pretended not to know the beggar Lazarus lying at his gate (cf Lk 16:19-31)’” (Ecclesia in Asia, 34). However the story does not end here. The Lord did not want me to walk alone, or to be overwhelmed by the work to be done. He desired to send my way a lot of His good friends to ease the burden of the call, and so He did indeed. Without these friends, and their generosity of heart, it would not have been possible to accomplish God’s desire — Tahanan Mapag-Aruga ni Padre Semeria. “How can I repay the Lord for all the good done for me?” (Ps 116:12) On this day, the first anniversary of the blessing of Tahanan Mapag-Aruga ni Padre Semeria, I want to give thanks to God for each one of you individually. For indeed I consider to be truly blessed by God for sending you into my life. I am grateful to God for sending into my life: Bishop Luis Antonio G. Tagle, Rev. Giovanni Scalese, CRSP, Religious Sisters from the Congregations of the FMIJ and the Hospitals Sisters of Mercy, Barnabite Confreres, Seminarians, and various Benefactors from the Philippines and abroad. Together we were able to make a brighter future to 8 children by sending them to elementary school, to 3 youth by sending them to high school, and to 2 young adults by send-

ing them to college. Moreover, there are on-going educational programs for children and mothers, as well as a livelihood program conducted by the Barnabite Seminarians. Thank you again for making God’s love a tangible reality for so many brothers and sisters living amid hopelessness and misery. The next time we pray “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth, as it is heaven,” we can wholeheartedly believe in the fulfillment of that promise. So let us entrust all the families we help and all the good ‘Samaritans’ to the motherly love of Mary: “O Holy Mary, Daughter of the Most High God, Virgin Mother of the Savior and Mother of us all, look tenderly upon the Church of your Son planted on Asian soil. Be her guide and model as she continues your Son’s mission of love and service in Asia.(…) O Mary, Mother of the New Creation and Mother of Asia, pray for us, your children, now and always!” (Ecclesia in Asia, 51) Your Brother in Christ, Fr. Robert B. Kosek, CRSP, Ph.D.
The rainbow appeared above our house on the eve of its inauguration, November 9, 2005 (Photo: R. Kosek)

No. 2

iPaul
Our Nearest “Kapit-bahay”

14

the Merciful Sisters
by Clyd S. Autentico, CRSP Before our seminary was constructed here in Tagaytay, there were many religious congregations already present in the area. In Purok 92 (but in the same road: once it was called “SMSK Road”), Barangay San Jose, Tagaytay, we can find our nearest “kapitbahay”, neighbors: the Merciful Sisters. They came to the Philippines in 1986 and established themselves in Tagaytay City in 1996. Their convent is approximately twenty-five meters away from our scholasticate house. Everyday our fathers celebrate Mass for them. The congregation of the Merciful Sisters was founded by Mother Francesca Semporini and Fr. Achille Fosco, OFMConv on May 07, 1947 in Rionero Atella, Potenza, Italy. The charism of the congregation is reflected on their name: works of mercy. Their apostolic works include: parish activities, teaching in schools, working in orphanages and retreat houses and teaching catechism. The Merciful Sisters has three houses in the Philippines: the “Mother of Mercy Spiritual Center” (Tagaytay) which is both a retreat house and the novitiate house; they have an orphanage in Malabag, Silang, Cavite; and the other house is in Quezon

City, Metro Manila. They also have religious communities in Tanzania (Africa) and in Italy. To date, there are about eighty sisters in their congregation including thirty-two professed Filipina sisters (both in perpetual and temporary vows). Their Mother General is Rev. Mo. Valeria Dema who resides in their motherhouse in Italy. Their Mother Delegate here in the Philippines is Mo. Paula Advincula, who is based here in Tagaytay and serves as both mother superior and novice mistress. The Sisters also do medical missions with the cooperation of their friend doctors and nurses. They give free medicines to poor families living nearby and feed some poor children. Their orphanage in Silang, Cavite, which was established last year, is open to shelter poor and orphaned children. The presence of the Merciful Sisters is a big help to the people of Tagaytay City. In their simple and humble life, they serve as living witnesses of God’s love for the poor and orphans.
The community of the Merciful Sisters with their Mother General (on the left). On March 31, 2007 two of the novices made their first profession. Above, the façade of “Mother of Mercy Spiritual Center.”

No. 2

iPaul

15

NURTURING
by Anonymous Barnabite
I remember one summer when I had gone home for a slight vacation. My family had recently received a dog. Part Black Labrador Retriever and part Collie. They had called the dog “Lady.” During those two weeks that I was home I would feed Lady, give her treats when she obeyed and did well, play with her, and give her a lot of petting. Lady would lie down alongside my bed at night and her neck or back would be under my hand which hung over the side of the bed. If I moved my arm she would start to whine and cry until she had the security of my hand. When the two weeks came to an end it was hard to say good-bye to Lady; but, since my assignment was only about 90 minutes away by car, I knew I would be seeing her on occasional visits. Unfortunately my family did not treat her as well and often ignored her during the day. About every six weeks I would get a weekend off and I would normally go home for those few days. When I would come through the door Lady would get all excited and jump up on me and just go crazy. I would pet her and play for a while as I talked with the family over a cup of coffee. Again I would give her treats and feed her and again she would sleep alongside my bed under my arm. She was now bigger and she would actually push my arm so it would hang over the side of the bed. Most people said that she responded to me in that way because I had nurtured her as a young pup. Feeding her, teaching her, and petting her produced loyalty, trust, obedience, and affection. People need physical and emotional nurturing or feeding just like Lady. This nurturing develops into an influence upon another. My nurturing of Lady influenced her to respond to me with loyalty, obedience, and trust. To influence does not denote authority. John Knox has said that “one cannot antagonize and influence at the same time;” unless maybe it does so in a reverse, kind of negative, manner. A mother takes care of a child at all times. The mother will communicate positive feelings and concern for the child. But a mother is also one who prepares her child for when the child must be on its own. Therefore, how much one nurtures and becomes independent says how much one influences. In the field of education teachers may be unaware of how much they are capable of influencing their students. In my copy of the 1983 yearbook, one of the graduates, one whom I had never taught in the classroom, wrote that he would never forget the lessons I gave him. I questioned him about that. He said that he just saw how I interacted with students, faculty, and staff. He mentioned that he always heard a supportive word coming from my lips. As a teacher I influenced someone with some great lessons, and they never took place in the classroom. And by the way, as he came off the stage with his diploma in hand, gave me a hug, and said “thanks.” Albert Schweitzer says it best: “Example is not the main thing in influencing others—it is the only thing.” One of the most important aspects in all this is that you and your actions are to remain consistent. Lady learned to do things correctly and well because I would consistently give her a treat when she did them correctly and well. If I had sometimes given her a treat when she did well and also when she did badly, she would have been confused and not have learned. It is like the experiment with Pavlov’s dogs. They learned that when the bell would ring they would be given food. Some psychologists would call that conditioning. Maybe so; but it is the consistency that influences and effects the dogs as well. Because of your consistency, others will also grow into a sense of being secure with you. That sense of security adds to the nurturing process as it produces trust. The words of St. John Chrysostom come to mind when he said: “Men will not attend to what we say, but examine into what we do.” Our actions need to be consistent with our words or else they will not be believed because our actions speak louder than our words. Our consistency is the real teacher here as it is the influencing factor. With nurturing also comes respect. Respect can be defined as the “recognition of the good in others.” This type of respect will give one a sense of security because no matter what you do, the ones in your charge will know that you will have only their good in mind. A good friend of mine would always tell her children “And remember that I love you” at the end of any type of reprimand or punishment given. I asked her why she did that. Patti said that it was because she wanted to teach her children that loving sometimes requires correction and in a punitive manner. This way her children would always know that what she is doing is only out of love for them. Another component of nurturing in dealing with respect of others is to give recognition and appreciation to others. We have a saying in North America to “give credit where credit is due.” When someone receives recognition or appreciation it makes them stand proud and tall. Why?
(Continued on page 16)

No. 2
(Continued from page 15)

iPaul

16

Because it validates not only their actions but also who they are as a person as well. There was once an incident that took place in a seminary. Someone had left the faucet running and the water was overflowing from the sink on to the floor, leaving a nice sized puddle of water. One of the novices shut the faucet off, let the water in the sink go down the drain and began to mop up the water on the floor. One of the priests came in followed by other seminarians. The priest asked what he was doing. The novice told him what had happened and how he was now mopping up the floor. His response to the novice was: “Good, maybe you will loose a little weight.” The novice most likely was expecting him to at least say “Thank you.” He felt that no matter what he did, good or bad, people always would see negative about him. It made the novice start to think only negative things about himself. He did not think he would be good enough to ever take vows and be a good religious priest. He left the seminary and a year later his car hit a cement wall and he was instantly killed. The police said it was an accident because of the curve on the road. Those of us who knew of this story came to another conclusion. There is this story about a ‘middle-aged plus’ Sister of Mercy, Sister Mary Kathleen, who was teaching 5th grade in St. John’s parish school. She found that the students did not cooperate well and at times were actually rude to each other. So she decided to give them an assignment. The next day she gave them a list with the name of each person in her class. She told the students that they are to write down next to the person’s name one good thing about that person. The students mumbled at first but soon were about the task. Heads would pop up as they looked around at the students and then busily begin to write down a positive quality. She collected the papers and that night made a list of all the respective good qualities under each student’s name. The next day she distributed the list to her students. Smiles would show up on their faces. You could even hear a few saying: “Wow, that’s nice.” The students began to have a change about them and learned to work well together. In the years to come Sister Mary Kathleen had forgotten about her little experiment. About 20 years later it was toward the end of the Vietnam War. That morning, as Sister was reading the morning paper, she looked at the obituary page. She read the name of a 30 year old Marine lieutenant who had been killed in action. She recognized the name as one of her students. That night she went to the funeral home to pay her respects and to offer some prayers. The parents approached the nun and asked her if she had taught Grade 5 at St. John’s parish school about 30 years prior. She told them she had. The parents said: “Sister, we need to show you something. This is our son’s wallet. In-

side, under all his identification, is this yellow aged and folded sheet of paper. It states his name at top and then gives a list of all his good points.” Sister was amazed as she put her hand to her mouth. The parents continued, “Our son never forgot this paper. He took it out whenever he was feeling bad. And during his days of fighting he took it out and read it many times.” A young woman had overheard and approached the three of them. Excuse me, Sister Mary Kathleen, but I keep mine in my purse at all times. Here it is. It reminds me to always have a nice word to say about others. A distinguished young man then came up and took his list out of his wallet. He said that through his divorce and the loss of his business, this list was the only thing that had kept him from committing suicide. Soon about 20 to 25 classmates of the Marine produced their list, each with a story to tell. I recall the time when I was taking my education courses at Fordham University in order to become a teacher. One of the professors told us that whenever students are answering a question, always look for something positive about their answer. So, a teacher may say: “You’re touching on it but that is not quite the full answer. But what you said is good.” This will never leave them with a sense of failure which “No, you’re wrong,” does. Encouragement is the key that opens the door for one to reach their fullest potential. There was a teacher who was part of the crew of astronauts in the 1980’s for the spaceship Challenger which exploded a few minutes after lift-off. She had been quoted as saying: “I touch the future. I am a teacher.” As human beings and as Christians we have times of questioning and doubts, especially of our own capabilities. Those are the times when we need the most encouragement from others. When things seem to be the darkest that is when we need to be encouraged. With encouragement to persevere the snail was able to reach Noah’s Ark as well. It is that encouragement that nurtures us into becoming the blossom that God created us to become. We must remember that encouragement brings about perseverance. Perseverance develops into the virtue of patience which St. Francis de Sales says is the one which most assures us of perfection. For as St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria says: “Patience will produce an abundance of fruits of charity.” But all this is part of our nurturing process to become that which God wants us to be. Nurturing is important for all types of growth. Vegetation, Children, Bishops, Laity, Christians. Our nurturing never comes to a completion. The most important element though is that we have good nurturers. “For a bad tree cannot bear good fruit.” (Mt 7:18) Let us be mindful of this in all that we meet and in all in our charge. Remember, a nurturing word can produce deeper roots more than any academic lesson.

No. 2

iPaul
Paschal Meditation 1

17

Kenosis: A Lenten Message of Dying to Self
by Jonathan G. Ramoso, CRSP
Our modern society is characterized by a decline of values and instability of community building. Selfishness, social conflicts, drug addiction and alcoholic dependence among the youth, misunderstanding among family members due to overwhelming pride, hatred and jealousy are the marks of the 21st century human society. What is essential and valuable is what one gets on his own. Instead of doing things for the good of the community, people do the opposite, that is, thinking for one’s own benefits. As a result, conflicts and disputes prevail in the family and in the society as a whole. In his letter St. James says, “Where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there are disorder and every foul practice.” (3:16) As a result, a peaceful community is never realized. This is the reality of our present society and sadly, this is also the situation of many religious communities. How can a person restore his true identity as a creature made according to God’s own image and likeness? What is kenosis and how can it help a person search for its real self? The core message is SELF-EMPTYING—Kenosis. I remember my college thesis on Simone Weil who coined the term “self-decreation” which has the same meaning as kenosis. A Christian philosopher, she argues that in order to be in communion with God, one has to destroy the self; one has to purify the self which is inclined to sin and therefore to detach from the worldly anxieties and comforts. Is it easy? A person therefore who undergoes kenosis abandons the self for Christ’s sake and neighbor. Every single day poses a challenge to place oneself subordinate to Christ, indeed, a total abandonment of one’s will and intellect. When we discard our self-possessed gods, God comes in. Courage and great love are needed to do that! St. Anthony Mary urges us in his Sermon IV, “… the hate of possessions, of money, of what can be seen, indeed the hate of yourself. See what great love is required from us, a love which could be nothing else but the love of God… And how happy the good ones will be, as they find themselves detach from everything. Having lost the self, they have everything in God and others.” It is disheartening to see how money has become the controlling factor and the final denominator in our world today. It is hard to talk about the BREAD OF LIFE in a world that only seeks for material bread. A funny story was told by Fr. Jerry Orbos, SVD, “It is like a story of a 2-year old boy who swallowed a one-peso coin. The mother turned him upside down and sharply hit his back, and the child coughed up two 10-peso coins! What did she do next? She fed him more onepeso coins so that more 10-peso coins would come out!” Kenosis is to empty the self, to let go and let God hold you and make you his possession. In essence, it means to be possessed by God and letting go of things that hinder one to have God as one’s desired possession. One of my experiences illustrates this. Beside our house, there was a mango tree. Attracted by the savory appearance of its fruits, I climbed to get some and so to enjoy it myself and shared it with others. I got a bunch of it, but suddenly my left foot slipped off from one of the trunks. I was in danger of falling down and my only choice was to throw away the fruits so that I could hold on to another trunk. I threw the mangoes and clutched tightly at another trunk and so I saved myself. In other words, there are times when we really need to let go of our own selfish desires so that the love and grace of God may enter into our hearts. The Lord challenges us to let go of our “precious little world” in order that we can hold on to the only branch of Life—JESUS CHRIST. Deep within us we often fear our “shadows”—the shadows of our tepidity, self-righteousness and many other self-constructed false images of ourselves. The Lenten journey is a reminder of one’s own search for the real self. This too, is kenosis. In dying to self, we identify ourselves to Christ and so we become aware of who we are in God. We have to face the shadows of our falsehood to be able to live freely with others and in peace with ourselves and with God. Of course, these can only be done with divine help and the grace of Jesus. May our observance of Lent resound the radiance of God’s goodness and love towards the glory of Easter with Jesus Christ resurrected. He is the only one who gives us hope and meaning in life. May we observe this season not with feeding up our mouths with more coins, not clinging and holding fast to our small gods but with the authentic dying to self. HAPPY EASTER TO ALL!

No. 2

iPaul
Paschal Meditation 2

18

gazing AT THE CROSS
by Arvin A. Dagalea, CRSP
Every year we remind ourselves of the great deeds that Jesus has done for us. Doing the Stations of the Cross, for instance, is a way to reminisce the saving acts of Jesus. But have we ever tried to gaze at the cross meditatively and see the message behind it: why Jesus, the Son of God, was crucified? I guess every Christian knows why the only begotten Son of the Father is there hanging on the cross. The fact is that through the cross he redeemed us from the slavery of sins and brought us back to the Father. Once we were lost and walked in the darkness that kept us blind to the truth and to the reality of God’s love. Gazing at the cross makes me ponder of how great is the Love of the Father for humanity that He even sent His Son to die on that wooden tree. And because of this Love, the history of humanity has changed. The bruised, bloodied body of that person hanging on the cross, who gave his very own life for us, has restored us to life. For many, the cross symbolizes shame, suffering, and victory. Sometimes we complain of our experiences of shame and sufferings. But we have to bear in mind that we become authentic human beings through suffering. We are purified by experiencing sufferings. It is through suffering that we learn. Suffering would not be painful if we accept it willingly, uniting it with the suffering of our Lord Jesus. This season of Lent invites to gaze at the cross to reflect on its real message that led humanity to see the light. But we are not just invited to do so in this season of Lent. We are invited everyday to meditate on God’s love realized on the cross, to live it especially during moments of struggles for a better life, that is, a life centered on Christ. I am inviting you to fix your gaze intently to that person hanging on the cross, that person is the only Son of the Father, who is very willing to die for us again and again just to lead us back on the right path toward the Father. We must not only gaze at that wooden cross but rather we must seal it into our minds and hearts that there is this Jesus who emptied Himself for our very own salvation. Let us gaze at the wooden cross with a change of heart. If we want to follow Jesus in the way of perfection, then we need to carry our own crosses in our own little way. We must always remember that this is the only way that leads to life. And when at times the road becomes rough and the challenges are too hard to bear, set your gaze at that cross. Moreover, if we only place Jesus at the center of our being, surely no matter how strong the storm tosses our life we shall be able to keep our ships sailing, confident on God’s unfailing providence. We must not forget that the cross is the source of our strength. Being a Christian, this is the only major source of our sustenance when we rise and fall, of our joys and tears, of happiness and sadness, and most of all, in our losses and victories

No. 2

iPaul
Paschal Meditation 3

19

EASTER AND “PADER” OF CHRIST
by Ferdinand S. Dagcota, CRSP
“Pader” is the Filipino word for the English “wall”. We build walls as a means of protection and security. But it can also be an obstacle, a hindrance to reach others which separates oneself and living alone in one’s own world where neighbors do not exist. Walls divide people; it widen the gap between the rich and the poor, the influential and the helpless, the powerful and the weak. Therefore, a wall can be an instrument of security and protection but, when used in a selfish way, it can cause disunity and alienation. Our Christian life has also a “PADER”— Passion, Death and Resurrection, a “wall” which is not an obstacle but a means to reach God and neighbor. It unites us with each other and with God. “PADER” is a human experience that strengthens and gives us hope, a hope that brings us to Easter. Human life has a lot of experiences of passions and deaths. And “PADER” is a story of our life experienced in different situations and circumstances. Our life has a lot of “PADER” to experience and through these we would be able to identify ourselves with Christ. Experiencing “PADER” shows our unity with Christ and thus we also share in His resurrection. “PADER” is always there to remind us that life is a process, a continuous growth and struggle. Life has no shortcuts, only long roads to trudge and on it we must experience life. It is here that our faith is needed so that we may be able to face the “PADER” of life. Faith gives us strength to face all the trials in our life. It strengthens our hope to continue living in the midst of all the struggles in our life. Hope is an action of our faith. Our faith is useless without hope and vice versa. Hope is an expression of our faith. To accept “PADER” in our life is a concrete manifestation of our faith and through this faith, hope is born. Hope is the force that pushes us to go on with our struggles. It gives us an assurance that everything will be alright and all our struggles would never be in vain. “PADER” is not an obstacle for us to hope

but instead it is the surest way for us to become one with Christ. The only thing that we need is to believe and hope in Him and everything will follow. Those who hope in Christ will never be disappointed. “PADER” is inevitable but if we have faith and hope, it is not a hindrance to reach Easter—our Resurrection after an experience of passion and death. Therefore, Easter is a life lived in faith and hope in Christ. We are challenged to live always a life of Easter, a life that is united in Christ. A life of Easter is manifested in our love of neighbor. It is a life fully lived, given and loved. Christ is our Easter; He is the “wall” that we can really depend on, a wall that does not divide but unite through His resurrection. Through his “PADER” and our sharing in faith and hope we are given new life, a resurrected life that is so strong that no hardship can shake. We must remember that difficulties are part of our lives because they lead us to Easter—the recognition of God’s glory amidst human tribulation and the beginning of new life united with Christ, our triumphant Savior. Happy Easter to all!

No. 2
Paschal Meditation 4… sa Italyano

iPaul
The Poets’ Corner

20

Il tempo della grazia
by Joselito A. Santos, CRSP

Lend Me a Hand
“Il tempo della grazia è di nuovo arrivato!”, diceva il predicatore rivolgendosi a un gruppo che stava facendo gli esercizi spirituali. Le sue parole erano cosí convincenti che, subito dopo la meditazione, quasi tutti si accostarono al sacramento della riconciliazione. Ma mi sono chiesto se davvero solo il tempo quaresimale possa essere considerato come il “tempo della grazia”. Credo che tutto l’anno meriti di essere chiamato allo stesso modo. Il grande dono di amore da parte di Dio nella passione, morte e risurrezione del suo Figlio diletto ha causato la nostra salvezza. Salvezza che genera gioia non solo in un momento dell’anno, ma in ogni giorno dell’esistenza dell’uomo. Cosí dovrebbe essere, ma non lo è. Il sacrificio del Signore non dice piú molto. Quasi quasi è stato ridotto a una celebrazione liturgica, una piccola “sveglia” per la fede, ma poi, subito dopo, l’uomo continua a voltare le spalle al Signore. È stata molto sanguionosa la prima settimana santa. Questo sacrificio perfetto dell’amore di Dio all’uomo creato è unico e irripetibile. Ma Cristo continua a donare il suo corpo e il suo sangue ogni volta che celebriamo l’Eucaristia. E per questo non solo nel tempo di Quaresima uno deve ricordarsi della passione, morte e risurrezione di Gesú. Cristo si dona continuamente nell’Eucaristia in ogni giorno della nostra vita. Da parte sua si trattò di un’offerta “sanguinosa”. Ma egli vuole che anche noi facciamo la nostra parte. Anche in questo caso dovrebbe esserci un “versamento di sangue”: una conversione, una purificazione delle nostre relazioni umane, un nuovo modo di vedere le cose, un cambiamento duraturo e autentico. Tutto comincia con un cuore umile e pentito.
by Cirilo B. Coniendo, CRSP

My dear Lord, I meekly come before you, asking for forgiveness. I turned away from you many times. I disregarded you and abandoned you. Yet, you did not turn away from me. You stayed with me. Thank you Lord Jesus. I promise to change my ways. Forgive all my failures and sins. Forgive my indifference, my selfishness, and my uncharitable attitude. Forgive my craving for material things and my extravagant lifestyle. Forgive my desire for attention and acclaim. Forgive my insincerities and unfulfilled vow. O dear Lord, Lend me a hand, that my lifestyle may be simple; Lend me a hand, that my words may be sincere; Lend me a hand, that my actions may be righteous. Lend me a hand, that I may do justice to your gifts, my talents, my achievements and my very life.

No. 2

iPaul
by Yohanes B. Koten, CRSP

21
by Marlon B. Ramirez, Pat M. Golis, Jonathan G. Ramoso & C.

BE A GOOD PREACHER

NEWS, EVENTS, AT IBA PA…

The preacher is the messenger of God’s love to the people. He tries to explain the Scripture and its meaning to the people. He preaches about Jesus Christ. In these situations, he must be a good preacher not a poor one. And in his preaching of the Word of God he must be like a “hunter’s gun”, that is, he must have the ability to shoot the hearts of the people through good homilies. The preacher must avoid poor preaching. Fr. Lino Nicasio, SVD, our professor in the “Theology and Spirituality of Preaching” at the Divine Word School of Theology (DWST), gives the reasons why there is poor preaching: “The preacher lacks a clear understanding of preaching; he fails to understand preaching as communication; he does not prepare his homilies well; and he does not evaluate his homilies.” In this regard, Vatican II stresses the importance of preaching: “The ministry of preaching is to be fulfilled with exactitude and fidelity. The sermon, moreover, should draw its content mainly from scriptural and liturgical sources. Its character should be that of a proclamation of God’s wonderful works in the history of salvation, that is, the mystery of Christ, which is ever made present and active within us, especially in the celebration of the liturgy.” (Sacrosanctum Concilium, #35). Hence, the preacher must do his best in order to understand that preaching is first and foremost God’s work entrusted to and accomplished by man. In this case, the preacher must always bear in mind that when he preaches, he owes it to God, to His Word, and to His people. So an unprepared homily is a disaster, but a well-prepared one is a blessing. Fr. Lino explains further, “the preacher tries to bring about a personal encounter between God and the souls of his hearers. He seeks to lead every man to a place where he must meet God face to face and can find no way of evasion, no escape from the impact of God upon his mind and heart and conscience ... the true preacher seeks to do one thing, and one thing only—to put himself in the hands of God that God may bring about the personal encounter through him.” Furthermore, the preacher must hear the cry of the people who ask for a good homily, a better homily that makes them remember and reflect upon and with the grace of God may act upon. Fr. Lino continues, “the preacher can improve his preaching and thus become a more effective and a more powerful preacher. In truth, the preacher has no choice: he has to be a forceful, convincing preacher. For ministers of the Word, good preaching is not optional; it is obligatory ... We must consider practical ways and means to prepare effective homilies. We must see the need to understand preaching as communication. Understanding preaching as such helps the preacher prepare homilies with care, keeping in mind that the homily is primarily for his listeners, and that preaching is his service to the people of God. Moreover, we must also consider the need to evaluate our homilies constantly, both content-wise and delivery-wise, so as to present homilies that sparkle, inspire, convince, and thus help the audience. Effective preaching, we concluded, happens when the preacher, by the grace of God and his own efforts, becomes alive, dynamic, and enthusiastic about Jesus Christ, the Divine Word. The world needs mighty preachers. Go, and with God’s blessing, be one!”

Father General’s Visit
Last February 15, the Superior General of the Barnabite Fathers, the Most Reverend Father Giovanni Villa came to Saint Paul Scholasticate to take part in the Priestly Ordination of deacons Jecker Luego and Michael Sandalo. Fr. Villa was accompanied by Fr. Mario Gadda, former superior/rector of the defunct Seminario Teologico Internazionale in Rome, Italy, and for some years formator of the ordinandi. It was also his first time to visit the Philippines. One of the purposes of Father General’s visit was to meet the members of the Philippine Delegation of the Order. It was also his first time to visit the Scholasticate since its transfer to its new place. It was a great opportunity for him to meet and know the Filipino professed students of the Scholasticate community. A general assembly of the Philippine Delegation was also held on February 19 at Saint Anthony Ma. Zaccaria Seminary in Marikina City. Together with Fr. Villa, the fifteen solemn professed and priests of the Delegation discussed some plans and strategies to become a pro-province. Fr. Villa and Fr. Gadda left for Rome in the morning of February 21 concluding their week-long visit in the Philippines.

Father General with Father Papa and our Rector

No. 2 25th Anniversary of Bishop Tagle’s Presbyteral Ordination

iPaul

22

Last February 27, 2007 the religious community of Saint Paul Scholasticate took part in the 25th anniversary of the presbyteral ordination of the Bishop of Imus, His Excellency Most Reverend Luis Antonio G. Tagle, D.D. A concelebrated Mass presided by Bishop Tagle was held at the Imus Cathedral. The bishops from the neighboring dioceses also concelebrated: Bishop Deogracias Iñiquez (Caloocan), Bishop Antonio Tobias (Novaliches), Bishop Teodoro Bacani, Jr. (Emeritus of Novaliches), Archbishop Ramon Arguelles (Lipa), Bishop Francisco San Diego (Pasig), Bishop Manuel Sobreviñas (Emeritus of Imus), and Manila Archbishop, His Eminence Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales. Priests from various religious congregations and the clergy of the Diocese likewise concelebrated including our very own Frs. Giovanni Scalese, Joselito Santos, Jecker Luego and Michael Sandalo. The cathedral was packed with the religious and the faithful of the Diocese of Imus. Also present were the parents of Bishop Tagle, his relatives and friends, former Philippine president Corazon Aquino, Senator Richard Gordon and many other political and religious personalities who all joined Bishop Tagle in thanking the Lord for the gift of the priesthood. The Eucharistic celebration started at half past two in the afternoon. Cardinal Rosales delivered an inspiring homily. Part also of the celebration were the diocesan day for consecrated life, the death anniversary of the second Bishop of Imus, the late Bishop Felix Perez and the launching of the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV), a parishbased movement organized by the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) which aims to safeguard and secure an honest and peaceful national elections on May 14, 2007. Before the Mass ended, Bishop Tagle shared to the faithful his vocation-experience starting from his seminary entrance examination up to his episcopal consecration. He jokingly uttered, “God is a great joker”. At the end of his vocation story, he jubi-

lantly said, “Amidst the experiences of trepidation, God turns them into experiences of fascination!” After the Mass, a simple but well-prepared snack was served. The “clergy orchestra” of the Diocese performed a variety of religious songs in Filipino, which added more joy throughout the occasion. From the religious community of Saint Paul Scholasticate: Ad multos annos, Bishop Chito!

Bangalore, in the Indian State of Karnataka

Fr. Papa’s next mission: India
Fr. Frank Papa, CRSP, the delegate superior of the Philippine Delegation, spent a week in Bangalore, India from February 25 to March 4 to see the possibility of extending the roots of the Congregation in the aforementioned South Asian nation. He was welcomed and given accommodation by the Daughters of Divine Providence (whose founder is the Barnabite Fr. Tommaso Manini). He stayed at the sisters’ convent throughout his week-long “exploratory” visit. On February 26, Fr. Frank visited the houses and the communities of the religious congregations al(Continued on page 23)

No. 2

iPaul

23

ready present in the area. The next day he met the Archbishop of Bangalore, the Most Reverend Bernard Moras. Fr. Frank presented to the bishop the official request of the Barnabites to be accepted in the Archdiocese of Bangalore. Bishop Moras gladly and willingly accepted the petition and explained the archdiocesan policies for religious orders present in his jurisdiction. A condition was also set: the establishment of a religious house outside the metropolitan area because there are already sixty-four male and one hundred and twenty-five female religious congregations concentrated in the densely populated city. A religious house in the metropolitan area could be opened only on condition that an apostolic activity is present in another zone of the archdiocese. Bishop Moras also gave a list of areas which need evangelization. After the meeting, Fr. Frank and Archbishop Moras had their lunch in another convent of the Daughters of Divine Providence. Fr. Frank went to Hoskote district to inquire about the possibility of purchasing a tract of land where the future seminary could be built. The place is approximately twelve kilometers away from the Kristu Jyoti College, Institute of Philosophy and Theology of the Salesian Fathers. There is also a possibility of renting a house within the campus of the aforesaid school. The house can accommodate ten students. Thus, it could become the first step for the establishment of a new seminary and religious community. Now, three to seven applicants are expected to join the Order, hence, the pioneer aspirants/seminarians of the new Barnabite mission. Fr. Frank was asked regarding the person designated to start the mission. He answered, “Myself”. After working in the Philippines for eighteen years and cultivating the seed of the Order of the Clerics Regular of St. Paul in the Philippine Archipelago, Fr. Frank Papa is off for another mission. He is scheduled to leave for India in May. Fr. Frank, you may rest assured of our prayers for you and God bless you!
Above: the new altar Below: Santo Niño and San Jose Obrero On next page: the new showcase for O. L. of Fatima

Novelties in our chapels
Our Sagrado Corazon Chapel has been recently enriched with a new altar, which substitutes the previous one, a little roughly done. The new wooden altar, made by our carpenter kuya Rey, displays on the front as antependium (= frontal) a colourful high-relief representing the Last Supper, manufactured by the carpentry of the Focolare movement. Kuya Rey has also prepared the new showcase for the statue of Our Lady of Fatima in her open-air shrine. It was necessary because up to now the sacred image stood on a small pillar, exposed to the elements. Finally our chapel has two new “residents”: a wooden statue of Santo Niño (according to the pattern of the Infant Jesus of Prague), whose devotion is widespread in the Philippines, and a fiber-glass San Jose Obrero, patron saint of our barangay. They will soon move to Fatima Shrine, so that… the whole Holy Family may be reunited!

No. 2

iPaul
“Salamat sa Diyos!”… Thanksgiving Mass of Fr. Mike

24

Community Outing in Puerto Galera
Last December 28-29, 2006, the Saint Paul Scholasticate community set out for the muchawaited community outing, this time, at the white sand and blue waters of Puerto Galera in Mindoro Oriental, southwest of Manila. With much excitement, the scholastics hit the road at exactly five o’clock in the morning of December 28 on the way to the Batangas Port. Frs. Joselito and Cirilo also joined while Fr. Giovanni stayed home due to a scheduled recollection. Arriving at the port, they boarded a ship bound to Mindoro Island. The ship arrived at Puerto Galera Island after 1½ hour of sailing on the waters of Batangas Strait. The scholastics stayed in a rented three-room house. It was an occasion for them to unwind and to have a break from school and seminary activities. But most of all, it was another opportunity for them to strengthen camaraderie and community life. They arrived back home in the evening of December 29, relaxed and thankful to God for a pleasurable and safe community outing.

The Saint Paul Scholasticate community attended the thanksgiving Mass of the newly ordained priest Fr. Michael Ma. Sandalo, CRSP last February 24 at the Diocesan Shrine-Parish of Nuestra Señora de Aranzazu in San Mateo, Rizal, East of Manila. The event also coincided with the birthday of Fr. Mike’s elder sister. The Holy Mass started at 6 o’clock in the evening, presided by Fr. Mike together with his ten fellow Barnabite priests including his fellow newly ordained Fr. Jecker Luego. The novices of St. Alexander Sauli Novitiate, the members of St. Anthony Ma. Zaccaria Seminary Choir, the Angelic Sisters of St. Paul, the Little Workers of the Sacred Heart and some members of the Laity of St. Paul were all present. The church was filled with parishioners, relatives and friends of Fr. Mike, who all joined him in joyful thanksgiving for the grace of priesthood. Fr. Jimmy Anastacio, another Barnabite from the same parish, delivered a touching homily which dealt with the true identity of the priestreligious: poor, chaste and obedient. Fr. Mike thanked all those who accompanied him throughout his seminary formation and, of course, those who contributed in making his thanksgiving Mass a meaningful and special event. The Mass was celebrated with a joyful ambience. After the Mass, the traditional kissing of the hands of the new priest was done. Following after the Mass was a well-prepared supper at the third floor of the Nuestra Señora de Aranzazu Parochial School (whose Fr. Mike is an alumnus), located next to the church building. The parish youth ministry and the altar boys organized a short program. People who know Fr. Mike gave their heart-warming messages. A power-point presentation about Fr. Mike’s childhood years up to his priestly ordination was also shown. The program ended at exactly 9 o’clock in the evening. It was indeed a very memorable day for Fr. Mike, for his family and for the whole parish community. Fr. Mike is scheduled to participate at the thanksgiving Mass of Fr. Jecker on April 15 at St. Isidore Parish, St. Bernard, Southern Leyte.

No. 2

iPaul

25

LETTERS
Complimenti per l’ottimo inizio del nuovo informativo iPaul. Tanti auguri per il nuovo anno e buon lavoro a tutta la comunità. Un ricordo nella preghiera. Rt. Rev. Fr. Giovanni Villa, Superior General Roma, Italy padregenerale@barnabiti.it Complimenti vivissimi per questo notiziario dello Studentato S. Paolo di Tagaytay. La pulizia grafica è stupefacente: la scelta dei caratteri, la distribuzione dei vuoti e dei pieni, i piccoli boxes, tutto appaga il senso estetico e facilita la lettura. Fr. Giuseppe Cagnetta, General Treasurer Roma, Italy cagnetta@barnabiti.it Congratulations on your latest “creation,” iPaul. I like it very much and I took the liberty to post it on the internet at our website. If you object to my action, please, let me know and I’ll send iPaul to the Recycle Bin. I don’t think Paul would like to be... dumped. A Happy and Spiritually Rich New Year. Fr. Gabe Patil, Provincial Superior North American Province Lewiston, NY, USA gpatil@fast.net Che piacere ricevere la Vostra nuova rivista! E che piacere leggerla, non senza qualche difficoltà anche per noi, vecchi italiani monoglotti! iPaul? Anche in italiano si possono tentare tante interpretazioni: incontro, insieme, invece... Grazie di avermi ricordato e, in attesa del nuovo numero, buon anno, buon lavoro e una preghiera con il cuore. Mr. Stefano Silvagni, Chairman Laity of St. Paul Bologna, Italy silvagni@tecnicoop.it Rallegramenti per iPaul! Teniamoci vicini anche se lontani. Fr. Antonio Gentili Eupilio, Como, Italy info@barnabitieupilio.it Complimenti per il nuovo giornalino. Auguri e buon lavoro! Fraternamente in Cristo, un saluto da Varsavia a tutti Voi. Fr. Bogdan Horondeński Warszawa, Poland obogdan@acn.waw.pl Thank you very much, dear brothers. Merry Christmas and happy new year to you. I wish all the best you need for your holiness in this year 2007. Fr. Toussaint Bulambo Birava, Kivu, Dem. Rep. of Congo barcks2001@yahoo.fr Complimenti ragazzi!!! Ci metterò un po’ a leggere tutto questo inglese ma ad un primo sguardo sembra bello e interessante. Complimenti! Best compliments! Have a nice new year! Rev. Giovanni Giovenzana Voghera, Pavia, Italy giovengio@gmail.com P. Scalese and young confreres, we wish you a Happy New Year and congratulations for the newsletter iPaul. Fr. Luiz Antônio Pereira and Novices Samambaia, Brasília, Brazil novizacc@uol.com.br Thank you very much for your nice and beautiful iPaul. Great idea! Congratulations to all. I hope everything is good for all of you and for your apostolate. I keep all of you in my prayers and I ask to each of you to do the same for me, please. Take care and God Bless you real Good! Fr. Mario Zaninelli Napoli, Italy padremario@tin.it Our newsletter has been reviewed also in the last issue of Eco dei Barnabiti (no. 1/2007, pp.60-61). It can also be read and downloaded in the site of the North American Barnabites, at this address: www.catholic-church.org/barnabites. But the best gift has been...

No. 2

iPaul

26

Mother CARMEN PERRI, FDP, Superior General of the Daughters of Divine Providence. Mother MARIA GRAZIA FUSAR BASSINI, ASP, former Superior General of the Angelic Sisters of St. Paul. Father KAZIMIERZ LOREK, CRSP, Delegate General for Poland. The BARNABITE COMMUNITY in Monza, Italy. The BARNABITE COMMUNITY of St. Anthony Ma. Zaccaria International Theological Seminary in Rome. The Right Rev. Father GIOVANNI VILLA, CRSP, Superior General. The relatives of Father GIUSEPPE RANALDI, CRSP, General Chancellor. Mr. ORLANDO ASO from Haboken, New Jersey, USA. Mr. EMANUELE SALA from Italy. The KOCH FOUNDATION, Inc. of Gainesville, Florida, USA Mr. & Mrs. JAN and TERESA KOSEK from Warsaw, Poland. Mr. & Mrs. MARCIN and RENATA BARDECKI from Warsaw, Poland. Mr. & Mrs. TOMMASO and MARIA PAOLA GIORGI from Milan, Italy. Mr. FERNARDO and Mrs. MARIA, who, through Fr. Giulio F. Mariani, Secretary General of PIME, offered a scholarship for one of the students. For the Our Lady of Fatima Shrine to be build: Father LOUIS SOLCIA, CRSP from San Diego, California, USA Relatives and friends of Father GIUSEPPE RANALDI, CRSP, General Chancellor. TO ALL OF THEM OUR PROFOUND GRATITUDE AND THE ASSURANCE OF OUR REMEMBRANCE IN PRAYER.

They entrust themselves to our prayers
Mrs. ALMA ROA from Tagaytay for her brother-inlaw Pete and sister-in-law Brot. Mr. DOMENICO SAVINO from Reggio Emilia, Italy for a sick friend and for his parish of St. Joseph. Mr. MAURO DAL RI from Italy for his personal intentions.

Friends of Saint Paul Scholasticate
Since its foundation (June 2003) Saint Paul Scholasticate has been helped by: The GENERAL ADMINISTRATION, the FRANCOBELGIAN PROVINCE and the NORTH AMERICAN PROVINCE of the Clerics Regular of Saint Paul. The Most Rev. ANDREA MARIA ERBA, CRSP, Bishop Emeritus of Velletri-Segni.

No. 2
Zaccarian Meditation

iPaul

27

God and Love as the Intentions of One’s Actions
by Marlon B. Ramirez, CRSP
I think every Barnabite should bear in mind and heart this teaching of St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria: “It should not be difficult for you to understand that the true life consists in this: one’s intention should constantly be kept directed towards God. As a matter of fact one should begin every action of his in the name of the Lord and direct it to him” (Sermon II, 83). Throughout his life, St. Anthony dedicated himself assisting the sick people in his city of Cremona, Italy. When he became a priest, he fed the people with the Bread of life for their body and soul. A doctor of medicine and a priest, he realized that many people need a “doctor” of the heart to teach them how to love God and to become God’s follower. Truly, St. Anthony’s intention was always directed towards God—to serve and love God among the poor ones. I had an experience last summer while dining in a restaurant in my province. A beggar suddenly came in and begged for food. Unfortunately, he was scolded by the owner of that restaurant and was sent away empty-handed. Perhaps, if the beggar insisted, the owner might have given him food but not out of charity but because the latter did not want this beggar to disturb the costumers. I wanted to give the beggar some food because I felt “something” pushing me to do so. However, I failed to put it into action. St. Anthony says in one of his letters: “The concept of love he has written in our hearts must transform it into practice together with the book of the sweet memory of the cross of Christ” (Letter IX, 57). This statement invites us to put love into action. We, religious and seminarians, are exhorted by St. Anthony Zaccaria to act in loving service. Praying in the chapel is not enough if we do not reflect the image of Jesus in our interactions with people. I, for my part, after my experience in the restaurant realized that I still need to grow, to be challenged to live to the fullest the Christian faith through charity and compassion. Let God and love be at the center of our intentions and actions.

iPaul
Saint Paul Scholasticate Newsletter
THE CLERICS REGULAR OF SAINT PAUL — BARNABITES —

Saint Paul Scholasticate
Purok 163, San Jose Tagaytay City, Cavite, the Philippines Mailing Address: P. O. Box 32, 4120 Tagaytay City, Philippines Tel. & Fax: +63 46 413-2837 Email: stpaul@catholic.org Director: Fr. Giovanni Scalese, CRSP Editor: Fr. Michael R. Sandalo, CRSP Editorial Staff: Fr. Joselito A. Santos, Fr. Cirilo B. Coniendo, Fr. Jecker R. Luego, Ferdinand S. Dagcota, Roan Cipriano J. Aborque, Jose Nazareno S. Gabato, Arvin A. Dagalea, Marlon B. Ramirez, Yohanes Besi Koten, Clyd S. Autentico, Pat M. Golis, Jonathan G. Ramoso, Thomas Federick S. Tabada, Isfridus Syukur. Typeset in the Philippines by Saint Paul Scholasticate, March 2007

Quis nos separabit a caritate Christi? An gladius?