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Quis nos separabit a caritate Christi? An gladius?

Saint Paul Scholasticate Newsletter

No. 1 Christmas 2006

by Giovanni Scalese, CRSP

What is this? A new component of the

recently released software suite iLife (along
with iTunes, iPhoto, iMovie, iDVD, iWeb)?
After the unexpected success of the iPod
(the widespread portable media player),
now words starting with i are becoming
more and more fashionable, as some years
ago it happened with words starting with
e-: e-mail, e-book, e-commerce, etc. But,
unlike the latter, where the meaning of
that e- was quite clear (“electronic mail”,
“electronic book”, etc.), the same cannot be
said about the initial i of iPod and all its
derivatives. It seems that, at the origin,
that i stood for “interactive”; but now one
has the feeling that it has lost its first Our Community with Bishop Tagle on July 12, 2006, on occasion of the institution
meaning. So, nowadays nobody dares to of the new Lectors and Acolytes
give a precise explanation of that i (try to
do a quick search in the internet, especially
through the ever-well-informed free digital May your hearts be filled with joy
encyclopedia Wikipedia), preferring to in- May your lives be blessed with peace,
terpret it from time to time as a synonym By the Infant Jesus, our newborn King.
of “information”, “informatics”, “internet”
and the like.
Coming to the point, what does the i
before Paul stand for? It’s up to you! Some- Wishing you a BLESSED CHRISTMAS
body has suggested “info”; somebody else,
“identity”. We could also see in that i the And a PEACEFUL NEW YEAR!
initial of “ideal,” “imitation,” “inspired/
inspiring”. If you find some other meaning,
you are free to add a further explanation. THE BARNABITE FATHERS
In this case, unlike Canon and Civil Law,
(Continued on page 2)
No. 1 iPaul 2
there is no authentic interpretation. So, why on earth
have we chosen that odd title? Because we liked it, A QUESTION, A CHALLENGE
and that’s it. And we have wanted to combine a so by Giovanni Scalese, CRSP
modern and intriguing name with the classical and
reassuring emblem of our religious house, the proba-
bly a bit old-fashioned Collegium Sancti Pauli. Do they
match? Up to you to decide. As far as we are con-
cerned, we want to see in that combination the conti-
nuity of a tradition: from Latin to hi-tech.
Beyond the title—which in any case reminds us
of our identity as Barnabites and members of Saint
Paul Scholasticate—what mattered to us was to have a
means to communicate with others—confreres, rela-
tives, benefactors, friends and schoolmates. To tell
the truth, as far back as last year, when Father Kosek
arrived at Tagaytay, he launched the idea (he was
bursting with ideas!) of a newsletter. But unfortu-
nately only one issue was published, with the title
Kapit Buhay (= “Behold Life”). How come? Because of Above our newsletter’s heading a Latin motto appears: Quis
the high cost of printing. This year we have wanted nos separabit a caritate Christi? An gladius? It is taken from
to take again that idea, trying to avoid any kind of
the Letter of St. Paul to the Romans: “Who will separate us from the
cost. What better than to eliminate printing at all,
and to send our newsletter by email? love of Christ? Will hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or
So Ladies and Gentlemen, lo and behold the first nakedness, or peril, or sword?” (8:35 NRSV). It is one of the most
issue of iPaul. Through it we would like to inform you beautiful texts of Paul, maybe the one in which all his spirituality is
about ourselves and our Scholasticate; to tell you summed up. Our first Fathers chose the last words of that verse as the
who we are and what we do. But, first of all, through motto of our Congregation placing it in our ancient emblem. It de-
iPaul we want to tell you: HERE WE ARE! We live in picted the Apostle Paul kneeling next to a truncated column, with
a “global village”, an “information society”, where me- hands tied behind his back, his head cut off laying on the ground and
dia have assumed a predominant role. Perception has blood gushing out from his neck like a fountain. On the scroll An
become the ultimate criterion of the true: it is real gladius stood out. There was no need of anything else: that succinct
only what you can perceive. Should Descartes live phrase evoked the rest of the verse. What would have separated the
today, most likely he would not say Cogito, ergo sum, Apostle from the love of that Christ, for whom he had spent all his life?
but Appareo, ergo sum. Neither hardship, nor distress, nor persecution, nor famine, nor na-
Maybe it is not right, but it is so. John Paul II had kedness, nor peril had been able to separate him from that love; could
realized that very well, and had exploited this
method for the spreading of the Gospel; the present now the martyrdom (the “sword”) separate him from it? The scene
Pope, though by nature totally averse to this kind of certainly represented Paul, but it was like a program of life for the
mentality, has been forced to adapt. After all, God Barnabites. The Apostle says: “Who will separate us from the love of
Himself adopted the same method: what is the mys- Christ?”
tery of incarnation, but a manifestation (“epiphany”) of The awareness of being challenged by that Pauline question
Him? “Manifestation” is explained by dictionaries as flourished little by little among the confreres and reached its peak
follows: “the act of appearing as a sign that something during the 19th century with the spread of the devotion to the Sacred
exists or is happening.” Oh, God certainly existed Heart. It was then that in our Congregation it became common to use
before His incarnation; but nobody knew Him: only (in churches, houses, on headed paper, etc.) a new emblem: two shields
revealing Himself God made Himself known. The placed side by side, one representing the Sacred Heart and the other
Apostle Paul, referring to this mystery, uses the fol- with the new coat of arms of the Congregation (the cross on three
lowing phrases: “The grace of God appeared … The mountains combined with the letters P and A, which stand for Paulus
kindness and generous love of God our savior ap- Apostolus). Under the two shields, a scroll with the question: Quis
peared” (Ti 2:11; 3:4). God was generous and kind from
nos separabit? Who will separate our Congregation from the love of
eternity, but people knew this only when that kind-
ness and generosity was revealed to them. So if God Christ?
appeared, we also want to do the same. We want to So we have wanted to join together the two parts of the Pauline
tell you: Remember, we are here! This newsletter will verse and make of it the motto of our Scholasticate, which has been
keep you informed every now and then about the named after Paul. And for this reason it stands out at the beginning of
events of our Scholasticate. Please, do accompany us our newsletter, so that it can remind us of our vocation: “Who will
with your affection and your prayers. separate us from the love of Christ? The sword?”
No. 1 iPaul 3

Saint Paul Scholasticate:

a handiwork of Divine Providence
by Roan Cipriano J. Aborque & Ferdinand S. Dagcota, CRSP

The birth and growth of Saint Paul Scholasticate is

a handiwork of Divine Providence. It is a grace en-
dowed to the Congregation in order to respond to
God’s call. It all began with a decision of the General
Council in 2003. The fathers agreed to close down
the decades-old Seminario Teologico Internazionale
Sant’Antonio Maria Zaccaria in Rome. They mandated
the provinces (the Order is divided into nine prov-
inces, one pro-province and two delegations) to es-
tablish a formation house for the professed students.
The Philippine Delegation, responding to this deci-
sion, acted promptly to materialize the said decision.
It was on June 3, 2003 when eight scholastics
together with Fr. Giovanni Scalese, then Assistant The impromptu chapel inside Finnemann Hall. The same room, divided
General, came to Tagaytay City, Cavite. Those pio- into four parts, served as chapel, refectory, kitchen and recreation room.
neers were: Joselito A. Santos, Jimmy George C. An-
astacio, Ferdinand S. Dagcota, Romulo S. Bahag, Aro Scholasticate community. On May 30, 2004 four
H. Ocon, Orland B. Quejada, Rey R. Ligtas and Roan newly professed religious joined the community: Jose
Cipriano J. Aborque. They established the first Scho- Nazareno S. Gabato, Zenas C. Jumila, Russel O. Du-
lasticate community with Fr. Scalese as father master. lay and Ronnie E. Salvaña, together with them was
And since plans for the construction of a seminary Rudyson D. Nulo, who had just made his solemn
were still on its way, the students were temporarily profession.
housed at the “Bishop William Finnemann Hall” The fathers were able to purchase a tract of land
situated within the compound of the Divine Word (formerly a coffee mill) located in Purok 163, Baran-
Seminary. The community rented the said building gay San Jose, Tagaytay. On this terrain the seminary
from the SVD fathers (Missionaries of the Divine for the Theology students was built, thanks to the
Word). The Finnemann Hall is located next to the kind support of the North American and French-
Divine Word School of Theology (DWST) where the scho- Belgian Provinces. On March 31, 2005 the Scholasti-
lastics study Theology. The scholastics also took part cate community moved to the new building. The
in the apostolic activities organized by the SVD fa- property is approximately 400 meters away from
thers. DWST. On May 2005, Crisendo A. Dela Rosa and
On November 4, 2003 Jecker R. Luego, renewing Cirilo B. Coniendo became members of the commu-
his religious profession, became a member of the nity after almost four years of seminary formation in
Rome. Likewise, Arvin A. Dagalea, who made his
first profession in the same month, also became a
part of the community.
On November 10, 2005 the Saint Paul Scholasticate
was officially inaugurated and blessed by the Bishop
of Imus, His Excellency Most Reverend Luis Anto-
nio G. Tagle. Fr. Gaerard Daeren, CRSP, the Vicar
General of the Order, represented the Superior Gen-
eral. Also present were the fathers of the Philippine
Delegation, friends, benefactors, the clergy and reli-
gious of the Diocese.
On that same period Fr. Robert Kosek (a mem-
ber of the Polish Delegation) was appointed superior
and father master of the scholastics replacing Fr.
The “pioneers” of SPS: the first batch of students just arrived at Tagay- Giovanni Scalese, who was called back to Rome for
tay on June 3, 2003. In the background, William Finnemann Hall. (Continued on page 4)
No. 1 iPaul 4

How the new property appeared at its purchase How Saint Paul Scholasticate is today

the General Chapter preparations. Fr. Robert scholastics in temporary vows. Fr. Giovanni Scalese,
founded in December 2005 the Tahanang Mapag-aruga CRSP is the superior and father master of the scho-
ni Padre Semeria, a charitable centre aimed at helping lastics; Fr. Joselito A. Santos, CRSP, the treasurer and
the poor families of Tagaytay. vicar; and Fr. Cirilo B. Coniendo, CRSP serves as
On May 2006 other nine students joined our vice master and formator. The scholastics attend the
Scholasticate: the newly professed Marlon B. Rami- Divine Word School of Theology and are doing well in
rez, Yohanes Besi Koten, Clyd S. Autentico, Rober- their studies. They are also engaged in various apos-
tus A. Tasman, Pat M. Golis, Jonathan G. Ramoso, tolic activities; they serve actively in the chapels of St.
Thomas Federick S. Tabada, Isfridus Syukur, along Joseph in Barangay San Jose, San Isidro Labrador in
with Michael R. Sandalo, back from his four-year Barangay Buho, Amadeo, and Our Lady of Cande-
studies in Rome. laria in Rodeo Hills, Buck Estate, Alfonso.
Last November 2006, after exactly one year, Fr. The humble beginnings of Saint Paul Scholasticate
Robert was assigned to the North American Province will always serve as an inspiration to the Barnabites in
and Fr. Giovanni Scalese, having just finished his the Philippines to strengthen their commitment in
term as Assistant General, was reappointed superior serving the people of God. It is a living reminder that
of the scholastics. Fr. Robert left the country on No- God wills the Order of the Clerics Regular of Saint
vember 4, 2006. He is now a member of the Bethle- Paul to grow and extend its braches not only in the
hem community in Pennsylvania. Philippines but most of all, in the whole of Asia. The
Of course, not all the students who arrived at community of Saint Paul Scholasticate will always be
Saint Paul Scholasticate (26) are still here. Some of them grateful for all the persons who supported and
(5) have been ordained; others (8) have chosen a dif- prayed for its growth. Indeed, it is a handiwork of
ferent lifestyle. Now, the community has sixteen Divine Providence, a gift of God to the Order and to
members: three fathers, two deacons and eleven the People of God.

The Sagrado Corazon Chapel: as it was... … and as it is

No. 1 iPaul 5

may we introduce ourselves?

by Isfridus Syukur, CRSP

What people knew in Tagaytay Purok 163 was a at the Angelicum in Rome but he opted to continue his
coffee mill for the entire province of Cavite. But the theological studies at the Divine Word School of Theology.
place has been transformed into a place of formation for At present, while taking some ecclesiastical courses in
those who aspire to become priests. The place does not DWST, he is also pursuing his masteral studies (M.A.)
produce coffee anymore but it now produces priests, in Mathematics at De La Salle University, Dasmariñas,
servants of God who call themselves as the Barnabite Cavite. Rev. Mike earned his Bachelor in Sacred Theol-
Scholastics. Who are they? ogy (S.T.B.) from the Angelicum in Rome. He came back
Within the walls of Saint Paul Scholasticate or the to the Philippines last May after almost four years of
Studentato Filippino (the Filipino version of the defunct seminary formation at the Studentato Romano. He is also
Studentato Romano in Rome, Italy), there are energetic taking up some ecclesiastical courses in DWST.
young men who have consecrated themselves by their Our community is composed of eleven simple pro-
profession of the three evangelical counsels namely fessed religious: nine Filipinos and two Indonesians.
Chastity, Poverty, and Obedience. These young men, the We have three confreres in third year Theology: Ferdi-
Barnabite Scholastics, come from different provinces of nand Dagcota from Misamis Oriental, Southern Philip-
the Philippines. They have accomplished their philoso- pines; Roan Cipriano Aborque from Leyte, Central Philip-
phy, postulancy and novitiate in our seminary in Ma- pines; and Jose Nazareno Gabato from Bohol Island also in
rikina City (St. Anthony Ma. Zaccaria Seminary and St. Alex- Central Philippines. Arvin Dagalea, the lone second year
ander Sauli Novitiate). Now they are studying Theology at Theology student, hails from Zamboanga City, Southern
the Divine Word School of Theology (DWST), Tagaytay Philippines. The first year students comprise the major-
City, in the Diocese of Imus, Cavite. ity of our community and they are: Marlon Ramirez from
There are sixteen members of our religious commu- Zamboanga del Norte, Pat Golis and Jonathan Ramoso,
nity: three fathers, two deacons and eleven simple pro- both from Misamis Oriental, Southern Philippines; Tho-
fessed religious. Fr. Giovanni Scalese, or “Father John” as mas Federick Tabada is from Cebu and finally Clyd Autentico
we fondly call him, is our superior and father master. from Bohol, Central Philippines. We are very honored to
Born in Rome, Italy, he is considered as the founder and have in our community the first Indonesian members in
the first superior of our community. He was an Assis- the history of our religious family: Yohannes Besi Koten
tant General of our Order when he was first assigned as and Isfridus Syukur who are both from Flores Island. They
our formator. However, the pressing needs of the Con- came to the Philippines four years ago.
gregation urged him to go back to Rome and to relin- We cannot do all things by ourselves. We need peo-
quish the post to Fr. Robert Kosek. And after his six- ple to help us in keeping our surroundings clean and
year term as an Assistant, he was reassigned as our fa- ever green. We have in our seminary hard working and
ther master succeeding Fr. Kosek, who was asked to
dedicated men and women who work with us. They
serve in the North American Province. heartily dedicate themselves to help us in carrying out
We have two very young Filipino fathers: first, Fr. our ministries. We have kuya Rey and Gilbert, our mainte-
Joselito Santos, our treasurer, who hails from Marikina
nance men, nanay Mentang who is in-charge of our
City. He is pursuing his master’s degree (M.A.) and li-
kitchen and ate Len who takes care of our laundry. We
centiate in Philosophy at the Pontifical University of
are truly very grateful for their service and hard work.
Santo Tomas, Manila. Then we have Fr. Cirilo Coniendo,
Finally, as we thank the Lord for his endless bless-
our vice master, from the island of Bohol, Central Philip-
ings upon us and upon our community, we also thank
pines. Ordained to the priesthood nine months ago, he
those who heartily support us in all our needs especially
is also taking M.A. in Business Administration at De La
our benefactors, parents, and friends and all those, who
Salle University, Dasmariñas, Cavite. To date, he is the
in many ways support us both spiritually and materi-
youngest priest of the Philippine Delegation.
ally. May God reward your kindness and generosity.
We have two Deacons, who were ordained three
And may this new religious community continue to
months ago and they are: Rev. Jecker Luego, from South- blossom and become a source of hope and strength for
ern Leyte, Central Philippines and Rev. Michael Sandalo, all people. God bless Saint Paul Scholasticate! Mabuhay
from San Mateo, Rizal. Rev. Jeck first studied Theology Barnabites!
No. 1 iPaul 6
Goodbyes are not the End
by Arvin A. Dagalea, CRSP

Many people think that all goodbyes are the end of which gave birth to the “Tahanang Mapag-aruga ni Padre
everything. We react in many ways when a person Semeria”. He dedicated much of his time and talents to
leaves us. Some cry, some feel that everything is over, develop the Tahanan. With courage, he asked help from
some find it hard to recover easily, while some will Filipino communities abroad and even from his friends
change the way they used to live in order to forget the in Poland. And so the centre grew. The Tahanan offers
person whom they loved for a long time. But others just health services, scholarship grants for poor children and
continue their usual work while keeping alive the livelihood programs for the parents of Tahanan’s schol-
memories of the person in their hearts. For these people ars. With the kind assistance of some friends from
goodbyes are just the beginning of a new chapter in life. Unilab, a Filipino pharmaceutical company, more pro-
It is still fresh in my memory the day when a very grams had been organized by Fr. Robert. And even if
important person bade farewell to me. He is none other Fr. Robert is now assigned to the North American Prov-
than Fr. Robert Kosek, a Polish by birth and a Barnabite ince, the projects he started are still in very good shape.
by heart. He was our superior and father master for one Indeed, he made sure that everything in the Tahanan
year. He was so dear to me and even to those people will be well-provided.
with whom he spent time to share God’s love. I’ve got many good memories of Fr. Robert—his
Fr. Robert Kosek has left behind great memories. example, the things he taught me to name a few. But
His example as a good priest, father and friend enabled most of all, his priestly life is what I treasure most.
me to understand why am I here in the seminary. In his Working with him made me realize that he is one of the
brief stay in our midst, he lived his priesthood in service best priests I have ever encountered in my life. And
of others especially the less fortunate. He is a man who knowing him is for me a great privilege. He taught me
has a big heart for the poor and who does the work of to be always pure in my intentions as a young religious.
Christ for the poor. I was truly impressed by his charity Truly, words do not suffice to describe this person who
and priestly zeal. Moreover, his prayer life is exemplary. had done great things for me and one who had touched
He taught us how to pray well. The way he spends his other people’s lives.
time with the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament is for me a Even though Fr. Robert is miles away from the
model to follow. Philippines, the people of Tagaytay, particularly in our
God inspired Fr. Robert to establish in our seminary barangay San Jose, will always remember him in their
a charitable centre which will offer services to the indi- hearts. They will reminisce his kindness, his affection
gent families of Tagaytay. He saw the need of helping and his “contagious” sense of humor. And for me per-
and sending poor children to school. There are quite a sonally, I shall keep alive his memory on those people to
lot of unschooled children and out-of-school youth in whom he had brought hope and strength. I am happy to
Tagaytay. I still remember the words he once told me: see him in the smiles and laughter of those children and
“To feed them is very good but not to feed their brains parents who learn and progress each day. Fr. Robert’s
will not do good; they will always be poor and will departure is not the end of everything. It is rather the
never have the chance to uplift their lives.” I was beginning of what he had started.
touched by these words. And so, I enthusiastically sup- THANK YOU FR. ROBERT! YOU’LL ALWAYS
ported his project. Fr. Robert put his heart in his work BE IN OUR HEARTS!
No. 1 iPaul 7

Tahanang Mapag-aruga ni Padre Semeria

a Home that Cares
by Thomas Federick S. Tabada, CRSP

The Tahanang Mapag-aruga ni Padre Semeria (=

“Home of Care Fr. Semeria”) is a charitable centre of
the Barnabite Fathers in the Philippines. It has been
started by Fr. Robert Kosek this year. It is named after
an Italian Barnabite priest, Fr. Giovanni Semeria,
who, after the First World War took care of the or-
phaned children. These were the children of the Ital-
ian soldiers who lost their lives during the First
World War. The aforementioned centre is located
within the compound of Saint Paul Scholasticate. Its
goals are: 1) to provide tutorial lessons to pre-
schoolers; 2) offer assistance to poor families of Ta-
gaytay through livelihood programs; and 3) grant
financial assistance for the education of poor but de-
serving students. Most of the kids who attend the
children. This urged him to come up with an idea to
tutorial lessons are “slow-learners”. Fr. Robert once
help them in their education. It was December 27,
said, “The slow learner children need our help. They
2005 when Fr. Kosek, with Arvin’s help, began to
deserve our love and concern not humiliation and
search for possible “scholars.” With meticulous scru-
mockery because of their intellectual incapacity. Let
tiny, they got seven grade school pupils, three high
them have the chance to be educated persons. Let us
school students and two college drop-outs.
help them through tutorial.” And so it is by doing
Fr. Robert tapped the newly-professed, first year
tutorial lessons that we assist these children in their
scholastics to teach the children basic English, Cate-
intellectual development. Moreover, it is love for chil-
chism, and Mathematics. John Koten and Jonathan
dren which moved Fr. Robert to start this project. He
Ramoso both teach English; Clyd Autentico and Tho-
has truly lived what Fr. Semeria, the servant of or-
mas Tabada, Catechism; and Pat Golis teaches Mathe-
phans, exhorted in his death-bed: “I exhort you to
matics. Recreation is supervised by Isfridus Syukur
charity. Live in charity.”
and Marlon Ramirez. The tutorial lessons are held
How things started? It all started when Arvin and
every Tuesday, Thursday and Friday afternoon in our
Fr. Kosek interviewed some poor families during a
modest but elegantly decorated classroom. We cur-
Christmas gift-giving day. While moving around the
rently have ten pupils attending the tutorials and
vicinity of Barangay San Jose, Tagaytay Fr. Kosek was
eleven mothers doing the chores (e.g. cleaning, cook-
moved with compassion to see the drop-out school
ing, etc.).
Sr. Mercy Perla, a religious from the Franciscan
Missionaries of the Infant Jesus (FMIJ), takes care of
the spiritual formation of the parents of our pupils,
while Fr. Cirilo Coniendo, CRSP is their confessor
and Marlon Ramirez is responsible for the livelihood
programs (gardening and swine raising). It is note-
worthy to mention the over-all in-charge of this pro-
ject, our confrere Br. Arvin Dagalea, under the super-
vision of Fr. Scalese, our superior and father master.
Working at the Tahanan has become an apostolic
activity for us. Indeed, we, young Barnabite scholas-
tics enjoy so much teaching and playing with chil-
dren! We hope and pray that this project will con-
tinue to grow with the grace of God.
No. 1 iPaul 8

Looking Ahead:
by Yohanes Besi Koten, CRSP

The Clerics Regular of Saint Paul, also are not our ways”, six months after our first pro-
known as Barnabites, is a new religious Order in fession one of our Indonesian confreres decided
Indonesia. It was only at the beginning of the 21st to leave religious life. It was another setback for
century that the Barnabites set foot on Indone- our community. But God strengthened us and
sian soil. Divine Providence led the Barnabites to assured me and my Indonesian confrere that He
invite the young people of Indonesia to experi- won’t let us down this time.
ence and live the charism, spirituality and tradi- Who will remain until the end? It’s up to
tion of the Order. So is it our task to introduce God! Now only my friend since our Senior High
ourselves to the people of God in Indonesia. School, Isfridus Syukur, and I are left. We hope
But how did the Barnabites arrive in Indone- that we could pursue this kind of life and in the
sia, Raja Timur, the “King from the East”? How future become full members of the Barnabite Or-
did the hand of God lead us from the “King der and priests—holy priests of God. And hope-
from the East” to the “Pearl of the Orient”, the fully, with the help of God and of our beloved
Philippines? It is a nice story to tell! Mother of Divine Providence, we can sow the
We were so happy when the Barnabites ac- seeds of our Congregation in Indonesia.
cepted us in their religious family. So happy we Jesus said, “Go ... make disciples of all na-
were that we entrusted ourselves to the care of tions ...” (Mt 28:19). Consequently, we, as sons of
the fathers. Being away from home is not easy. Saint Paul, say to each of us, “Go ... make sons of
But God provided us the strength to persevere. Saint Paul to all nations ...” Therefore, you can-
And He continues to do so! not pass over and disregard Indonesia. It is be-
The Barnabites came to Indonesia on May cause it is also a place where the seeds of our
2002. Fr. Frank Papa, CRSP, the superior of the Order can grow. Then, why do you hesitate to
community in Marikina, went to the island of go to Indonesia?
Flores to search for some possible candidates. At God bless Indonesia!
that time, we were still in Senior High School.
Full of enthusiasm, six of us joined the
Barnabites. We flew to the Philippines on Au-
gust 7, 2002 together with Fr. Papa—full of hope
and energy to answer God’s call!
We studied Philosophy for two years at St.
Camillus College Seminary in Marikina City.
Sadly, within two years two of us decided to
leave. At the end of our studies, the fathers ad-
mitted us to the novitiate. But as gold is tested in
fire, only three of us professed the vows on May
14, 2006 together with five Filipino confreres.
Then we were sent to Saint Paul Scholasticate in
Tagaytay City for our four-year theological stud-
ies. And indeed as an adage says, “God’s ways Yohanes (on the left) and Isfridus (on the right)
No. 1 iPaul 9

When a Deacon is about to be Ordained

to the Priesthood …
by Clyd S. Autentico, CRSP

Here is an interview with our two deacons, Rev. Jecker R. Luego and Rev. Michael R. San-
dalo. They were ordained to the diaconate last September 5 at the Imus Cathedral. They are
scheduled to be ordained to the priesthood next February. Let us ask them how they are pre-
paring themselves for that special day of their lives…

What is/are your feeling/s as your trying my best to overcome them all with
priestly ordination is fast approaching? the help of God. It is with the help of God
that I can do my ministry in spite of the un-
Rev. Jecker: “As of now I am not excited. certainties. My fear of not getting ordained
I do not feel yet the thrill of my ordination has somehow subsided because the fathers
for this moment because it is still far. here in the community of Tagaytay have ac-
Maybe, I will feel this excitement on the eve cepted and admitted me already to be or-
of my ordination.” dained as a priest.”

Rev. Mike: “I have mixed feelings of ex- Rev. Mike: “I have still a doubt if it is
citement, worries, anxiety and happiness really my call. I think it is normal for a per-
because the thing (priestly ordination) that son, for an ordinand to doubt. Who has no
I’ve been waiting for many years now is al- doubt/s with one’s vocation? And I am not
most near.” afraid if I might not be ordained. I trust the
Lord. My business is to do what God wants
Are you now ready to embrace priestly me to do. It is the Lord who will provide.”
Please remember our two deacons in
Rev. Jecker: “I am ready and willing to your prayers. We hope to see you on the day
embrace priestly life despite of the difficul- of their ordination! The appointment is for
ties alongside with it.” Saturday, February 17 at 9 a.m., in Our
Lady of Lourdes Parish Church, Tagaytay.
Rev. Mike: “Of course embracing this
kind of life is not easy because it is a life-
time commitment. But I am trying to make
myself ready to embrace priestly life with
the help of God. I won’t be able to embrace
such commitment without the help of God. I
am ready … Bahala na ang Diyos basta ako
… here I am.

Do you have some doubts or fears that

you may not be ordained?

Rev. Jecker: “I still have a doubt and fear

that I might not be ordained or… I won’t be
able to do my ministry in the future know- Mike and Jecker on the day of their diaconal ordi-
ing my weaknesses and limitations. But I am nation, on September 5, 2006 in Imus Cathedral
No. 1 iPaul 10

BITS OF INFO! The Poets’ Corner

by Jonathan G. Ramoso, CRSP

by Yohanes Besi Koten, CRSP

In the silence of my heart,

In the dark place of my sinfulness,
In the desert of my longing,
In the market of my business,

Am I thinking of Jesus?
Am I asking pardon from him?
Am I looking only for him?
Am I quiet just a minute with him?


St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria is probably the I need silence,

imitator par excellence of St. Paul the Apostle. I need to purify myself,
Among the many saints, nothing compares to I must long to see him alone,
the Pauline spirit assimilated by St. Anthony I must have business only with him,
throughout his life. The Pauline style is very evi-
dent in all his writings. In all his sermons, there BE A LOVER OF JESUS . . .
are seventy-two spiritual quotations from the
Letters of St. Paul. Either in spoken or written Always thinking of him,
communication, St. Anthony’s words and ideas Always asking pardon from him,
are filled with Paulinism. As a great reformer, he Always looking for him,
Always in the presence of him,
zealously carried out the mission of St. Paul, i.e.,
to build the Church of God and spread it to the
whole world. “Both energetic and vibrant souls,
they have the same love for God and man … I shall imitate him,
both are open to the same sensitivity towards I shall be his ambassador,
others; both receive the same constancy in pain I shall become his follower,
and the same humility in their successes.” The I shall be a businessman of him,
whole life of St. Anthony is an imitation of St.
Paul. That’s why, he is a great saint and a BE A LOVER OF JESUS . . .
“renovator” of Christian fervor. And he invites all
his sons and daughters and all Christians as well
to do the same!
No. 1 iPaul 11

Vocation Story of a Young Religious

by Pat M. Golis, CRSP

It was the feast of St. Joseph the worker, May 1, that is, I had to take risks in knowing others. Finally, I
1982, when I was born in Gingoog City, Misamis Ori- was able to build friendships with my co-seminarians
ental. My parents, Encarnacion Mandin and Absalon and experience the real joy of seminary life.
Golis, are hard-working, God-fearing and honest per- I was a third year Philosophy student when I ex-
sons. My father works as a driver while my mother is a perienced difficulties in my studies. I was badly af-
grade school teacher. My parents were my first fected and even my vocation suffered severely. I ex-
“formators.” My mother taught me how to read and perienced what St. John of the Cross calls “the dark
write. My father formed me to be hard-working and night of the soul.’’ I spent many sleepless nights think-
responsible. Indeed, my parents formed me to be a ing whether I should pursue this vocation or leave the
good person. But most of all, they were the ones who seminary and start anew. In spite of this, God did not
taught me how to pray. Every Sunday, we used to go allow me to get lost. He spoke to me in the words of
to church to hear Mass. We used to sit at the first pew Jesus in the Gospel of St. John, “You did not choose me,
so that we could hear the homily of the priest. My I chose you’’ (Jn 15:16). After spending moments of
mother would listen attentively to the priest’s homily. reflection, I realized that God will never abandon me
She used to quote the priest’s words whenever she if He really calls me in this kind of life—religious and
reprimanded us! priestly life.
Since childhood, I already had the intention of It was in the novitiate where I first encountered
helping poor people. I am easily moved whenever I see the real presence of Jesus. That was the place where I
people in dire need. And before entering the semi- experienced total detachment from the things that
nary, I wanted to become a lawyer to defend and hinder my relationship to Him. The silence of the no-
serve the poor. But God had another plan for me. vitiate helped me to concentrate on my spiritual de-
I was 17 years old when I entered the seminary. It velopment. Everyday we had to spend time in prayer,
all started when two seminarians from the Barnabite writing our journals, reading the life of the saints, and
Fathers came to our school for their vocation cam- doing reflection on biblical passages. We also had the
paign. I was then a fourth year high school student. time to go to our spiritual director. All these things
They talked about their Congregation, about semi- strengthened my desire to continue answering God’s
nary life, and shared with us some of their experi- call. It was in the novitiate where I have found Jesus.
ences—even their adventures in Manila! As a “barrio On May 14, 2005 I made my first religious profes-
boy” I was so eager to take the seminary admission sion at the presence of our fathers, some of my family
test with a sole desire to see the beauty of Manila. members, friends and guests from other religious con-
God’s will or not—I passed the admission test! And so gregation. There were eight of us who made the first
my seminary journey and my wholesome adventures profession. Through God’s grace and mercy, I am now
in Manila began. in my first year Theology at the Divine Word School of
I entered St. Anthony Ma. Zaccaria Seminary, the Theology. I am a member of the religious community
minor seminary of the Barnabites situated in Marikina of Saint Paul Scholasticate. Together with my con-
City, Metro Manila. My first days were not easy as I freres, I still continue searching the will of God for
found it hard to adjust with the routine of the semi- me. I am so thankful to God for guiding me in this
nary. Also, it was not easy for me to mingle with my journey. He was at my side amidst the many trials and
co-seminarians; some of them were friendly and some difficulties. In spite of my limitations and shortcom-
were too serious. As time passed by, I got used to the ings He continues to invite me to follow Him in His
atmosphere of seminary life. After many weeks of ad- footsteps. As Mother Teresa of Calcutta said, “GOD
justing and trying to get along with others, I came to DOESN’T CALL THOSE WHO ARE QUALIFIED
realize that I had to get out from my “comfort zone”, BUT HE QUALIFIES THOSE WHOM HE CALLS.’’
No. 1 iPaul 12


by Marlon B. Ramirez & C.

Supertyphoon “Milenyo” Delegation Meeting

Being situated on the eastern part of Asia, fac- On November 3 our Scholasticate sponsored a
ing the Pacific Ocean, our country has been always meeting of all the confreres of the Philippine Dele-
prone to storms and typhoons. Filipinos have been gation. Everyone knows that the Barnabite Commu-
used to experiencing at least 20 typhoons a year. nities of the Philippines do not constitute yet a
Last September 28, a very strong typhoon hit the Province, but they still depend directly on the Supe-
central region of the Philippines. Many lives were rior General. Last July the General Chapter was held
lost, properties were badly damaged or completely in Rome. According to the Constitutions, after a
destroyed. Hundreds of families became homeless General Chapter each Province convenes its own
and without any source of living. Provincial Chapter to apply the General Chapter’s
Fortunately, only a few trees and plants were deliberations and plan the future sexennium. Simi-
damaged in our Scholasticate. Two beautiful fruit larly, Filipino Barnabites had their intercommunity
trees in front of our Fatima Chapel were struck meeting, to reflect on the decisions of the General
down. We suffered blackout for almost a week and Chapter and to plan the future of their Delegation.
we had to do a general clean up. Our experiences in All the solemnly professed members of the Delega-
that day were very terrifying. But it was a reminder tion at the moment residing in the Philippines were
to us Filipinos that in times of natural disasters, present, fifteen religious in total, nine from Marikina
God is the only One who can help us. It was in- and six from Tagaytay.
deed a very memorable day, not only because of
the typhoon, but it was the feast of our first Filipino
saint, Lorenzo Ruiz de Manila.

Repairs for Fatima Chapel

Some (fortunately not serious) damages were

caused by “Milenyo” even to our Fatima Shrine, the
little outdoor chapel in honor of the Blessed Virgin
Mary standing in the compound of Saint Paul Scho-
lasticate. But “it’s an ill wind that blows nobody
any good”: we have taken advantage of this calam-
ity to repaint the chapel, to prepare a new wooden
showcase for the statue of the Virgin, to renew the
floor of the sanctuary and to build a big stone wall
to embank the ground on the right side of the
chapel. Now everything looks very nice. It is our
wish to promote the devotion for Our Lady of
Fatima, starting, as soon as possible, to use the
chapel for the celebration of the Rosary and of the Here is how “Fatima Shrine” and its surroundings appear
Mass with the faithful. after the recent rearrangement works
No. 1 iPaul 13

Changing of the guard Search-in Seminars

The return of Fr. Giovanni Scalese as the re- A two-day search-in seminar was held last De-
appointed Superior and Master of Scholastics of cember 16-17 at Saint Paul Scholasticate. The activ-
Tagaytay was accompanied with euphoria. Joy and ity aimed 1) to help young people understand the
excitement were felt because Fr. John is part of the meaning of Christian vocation; 2) to introduce to
young people our Order; and 3) to help young men
history of our Scholasticate. However, sadness was understand the meaning of religious/priestly life.
also observed for Fr. Robert had to leave. Fr. Gio- Three high school graduating students took part in
vanni arrived last October 5 while Fr. Robert left the the said event. Two of them came from Marikina
country last November 4. To Fr. Robert, GOOD City and one from Kaytitingga, Alfonso, Cavite.
LUCK to your future ministry and to Fr. John, WEL- Three conferences were organized by Frs. John and
COME BACK!!! Joselito together with Deacon Mike. At the end of
the activity, the boys took the seminary admission
test. It is hoped and prayed for that these young
men will answer God’s call and in the future, will
Father General’s Health become members of our Order.
We have been very anxious for the state of
health of our Superior General, Fr. Giovanni Villa.
Advent & Christmas
We have kept up with the news coming from Italy,
at times quite worrying, and have prayed very much
From December 12 to 14, as it is customary in
for him. Then everything was settled, and now is our country, we also went around for carol singing
back in Rome, in good shape. Thanks be to God! in the houses of our friends in Tagaytay and sur-
rounding areas.
On December 14 we had our Advent recollec-
Vocation Promotions tion. Fr. Aldo Rizzi, the novice master from Ma-
rikina, came to Tagaytay to deliver some inspiring
Number 130 of our Constitutions exhorts all the meditations on prayer and community life. We are
members of our Congregation to actively take part grateful to the Missionaries of Charity of Mother
in promoting vocations. Urged by this call, the Teresa in Munting Bukal for their kind hospitality.
community of Saint Paul Scholasticate organized a On December 16 another deeply-rooted Philip-
two-day vocation promotion in various high schools pine tradition started, the so called Simbang gabi or
in Metro Manila and Southern Luzon. Last October Misa de Gallo or Misa de Aguinaldo, a novena in
preparation for Christmas, during which Mass is
26, Fr. Joselito and Deacon Mike, together with
celebrated very early in the morning or in the eve-
scholastics Arvin, Isfridus, Clyd, Pat, John, Jonathan
ning of the previous day. Even though we kept on
and Thomas went to the following schools: Roose- serving in various chapels, this year we decided to
velt College-Cainta Campus, Roosevelt College-San start Simbang gabi even in our chapel. Every morn-
Mateo Campus, and Nuestra Señora de Aranzazu ing at 5 we celebrated Missa de Gallo for our com-
Parochial School, all in Metro Manila and San munity, our next-door Sisters (the Merciful and the
Mateo areas. Last November, Fr. Cirilo and Deacon Hospitalers) and many a neighbor.
Jecker, together with scholastics Roan and Ferdi- On December 24, for the first time, we cele-
nand went to Tolentino Memorial High School and brated in our Sagrado Corazon chapel Christmas
Tagaytay City Science High School, both in Tagay- Night Mass at 11 p.m. To our amazement (and—
tay, Cavite. The said vocation promotion was a suc- why to deny it?—with great satisfaction) the chapel
cess as quite a lot of high school students ex- was insufficient to hold all those present. Next year
pressed their interest to know more about our Order we will have to look for a more spacious place to
and about the priesthood. celebrate our Christmas Mass!
No. 1 iPaul 14

A Christmas Reflection based on Luke 2:7
by Jose Nazareno S. Gabato, CRSP

What is your preferred place to stay—in an already occupied, locked or closed. Therefore,
inn or in a manger? Only a person who is out the decorations of our houses and the preoccu-
of his mind would choose to stay in a manger. pation in our hearts become worthless because
For who would like to stay in a manger where Jesus has no place to stay.
animals live? Basically, no ONE! We would On the other hand, our lives can be likened
rather prefer to stay in a well-adorned and air- to a manger. We do not have much Christmas
conditioned room, with a bathroom, complete decorations but in our inmost self we have a
with amenities and most of all, well-secured. beautiful place prepared for Christ. Our heart
What about the manger, a dwelling place for is open to receive Him. We may have few
animals with its open spaces? Who would like things this Christmas but we are extremely
to stay there? happy because we have Christ. He is the best
Jesus Christ, however, was born in a dark gift one can receive. He is more than all the
and cold manger. Ideally, Jesus should be born treasures in the world. He is the visible sign of
in an inn but since there was “no room” for the Love of God gratuitously given to us. Any-
Him there, He was born in an “open room” one who accepts Jesus in their hearts receives
manger. the best Christmas gift. Once we accept him in
Our lives could be compared to a “closed our hearts, we will be the happiest people this
room” inn or an “open room” manger. On one Christmas and in the years to come.
hand, our lives can be likened to a well- The essence of Christmas is allowing Jesus
adorned inn but beautiful as it may appear, it is to dwell in our hearts. Nothing can be ever joy-
rather occupied and closed. We are totally pre- ful than being with Christ. When Jesus was
occupied in preparing for Christmas: we beau- born in Bethlehem the manger where He was
tify our houses with Christmas decors; we are born was filled with joy. The angels sang:
obsessed of what type or brand of clothes and “Glory to God in the highest and peace to his
shoes to buy for ourselves and for our families people on earth,” for Jesus Christ is born! We
and friends; we are anxious of what kind of will also experience the same if we allow Jesus
foods to prepare. Hence, our concern in prepar- to dwell in our hearts. Our hearts will be filled
ing for the birth of our Savior is very external. with joy in thanksgiving. Let us celebrate
We can truly say we are prepared but only ex- Christmas not as a “closed” inn where there is
ternally! What about internally? Sad to say, we no place for Jesus to stay, but like a manger
are so preoccupied with other things that we with an open room prepared for Him to dwell.
forget about the place of Jesus in our lives. Per- Always prepare a room for Him to stay!
haps it may happen that Jesus has no place to Maligayan Pasko! Merry Christmas! Buon
dwell because our rooms, that is, our hearts are Natale! Feliz Navidad!
No. 1 iPaul 15


A Meditation on Heb 10:5-10
by Giovanni Scalese, CRSP

One day the Father decided to convene the

family council and said to the Son and to the
Saint Paul Scholasticate Newsletter
Holy Spirit: “I pity humanity that I have cre-
ated—better, that we have created (since we al-
ways decide everything together and do every- THE CLERICS REGULAR OF SAINT PAUL
thing together). We created them in our image — BARNABITES —
and likeness so that they could live in commun- Saint Paul Scholasticate
ion with us; but they preferred to go away from Purok 163, San Jose
us and live on their own. But I cannot live with- Tagaytay City, Cavite, the Philippines
out my creatures, without my children. So who
volunteers to go to the earth, to search them Mailing Address: P. O. Box 032,
and bring them back home? I want them safe, 4120 Tagaytay City, Philippines
here with me. This is my will. I have already Tel. & Fax: +63 46 413-2837
tried to call them back home but it was all in Email:
vain. I have sent to them my servants, the Director: Rev. Giovanni Scalese, CRSP
prophets, but they have not listened to them. Editor: Rev. Michael R. Sandalo, CRSP
But, nonetheless, I do not resign myself. Now I Editorial Staff: Ferdinand S. Dagcota,
have an idea: one of us could become one of Roan Cipriano J. Aborque, Jose Nazareno
them, so that, seeing him similar to them, they S. Gabato, Arvin A. Dagalea, Marlon B.
feel homesick. If you agree, I have already pre- Ramirez, Yohanes Besi Koten, Clyd S.
pared a body.” Autentico, Pat M. Golis, Jonathan G.
The Son answered: “Father, I am your Son Ramoso, Thomas Federick S. Tabada,
like them; they are my brothers. When you cre- Isfridus Syukur.
ated them, you were looking at me; so they
Typeset in the Philippines by Saint Paul
should recognize me. It is up to me to go there
Scholasticate, December 2006
and save them. I am ready for anything; if need
be, I am willing even to give my life for them.
Behold, I come to do your will.”
Then the Holy Spirit intervened: “Don’t
worry, I won’t just look on; I shall do my share. I
shall overshadow the woman you have chosen
to become his mother, so that she can conceive
and bear him. After his birth, I shall never leave
him alone; I shall be always with him, so that he
can accomplish his mission. Finally, once hu-
manity has been found, I am willing to stay al-
ways with them. As far as I am concerned, it’s
OK; we can start.” Quis nos separabit a caritate Christi?
And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among An gladius?