Quis nos separabit a caritate Christi? An gladius?

Saint Paul Scholasticate Newsletter
No. 6 Easter 2008

ALL THAT GLITTERS IS NOT GOLD
by Giovanni Scalese, CRSP
More or less, two months ago I went to Rome to take part in two meetings organized by the General Council: the annual gathering of the Provincial Superiors, in which I participated in my new capacity as Delegate General for the Philippines, and a formation course for formators, which I attended as Rector of the Saint Paul Scholasticate. In both cases it was an interesting experience. I noticed a certain attention and liking toward the reality I was representing: our house of formation and, in general, the Philippine Delegation. It is no secret that our Congregation, like most of the religious institutes today in the Church, is going through a difficult time, especially in Europe and North America: general ageing, shortage of vocations, crisis of the traditional activities and, worst of all, sometimes even a crisis of religious values. It is obvious that in such a situation everybody looks with interest and hope at those realities which seem to go in countertendency. Since, for bureaucratic reasons, our African Province was not represented at the Roman meetings, the eyes of all were fixed on us. At present the Philippines represents for
(Continued on page 2)

The “first fruits” of the Saint Paul Scholasticate: FERDINAND DAGCUTA and ROAN CIPRIANO ABORQUE ordained priests on February 23, 2008. Full coverage of the event on pages 3-6

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our Congregation (not only for it, but also for other religious institutes and for the Church herself) a motive of great hope and consolation: vocations are not lacking; religious are all young; there are no old structures to preserve, etc. One of our “admirers,” to whom I had sent the pictures of our recent priestly ordination, replied: “What a young Church! Starting from the Bishop!” It is true; this is the impression one receives when they come into contact with this reality. I myself remember that, when I visited the Philippines for the first time (eight years ago), I had the same reaction. Especially for those who live in Europe, where we are experiencing a strong ageing of the society (were it not for the immigrants…), seeing all this youth brings about a sense of life (opposed to the feeling of death so common in Europe). Imagine what I felt coming over here, after living the terrible experience of the closure of the prestigious and beloved Collegio alla Querce in Florence. It seemed to me that the world was collapsing upon me; and the prospect was that, following La Querce, one after another, the rest of our schools would have come to the same end, and I would have been called to support those collapsing structures, just delaying their end, since there was no chance of preventing it. I prayed to the Lord to free me from that gloomy fate. And He heard my prayer. Now I am living in the opposite situation. If once I felt the burden of a glorious past, without seeing any future prospect, now I have the future open in front of me. Instead of closing, I have to open. Instead of being a gravedigger, I feel like an obstetrician. It is pleasing and gratifying. And yet… And yet, as the saying goes, all that glitters is not gold. Life not always matches its representations: a story, a picture, a video and the like. Sometimes behind certain smiles you admire in a picture are concealed outright dramas. Neither iPaul can always relate the reality in all its complexity. Not that we tell lies; simply, we describe some aspects of our reality, drawing a veil over other less edifying aspects. So, even a situation like this has its difficulties. Let us enumerate some. In Europe and North America there are no more vocations; here instead, we have many. OK. But quantity is not enough; what matters is quality. You cannot accept whomever knocks your door. You have to discern. Sometimes the real reasons which prompt somebody to embrace religious life are not so clear. And even when they are, they are not sufficient to make a good religious; there is need of a strict training. This is not easy because we do not live outside the world; with globalization we breathe

the same climate spread in the West, with all its evil influence on the youth—and on ourselves! It is nice to be all young. But it is not natural. Life needs all ages. Besides the spontaneity of the young, there is need of the experience and the wisdom of the elderly. There is need of balance. If now in Europe we miss the freshness of the youth, here we miss the gravity of the aged. In Italy a young religious has to fit into a community and the Congregation. It is not easy because he has to adapt himself to a reality already existing, with its rules, traditions, customs and the like. But, at least, that reality already exists. After the first effort, once you have accustomed yourself, you have nothing else to do: just to keep what you have found. Here, instead, you find nothing; you have to start everything. What? How? It could seem fascinating— and it is!—but how many doubts, how many hesitations, and… what a responsibility! The issue is not only to start an activity (of course this also is not an inconsiderable question). The problem is also, and above all, to hand down a spirit, a style, a way of being. Because, if it is true that here you have to start, you cannot start from scratch: we are not founding a new religious institute, we are just “transplanting” an already existing Congregation. This family has its history, its heritage, its tradition, a patrimony that cannot be lost. It has a charism to be kept, deepened and developed; but, first of all, it must be handed down. How? It is exactly the question I have dealt with in my lecture during the formators’ meeting in Rome: Training to the charism. Once it was rather easy: without so many words (once they not even knew what “charism” was) you gradually assimilated the spirit of your Congregation living in its communities. There was a natural conveyance of values, similar to that happening in the family. This also happened in the new foundations of the 20th century when a group of religious was sent to establish the Congregation in different countries. But now, how is it possible? We are so few and isolated: how can we transmit our charism? Our good will is sincere; but it is not enough. Maybe we have to find new instruments to do what in the past happened without even realizing. Anyway, this is life. Where there is life, there are problems. In the cemeteries walang problema (tagalog for no problem). So we have to accept these difficulties as a challenge and as a gift. They are the token of God’s love towards us. If it were all roses, maybe we should worry; but since along with roses there are, as usual, thorns, we can depend upon it that we are on the right way.

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February 23, 2007

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PRIESTLY ORDINATION
by Isfridus Syukur, CRSP
The sign of God’s presence in this fast changing world is manifested in the wholehearted commitment of young men and women who are ready to become His messengers of hope and love to all mankind. In a special way there are those who are willing to offer their whole life to God by becoming religious and priests to serve and proclaim God’s message of salvation to mankind. The concrete sign of God who continuously calls men to be his followers is when He, the Lord of the harvest, blessed the Barnabite community in the Philippines with other two newly ordained priests. Just last year (2007), the community had two young men ordained to priesthood; this year the Lord also has blessed the community with other two young priests, namely Rev. Fr. Roan Cipriano Ma. Aborque, CRSP and Rev. Fr. Ferdinand Ma. Dagcuta, CRSP. Their ordination took place on February 23, 2007 at 3:00 p.m. in the Holy Spirit Chapel of the Divine Word Seminary, Tagaytay City, Philippines. The consecrating bishop was His Excellency Most Rev. Luis Antonio G. Tagle, D.D., Bishop of Imus, Cavite. The Bishop in his homily reminded the two ordinands that they are to be humble priests for that is what the Church needs. Concelebrants were the Barnabite priests, who are presently assigned here in the Philippines, and other guests priests. The liturgical service was taken care of by the third-year scholastics of the Divine Word Seminary, while a group from San Lorenzo Ruiz Parish, Bacoor, together with some Barnabite scholastics, served as the choir. Present during the celebration were different men and women from different religious houses around Tagaytay, the Angelic Sisters of St. Paul, the Little Workers of the Sacred Heart, our philosophy students and the Laity of St. Paul from Marikina, and other guests. And of course the parents, relatives and friends of the two ordinands were also present. Following the three-hour ceremony was the simple Filipino reception held at the Saint Paul Scholasticate. Everybody enjoyed the typical Filipino food set during celebrations provided by many volunteers, thanks to their generous hearts. The two newly ordained priests are going to celebrate their thanksgiving Masses in their respective native parishes. Fr. Roan has set the schedule of his thanksgiving Mass on March 25, 2008 in Carigara, Leyte and Fr. Ferdinand is going to celebrate his thanksgiving Mass on April 6, 2008 in Balingasag, Misamis Oriental, Mindanao. Indeed the ordination event was a joyful and memorable moment for the Congregation and for the whole Church as well.

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YOUR WILL BE DONE: A response to serve
by Ferdinand S. Dagcuta, CRSP
“Your will be done.” These were the last words I uttered before disembarking from the ship that brought me to Manila, where the Seminary of the Barnabites is located. These words of surrender became my life’s motto in pursuing my priestly vocation. Looking back at my life from when I entered the seminary, I cannot help but feel amazed. What I have gone through in those moments makes me believe and understand that, if I really give my trust to Him, God will never abandon me. God calls me and my response would always be the acceptance that calls me to really do His will in my life. Doing the will of God is serving Him and giving my all to Him who calls me. Priesthood is a calling for service, a service for God and His people. It is just almost a month since I was ordained as a priest and now I already experience what it means to be a priest; that is I am called for service. I am called to serve and not to be served. My ordination was not a moment for me to change my lifestyle from being a servant to a master. I am formed for service and that will remain until the end of my life. For some I may sound idealistic, but this is what priesthood should be. Service must be my life project, the very foundation of my priesthood and the essence of my calling. If I will not do this, then who am I? What is the meaning of my calling? Where did this calling came from? These are but some of the questions I always have in my mind. These are questions that guide my action to really work out where I am called. God calls me to let His love be known by means of service. Service done in love guarantees that all my actions will not be tainted by any selfish motives and personal desires that destroy the meaning of what service is all about. Furthermore, service is not exclusive but inclusive. I am called to serve God’s people regardless of who they are and what they are. To let God be felt and experienced by all is a mission that I am called to do. I am called to serve not just a group of people, but all people to whom Christ wants to bring His saving presence. In the world where the idea of exclusivity is very much alive, I am called to break the wall of division and bring Christ’s undivided love, for this love could only be attained through unity. To make God’s presence be felt by all, I must be a priest for all. Division has no place in the Kingdom of God because that kingdom could only be attained through communal action and not by individual endeavor, realizing that each one has its own responsibility in making the plan of God be realized in our midst. I am called by God to foster unity and oneness in His people. But how can I serve God if I will not know him? To serve God is to know His will and to know His will is to have an intimate relationship with Him. This intimacy could only be attained through prayer. Prayer fosters a kind of intimate relationship with God. It is a moment that I may be able to unfold and discover God’s will and bring it toward perfection. Thus I realize that prayer and work are two interconnected realities in my priestly life. The two are always present in my calling. Prayer will help me to know God’s will and, at the same time, it will give me a strength to continue my work, and my work is the fruit and reflection of my daily encounter with God through my prayer. Service is at its best when it is fully rooted in God made known through constant conversation with Him through prayer. Prayer is a guide and direction for me in serving God through ministry. Here God knows my desires and aspirations and in turn I will also know what God desires and aspires for me to do. Lastly, my reflection about what priesthood is all about points to just one perfect model, Jesus Christ. To know Him and follow Him is what priesthood must be. In Him I have the assurance that I will never be lost, for He is my constant guide and companion who will never abandon me. The only thing I need is to trust Him and always be ready to say, “Let your will be done in my life.” Almost twelve years ago I said these words; before my ordination I uttered this again, and after my ordination and for the rest of my life I will never be tired of saying it over and over again, “Your will be done.”

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DARE THE CHALLENGE: BE A BARNABITE
by Roan Cipriano J. Aborque, CRSP I was a fourth year high school student when I first noticed a poster in our school bulletin where it was written DARE THE CHALLENGE: BE A BARNABITE. Last February 23rd I was ordained a priest, a Barnabite priest. I never thought that what I saw in the school bulletin eleven years ago would be me. DARE THE CHALLENGE: BE A BARNABITE. I am one of those who dared the challenge. Why do I say “I dared the challenge?” I was never active in the Church. I always thought that the ones who became priests were only the altar boys. I never thought of becoming a priest during my last years in high school. I never thought of becoming a priest until I didn’t want to listen to my teacher; instead, I opted to choose listening to the seminarians. I never thought of becoming a priest until my eldest sister was about to return to Manila to continue her work. I dared the challenge just to give a try “wala namang mawawala” (= there is nothing to lose). DARE THE CHALLENGE: BE A BARNABITE. Daring is one thing, challenging is another. The journey wasn’t easy and it was long. There were good times and there were bad times. We started at a great number, yet, at one point there were some who left and others who remained. I almost believe that only the strong survive. Still, I realize it is not whether you are strong or weak, but how you overcome, and remain faithful and steadfast. Also, it doesn’t matter who left and who remained, but why we continue our journey. DARE THE CHALLENGE: BE A BARNABITE. During his homily, our ordaining prelate challenged me to be a “humble” priest. Now, if I would be asked what priesthood means, I would say it is a humble service. A priest is of service to God and to His people. In order to be of service we are to acquire humility, because priesthood is not a profession but a vocation. What is the difference? We could consider priesthood as a job and that the higher up you are in the job the higher you are paid. On the other hand, if we consider priesthood as a vocation

we have nothing except Christ and service. Indeed, humility is a challenge. It is a constant call in the priesthood “I have come to serve and not to be served.” DARE THE CHALLENGE: BE A BARNABITE. The night after the celebration I said to myself echoing St. Paul, “I have fought a good fight, I have run the race, I have kept the faith.” But I do not have the impression that the priestly formation ends up with the ordination. The formation continues, and I am certain of this till the day I die. And so the challenge is there to remain faithful, grateful and prayerful, and, that in spite of all, I remain a priest forever: Tu es sacerdos in æternum.

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THE FIRST FRUITS
by Giovanni Scalese, CRSP The following is the speech of welcome addressed by our Rector at the beginning of the Ordination Rite, on February 23, 2008 in the Holy Spirit Chapel of the Divine Word Seminary. Your Excellency, Dear Confrères in the priesthood and the religious life, My Brothers and Sisters, It is a great pleasure for me to welcome you in this church for the priestly ordination of Rev. Ferdinand Dagcuta and Rev. Roan Cipriano Aborque. First and foremost, I would like to welcome our dearly beloved Bishop, the Most Rev. Luis Antonio Tagle, always present in these circumstances, in spite of his numerous engagements. Along with him I warmly welcome the Barnabite Confrères and the other Religious and Diocesan Priests, who accepted the invitation to join us for this event. A special greeting to the relatives of the two ordinands: it is a great joy for them and a privilege for us to have them here. A deep thank to the Rector of the Divine Word Seminary, Father Wilfredo Saniel SVD, who so kindly granted the usage of this Chapel of the Holy Spirit for our ordination. And let me welcome also the sun, which, after so many rainy days, has wanted to pierce the clouds to increase our joy. This is not the first priestly ordination in the short history of the Saint Paul Scholasticate. Since its foundation in 2003 (five years ago!), seven priests have already been ordained, but all of them had accomplished or at least started their theological studies in Rome and had come to Tagaytay just to complete their formation in view of holy orders. This year’s ordination instead has something special, because these two deacons have fulfilled all their studies here, in the Divine Word School of Theology. They are the first fruits of the Saint Paul Scholasticate. They are the survivors of the first batch of Students, who founded our Scholasticate—survivors, because they were six, and now only the two of them are left. They are somehow the “pioneers” and they know how it was hard, especially at the beginning, to start this new journey. They have fulfilled their whole formation with the one who is speaking to you; and, even when they left Tagaytay for the preparation for their solemn profession in Italy, two years ago, they—I do not know if fortunately or unfortunately—found me again there. So you know whom to blame if they will not be good priests. And it is nice to have the ordination in this place, because it is here that we took our first steps: for two years we lived in William Finnemann Hall, and in this chapel we took part in a lot of celebrations. It is a kind of “return to the origins” or, if you want, it is like to close a circle. We will always be grateful to the Missionaries of the Divine Word for having welcomed us and for having allowed us, with their openness, to start this fascinating adventure. I hope, dear SVD friends, that you are not offended if I say that we feel at home here. Dear Brothers and Sisters, thanks for coming; thanks for wanting to witness this special event. But, exactly because witnesses, you have a big responsibility: as you wish now to attend Ferdinand and Roan’s priestly ordination, so you have to accompany them with your prayers along their life. What was done until now is nothing in comparison with what remains to do. Do not think that the Saint Paul Scholasticate is like a factory producing ready-made priests; these new priests will be what they, surely with the grace of the Holy Spirit, surely with their personal commitment, but also with the help of your prayers, will be able to become.

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The Mystery of Easter
by Jay L. Patulin, CRSP
The Christian Church has found its very beginning and its origin and foundation by looking at the mystery of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. It is through this event that the Church has found its perfect existence throughout history. As a matter of fact, many scholars of our time have traced that the groundwork of the Church’s very existence is in the faith confession, or shall we say the Easter faith, of the first Christian community. According to Hans Küng, the “actual foundation and institution of the Church is to be situated in the resurrection faith of the first church.” This view capture the very importance of Christ’s resurrection and the response of the first Christian community to that remarkable event. It is through that faith that the Church has gained its name and continues to pursue the mission of Jesus Christ to the whole world. “The mystery of Christ’s resurrection is a real event with manifestations that were historically verified as the New Testament bears witness” (CCC 639). It means that the rising of Jesus Christ from the dead is an historical event that leads to the profound understanding of Christ’s true divinity. It is real and happened with the concrete foundation. It is also the starting point of calling us Christians as the Church of the living and not of the dead, for the Christian Church is the Church which is alive and full of joy. It is not a Church of sadness but a Church full of vigor and a spirit of happiness. It means that the Church has been being rejuvenated by Jesus Christ Himself through the concrete manifestation of His resurrection from the dead. By looking closely at the resurrection of Jesus Christ we could find the three significant understandings that define the meaning of resurrection or Easter. These definitions summarize the whole understanding of Jesus Christ Himself. First, “the resurrection above all constitutes the confirmation of all Christ’s works and teachings.” it is the summation of all Christ’s ministerial and miraculous works during His public ministry on earth. It could be considered also as the proof of His divinity, that through His resurrection we could find the authentic meaning of being who He was. It answers all the enigmatic person of Jesus Christ that somehow even His disciples did not understand; but, through His resurrection from the dead, everything turns to be clear. The clearness brings understanding to the insightful truths. Second, “Christ’s resurrection is the fulfillment of the promises both of the Old Testament and of Jesus Himself during His earthly life.” The rising of Jesus Christ from the dead connects prophecy of the Old and New Testament, that the Old predictions had been fulfilled through Christ Himself. Christ’s resurrection is the bottom line of capturing the essence of both the Old and New Testament. It is through His glorious resurrection that converge the deepest understanding of everything. This is a sort of understanding that opens the core of our mind to see Jesus Christ as the true living God. Third, “the resurrection of Jesus Christ opens for us the way to a new life.” This new life is the point of departure to one’s change of heart, that we no longer are living in darkness but we live in the light of Christ. The newness of life that Jesus Christ had shown and opened to us emancipates us from living in the old ways of life, and adopts the new mode of living one’s life. He gives us the new way to live our lives for the greater purpose of gaining the genuine meaning of our existence. It is an existence that permits us to channel one’s life to Him, and we may consider ourselves as the true children of God justified by the grace of Jesus Christ. Lastly, the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ is the peak of our belief that drives us to capture the meaning of our lives as Christians and the living existence of our Church, which, through His rising from the dead, conveys the message of love and the change of heart, because the message of love and change of heart is the core of living the newness of life. Indeed, a man without love for God is no longer free from his egoistic self. And a man without a change of heart is not yet living in goodness. So, the celebration of the resurrection of Christ or the celebration of Easter is the invitation to all Christians to refresh our faith in Jesus Christ, and even to refresh our way of living.

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Divine Mercy
by Michael M. Mancusi, CRSP
In the past thirty years the Divine Mercy Devotions have once again become popular, especially among Catholics. Most of this is due to the impetus of Pope John Paul II. As Cardinal Archbishop of Krakow, he spearheaded the cause to have the writings of Sr. Faustina Kowalska open for the public to read by heading a new investigation into her writings. Sr. Faustina was a member of the community of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy in Warsaw when in the 1930’s she began to have visions of Christ pleading that the message of the mercy of God be made known throughout the world. The message is not new. God loves us! He is merciful and forgiving. Sr. Faustina died in 1938. In 1958 her diary of these visions and her conversations with the Lord Jesus were considered questionable and condemned by the Church. After twenty years her diary received approval from the Church and once again made available to the faithful to read. It was in that year of 1978 that Karol Woytyla was elected pope and, as pope, John Paul II closely followed the cause for her canonization which culminated in his declaring her a saint on April 30, 2000. During the homily of the canonization liturgy the Holy Father proclaimed, in accordance with #341 of St. Faustina’s diary, that the octave of Easter or the “Second Sunday of Easter from now on throughout the Church will be called Divine Mercy Sunday.” Within five days the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments decreed such by stating: “the Second Sunday of Easter, that is, Divine Mercy Sunday.” Those who are familiar with the Divine Mercy of St. Faustina are normally aware of the various devotions. I have already mentioned the establishment of the feast of Divine Mercy which can be found in the diary of Sr. Faustina, #299 (“I desire that the first Sunday after Easter be the Feast of Mercy.”) and #699. Connected to the feast is the Novena of the Divine Mercy: #1209 (“Novena to the Divine Mercy which Jesus instructed me to write down and make before the Feast of Mercy. It begins on Good Friday.”) and #1229. This begins on Good Friday and, like all other novenas, concludes on the vigil of the feast. There is the popular chaplet of Divine Mercy which is prayed on regular rosary beads. The mention and request for the praying of this chaplet is found in #687, #811, #1541 (“My daughter, encourage souls to say the chaplet which I have given to you. It pleases Me to

grant everything they ask of Me by saying the chaplet.”) and #1731 in the diary. A special time of 3 p.m., especially on Fridays, in order to recall the Lord’s death, is called the “Hour of Mercy” for praying the chaplet. This is referred to in #1319, #1320 (“At three o’clock, implore My mercy, especially for sinners; and, if only for a brief moment, immerse yourself in My Passion, particularly in my abandonment at the moment of agony. This is the hour of great mercy for the whole world… In this hour, I will refuse nothing to the soul that makes a request of Me in virtue of My Passion.”) and #1572 of the diary.

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Trust is an important aspect of the Divine Mercy devotions. Entries in the diary in regards to this are #47, #1074 (“When a soul approaches Me with trust, I fill it with such an abundance of graces.”), #1520 and #1578. We are called upon to trust in the Lord’s mercy. So important is this trust that the words “Jesus, I Trust in Thee” are to be placed beneath the image of the Divine Mercy. This image is called upon to be venerated in homes and churches in #47-49, #299, #327, #341, (“That is why I want the image to be solemnly blessed on the first Sunday after Easter, and I want it to be venerated publicly so that every soul may know about it.”) #414, #1777 and #1784 in St. Fasutina’s diary. All of the aforementioned are manifestations associated with what is known as the Divine Mercy devotions. Devotees of the Divine Mercy consider them with the utmost importance and central to the devotions. Nevertheless, there is still one more aspect to the devotions that is often forgotten about or rather not actually associated as part of the Divine Mercy devotions. In #742 of the Diary St. Faustina quotes Jesus as saying, “I demand from you deeds of mercy, which are to rise out of love for Me. You are to show mercy to your neighbors always and everywhere. You must not shrink from this or try to excuse yourself from it.” This is very reminiscent of Matthew 25:40 which states, “Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.” In Mark 7:6 Jesus says, “Well did Isaiah prophesy about you hypocrites, as it is written: ‘This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.’” Jesus speaks this to the Pharisees, the religious people of Christ’s time who kept all the rituals and practices of religion. They were devoted to these outer observances which had become so important to them; however, their real meaning had become lost. None of what they said or did actually touched their hearts and so their relationship with God had turned cold. “Faith without works is dead.” (James 2:26) In fulfilling all the external observances of the Divine Mercy devotions are we just giving lip service to God’s mercy? Remember, the Lord demands from us deeds of mercy so that we may pray with St. Faustina, “I want to be completely transformed into Your mercy and to be Your living reflection… help me to go through life doing good to everyone.” (Diary, #163 and #692) Again in Diary #742 Jesus gives us three ways of putting mercy into practice, “Three ways of exercising mercy toward your neighbor: the first—by deed, the second—by word, the third—by prayer.” Jesus wants to shower us with the mercy of God but He wants to let it flow through us to others. He wants us to be the extensions of His mercy just as He has mercy upon us.

“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.” (Matthew 5:7) Thus we are to be the vessels of God’s mercy to and for others. “Man attains to the Merciful love of God, His mercy, to the extent that he himself is interiorly transformed in the spirit of that love towards his neighbor.” (Dives in Misericordia, #14) One of the most expedient ways that the Church offers us to be agents of God’s mercy is through the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy. (cf. Matthew 25:31-40) The easier of the two to implement are the Corporal Works of Mercy. The first two call us to feed the hungry and to give drink to the thirsty. We can easily do this by volunteering at a soup kitchen or preparing a meal for the elderly or sick in our own neighborhood. I remember those times in Rome assisting the Missionaries of Charity at the soup kitchen near the Roman Forum. Dorothy Day has said that “the extra coat sitting in your closet belongs to the poor.” She bases this thought from St. Basil the Great who says, “To give of one’s excess is justice.” This calls us to fulfill the next deed of mercy to clothe the naked. Sponsoring or partaking in local clothing drives for the poor or donating clothing (new or used) to thrift shops is one way of making an application of this merciful act. It would be good if each of us had a “Christ Room” in order to take in someone who needs a room; however, many of our houses are already filled to capacity. Still we are called to shelter the homeless. I recall one winter back in New York City that was colder than normal. The local homeless shelters were already filled. My nephew’s birthday falls during the coldest week of winter. That year, instead of asking for presents, he asked to distribute blankets to the homeless in his part of New York City. One year I had been hospitalized during the Christmas holidays. I felt so bad not being a part of the festivities. From that moment I made it a point to gather people together and visit the sick in local hospital during any holiday season. Together we would bring a smile to so many dejected faces. There are many who are imprisoned by either age, lack of transportation, or disease has made them homebound. We can easily take some time out of our schedules and spend an hour or more visiting them in their “so-called prisons.” If it is possible, we could invite them out for a little excursion to a local park or eatery. Human contact is so important for such people. I may not be in the business of burying the dead and I do not plan to start to dig graves; however, I still, in today’s society, assist in burying the dead. We can partake actively by our presence at the Mass of Resurrection or the burial ritual for the deceased.

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The Spiritual Works of Mercy may be a little harder to place into practice, but they are still a means of actuated God’s loving mercy to others. The first two of bringing counsel to the doubtful and instructing the ignorant are closely related. Many consider these only within an educational field and thus relinquish it to teachers. Nevertheless this applies in giving good clear advice to those who are unsure of Church teaching or any lesson in life. Thus parents and older siblings practice this more often than they think. In today’s world we are afraid to criticize anything. This can lead to a type of intellectual sloth. To admonish the sinner is to give constructive criticism to or constructively correct the other. This does not mean that we are called to belittle or condemn the other but rather virtuously show them the wrongfulness of their ways. Still, the one being admonish must be open to correctness and such advice. This is not the case for one who is filled with pride. Bringing comfort to the sorrowful can be given in two ways. There are those who are suffering the death of a loved one. Our visitation during viewing or wake services brings comfort to those who are mourning their loss. There is also the comfort we can bring to another who is mourning their own wrongful actions. We can explain to them that they are not the action itself but rather one who committed a wrongful act. They can learn from their ways and thus become a better person. Did not Jesus do the same for the adulteress? (cf. John 8:3-11) Forgiveness does not mean that we now accept it or forgetting about it. It is more so letting go of the hope for a better past. It does imply an attitudinal and behavioral change on behalf of one or both parties concerned. If without this change one is still called to forgive. Forgiveness is one of the hardest aspects of Christianity, but it is a characteristic which makes Christianity unique. I can remember someone who had hurt me physically as well as many other ways. What I came to realize that one of my actions and attitudes actually precipitated our conflict. I admitted my wrongfulness to him and explained that I was willing to change my ways. He would have no part of it. I forgave him and I also forgave myself, yet I have not seen or talked to him in twenty-four years. To bear wrongs patiently calls forth the virtues of patience and meekness. Meekness does not imply weakness but rather self-possession in facing adversity. Jesus meekly bore the insults, accusations and beatings He received during His Passion. (cf. Matthew 26:57-68) This last work of mercy is to pray for the living and the dead. When I was in elementary school I had been

taught by the Brothers of Holy Cross. They had told me that every time I see or hear an ambulance go by that I should make the sign of the cross and pray for that sick person. I decided to extend that action also whenever I saw a funeral cortege or passing a cemetery. Besides praying for people on special dates (birthdays, wedding anniversaries, anniversaries of death), this little act of kindness displays a solidarity in love for the other. The external devotional practices revealed by St. Faustina are not enough. The outreach of God’s mercy always to everyone and everywhere can only become a reality through us. We may hang the image in our homes and pray the chaplet each day at three in the afternoon. We may partake of the novena and receive the sacraments of Reconciliation and Eucharist on Divine Mercy Sunday. But it is not enough. We ourselves must show mercy to our neighbors. Putting mercy into action is not an option of the Divine Mercy devotion; it is a requirement! There is a story of how some American soldiers were sent into a small town in Italy after a recent bombing during World War II. They were there to help look for survivors. One young soldier went into the local church to check for survivors and estimate any damage. He found no one and the only damage was to a statue of the Sacred Heart. The statue had fallen off its pedestal and the hands broken off. The soldier returned the statue to its rightful pedestal and looking back had an idea. That Sunday many of the townspeople came into the church and to pray before the Sacred Heart statue. They were surprised not only to see the broken hands of the Scared Heart but a hand made sign connected to the pedestal upon which the statue stood. The sign read, “I need your hands to do My work.” God needs us to show His mercy!

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Places of our Apostolate by Clyd S. Autentico, CRSP

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Our Neighbors

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BUHO

THE DAUGHTERs OF ST. JOSEPH—CABURLOTTO
The Congregation of the Daughters of St. Joseph started in Venice, Italy on April 30, 1850 by Fr. Luigi Caburlotto. Fr. Luigi Caburlotto was born in Venice on June 7, 1817 and became a priest on Sept. 24, 1842. He became an assistant parish priest and later a parish priest in St. James Dall’Orio from 1849 to 1872. It is in this time that his love and zeal in educating the poor was blazing up like a ball of fire. Education, during this era, was a privilege for the few. The few are the rich people. “The public schools were very few in Venice at that time. Many more were private schools or teachers tutoring pupils at home. Both public and private were only for the few who could afford to pay a teacher.” It is in this context that the enthusiasm and longing to educate the poor was burning in the heart of Caburlotto. To make his longing materialize, he asked the cooperation of the young people, who, by vocation would care for the human and Christian education of the needy and the helpless girls. His pastoral experience taught him that the problem of family, society and the Church was the lack of human and Christian education. The asking for help of Caburlotto moved the young volunteers to become Sisters. This move caused the foundation of the Congregation of the Daughters of Joseph. Caburlotto chose St. Joseph as the patron saint for the reason that Joseph was entrusted by God to educate and to care for Jesus. Like Joseph, the Sisters are called to be educators of the poor with St. Joseph as model of servant-educator to whom Caburlotto entrusted

San Isidro Labrador chapel, which is located at Buho Amadeo, is one of the chapels of Amadeo Parish, Santa Maria Magdalena Parish. It is a small chapel which was established in April 2004. This chapel came into existence through the efforts of the Sambayanang Kristiyano ng Buho with the leadership of Rosalina and Alberto Reyes and subordinated by ate Yna and kuya Roger, who is the lay minister of this chapel, and other members who were eager to give their time and strength and even financial support to make this chapel possible. The Barnabite priests have been given the schedule to celebrate the Mass in this chapel during the third and fourth Saturday of the month. During the time when it was established there was no choir to sing and no one played the guitar during the celebration of the Mass so that the celebration could be alive. For this reason, the Sambayanang Kristiyano ng Buho requested the Barnabite community to send some of the seminarians to teach the people to sing songs for the Mass. Their request was granted. The first two scholastics assigned there were Bro. Pat Golis and Bro. Jose Nazareno Gabato. It was in the year 2006. They would go there every Saturday evening and every second Sunday of the month just to play the guitar and sing with the people during the Mass. However, in June 2007, Bro. Pat was appointed as the liturgy chairman of the Saint Paul Scholasticate; therefore, he was asked to resign and concentrate in his new office. Bro. Clyd Autentico replaced Bro. Pat as a new partner of Bro. Jose in apostolate in Buho. Through the initiative of ate Leny and ate Yna, and the cooperation of some mothers, the children’s choir in Buho was organized. There were 18 children who joined the choir. Bro. Jose and Bro. Clyd were the ones who taught them songs for the Mass. But on October 28, 2007 Bro. Jose left for Italy. Bro. Pat substituted him as a guitarist for the choir until March 15, 2008 since all apostolates ended for summer break. These children, who sing during the Mass in Buho, are still functioning today even though there is no guitarist to accompany them in their singing.

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the Sisters. The Sisters have only one task, i.e. to EDUCATE. Education then is the focus of their charism. Caburlotto believed that a holistic and integral education is the key for the upliftment of the condition of the poor. He believed that if the person is educated with Christian and human education, the person will be effective in the society influencing good values to others. It is in this hunger to educate the poor that the first missionaries were sent to Brazil. In May 1992, the Institute set foot its mission in the Philippines. With its twenty-nine current members in the Philippines, they continue the works of Caburlotto by devoting themselves in the Christian formation of the youth in the schools, parishes, and mission with lay collaboration forming a foundation called a rainbow of hope which aims at sending poor children and youth to school and assist some families through a livelihood program. The latest mission of the congregation was in Kenya, Africa, which was started last 2000. With the sword of education, they serve with humility, charity and dedication. As educators they clothe themselves with mercy and material tenderness enwrapping the person to attend to and to be served with humility and dedication.

This is the model which is based from the lifestyle of the Home of Nazareth, a life with simplicity, humility, sweetness and charity. The Daughters of St. Joseph follow their founder in two directions: first is the fidelity to God. They are called to be faithful to God in service. The more they are penetrated by the challenges of God’s love in service to humanity the more they find the light and strength and wisdom of God in service. The second is the commitment to be faithful to a man called Jesus whom the Sisters serve through the faces of their neighbor, especially the poor, the needy, the neglected, defenseless, and the orphans. The daily commitment to discover the expectations and anxieties of the people contemporaneous to the history of the religious family, renewing the works and the way to do them but keeping the gift of service are the prerequisite to their commitment to faithfulness to Jesus. Thus, the Daughters of St. Joseph seek the face of God Incarnate in the concrete reality of our time in the poor, who are continuously blessed by God through agents like the Daughter of St. Joseph. —Thomas Federick Tabada, CRSP

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The Places of Origin of Our Scholastics: Mindanao

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THE SOTHERN PROMISE
by Rosauro A. Valmores, CRSP
Mindanao  is  the  second  largest  island  in  the  Philippine  archipelago.  It  approximately  covers  a  landmass  area  of  36,537  square  miles  or  94,631  square  kilometers.  The  terrain  is  generally  moun‐ tainous  and  heavily  forested.  The  island  of  Min‐ danao  is  indented  by  several  deep  bays  and  has  a  large  western  peninsula,  the  Zamboanga  or  Sibugay Peninsula. Its main rivers are the Pulangi,  200 miles or 320 kilometers long and navigable by  small  steamers  for  40  miles  or  60  kilometers;  and  the  Agusan,  240  miles  or  390  kilometers  long.  The  largest  lake is  Lanao,  for centuries around  the  lake  has been the habitat of the Muslims. Off the north‐ east  coast  in  the  Philippine  Sea  is  the  Mindanao  Trench,  35,000  feet  or  10,670  meters  deep,  one  of  the  greatest  known  water  areas  around  the  globe.  Mindanao  is  home  to  a  diverse  population— different  ethnic  groups  like  T’boli,  Yakan,  Tausog,  Samal,  Maranao,  and  Bajao,  who  are  mostly  Mus‐ lims,  as  well  as  Ilocanos  and  other  migrants  from  the  two  major  regions,  namely  Luzon  and  the  Visayas.    The Muslims in Mindanao are known as fierce  warriors,  who  successfully  resisted  the  Spanish  colonizers  and  all  their  attempts,  bloody  or  con‐ ciliatory, to defeat Islam. Today the island remains  the  stronghold  of  that  religion.  It  is,  however,  no  longer the Muslim island that it was centuries ago.  In  fact,  the  region  now  includes  more  provinces  that  are  predominantly  Christian,  besides  others  where  Christian  denominations  and  Muslims  live  in peaceful coexistence.  Mindanao is also considered as a nature‐lovers’  paradise. Mount Apo, the highest mountain in the  Philippines  and  the  home  to  the  endangered  Phil‐ ippine  eagle,  is  a  landmark.  Mindanao  is  also  blessed  with  soil  that  produces  some  of  the  most  delicious fruits and the rarest orchids and flowers.  Its rich soil accounts for bountiful harvests of a va‐ riety of farm products. It grows most of the Philip‐ pines’ major crops such as rubber (100% of national  production),  pineapple  (91%),  as  well  as  banana,  coffee, corn, rice, and coconut (over 50%).  Mindanao  is  likewise  endowed  with  rich  min‐ eral resources that attract foreign investors who are 

lured by its promising profits. Its metallic deposits  include  lead,  zinc,  ore,  iron,  copper,  chromites,  magnetite  and  gold.  Gold  mined  in  Mindanao  ac‐ counts for nearly half of the national gold reserves.  Its  non‐metallic  mineral  resources  include  marble,  salt, sand, gravel, silica, clay, and limestone.  Mindanao is truly blessed, not only in its social,  political,  and  cultural  aspects,  but  also  in  the  reli‐ gious sense. This island of promise is also the melt‐ ing pot of vocations. For the past 15 years, since its  foundation  here  in  the  Philippines,  the  Clerics  Regular  of  St.  Paul  (Barnabite  Fathers)  ordained  4  young  and  fervent  priests  from  the  northern  part  of  Mindanao,  particularly  from  the  town  of  Balin‐ gasag,  Misamis  Oriental.  Fr.  Verano  M.  Ladra,  Fr.  Joseph  M.  Tabigue,  Fr.  Rudyson  M.  Nulo  and  Fr.  Ferdinand M. Dagcuta are native of the same place  (only Fr. Tabigue was born in Prosperidad, Agusan  del Norte, but his family transferred to Balingasag)  and attended the same school (Santa Rita’s College,  run  by  the  Religious  of  the  Virgin  Mary).  At  pre‐ sent, the Clerics Regular of St. Paul has six tempo‐ rarily  professed  theologians,  one  novice  and  nu‐ merous  college  seminarians  from  the  different  parts  of  Mindanao.  Truly  nobody  knows  how  the  Holy  Spirit  works.  Mindanao  is  truly  a  sleeping  giant of the south and most of all a well‐spring of  vocations. 

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In the Fourth Centenary of the Opening of the Arcimboldi School

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THE BARNABITE SCHOOLS
by Pat M. Golis, CRSP
The Barnabites have been known as a teaching  Congregation.  Most  of  the  priests  are  educators;  most  of  them  have  Master’s  Degrees  and  Ph.D.,  which are proof that they are capable of educating  and forming young people intellectually and spiritu‐ ally.  Their  apostolate  includes  the  founding  and  directing  of  schools  and  seminaries.  In  fact,  they  work with the youth and the laity, as well as in the  religious and diocesan seminaries.  In  1662,  the  General  Chapter  was  purposely  called  to  announce  the  organization  of  the  center  for the theological studies. This particular decree or  pronouncement  was  carried  out  five  years  later  when  St.  Charles  ai  Catinari  in  Rome  was  opened  for  the  theology  students  of  all  the  provinces.  In  this way the Congregation had a full curriculum of  studies  with  independent  houses  for  the  different  stages.  In  1665  a  decree  of  the  Congregation  for  Religious  gave  us  information  on  the  organization  of these houses of formation.    The Roman Province had the first year of noviti‐ ate  in  Zagarolo,  the  second  in  Rome  for  theology  and in Macerata for philosophy. The Lombard Prov‐ ince had the first novitiate in Monza, the second in  Milan: St. Barnabas for theology and St. Alexander  for  philosophy.  The  number  of  students  in  each  house could not be more than ten. This subdivision  and dispersion of subjects may seem strange to us  today, but we have to remember that at that time  the whole community was called to be involved in  the  formation  process.  As  a  matter  of  fact,  Fr.  Franti  (1667)  tells  us,  in  his  “true  report”,  that  these  houses  were  multiplied  very  fast  to  accom‐ modate the increasing number of students.  In  1603,  Clement  VIII  invited  the  Barnabites  to  take the direction of a school in Ragusa and that is  why a proposal of Ferdinand of Medici in Florence  to open a school in Pisa had already been refused.  The spiritual means were small in number due to a  lack  of  new  religious  families.  The  pontifical  docu‐

The first public school of the Barnabites: the “Arcimboldi,” opened at Milan in 1608.

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ment  affirms  that  the  Christian  youth  were  con‐ stantly exposed to dangers for their souls because  of  the  mixture  of  Turks,  Jews,  and  Barbarians  of  different origins. The first to answer was the Procu‐ rator  General,  Fr.  Cattaneo,  then  Fr.  General  Dossena,  who  was  on  a  visit  to  Lombardy.  They  justified  their  denial  saying  that,  in  their  opinion,  the school apostolate was against the spirit of the  Congregation  of  Saint  Paul,  which  had  been  founded  not  to  teach  humanities.  Such  an  activity  would  have  kept  the  members  away  from  the  choir, and besides members ready to work for the  youth were not available. But the letter of Dossena  to  the  Pope  expresses  his  great  regret  for  not  be‐ ing  able  to  correspond  to  the  deep  esteem  of  the  Pontiff, and at the same time, a spirit of great aban‐ donment in the hands of Divine Providence and to  the will of the Vicar of Christ.  In  1603,  in  Milan,  Monsignor  John  Baptist  Ar‐ cimboldi offered to the Barnabites his palace, to be  used as a school for the youth of the city. In 1605,  the  General  Chapter  discussed  the  issue  and  de‐ cided to accept the offer, so opening the Congrega‐ tion to a new apostolate. But the Chapter put some  restrictions:  the  Fathers  could  teach  only  philoso‐ phy and sacred sciences, leaving the other subjects  to  diocesan  clergy  or  lay  people.  In  1608  the  new  Arcimboldi Schools were inaugurated.  Already  at  the  time  of St.  Charles, the  Cardinal  entrusted to the care of the seminary in Arona. The  first case was in 1605 when Cardinal Jerome Mattei  entrusted  to  our  fathers  the  direction  of  the  Ro‐ man  Seminary.  Another  opportunity  came  in  1671,  when  at  the  General  Chapters  the  French  Fathers  expressed their willingness to assume the direction  of  seminaries  against  the  opposition  by  the  other  Capitular  Fathers.  A  year  later  the  bishop  of  Dax  invited  the  Barnabites  to  take  over  his  brand  new  seminary.  Since  there  was  the  stipulation  that  the  Fathers would live in their own religious house, Fa‐ ther  General  gladly  accepted  the  proposal.  Three  were selected for the task, the director, a professor  of theology, and the spiritual director. The final yes  was given by the General Chapter of 1647, declaring  that scholastic and spiritual direction of seminaries  was not against the Constitutions.  In  1740,  Cardinal  Lambertini  became  Pope.  Again  he  asked  the  Barnabites  to  send  four  fa‐

thers  to  teach  theology,  philosophy,  humanities  and  grammar  in  the  seminary  of  Bologna,  with  one  of  them  as  dean  of  studies.  He  asked  them  also  to  take  over  the  penitentiary  of  his  previous  Diocese.  Contemporary  to  the  seminaries,  there  is  a  movement in favor of boarding schools. The major‐ ity  of  the  fathers  was  against  it,  because,  as  Fr.  Danti writes, “changing solely the institute in time  would  totally  destroy  the  religious  Order.”  Once  again  it  is  France  to  lead.  In  1680  the  Fathers  of  Montargis  requested  permission  to  open  their  school  to  lay  students  and  to  create  a  section  as  boarding school. The commission appointed by the  General  Chapter  suggested  to  make  a  three‐year  experiment  on  condition  that  it  was  in  a  separate  building  with  only  the  Father‐in  charge  allowed  to  go  in  it.  Anybody  else  needed  the  express  permis‐ sion  of  the  superior.  It  was  a  beginning  of  a  long  tradition still alive today.  In  Italy,  Fr.  Sitoni,  Rector  of  St.  Alexander  in  Milan, wanted to use the heredity left, way back in  1615,  by  Peter  Anthony  Longoni.  This  heredity  had  the clause that it had to be used only as a house for  students  attending  the  Arcimboldi  school,  and  so  create  a  totally  separate  boarding  school,  but  still  under the direction of the Fathers. Now it was 1723.  The General Council refused, also because of some  juridical complications. But the pressure was on. In  November  the  first  boarding  school  of  the  Barnabites  in  Italy  was  inaugurated  with  Fr.  Sitoni  as its first director.   Then in 1774, there was the suppression of the  Jesuits and this caused the Barnabites to expand in  a  field  in  which  they  had  been  comfortable.  The  Jesuits had many boarding schools; therefore, all of  a sudden so many of these schools were in danger  of being abandoned. New workers were necessary.  Popes,  bishops,  and  civil  authorities  begged  the  Barnabites to take over. There was no choice.   In reading the details of the foundation of vari‐ ous  schools  in  the  1600’s  one  element  hits  us:  as  agreement were made, the matter of finances was  always  in  the  forefront.  Naturally  we  have  to  un‐ derstand  that  the  founders  of  the  schools  envi‐ sioned them to be totally free for all, including the  well‐to‐do  families.  Paying  public  schools  did  not  exist yet. Therefore, there was the need for a fund 

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which would assure payments for the teachers and  at  the  same  time  would  provide  for  the  mainte‐ nance and development of the school itself. This is  why at the beginning, or at the  moments of crisis,  we  find  bequests  from  civil  authorities,  bishops,  and private sectors.   The case of Florence is different. The school of  San Carlino had great benefactors in the grandukes  and  the  archbishops.  But  at  the  beginning  of  the  1700’s  the  school  had  to  be  closed  for  the  lack  of  funds.  In  1735  it  was  re‐opened  because  of  a  rich  donation  from  the  Florentine  Francis  Boddi.  A  let‐ ter  by  Fr.  General  Maccabei  about  the  acceptance  of  students  makes  us  think:  “The  good  or  bad  fu‐ ture  of  the  school  rests  on  the  first  registrations,  therefore we have to be careful how and whom do  we  register.  We  do  not  say  that  we  go  down  and  accept the lowest people, but we say that we must  proceed in such a way that what we have received  as alms, would not be used by us with pomp.” 

The  students,  who  were  registered,  immersed  in  a  wide  variety  of  subjects  but  ultimately  of  the  classic‐humanistic  type.  In  many  different  ways  a  healthy  emulation  was  stimulated.  In  the  classes  there was a live enactment of the division between  the  Romans  and  the  Carthaginenses,  with  their  own  emblems  and  classes  of  people  (Emperors,  counsels, magistrates, etc.) The rivalry between the  two  parties  was  manifested  in  the  study  and  in  competitions. The proclamation of the winners was  a great scholastic celebration. In Livorno at the end  of the year the list of the winners was published in  three  categories:  prince  of  honors,  honors  and  al‐ most honors. Each of these orders had special privi‐ leges. For sure this method was not like the ones of  the “Magister plagosus” which, we are told, would  communicate  all  of  his  knowledge  by  a  whip  of  three  dimensions,  which,  according  to  his  inborn  clemency, he would direct to the shoulders, to the  hands, or to the legs of the shaking disciples. 

The present school of the Barnabites in Milan: “Istituto Zaccaria”

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FIGHT AND WIN YOUR CROWN
by Yohanes Besi Koten, CRSP “Militia est vita hominis super terram” (Job 7:1). This saying is a kind of fight that we undergo in every vocation of life that we take. Struggle and fight are a kind of competition in which we must strive to win the crown. Here, we are like an athlete who fights the good fight in order to get the crown that already is prepared for us. We are athletes who win the imperishable crown: our salvation. Moreover, we are strengthened by the words of St. Paul, “Do you not know that in a race the runners all compete, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win it. Athletes exercise self-control in all things; they do it to receive a perishable garland, but we an imperishable one” (1 Cor 9:24-25). So, fight and win your crown. As religious it is our task to fight against the worldly things, evils and fleshly desires. We strive for spiritual matters which bring us to win the crown. It is a spiritual battle, as St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria said, “We must become experts in the spiritual battle that the devil will never deceive us in his way” (see Constitutions, ch. 12: The Writings, p. 179). It is somehow giving us strength to fight against the devil that always prowls to devour us. We are just looking at Jesus, Who is the way, the truth and the life. It is because only in Him do we find our strength to fight against all allurements in this world. Only in Him we are saved from all that could harm us. Furthermore, as Barnabites who are the soldiers of Christ Jesus, we are called to do the spiritual battle. This is somehow to free us from any evil inclination. It is a kind of cross that leads us to the way of God. Moreover, God will fight for us. He will never leave us alone to fight and peril in the battle. He will be with us. “Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His power. Put on the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil” (Eph 6:10-11). It means that we are always staying in His love so that the evil may not overshadow us. Remain always in Him. As we go on our journey towards Him we are to remember that we are the soldiers of Christ Jesus. We fight for the sake of Him. We are not alone to do the battle. He will fight for us. Let us trust only in Him and ask His power in order for us to win the battle and have our crown in Him who strengthens us. Fight the good fight and win the crown that is eternal. Fight and win your crown in the name of Christ Jesus. FIGHT AND WIN YOUR CROWN.

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A Year After…
by Jecker R. Luego, CRSP
It has been a year since I was ordained. It has been also a year with so many struggles, failures and successes. One may wonder what happened during my first year as a priest. Yes, why not ask myself; what happened to me in this past year as a priest? It is good to recall those stupid things that I have done; but, still it is better to remember those good ones. However, I will neither mention them one by one nor speak about some of them. What I want to share is the abstract experience that I have with God, His presence in my life despite who and what I am. In my article last year after my ordination, I mentioned that I was not worthy to become one of the Lord’s servants. I confirm this once again after the events that happened to me in the past thirteen months of my priesthood. Undeniably, I am not worthy; yet, despite this, God has chosen me and has made me a priest. I do recognize my sinfulness and weaknesses and, if I were God, I would not have let Jecker be ordained. But, surprisingly, God made me a priest. God has done everything in me in contrast to what I thought about myself. What does God want to tell me then? That, I do not know…. Honestly, in this past year as a priest, I shed tears, a lot of tears because of the things that I did which were against my priesthood. I am ashamed of what I did. Because of those things I even had thoughts of leaving the priesthood (this is an honest confession). Already? That soon? Yes, that soon. I did not do the things that I priest should do. Until now my sins and my weaknesses are haunting me and I do not know what I should do to get rid of them. I want to live without them, free and far from all worries of life. I want to escape from all these. Yet I do not know what makes me remain and go on. I have never seen God as He should be seen, as He is. Nevertheless, I feel His presence that serves my source of energy to continue in spite of everything. It seems to me that God is telling me to stop worrying about everything, about every sin and weakness that hinder me to serve Him to the full. He wants me to serve despite of who I am because it is not I who really work here but He himself is the one doing everything. I am just an instrument that He is using for something better. As an instrument I should not dictate God not to use me because anyway God is the mind of all that happens in me and in my surroundings. Inside and outside me, it is God who is the Master. What I need to do is to let go of myself. Let myself be used by God for something better not for me but for others. I have been so naughty this past year and have been so hard headed, and even proud. I wanted to do things by myself away from God. I wanted to do things according to my own plans. I wanted to be free from God. I wanted to prove to Him and to others that I could do things without Him. But how wrong I was! Indeed, I am very stupid and foolish by thinking and doing so. I am NO God. I am just a human being, an imperfect creature that God has made for His own and not for my own. This Lenten season, it is very much interesting to realize how far I have gone away from God. Because of my pride and selfishness I have missed to see God. I have been facing myself all these past months. Now it is time for me to face God and recount all the things that I have done. It is time for me to come back home and be reconciled with God. I admit I have not yet been reconciled that well with Him. I want to be submissive with God no matter what. I want to let Him use me to the full. I do not want to do my will anymore. It is so tiring and hard to be alone. I know I cannot do anything far away from him. He has been good to me in spite of everything. He continues to call me and wants to use me as His instrument to other people. I do not know how I should react to the way He uses me but one thing do I know, GOD’S WILL BE DONE in me. Everything is a grace of God.

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second year
by Joseph M. Bernales, CRSP On  the  day  of  the  475th  anniversary  of  the  foundation of the Barnabites, February 18, 2008,  the  Tahanang  Mapag‐aruga  ni  Padre  Semeria  also celebrated its 2nd anniversary. However, the  celebration was anticipated on the Saturday be‐ fore the anniversary, February 16, 2008. The said  date was agreed both by the brothers in charge  and  the  members.  It  was  both  favorable  for  them  since  the  members  have  work  on  week‐ days  and  the  brothers  were  having  their  Com‐ prehensive Examination at school.  The  anniversary  was  celebrated  with  a  Holy  Mass. It was participated by the members’ fami‐ lies,  some  friends,  and  the  brothers  of  the  Barnabite  Community.  There  were  about  one  hundred  in  attendance  at  the  celebration.  Fr.  Giovanni  Ma.  Scalese,  CRSP,  Superior  of  the  Saint  Paul  Scholasticate  and  Director  of  the  Tahanan,  was  the  main  celebrant.  Fr.  Michael  Ma. Mancusi, CRSP also concelebrated.   The  Eucharistic  Celebration  was  held  in  the  Fatima Shrine. It was the most significant venue  for  this  anniversary  because  it  was  in  this  chapel that the Tahanan was started. They held  their meetings in this chapel and made rugs for  their livelihood program at the small room that  now  serves  as  a  sacristy.  The  pioneers  could  not  help  themselves  but  share  their  memories  in  that  chapel  during  the  agape  that  followed.  Everyone  went  home  satisfied  despite  of  the  simplicity  of  the  celebration  and  all  of  them  wished  that  the  Tahanan  will  continue  in  the  years to come.  This  month  another  joyful  celebration  was  celebrated,  the  Recognition  and  Culmination  Day  of  the  children  in  the  Preparatory  Learning  Center  of  the  Tahanan.  Among  the  fifteen  chil‐ dren who enrolled at the opening of the school  year ten survived. Nine of them are ready for the  first  grade  while  one  is  retained  in  the  learning  center  because  of  her  very  young  age.  The  brothers who are in charge in teaching the chil‐ dren  came  up  with  a  passing  grade  for  all  of  them.  The  parents,  upon  knowing  that  all  of  them  passed,  were  very  excited  for  the  day  of  recognition.  They  saved  money  to  buy  new  white dresses for their daughters and new white  long‐sleeved‐shirt for their sons. Those who did  not  came  up  with  the  amount  for  buying  new  clothes  satisfied  themselves  by  borrowing  old  clothes from their neighbor.  The  Recognition  and  Culminating  program  started with a Celebration of the Holy Eucharist.  Fr. Cirilo Ma. Coniendo, CRSP was the main cele‐ brant.  During  the  homily,  he  congratulated  the 

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children  and  the  parents.  All  brothers  in  charge  in  the  Tahanan,  Bro.  Joseph,  Bro.  Thomas,  Bro.  Clyd,  Bro.  Jonathan,  Bro.  Jay  and  Bro.  Rosauro,  were  present  and  served  the  Mass.  Two  of  the  parents, Ludivar Delos Santos and Crispina Bawi,  read the first reading and the psalm respectively.  After  the  Mass  the  Graduation  March  followed.  From  the  Fatima  Chapel,  going  through  the  seminary garden, the children with their parents  proceeded  to  the  venue,  inside  the  old  bodega  where  the  classroom  is  located  and  the  impro‐ vised  venue  for  graduation  was  held.  By  this  time Fr. Giovanni joined the ceremony.  The program was started with the Philippine  National Anthem led by Shella Bustamante, one  of  the  proud  mothers.  Fr.  Giovanni  gave  his  opening  remarks.  In  his  speech  he  quoted  Fr.  Semeria  about  the  importance  of  education.  One  of  those  who  are  present  were  Mrs.  Alma  Roa,  a  friend  and  benefactor  of  the  Tahanan.  Together with Fr. Giovanni and Bro. Thomas, she  helped out in the distribution of certificates and 

the awarding of honors. After the distribution of  certificates  to  the  children,  Mrs.  Roa  was  sur‐ prised when her name was called. She, together  with  her  husband  although  not  present,  were  awarded with the Certificate of Appreciation for  their undying support for the Tahanan.   For  the  amusement  of  all  present  the  chil‐ dren  presented  their  graduation  song,  “I  Count,  Read, Write, and Pray,” composed by one of the  brothers.  Joana  Barientos,  a  first  year  college  student  from  “City  College  of  Tagyatay,”  one  of  the  Tahanan  Scholars,  rendered  a  tribute  song.  The  Tahanan  staff  is  thankful  for  all  those  who  helped and cooperated in the celebration.   The Tahanan apostolate does not end on the  day of the culmination activity. This coming May,  tutorial services will be given to the children and  the  rest  of  the  Tahanan  members.  This  will  be  done  with  the  help  of  the  college  scholars  and  some of the brothers.  Thank you! Maraming salamat po sa inyong  lahat! 

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NEWS, EVENTS, AT IBA PA…
Institution of New Ministers
It is a mandate by the ecclesiastical law for the one who aspires for priesthood that “in order to be promoted to the permanent or transitional diaconate, he is required to have received the ministries of lector and acolyte and to have exercised them for a suitable period of time.” (can. 1035 §1) Last December 31, 2007 six of the Barnabite confreres: Bro. Marlon M. Ramirez, Yohannes Besi M. Koten, Clyd M. Autentico, Jonathan M. Ramoso, Thomas Frederick M. Tabada, and Isfridus M. Syukur were installed to the ministry of acolyte, while two of our confreres: Jay M. Patulin, and Joseph M. Bernales were installed as new lectors. The said installation was held in the Sagrado Corazon Chapel, Saint Paul Scholasticate, Tagaytay, Philippines during the 6:30 a.m. Mass. Rev. Fr. Giovanni M. Scalese, CRSP, the Superior of the Philippine Delegation, had been delegated by the Most Reverend Father General Giovanni M. Villa, CRSP for the institution ceremony. It was also concelebrated by two of our priestconfreres: Fr. Jecker Luego, and Fr. Cirilo Coniendo. In the homily, Fr. Scalese emphatically imparted to those who would be installed the carried-marks of those who would receive the ministry. He verbalized that the ministry of the Word and the ministry of the Eucharist is not simply a “person-identity”, a mere function; but rather a way of life. He added that these ministries are both a gift and a task. It is a gift because it is a grace from the Lord and a task to be carried out for those to whom it was given for the service of the others as well. In the ceremony, Fr. Scalese handed over the Holy Scripture to those who received the ministry of lector while those who received the ministry of acolyte were handed over the chalice as each one designated to their own particular ministry. The simple celebration was attended by our neighboring friends the Merciful Sister. The Holy Mass ended around 7:30 a.m. and everyone shared the happiness, goodness and right service for the Church. Congratulations to the newly installed acolytes and lectors (Jonathan G. Ramoso, CRSP).

Parochial Celebrations
The community of the Saint Paul Scholasticate joyfully participated in the three important celebrations of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish. The first celebration was the dedication of the new parish church, celebrated by the Diocesan Bishop Most Reverend Luis Antonio G. Tagle and Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus of Manila Teodoro Buhain, last February 2. This was also the beginning of the Novena Mass for the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes. The Deacon of the community Rev. Ferdinand Dagcuta, CRSP was invited by the Capuchin Fathers to serve the celebration. In the next day, the community was invited again by the Parish to lead the 2nd day of the Novena Mass, presided by Fr. Cirilo Coniendo, CRSP and concelebrated by the other two members of

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the community, Fr. Jecker Luego, CRSP and Fr. Michael Mancusi, CRSP. The invitation was addressed originally to the Superior of the community Fr. Giovanni Scalese, CRSP, but, because he had other commitment in Italy, he was not able to celebrate it. On February 11, the community joyfully joined the celebration in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The solemn Mass was celebrated by Cardinal Gaudencio Rosales, Archbishop of Manila, with the homily of Bishop Luis Antonio G. Tagle. This celebration was graced with the presence of several priests from the different religious communities in Tagaytay and the presence of many faithful devotees of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Cirilo B. Coniendo, CRSP).

DWS’ Graduates Tribute
On March 7 the DWSTSA, the student body of the Divine Word School of Theology, organized a simple yet special program intended for the graduates of the school both from the AB Theology graduates (2nd Year students) and the Four-Year Ecclesiastical Program (4th Year students). The school grounds was the venue of the event that made the aroma of a cool atmosphere

all throughout the said program. The grand dinner was prepared by each religious and diocesan community brought with them as a potluck, with the juicy lechon prepared by the DWS Student Council headed by Sem. Dennis Nacorda. This opened up the delight before the program was started. While the students were enjoying eating the dinner, everyone did not let pass by the value of friendship and camaraderie among students. The organizer had prepared a power point presentation of pictures of each year level. It tried to reminiscence the moments of friendship, companionship, loses and victories, tears and joys which added flavor to the event. During the program the freshmen gave a token of appreciation to each Second Year student while the Fourth Year students gave the Key as a symbol of encouragement and secrets of success to the Third Year students. The angelic voices of each year’s level presentation resounded in the four corners of the school. At the end, all the students joined together singing the Pilgrim’s Theme and followed by the new composition of our dean, Fr. Michael Layugan, SVD for the Alma Mater hymn. Each one brought back the joy in their faces as they returned to their seminary (Jonathan G. Ramoso, CRSP).

The 2008 DWS Graduates

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St. Joseph Novena

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Fr. Ferdinand receives his diploma from Fr. Rector

DWS Graduation
On March 15 the Graduation Ceremonies for the academic year 2007-08 took place at the Divine Word Seminary. At 8 a.m. a solemn Mass was celebrated in the Holy Spirit Chapel, presided by the Most Rev. Buenaventura M. Famadico, D.D., Bishop of Gumaca, DWS Alumnus. He was assisted by the Rector of the DWS, Fr. Wilfredo Saniel, SVD and the Dean of studies, Fr. Michael Layugan, SVD. The Faculty of DWS and the Rectors of the houses of formation concelebrated. After the Mass, the Graduation Ceremonies followed. There were present the Diocesan Bishop, Most Rev. Luis Antonio Tagle, D.D., professor at the DWS, and the Hon. Eddie T. Panlilio, Provincial Governor of Pampanga, DWS Alumnus. The following degrees were conferred: FourYear Ecclesiastical Course, Baccalaureate in Sacred Theology (S.T.B.), Master of Arts in Theology Major in Pastoral Ministry (M.A.P.M.) and Bachelor of Arts Major in Theology (A.B. Theol.). Three Barnabite students graduated: Fr. Jecker Luego (M.A.P.M. cum laude), Fr. Ferdinand Dagcuta (Ecclesiastical Course cum laude, S.T.B. and M.A.P.M. magna cum laude) and Fr. Roan Cipriano Aborque (Ecclesiastical Course, S.T.B. and M.A.P.M. cum laude). Hearty congratulations to them!

The novena is a Filipino typical practice. When a feast day of a Saint is approaching nine consecutive days prior to the feast are celebrated in honor of that Saint. Barangay San Jose, where the Saint Paul Scholasticate is located, celebrates its patron feast every March 19. This year, because of liturgical reasons, the feast day was brought forward to March 15. So the novena started on March 6. Each day the novena and Mass was sponsored by a different purok or street. The different religious congregations also assisted in leading the novena for each day. To the Barnabites the 7th day was assigned. All the members of Saint Paul Scholasticate Community in Tagaytay were present. Fr. Cirilo led the participants in the novena prayer; Fr. Scalese was the main celebrant of the Mass with the other Fathers as concelebrants. Fr. Ferdinand was the homilist, while Bro. Marlon served as acolyte. Bro. Isfridus played the music on the keyboard to help the Scholastics’ Choir as well as the choir from the chapel. Each day of the novena one of the Barnabite priests was the celebrant for the evening Mass assisted by Bro. Joseph, who oversaw all the liturgical activities, and Bro. Jay, who gave musical accompaniment with his guitar. The feast day itself was celebrated with a morning Mass led by the assistant parish priest. Later in the day a procession was held throughout the entire Barangay amid flags and colorfully decorated purok. There was also a contest among the different purok, who had decorated streets and houses. Guess which purok won the contest! Purok 163, our purok, of course.

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LETTERS
Carissimo  Padre  Giovanni,  posso  usare  l’italiano,  data  la  mia  pochezza  con  l’inglese?  Con  grande  fatica e altrettanto piacere continuo a leggere iPaul  e  cosí,  da  lontano,  a  prender  parte  alla  vostra  comunità.  Poiché  l’erba  del  vicino,  ecc.  ecc.,  mi  sembrate  cosí  belli!  Ma  forse  deve  essere  proprio  cosí. Laici di San Paolo dalle vostre parti come pot‐ rebbero essere intesi?     Arch. Stefano Silvagni  Bologna, Italy  silvagni@tecnicoop.it    Happy  Birthday  and  congratulations!  It  just  shows  that  the  Spirit  is  working.  Thank  you  for  the  many  beautiful  insights  you  share…  you  are  the  new  apostles who set out to the whole world to spread  the good news of Christ. Keep up!     Sr. Rorivic P. Israel, ASP  Easton, Pennsylvania, USA  rorivic_israel@yahoo.com    Carissimo  P.  Giovanni,  confratelle  e  studenti,  vi  raggiungo con i miei piú cordiali ringraziamenti del  dono bellissimo di iPaul, sempre ricco di notizie, ma  soprattutto di gioia viva, attuale, aperta al futuro e  alla  profezia.  Mentre  auguro  a  tutti  voi  un  Santo  Natale  di  comunione  festosa,  con  la  comunità  di  Trani  e  il  gruppo  Fons  unitatis  vi  assicuro  la  preghiera  perché  possiate  perseverare  nella  sequela  del  Signore  col  coraggio  della  testimonianza creativa, a imitazione di san Paolo, il  gigante.  Con  l’anno  paolino...  chissà  cosa  ci  farete  vedere, leggere e sentire... anche ecumenicamente!  Siete  vicini  a  un  vulcano...  ecco  perché  siete  vulcanici! Cari saluti alle Filippine, a Tagaytay.     P. Enrico Sironi, CRSP  Trani, Italia  esironi@tiscali.it    Grazie Rev. Scalese, perché si ricorda sempre di me  e,  nonostante  i  miei  lunghi  silenzi,  continua  ad  inviarmi la Vostra rivista. Possa il Signore in questo  Natale  riempirvi  di  celeste  gioia  e  possa  ricompensare  con  la  santità  dei  Vostri  seminaristi  i  semi di Verità e Bene che gettate nei loro cuori. Vi  aiuti  la  Vergine  santa  e  vi  accompagnino  le  nostre  preghiere.  Ogni  sera  prego  il  Signore  che  dia  alla  Sua Chiesa santi Sacerdoti e mantenga nella santità  quelli  che  egli  già  ha  chiamato.  Dica  ai  Suoi  seminaristi  che  i  figli  delle  isole  Filippine  ci  sono  carissimi  e  sono  speranza  per  la  Chiesa.  Dica  loro  che  rimangano  fedeli  alla  Verità  e  saldissimi  nella  Virtú,  sicché  possano  annunziare  con  la  Parole  e  con  l’esempio  il  Cristo  Redentore  che  viene  in  questo  Natale  a  salvare  il  mondo.  Infine  una  preghiera.  So  che  la  esaudirà.  Mario  Coretti,  quel  mio amico, per il quale le avevo chiesto di pregare e  di cui Lei aveva fatto menzione anche sulla rivista, è  morto, ma in maniera cosí totalmente abbandonata  al  Signore  che  ci  ha  consolato.  Ha  pregato  letteralmente  fino  all’ultimo.  Quando  non  riusciva  piú a parlare ci segnava sulla fronte con la croce. Ha  offerto  il  suo  sacrificio  davvero  in  maniera  esemplare.  Ora  Le  chiedo  di  pregare  per  la  sua  sposa e per i tre figli, perché possano concludere gli  studi e non essere abbattuti da questa prova cui il  Signore  li  ha  chiamati.  So  che  non  vi  scorderete  di  loro. Un affettuoso abbraccio, un Santo Natale e un  anno di Grazia nel Signore Gesú Cristo.    Mr. Domenico Savino  Reggio Emilia, Italy  dome.savino@libero.it    Glory to God in the highest and peace to his people  on  earth!  Just  as  I  say  Happy  Birth‐date  to  Jesus  and thanking him for becoming flesh to bring life to  humanity,  I  also  say  Happy  Birth‐date  to  iPaul  and  at the same time thanking the contributors (writers  and  editors)  for  the  “good  intention”  they  bring  forth to their avid readers and their confreres who  are  miles  away  from  home.  You  made  them  feel  really “at home.” Nice work! Happy 1 year old iPaul!    Bro. Jose Nazareno S. Gabato, CRSP  Roma, Italy  joens959@yahoo.com 

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APPEAL
The SAINT PAUL SCHOLASTICATE and the TAHANANG MAPAG-ARUGA NI PADRE SEMERIA need your help: scholarships for our scholastics; sponsorships for our poor children; free donations; celebration of Holy Masses. You can deposit your offering on the current account #0971-0085-47 under the name of THE CLERICS REGULAR OF ST. PAUL— BARNABITES of the Bank of the Philippine Islands, Tagaytay Branch, notifying us of your donation.

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

iPaul
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 Editorial Staff: Fr. Cirilo B. Coniendo, Fr. Michael F. Mancusi, Fr. Jecker R. Luego, Rev. Ferdinand S. Dagcuta, Rev. Roan Cipriano J. Aborque, Marlon B. Ramirez, Yohanes Besi Koten, Clyd S. Autentico, Pat M. Golis, Jonathan G. Ramoso, Thomas Federick S. Tabada, Isfridus Syukur, Rosauro A. Valmores, Joseph M. Bernales, Jay L. Patulin Typeset in the Philippines by Saint Paul Scholasticate, March 2008

APPELLO
Il SAINT PAUL SCHOLASTICATE e il TAHANANG MAPAG-ARUGA NI PADRE SEMERIA hanno bisogno del tuo aiuto: borse di studio per i nostri studenti; adozioni dei bambini da noi assistiti; libere offerte; celebrazione di Sante Messe. Puoi versare la tua offerta sul c.c.p. 29654001 intestato a I BARNABITI, Via G. Medici 15, 00153 Roma, specificando la causale del versamento.

HAPPY EASTER! MALIGAYANG PASKO NG MULING PAGKABUHAY! BUONA PASQUA!

Quis nos separabit a caritate Christi? An gladius?