Quis nos separabit a caritate Christi? An gladius?

Saint Paul Scholasticate Newsletter
Year 6 No. 14 Easter 2011
Easter, from the Old English Eostre, Paskha in  Greek,  and  Pasakh  (Passover)  in  Hebrew,  is  the  central feast in the Christian liturgical year (CCC 638).  It  is  the  “Feast  of  feasts,”  “Solemnity  among  solemnities”  and  for  St.  Athanasius  “The  Great  Sunday”(CCC  1169).  This  marks  the  culmination  not  only of Holy Week but the whole year in the Church  calendar.  On  this  day,  the  Resurrection  of  Jesus  Christ  is  celebrated.  It  is  believed  that  Christ  rose  from the dead on the third day after he died on the  cross  on  Good  Friday.  Thus,  Easter  Sunday  is  the  main  reason  why  Christians  keep  Sunday  as  the  primary  day  of  religious  observance.  Moreover,  Easter  is  considered  the  most  important  celebration  in the Church year for such is  the foundation of  the  Christian faith.   The  commemoration  of  Christ’s  Paschal  Mystery  (passion,  death  and  resurrection)  during  Lenten and Easter season is a reminder to those who  dedicate themselves in the service of God’s Kingdom  that the kind of life they are entering is also a life of  Christ’s  Paschal  Mystery  (passion,  death,  and  resurrection).  Their  term  of  services  and  the  people  whom  they  are  going  to  serve  will  come  to  pass  (passion).  While  doing  the  mission,  they  will  encounter  struggles  (death).  Their  works  will  not  be  in  vain  for  God  will  reward  them  after  all  (resurrection). In addition, it is a paschal mystery for  they  are  to  serve  God’s  flock  with  much  passion.  They are to die to themselves for others. They are to  serve joyously for God’s glory. Thus, ministerial life is  also a life of Christ’s Paschal Mystery.   HAPPY EASTER! 

The Lord is risen! Alleluia!
HAPPY EASTER! MALIGAYANG PASKO NG PAGKABUHAY! BUONA PASQUA! FELICES PASCUAS! JOYEUSES PAQUES!

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Three new priests and two new deacons: God’s answer to His people in prayer
(Bro. Julimar Pulvera, CRSP)

(From left to right) Rev. Pat Golis, Fr. Thomas Tabada, Fr. Clyd Autentico, Bishop Luis Antonio Tagle, Fr. Jonathan Ramoso and Rev. Yohanes Koten

The Clerics Regular of Saint Paul in the Philippines has been blessed with three newly ordained priests and two deacons. On the second day of April at 3:30 in the afternoon, three Barnabite deacons Clyd Sumayo Autentico, Jonathan Galope Ramoso and Thomas Federick Salvador Tabada received the sacred Ordination to the Priesthood and two perpetual professed brothers Pat Mandin Golis and Yohanes Besi Koten were ordained to the Diaconate. The rites of Ordination were held at St. Joseph Chapel of the Congregation of the Daughters of St. Joseph (also known as the Caburlotto Sisters) in Barangay Buho, Amadeo, Cavite. The solemn Mass and the Ordination ceremonies were presided by Most Rev. Luis Antonio Tagle, Bishop of Imus.

The families, relatives, friends and benefactors of the ordinandi were all present. Most of them came from their home provinces in the Visayas and Mindanao. A good number of religious from different congregations were also present. The Zaccarian family in the Philippines was also in attendance: the fathers in the communities of St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria Seminary (Marikina), St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria Parish (Silangan, San Mateo, Rizal), the Barnabite lay affiliates, the Angelic Sisters of St. Paul and the Sisters Little Workers of the Sacred Heart—all from Marikina City. The Filipino Barnabite fathers also concelebrated at the two-hour Mass. The celebration was also graced by the presence of Very Rev. Fr. Francisco Chagas Da Silva, one of the four assistants

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of the superior general Fr. Giovanni Villa. Priests from other religious congregations also concelebrated including diocesan priests Fr. Alain Manalo, parish priest of Our Lady of the Way Parish in Magallanes, Cavite and Fr. Vhon Arellano, parish priest of St. Joseph Parish in Kaytitinga, Alfonso, Cavite. The confreres Jonathan and Clyd had served in the said parishes for some months before their Ordination. The Barnabite professed brothers assisted at the Mass with Bro. Glenn Gaabucayan as master of ceremonies. The angelic voices of the youth choir of Kaytitinga added to the beauty and solemnity of the celebration. Bro. Rey Carmelo Ausejo, a Barnabite professed brother, sang the Litany of the Saints. The psalm was sung by duets Flordeliza Afable, a member of the Kaytitingga Choir and Barnabite scholastic Bro. Julimar Pulvera. Fr. Jimmy Anastacio, superior of the Marikina community, proclaimed the Gospel. The bishop’s inspiring homily was centered on the gospel message in which the Lord asked the disciples “to pray for the Lord of the harvests to send more laborers in His vineyard.” The bishop stressed that the answer to this prayer was the five newly ordained ministers who have committed themselves totally to God as His laborers. Before the Mass concluded, Mr. Eduardo and Mrs. Alma Roa, long-time friends of St. Paul Scholasticate community, were officially enrolled as lay affiliates of the Barnabite Order. The couple became the first affiliates of the Barnabite Fathers in Tagaytay. After the celebration of the Mass, the traditional kissing of the hands of the newly ordained followed. Everyone queued to kiss the hands of the new priests and received their blessing: first, the bishop and the priests followed by the scholastics;

Bishop Tagle kisses the hands of the new priests.

Deacons Pat and Yohanes before receiving the book of Gospels

then the families of the ordinand and finally, all the people present. The assembly proceeded to the school gymnasium of the Caburlotto Sisters for supper. The bishop also stayed and spent some time for a chat with the fathers. The affair concluded with a smile in everyone’s faces especially our new priests and new deacons. Prior to this big event, the Barnabite brothers, the fathers and the seminary personnel of St. Paul Scholasticate community were very busy in making preparations. They had their general cleaning in and outside the house. The Merciful Sisters were also busy in accommodating the visitors: the families, relatives, and friends of the newly ordained confreres. Some of the brothers were also busy in touring the visitors to beautiful places in Tagaytay. Thanks to their generosity and service. The following day, April 3rd, Sunday at 9:00 o’clock in the morning, the three newly ordained priests offered the thanksgiving Mass in the chapel of the Sacred Heart of Jesus of St. Paul Scholasticate. It was well-attended by their relatives and friends and people who usually come for Sunday Mass in the seminary chapel. Fathers Francisco Da Silva, Michael Sandalo and Arvin Dagalea also concelebrated. Newly ordained deacons Pat and Yohanes also assisted. The former proclaimed the Gospel while the latter assisted in preparing the altar. Fr. Jonathan delivered the homily. Before the conclusion of the Mass, Fr. Thomas, in behalf of his newly ordained confreres, expressed his thanks for all the persons who made the occasion possible. After the Mass, the assembly lined up for the kissing of the hands of the newly ordained. Then snacks were served as everyone enjoyed taking pictures with the priests and the scholastics.

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Fr. Thomas is the youngest son of Avelino Tabada and Enriquita Salvador. He was born on October 19, 1983 in Cebu City but his family is now based in Poblacion, Trinidad, Bohol Province. Fr. Jonathan is from Kinoguitan, Misamis Oriental, Mindanao Island. Born on the 25th of June 1983, he is the second son of Mr. and Mrs. Jeanito Ramoso. Fr. Clyd hails from Talibon, Bohol. He is the sixth child of Mr. and Mrs. Ernesto Autentico. The three young priests have concluded their four-year theological studies at the Divine Word School of Theology. They finished their studies in Philosophy at St. Camillus College Seminary, Marikina City. They made their first profession of Vows on May 13, 2006 and their Solemn Profession on the 8th of December 2009. Last March 26, they all received their academic degrees in Theology at the Divine Word School of Theology, Tagaytay. Rev. Pat hails from Gingoog City, Misamis Oriental. Born on May 1st 1982, he is the third son in the family of four children of Absalon Golis and Encarnacion Mandin. Rev. Yohanes Koten (fondly called “John” by his confreres) was born on March 15, 1979. He comes from Hurit, Flores Island, Indonesia. He is the ninth in the brood of fourteen

(14) children of Bernardus Bera Koten and Maria Lepang Weruin. He is the first Indonesian in the Barnabite Order. Despite the distance and his seemingly lonesome journey in the seminary, he was able to pursue his dream of becoming a “soldier of Christ” in the sacred ministry. He was one of the six pioneer Indonesians who entered St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria Seminary, Marikina in the year 2002. John and Pat did their Solemn Profession last 8th of December 2010. Both finished their theological studies at the Divine Word School of Theology and Philosophy at St. Camillus College Seminary in Marikina City. The community of St. Paul Scholasticate is very grateful for all those who had made the occasion a memorable one. It also is very thankful to the Caburlotto Sisters for accomodating the occasion in their beautiful church and spacious school gymnasium. To the newly ordained ministers, you are an answer to the prayer of God’s people! Everyone is looking forward for the ordination to the Priesthood of Deacons Pat and Yohanes. To all of you Congratulations!

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Listen to what their hearts tell: Thoughts and Reflections from the new Priests and Deacons
A Priest for Forever
Rev. Fr. Jonathan Galope Ramoso, CRSP “You are a priest forever, according to the order of Melchizedek” (Heb.7:17) I remember one time when one of my friends asked me if we had a “bloodline” of priests, I reluctantly answered “I’ll check my family tree.” After inquiring, I found out that there was never a priest in my kin. My friends and neighbors in the province used to tell me that there was no priest in our family especially in the Ramoso side! At this, I am fully convinced that priesthood is not about a “bloodline” or like a heirloom as the people in the Old Testament usually believed. But priestly life is a gift from God “through the power of an indestructible life” (Heb. 7: 16). To be a religious and a priest is not about having a “bloodline” or a “priestly” family but to respond to the joyful invitation of Jesus Christ to be his “soldier,” to follow him unreservedly and to be a “fisher of men”. Reflecting on the letter to the Hebrews, I was enlightened by what it says that Jesus Christ is a priest though not belonging to a “Levitic” or priestly family. Jesus Christ is the High Priest who offered His very own self as a sacrificial Lamb for the redemption of all sinners. As I received the sacred Ordination to the priesthood, I am so grateful to God for such great gift which He has given me. To be a priest and a shepherd of God’s flock is an awe-inspiring gift though it corresponds a great responsibility. The indelible mark of my priestly consecration is truly forever. Wherever I go and do my apostolic mission and activity that the Congregation will ask me, I have to bear in mind that I am a priest and this will be forever. Undeniably, the Lord is calling me: to talk as a true priest, act as a true priest, and have a heart like Jesus the Eternal High Priest. I am now a priest in the line of Melchizedek (Ps. 110:4).

The Ordination to the Priesthood, according to many who could have experienced this celebration, is an exciting and joyful moment to the person who will be ordained. It is true because this was what I exactly felt during our Ordination. I could not imagine and believe that after the long period of struggle in the seminary, I would reach this stage of life. I have experienced a lot of difficulties in my personal, community and academic life but I have survived and have overcome all those trials in my life. I believe that it is the Lord who always guides me in the way and gives me the grace that sustains me to fight many hardships and trials in my vocation. Also, through the prayers of the people who prayed for me always. Thank you. God bless us all. (Rev. Fr. Clyd
Autentico, CRSP) MINISTRY OF SERVICE
Rev. Deacon Yohanes Koten, CRSP Following Christ radically needs sacrifice. I should leave everything, deny myself, take up the cross and bear it patiently until Calvary. It is so hard. But with God’s help and grace, I believe I can do it. In my life journey as a religious I will encounter “ups” and “downs” like that of Jesus while carrying the cross to Calvary. When such occasion happens, I will do my best because these experiences will lead me to the glory of being with Jesus. I believe that these “ups” and “downs” will tell me that life is not about waiting for the storms to pass. It is rather an opportunity to learn, to grow, and to become mature. When it is rainy, people usually exclaim that the weather is bad. But to a person who is docile and has a creative and positive mind, he looks at it as a blessing. So he dances under the rainfall and savors its beauty.

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Rev. Deacon Pat Golis, CRSP

Following Christ radically entails giving one’s heart for others. It is about taking risks and making life worth living. This is the way of being a deacon. As a deacon, I am a servant of God and His people. For me DEACON means Dedication, Enabling, Availability, Commitment, Obedience, and Nameless. Firstly, those meanings show me that as a servant, I will dedicate myself tirelessly in the service of God and others. I will try my best to enable people see how good God is in His Words and the Sacraments especially the Holy Eucharist. Hopefully, through my words and actions, they will acknowledge the presence of God and say, “It is great to be a Catholic, a follower of Jesus and a child of God!” Secondly, I will avail myself for those who are in need even if they will ask me to dance in the rain and to sing without knowing all the lyrics and meaning of a song. I will commit myself to my responsibilities to God and others by giving my heart in the service of others’ well being. As a servant, I will show obedience to my master, God and to those whom I am going serve without counting the cost. Finally, a deacon has no name. This means that whatever works and achievements I do, they are to be acknowledged as God’s not mine. It is because my service is for His greater glory alone and for the benefit of His people. I do not do it for my own glorification. I am just a servant who will do what the Master will ask me to do. Furthermore, deacon literally means a ministry of service. This service has to be done with JOY. JOY for me stands for – Jesus first; Others next; You-the servant last. It means that my service is first and foremost for Jesus Christ. This will lead me to serve others with His love. In serving others, I serve Jesus: “What you do to the least of my brethren you do it also to Me.” Serving Jesus in others is my joy as a servant. I can do this because of Jesus. Moreover, I can do this for I am strengthened by the virtues of faith, hope, love, humility, compassion, truthfulness and prayerfulness. These virtues make me serve God and His people with my undivided heart. I am happy to serve my brothers and sisters. May God bring to fulfillment what I have started. Quis nos separabit a caritate Christi?

As I try to reflect on what I am going to write and share as a contribution to the iPaul it suddenly pop up to my mind my experiences in the seminary and in the parish where I have been assigned. For a long period of time, I have always been dreaming to become a servant of God. Before I entered the seminary, my first ambition in life was to become a lawyer. I wanted to help the victims of injustices in our society. In our clan, no one has dared to become a lawyer. Instead, we have relatives who are priests. Helping and saving the oppressed was a kind of service that I had in mind which I would like to offer to God. But as my journey in life went on, I eventually realized that such kind of service was not my vocation. I asked God some signs if that would be the kind of life He intended for me but no signs were given. But He gave me signs which made me believe that I am called to the priestly life. God manifests himself to me in different ways. He seems to tell me personally these words, “My child, come to me and be one of my followers.” Yet, many times I have declined this invitation because of my unworthiness. I am a sinful man. I have lots of shortcomings which, for me, are not proper for one aspiring to become a priest. But in the recesses of my soul, I can still feel and hear His whisper calling me to follow Him. Sometimes I asked, “Why is it I, Lord? There are lots of people who are more prayerful, righteous, competent, commited in doing Your works, and much worthy than I am. Why me?” I was once lost, and stumbled many times in my seminary life. I am not a good model to others which I think a priest should be. Oftentimes, I felt guilty every time I was asked to share my reflection on the gospel of the day in the pulpit for what I say is contrary to what I do. I find it easy to speak about the gospel message but difficult to apply it in my daily life. But what can I do? I really have to deliver my reflection as part of my formation and also in preparation for my future ministry as a proclaimer of the Word of God. I know and am sure that there will be more challenging tasks that await me along the way and this is just the beginning. Hence, preparation is indeed necessary while I am still in the priestly formation. I am not yet a priest but while assigned in a parish, I can already feel the difficulty if one is not

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“The Priestly vocation is a life-time learning. Every day should be a learning experience. If one does not open himself to learning from experience and is not docile in whatever he learns, he becomes stagnant and will not become effective in his ministry.”
ready to embrace this kind of life. In the parish, there are many things to do, time for socializations and temptations that if one does not hold firm in his chosen vocation and in God, he might get lost along the way. Working in the parish is different from staying in the seminary. In the seminary, all that we do and our activities are all structured. There is a specific schedule to follow and one knows what to do. It is different in the parish. I have to apply what I have learnt during my seminary formation years. The fathers believe that I am already mature in actions, words and thoughts. They have already done their part. By this time, it is my turn to do mine. Being young I have struggles in life but I offer them to God for without Him I can do nothing. Human as I am, alone and unaided I cannot do anything without Him. As He says, “Apart from me, you could do nothing.”I know He is the only One who can help and guide me to the right path. I have learnt a lot in my seminary formation years and all these are very important to my future ministry. During my solitary moments, I spend hours recalling the past—how I entered the seminary, how God revealed himself to me and captivated my heart to follow Him. With all the mistakes I did in the past I cannot but smile and say, “Oh! How crazy I was!” I even experienced crying in front of my superior asking him for forgiveness because of the foolishness I did. From those experiences, I realized that vocation is indeed a mystery. Those whom I thought would become priests because of their good character that makes them worthy of such vocation were the ones who left the seminary and got married. But those whom I thought otherwise were the ones got ordained. Oh how mysterious God is!

I am not saying that one must be a “black sheep” before becoming a priest. What I am stressing here is the importance of transparency and honesty. These two values are very important but sometimes they are hampered by fear. One is afraid to be kicked out from the seminary and so once he gets ordained to the priesthood, he starts to reveal his true self. That is why, a good formator is not only strict but a good and welcoming father as well. One who understands and is ready to help his “children”, the seminarians. Just like Jesus in the parable of the prodigal son, he teaches us that God welcomes those who want to renew their lives and return to Him. He neither judges nor rejects them. Instead he gives them a second chance. My eleven years of staying in the seminary have been truly blessed by God. I find it hard to believe that I am now ordained as a deacon. Without God’s grace, I cannot be what I am this time. I am very thankful to Him for this blessing. In every trials and difficulties, He has strengthened me. I know and am sure that there will be tons of them in the future and I must prepare for it while I am still in the priestly formation. Being a soldier of Christ, I have to be always prepared and I should not be afraid of the storms of life. Rather I will welcome them believing that God is there to still the storms. Moreover, it is through them that I will be able to know myself better. For me, to experience a great crisis in life is very important because it makes life meaningful. As Victor Frankl puts it, “it is in suffering that one finds meaning in life.” In its theological sense, it is in suffering that one participates in the Paschal Mystery of Christ. The Priestly vocation is a life-time learning. Every day should be a learning experience. If one does not open himself to learning from experience and is not docile in whatever he learns, he becomes stagnant and will not become effective in his ministry. To commit mistake is not something to be afraid of but a moment to learn new things and be able to share it with others. An old adage that says, “Experience is a great teacher” affirms the same thought. Indeed, my experiences with God teach me a lot. They shape me and re-shape me. I call it, “my conversion.” Conversion takes time. Hence, I also need to be patient with myself hoping that God will be with me and will always be ready to lay his hands when I am in trouble. May I truly become a minister of Christ in words and deeds.

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THE SOURCE OF OUR JOY: Philippians 4:4-13
(Fr. Michael Francis Mancusi, CRSP)
The entire body of Christ has had their faith journey strengthened by the hymns of Charles Wesley. They have been a source of joy and solace and assurance. However, most of you know little of the suffering, adversity and difficult circumstances he knew and experienced in life. Charles Wesley had a source of joy no circumstance could alter. Charles Wesley was raised in a very large family. His mother gave birth to nineteen children. Only ten of them lived. You can imagine living in a poor parish rectory with all those persons. His older brother, John, was the more outspoken and famous Wesley. Charles was a bachelor for the first 39 years of his life. At the age of 39, he fell deeply in love with a beautiful young lady named Sally, who was only 20 years old. He pleaded with the girl's father to be allowed to marry her despite the age difference. The father finally consented. He was so proud of her. Everywhere they went, he delighted in introducing her as his bride. He was pleased to be seen everywhere with her. After they were married five years, Sally contracted smallpox. This was before the era of modern medicine. She was covered with smallpox from the crown of her head to the bottom of her feet. She hung between life and death for three weeks. Slowly, she recovered from this almost fatal illness. However, the scars of the illness remained. She was disfigured for the rest of her life. People who did not know them personally thought Charles Wesley had married a much older woman. Charles and Sally had eight children. However, five of them died before their first birthday. Three children survived, Samuel, Sarah, and Charles, Jr. However, not one of those three children in Charles Wesley's lifetime confessed Jesus Christ as Lord. Only after his death did they accept Christ as their Savior. Yet, he wrote songs of such hope, joy, praise, and adoration. What was the source of his joy? His source was Christ! It came from a source and reservoir far greater than his own strength. His joy was consistent despite difficult moments in his journey of faith. I want to share three insights on how we maintain the joy of our salvation as well. FIRST, PAUL KEPT HIS FOCUS ON GOD - AND NOT HIS CIRCUMSTANCES. The book of Philippians is the Joy book and the Joy manual of the Word of God. It was written by the apostle Paul from a prison cell, not from a plush, hotel suite. In this splendid book, Paul urges the believers at Philippi twice to rejoice in the Lord. In a deep, dark prison cell this letter shines with a radiance which the darkness of the moment cannot overcome. In Philippians 4:4 he repeats the words twice in one sentence by writing "Rejoice, again I say rejoice." Reis is a prefix which means to go back to the original. The word rejoice commands us to go back to God's original joy in creation when the morning stars sang with glory at the action of God's work. We are to go back to our day of redemption and salvation. The joy of the Christian is not a passing quality based on our St. Paul the Apostle, Patron of the Barnabites emotions but on what God has done for us. (painting by El Greco)

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Occasionally, a person will share with me "Father, I don't feel saved." Your salvation in “… let God's great joy in Christ is not based on your feelings or emotions Jesus Christ continue to flow but on an action and agreement between the Father and the Son - sealed by the Holy through and not let the 'pipeline of Spirit. That is why we keep our eyes fixed on life' get clogged with despair, Jesus. disappointment and desperation. SECONDLY, PAUL HAS A SOURCE OF JOY GREATER THAN THE SOURCE OF HIS Continue to open your life DESPAIR. Paul testifies that the power of joy can to the healing depth help transfigure the totality of the human experience in our journey of faith. Paul is always of God's victory …” talking about joy. "Rejoice in the Lord, again I say, rejoice." In the few letters that Paul wrote in the New Testament, there are twenty-four references to joy. And there are eighteen references or uses of the word "rejoice." Forty-two times, then, Paul mentions joy. That constitutes a focus and fixation. Paul says over and over again that the result of seeing what God has done for us in Jesus Christ is joy. So rejoice. If your life is filled with joy, he says, it'll show. The Apostle Paul does not discount the reasons for defeat and despair. Remember, he has been bitten by snakes, ridiculed in the public arenas of government, shipwrecked, and had written letters to help Christians and churches to keep from self- destructing by fighting among themselves. There is no way for Paul to deny that life does have disappointments, bruises, and despair. However, Paul wants us to know that these emotions do not necessarily have the last word. Paul further writes in another letter that the suffering of the present moment will not compare to the glory that is yet to be revealed to us. The text really means to let God's great joy in Jesus Christ continue to flow through and not let the 'pipeline of life' get clogged with despair, disappointment, and desperation. Continue to open your life to the healing depth of God's victory over sin, evil, and death in the Christ event. All of this implies however, that we are continuing to cultivate a living, breathing, vital relationship with God. It is not some vague commitment made years ago that has withered away. We are not serving God in an 'advisory capacity.' We are straining forward to win the high prize in Christ Jesus allowed. Paul continues to explain that we are to live out of that joy and because of it. Joy is the echo of God's life within us according to Blessed Columba Marmion. If we have confessed Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior of our lives, then God has the ability to grant it to us. God's check of love will never come back stamped "Insufficient Funds." Remember, the joy of the Lord is my strength. Not the joy of the world. But the joy of our Lord. The Psalmist declares, "Weeping may tarry for the night - but joy always comes in the morning." (Psalm 30:6) Darkness always gives way to light for the believer. Crucifixions always give way to the resurrecting power of God. God has this long history of taking our most trying moments and transforming them into moments of growth and trust. He delights in transforming moments that Satan meant for our harm - and using them as moments for our benefit and blessing. The devil might try to shut you off from a sense of joy - but not from the joy of the Lord. God is interested in all of you gathered here today being people who are full of joy. Joy to the world, the Lord has come. Let earth receive her king. LASTLY, JOY IS THE MOST INFALLIBLE PROOF OF THE PRESENCE OF GOD. I do not know where our ideas and concepts of a joyless religion come from. It is certainly not found in the Old or New Testaments. In the Old Testament record we find that the Hebrew people are celebrating with music, dancing, eating, drinking, and joy- filled festivals. It even declares that David danced with joy before the Lord. From the New Testament we find that our Lord's ministry is filled with a sense of joy. The people flocked to hear Him because of his joy-filled messages. The children loved Him - and children don't like killjoys. He even prevented a Jewish wedding from being ruined when the supply of wine ran out. When He told what many consider the greatest story ever shared of the parable of the Prodigal Son - what happens at the end of this marvelous story? Would you believe a celebration of Joy? (turn to next page)

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I love the story told of the young boy who each day entered one of the great museums in Europe. He would always stop and look at one of the famous paintings of the Lord Jesus Christ hanging in the museum. This pattern continued from weeks into months. The guards became suspicious of his activities. The guards finally cornered him one day and asked why he came each day to the museum to see this picture. The little boy replied, "I just look at Jesus - and Jesus looks at me - and that makes all the difference in the world." How right the little boy was. In John 20:20 we read the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. They were not glad when they saw themselves - but when they saw the Lord. The real miracle of life is not that you and I love Jesus - but that Jesus loves us and looks for us. That is the source of our joy. “Rejoice in the Lord always, again I say, rejoice.” The joy of the Lord is my strength. HAPPY EASTER!

Thoughts & Views
Br. John Paul P. Osip, CRSP

Lent: the Season to Deepen One’s Love for God
Today,  several  subjective  meanings  are  attached  to  the  season  of  Lent.  For  some,  it  is  understood  as  the  time  to  repent  for  one’s  sins.  Others  consider  it  as  a  period  for  fasting  not  only  from food but also from one’s vices. Still others view  Lent  as  a  period  of  silence,  a  break  from  one’s  “noisy” lifestyle. For some, it means a long vacation,  a perfect time to go out‐of‐town with friends and/or  with the whole family. Like them, I also have my own  view of the said season. For me, Lent is a grace‐filled  opportunity to deepen our love for God.    The season of Lent is a time of preparation to  commemorate  Christ’s  passion  and  death  and  to  celebrate Easter, Christ’s resurrection. Such can also  be considered a commemoration of Christ’s love for  His  Father  and  for  humanity.  His  obedience  to  the  Father’s  will  to  embrace  our  human  nature,  to  undergo  suffering  and  to  die  on  the  cross  for  our  salvation is the greatest expression of His love for the  Father and for us all. In the gospel of Matthew 26:36‐ 46,  we  see  Jesus  who  is  in  great  fear  because  His  “hour”  was  about  to  come.  What  sustained  Him,  what gave him courage in that situation was His love  for  the  Father.  It  was  this  love  that  enabled  Him  to  pray, “My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it,  your will be done.” Moreover, His passion and death  express His love for humanity. In the  gospel of John  15:12‐13, Jesus called his disciples as His friends and  at  the  same  time  He  told  them  that:  “No  one  has  greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s  friends.”  We,  like  the  disciples,  are  also  considered  by  Jesus  as  His  friends.  His  love  for  us  lifted  our  status  from  mere  creatures  to  friends  of  God.  Not  only that, He even laid down His life by dying on the  cross for our salvation. 

“...do your best to rejoice in the Lord.  Happy are those who rejoice   in mind and hearts!   And may God grant you   to taste once and for all this inner joy.”     ‐St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria, Sermon V 

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This  commemoration  of  Jesus’  love  for  the  Father  and  for  us  entails  a  call,  i.e.,  a  gift  and  an  invitation.  As  a  gift,  Lenten  season  is  a  grace‐filled  moment given for us to deepen our love for God. As  an  invitation,  we  are  called  to  respond  to  that  gift  through prayer, fasting and alms‐giving. First, prayer  is  indicative  of  our  love  for  God.  In  human  relationships,  the  frequency  of  one’s  time  spent  to  the  other  shows  one’s  love  to  that  other.  Also,  constant communication is the key for a stronger and  deeper  relationship.  This  is  also  true  in  our  relationship  with  God.  The  frequency  of  our  time  spent in prayer indicates how deep our love for God  is.  Furthermore,  prayer,  being  our  communication  with  God,  will  strengthen  and  deepen  our  relationship  with  Him.  So  Lenten  season  is  an  invitation  to  communicate  with  God  constantly  through prayer for it will deepen and strengthen our  love for Him.    Second,  fasting  helps  us  to  deepen  our  love  for  God.  Oftentimes,  we  are  attracted  and  pre‐ occupied  with  a  lot  of  things:  food,  hobby,  etc.  Instead of focusing on God, our attention is on other  things. In this sense, our love for God is divided. We  consider God as one of all other things that we love.  The  practice  of  fasting  will  enable  us  to  re‐channel  our  attention  to  God.  Thus  during  Lent,  we  are  invited  to  fast,  not  only  from  food  but  also  from  those that lead us away from God so that we may be  able to love God undividedly.   Lastly,  alms‐giving  is  the  expression  of  our  love  for  God.  We  cannot  claim  that  we  love  God  without loving our neighbor. We express our love for  God by loving our neighbor. As St. Anthony Zaccaria  said, “Let us rush like madmen not only to God, but  also to our neighbor, for he is the one who receives  what  we  cannot  give  to  God”  (Letter  II).    St.  John  in  his first Letter says, “Anyone who claims that he/she  loves  God  without  loving  his/her  neighbors  is  a  liar.  For how can one love God who cannot be seen if one  cannot love those who can be seen?”     As  a  conclusion,  all  of  us  are  called  to  live  a  Christ‐like life. Such kind of life is a life of love. In our  observance  of  Lent,  may  our  commemoration  of  Jesus  Christ’s  passion  and  death  be  a  means  to  deepen our love for God.                         

g{x cÉxàËá fÑtvx
BEING FOR OTHERS Deacon is a ministry of service Embodied with prayer and charity Availability and full dedication Commitment and an undivided heart Ought to be being for others Nothing else I can do It is my calling Service for God in his people A calling for and with others Minister of God’s love In proclaiming the Gospel Nurturing the faith of God’s people In my words and actions Showing God’s unending goodness To the end of the world Roaring the merciful love of God Yelling his powerful deeds On the immensity of love Fly high my spirit of service Sending only the message of love Entering into action of service Rendering my whole life Victory of being servant In the vineyard of God Consecrated for God’s Kingdom Endless service for his people

(Rev. John Koten, CRSP)

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“Dialogue with Other Religions on the Sacredness of the Earth”
By Bro. John Paul P. Osip, CRSP (Editor’s note: This article was written as a reaction paper/theological reflection on the symposium entitled “The Earth is Sacred” held last February 24 at the DWST Aula Magna with DWST Theology professor Fr. Edgar Javier, SVD, SThD as resource speaker. The author was one of the three chosen student reactors.)
Introduction Today, men and women of different nationalities, cultures and religions are becoming more sensitive on environmental issues. The negative consequences that we experience from the degraded and desecrated earth trigger and heighten people’s “environmental sensitivity.” In fact, different sectors of the society are now taking a step to save the Earth. Our Church and other religions too are making a move to protect and restore the earth’s value. At Castel Gandolfo, Benedict XVI asserted: “The different phenomena of environmental degradation and natural calamities… remind us of the urgency of the respect owed to nature, recovering and appreciating, in everyday life, a correct relation with the environment.” This response is about the sacredness of the earth in the perspective of Christianity and other religions. This presentation is based on Benedict XVI’s call in his encyclical letter Caritatis in Veritate for a renewed solidarity in the protection of the environment and the safeguarding of the resources and climate. The Earth’s Sacredness What is the Earth’s value? Our speaker answered this question by emphasizing the sacredness of the earth. He pointed out that the Earth is the embodiment of God’s sacred artistry. In other words, the beauty of God, the Creator, is reflected by the beauty of creation. This is wonderfully expressed by John Paul II, in his “Common Declaration on Environmental Ethics,” when he stated: “The Almighty God envisioned a world of beauty and harmony, and He created it, making every part an expression of His freedom, wisdom and love.” Other religions also share similar view with us Christians. They also acknowledge the Earth as sacred. The Hindus, as what our speaker has stated, consider the earth as “God’s Body.” The created is identical with the Creator. As Patrick Burke says, “whenever a Hindu looks, the devout Hindu sees God.” The natural world is in reality a part of the divine existence. The Muslims also have the similar view of the earth. In their Qur’an, it is said that “wherever you turn, there is the face of God” (Surah 2:109). This teaching strongly implies that God is present in every bit and piece of creation. This is another way of saying: the Earth is sacred. Humanity and the Earth: Interconnected and Interdependent Our speaker also emphasized man’s relationship with the Earth. He highlighted the idea that the relationship between humanity and the Earth is described as interconnectedness and interdependence. For us Christians and for the Jews, this interconnectedness and interdependence are contained in our understanding of the term “stewardship.” We are connected to the Earth. We are the earth’s “care-takers.” There is interdependence. We depend on the Earth for our survival and the Earth depends on us as its steward. Other religions also speak about humanity’s interconnectedness and interdependence on the Earth. For Muslims, humanity is part of the Earth, the elements of which are complementary to one another in an integrated whole. Hindus, moreover, look at the world not outside of their human existence, but an extension of their wellbeing. Buddhists, also, have this principle of “pratityasamutpada” or “the-together-rising-up-of things,” that means, nothing exists in and of itself but only as a “context of relations.” In other words, humanity’s existence is seen and understood in relation to the existence of the Earth. Taoists and Confucians also express the same view

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with regard to man’s relationship towards the Earth. Both emphasize the necessity of harmony, with others and with nature. The Taoists emphasize the spontaneity of life by living closely and with respect to nature. Confucians also stress the need and importance for human action and society to be in harmony with nature’s rhythm. Earth’s Degradation and Desecration The Earth’s value and our relationship with the Earth are often unrecognized. Our aim for progress has reduced the earth to a mere raw material to be exploited and manipulated. This attitude towards the Earth, according to our speaker, shows an underlying mentality that we are superior than and separated from the natural world. The over-emphasis on our humanity disrupts the balance and harmony between man and nature. Our claims that we are detached from nature and the wrong understanding of God’s command, “to have dominion over the earth” (Gen. 1:28) are the causes of such imbalance. According to John Paul II, this is “our betrayal of God’s mandate: to be stewards called to collaborate with God in watching over creation in holiness and wisdom.” Buddhists affirm this in their claim that humanity’s forgetfulness of their oneness with nature is the very source of ecological destruction. Another reason which our speaker brought out is the high regard for technological advances at the expense of desecrating the Earth. John Paul II acknowledges the same cause when he stated: “ecological problems are brought about by an economic and technological progress which does not recognize and take into account its limits.” Taoism and Confucianism also point the same reason for the earth’s destruction. For the Taoists, ecological destruction is present because of our engagement in political, economic and “scientific” affairs that take away our closeness from nature. Confucianism also affirms this reason by its claim that nature’s imbalance is due to human activities that are not attuned to the deeper rhythms of nature. Both imply that human activities that are not in harmony to nature are the causes of ecological degradation and destruction. The Need for a New and Unified Vision and a New World View With the aforementioned reality regarding the Earth, we are challenged to develop a new vision and worldview. Our speaker expressed the need for “a new vision of life that must be founded on the conviction that humans are embedded in nature and nature is embedded in human beings.” In other words, there is a need to look at ourselves not apart from the Earth but as part of the Earth and the Earth as part of us. Moreover, our speaker also talked about the need for this vision in this age of science and technology to acknowledge that God is in control of the Earth. In the same vein, John Paul II asserted that this new vision will only be possible through “an act of repentance on our part and a renewed attempt to view ourselves, one another, and the world around us within the perspective of the divine design for creation.” Lastly, in the context of religious diversity, this vision and worldview presented by our speaker—a vision and worldview that emphasize the integrity of creation— are possible if all religions, including Christianity, will work together and learn from each other. All religions have a global responsibility. To save the Earth is every religion’s responsibility. Küng argues that an ethic of responsibility is needed today—a responsibility for the Earth.

“...there is a need to look at ourselves not apart from the Earth but as part of the Earth and the Earth as part of us.”

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Conclusion

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All of us, whether Jew or Christian, Muslim or Hindu, Buddhist or Taoist or Confucian, belong to the same humanity. We share common concerns. We share common views. We share the same responsibility. As one family, let us work together to promote and preserve the Earth’s dignity – the Earth’s sacredness. As Benedict XVI says, “the human race is a single family working together in true communion, not simply as a group of subjects who happen to live side by side.”

Endnotes

See Benedict XVI, On Development that Respects the Environment (26 August 2009) http:// www.zenit.org/article-26693?l=english, (accessed February 9, 2011). 2 See Benedict XVI, Encyclical Letter on Integral Human Development in Charity and Truth Caritatis in Veritate (29 June 2009), no. 50. 3 John Paul II, Common Declaration on Environmental Ethics (10 June 2002). http://www.vatican.va/ holy father/john_paul_ii/speeches/2002/june/documents/hf_jp-ii_spe_20020610_venice-declaration_en.html, (accessed on February 10, 2011). 4 See T. Patrick Burke, Major Religions: An Introduction with Texts (Oxford: Blackwell, 1996), 15. 5 See Basmal Elshayyal, A Muslim Perspective on Care of the Earth (29 December 2008), 1. http:// www.afan.uk.net/book/topic-material/muslim-perspective-care-earth, (accessed on February 10, 2011). 6 See Mary Evelyn Tucker and John A. Grim, eds. Worldviews and Ecology: Religion, Philosophy and the Environment (Maryknoll, New York: Orbis Books 1997), 116. 7 Ibid., 125. 8 Ibid., 154. 9 Ibid., 152. 10 John Paul II, Common Declaration on Environmental Ethics. 11 See Amaranatho, A Buddhist Perspective on Care of the Earth (29 December 2008), 1. http:// www.afan .uk.net/book/topic-material/buddhist-perspective-care-earth, (accessed on February 10, 2011). 12 John Paul II, Common Declaration on Environmental Ethics. 13 See Tucker and Grim, eds., Worldviews and Ecology, 154. 14 Ibid., 152. 15 John Paul II, Common Declaration on Environmental Ethics. 16 See Hans Küng, Global Responsibility: In Search of a New World Ethic (New York: Crossroad, 1991), 29 – 30, cited by Edgar Javier in Ecumenism: The Quest for Reconciled Diversities (Lectures, Divine Word School of Theology, Tagaytay City, 2011), 90. 17 Benedict XVI, Caritas in Veritate, no. 53.

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I See
Bro. Rey Carmelo Ausejo, CRSP

Little Way Counts …
When our apostolate began in Bahay Kalinga ni San Jose Home for the Aged in Carasuchi, Indang, Cavite, I never saw its value and importance at first instance. It seemed that the kind of apostolate there did not make sense at all. I found it unhelpful to my preparation for the priesthood. It did not satisfy my expectations. I presumed that I would take good care of the abandoned elderly in my assigned apostolate area. I assumed that I would attend to their personal necessities like the way I did eight years ago in Luwalhati ng Maynila Home for the Aged in Marikina, Metro Manila. At that time, we assisted the elders in doing their personal necessities like their personal hygiene, listening to their stories and animation activities to make them smile. When I was assigned in Bahay Kalinga, I thought I would do the same. However, that expectation turned out quite differently. My apostolate is quite unique by this time. My confreres and I do not attend much on the personal necessities or personal hygiene of the elderly. Rather, we attend more to the needs of the apostolate area. The apostolate area needs volunteers who can do basic household chores: cleaning the quarters of the elderly and the surroundings, gathering firewood and whatever things needed to be done in the area. At first, I never found its usefulness to my future ministry. I did not see such kind of activities catering to my needs in my years of preparation for the priesthood. But God made me realize that this apostolate, which I considered as nonsense and a mere waste of time, mattered much in His eyes and in the eyes of the elderly. If lolos and lolas (grandparents) could express their gratitude for having volunteers assisting them, persons who supplement the needs in the area by their humble and simple service, they would surely do so. Their warmth and welcoming smile seem to tell us, “We are very glad, brothers, to have you with us!” A lola told me many times, “Uy! Minsan nga lang kayo pumupunta dito, mag-aabsent pa!” (You just come here once in a while yet you take absences). This statement of lola caught my attention. She seemed to tell us how she wished and longed to have us always. They are really in need to have someone spending time with them, attend to their needs, and make them

feel important. If there would be no volunteers, what will become of these abandoned elderly? Would not Christ tell and urge us to take care of them? “Anyone who does works of charity to the least of my brethren he/she does it to me” (Matthew 25:40). A person or a certain situation can only be understood if one puts himself or herself in the shoes of that person or in that same situation. Rightly so, one cannot feel and understand the needs of these elderly people and of the area if he/she does not happen to be there. A very painful experience of mine in my apostolate was when I heard some of the stories of the lolas. I cannot imagine how their children abandoned them and let them work for their own survival. Oh poor lolas and lolo! They were deserted by their own children whom they have raised up and loved much. Should not these grown up children have taken their parents into their homes to take care of them as a sign of gratitude? Why can’t they visit their elderly parents? How fortunate are the aged who stay with their children for they really feel loved by their own biological family. No wonder why these abandoned elderly will be happy to see people spending time with them and care for them. From the deepest recesses of their hearts, you can see how glad they are if someone, though not related to them, would visit and make them feel loved and valued.

“Can you be a part of God’s hands so that He may reach out to these people who are very dear to Him through you?”

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Whenever I am in my apostolate area, I cannot but feel the need to love the lolo and lolas. I say silently, “if I were rich, I would take them home or do something more than I used to do for them. I will provide everything that they need. If I only have the gift of healing, I would heal them of their infirmities!” However, I have to face the reality that I am only what I am. I am just one of the small pieces of God’s art, a person who has nothing but has everything, God. I am just a person whom God wants to be an instrument of His love for these people, a person who can only do in my own little way to extend the hands of God and His love for them. Would this be God’s invitation to us all to take care of His brethren especially those in need? Can you be a part of God’s hands so that He may reach out to these people who are very dear to Him through you? Is it not good that, at least, before they take their final rest they would experience being loved and cared of? God has a reason why He made me like this, a poor creature. Had I been born rich my experience would have been different and I would not have such an awe-inspiring experience with the lolo and lolas. I thank God for this. Indeed, it has been a blessing and a great opportunity He has given me. Such is an opportunity to love and to serve, to learn and to grow, and most of all, to experience God in the midst of these abandoned lolo and lolas. All that I do in my apostolate is just a diminutive work. I consider them little. But I am convinced that they all matter to God and to the elderly. All works, little though they are, when done out of charity are the greatest among all other works. What matters to God is the love that one puts in that work. Truly, our “little ways” in doing things if done out of love counts the most in His eyes. He does not expect much from us for He knows very well that we cannot give much. Can you do your “little way” for these abandoned elderly? Make a try and experience God in these lolo and lolas.

NEWS, EVENTS AT IBA PA …
Birthday of Fr. Frank Papa     The  first  day  of  January  is  one  of  the  biggest  celebrations  people  usually  celebrate.  It  marks  the  beginning  of  the  new  year  of  the  civil  calendar.  People  make  noise  in  any  forms.  Different foods are served at tables.   Last  New  Year’s  eve,  the  Barnabite  community  celebrated  not  only  the  New  Year’s  Day  but  also  the  70th  birthday  of  Fr.  Frank  Papa,  superior of St. Paul Scholasticate community. That  special  moment  was  so  memorable  for  the  community.  The  brothers  prepared  a  short  program  for  the  birthday  celebrant.  Different  kinds  of  games  were  played.  There  were  gift‐ giving,  videoke  challenge  and  the  brothers  rendered  him  songs  and  dance  by  year  level.  The  fathers and the professed brothers all enjoyed the  party  especially  the  birthday  celebrant.  Fr.  Frank  is  already  in  his  70’s  yet  still  strong  and  very  passionate  to  do  his  missionary  work  as  a  Barnabite.  Happy  birthday  “Tatay”  Fr.  Frank!  We  wish you more good health and blessings!      … and his new assignment …   Last  March  2nd,  Fr.  Frank  Papa  left  the  Philippines for the United States. Father General in  Rome  asked  him  to  go  to  the  Barnabite  parish  in  San  Diego,  California  in  the  Barnabite  North  American  Province.  He  will  stay  there  for  three  months to assist Fr. Joseph Tabigue who had been  working  alone  in  the  parish  since  January.  When  Father General gave Fr. Frank his new assignment,  he  wholeheartedly  and  willingly  accepted  it.  Indeed,  he  has  been  to  many  places  for  mission  sake.  In  fact,  he  has  been  in  the  Philippines  for  almost  22  years.  His  remarkable  words  are  “my  baggage  is  always  ready.”  This  means  that  Fr.  Frank  is  always  willing  to  go  anywhere  and  anytime,  as  best  as  he  could  whatever  God  wants  him  to  do.  We  wish  you  all  the  best  Fr.  Frank  for  your new assignment!   (Bro. Raphael Laotoco) 

“It is the task of a truly magnanimous person to want to serve without reward and to fight without provisions or stipend.”
-St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria, Constitutions XII, 182

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Italian Bishop visits St. Paul Scholasticate community

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Last  13th  of  January,  the  St.  Paul  Scholasticate  community  in  Tagaytay  was  blessed  to  have  His  Excellency  Most  Reverend  Gianfranco  Todisco,  Bishop  of  the  Diocese  of  Melfi‐Rapolla  Venosa,  in  Italy.  Together  with  him  were  two  Italian  priests  namely,  Fr.  Carlo  Donisotti,  a  missionary in Mozambique in Africa and Fr. Felice,  the  parish  priest  of  Annunziata  Rionero,  Potenza,  Italy.  Bishop  Gianfranco  and  the  fathers  came  to  the  Philippines  to  attend  the  25th  anniversary  foundation  of  the  Merciful  Sisters  in  the  Philippines  and  the  Perpetual  Profession  of  four  sisters. Their convent is just a block away from the  seminary building.     Bishop Gianfranco presided at the 6:00 pm  celebration  of  the  Vespers  and  Holy  Eucharist  together  with  the  two  aforementioned  priests,  Fr.  Frank  Papa  and  the  fathers  of  St.  Paul  Scholasticate.  The  celebration  was  also  attended  by  the  Mother  Superior  general  of  the  Merciful  Sisters, some members of the general council  and  the sisters of the Tagaytay community of the same  congregation.  In  his  homily,  Bishop  Gianfranco,  with a fatherly tone, encouraged the brothers and  the religious to persevere in their chosen vocation.    After  the  Mass,  the  Scholasticate  community,  together  with  the  guests  shared  at  table  the  fruits  and  blessings  of  the  Lord.  Filipino  and  Italian  food  and  desserts  were  served  which  added  to  the  sweetness  of  having  a  bishop  from  Italy visiting the Barnabite community. The bishop  and the  guests enjoyed savoring the  good taste of  Filipino  cuisine.  Philippine  fruits  were  served  at  table  that  truly  pleased  the  guests.  After  supper,   Bishop    Todisco  also  spent  some  time  for  a  chat  with the brothers. He spoke perfect English.   Bishop Todisco was particularly impressed  by  the  abundance  of  priestly  and  religious  vocations  in  the  Philippines.  It  was,  indeed,  a  blessing  and  a  memorable  event  to  have  a  good  bishop  to  celebrate  Mass  and  share  some  light  moments  with  the  brothers  of  St.  Paul  Scholasticate  community.  (Br.  Mark  Anthony  Pondoc)      

Bishop Gianfranco Todisco (extreme left) shares some light moments with the scholastics.

Fr. Michael attends Formators’ Meeting   Fr.  Michael  Sandalo,  rector  of  St.  Paul  Scholasticate, was in Rome last February 11‐21 to  take  part  in  the  formators’  meeting.  The  said  gathering  of  all  the  seminary  formators  of  the  Barnabite  Congregation  happens  every  two  years  as  part  of  aggiornamento  (updating).  They  also  dealt  with  issues  that  concern  the  formation  of  young  Barnabite  seminarians  and  professed  scholastics. The aforementioned meeting was held  on  February  13‐15  in  the  Curia  Generalizia  of  the  Barnabites  in  Rome.  Fr.  Jimmy  George  Anastacio,  the  novice  master  of  St.  Alexander  Sauli  Novitiate  in Marikina also joined.     The first day of the meeting was devoted to         open  discussions  on  the  problems  and  proposals  that affect the Barnabite formation program. Both  Frs. Michael and Jimmy presented a report on the  current  status  of  the  formation  program  in  the  three  Barnabite  formation  houses  in  the  Philippines. In the next two days, three speakers— one  a  Comboni  missionary  and  two  Claretian  fathers—gave  a  talk  on  religious  life,  priestly  formation and the importance of psychology in the  formation  of  priests  and  religious.  These  sessions  gave  a  boost  to  the  fathers  to  work  hard  to  improving  the  program  for  future  priests  and  Barnabites.    After the meetings, Frs. Michael and Jimmy  spent  some  days  visiting  the  religious  communities  in  Cremona  and  Naples  (Istituto  Bianchi)  where  they  met  their  former  formators:  Fr. Aldo Rizzi (Cremona) and Fr. Giovanni Scalese.  

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Superior General of the Barnabites Most Rev. Fr. Giovanni Villa, the General Council, the provincial superiors and the formators of the Barnabite formation houses

Community days of Recollection The  professed  brothers  of  St.  Paul  Scholasticate  community  spent  some  days  of  silence  and  reflection.  Last  25‐26  of  February  the  community had a recollection in the seminary. The  recollection  facilitator  was  Monsignor  Gerry  Santos,  a  diocesan  priest  of  the  Archdiocese  of  Manila,  professor  of  Theology  and  supervisor  of  parochial schools association in the Archdiocese of  Manila.  He  is  one  of  the  favorite  professors  of  the  brothers  in  Divine  Word  School  of  Theology.  Confessions  were  held  at  9:00  o’clock  in  the  morning.  The  first  session  started  at  11:30  a.m.  and  the  second  session  was  at  2:30  in  the  afternoon.  Monsignor  Santos  talked  about  the  celibate  life  of  priests.  He  explained  well  theologically the meaning of celibacy and how it is  lived. This, in turn, made the brothers reflect well  on  the  subject  matter  in  relation  to  their  chosen  vocation. The said activity was concluded with the  celebration  of  the  Holy  Eucharist  presided  by  the  recollection master himself.  The  community  Lenten  recollection  took  place on 27‐28  March. It was held at the La Sallete  Retreat House in Silang, Cavite. The facilitator was  Fr.  Dominic  Lim,  a  member  of  the  Order  of  Friars  Minor‐Conventuals.  His  talk  centered  on  the  Holy  Eucharist  in  relation  to  the  religious  vocation.  He  made  a  profound  theological  and  biblical  discussion  on  the  subject  matter.  He  pointed  out  how important the Holy Eucharist is in the lives of  Christians  particularly  the  religious  and   priests.  

The  two‐day  recollection  began  in  the  evening  of  March  27  with  a  solemn  exposition  and  benediction  of  the  Blessed  Sacrament.  The  next  morning,  the  facilitator  gave  two  sessions.  The  first  started  at  8:30  in  the  morning  followed  by  a  thirty‐minute  break  then  the  second  session.  At  3:00  o’clock  in  the  afternoon,  two  priests  made  themselves  available  for  the  confession:  the  facilitator himself and Fr. Cesare Bertoni, RCJ. The  celebration  of  the  Holy  Eucharist  followed  as  the  culmination  and  concluding  part  of  the  activities.  (Br. Roxie Roflo)     Fr. Michael Mancusi in the hospital     Barnabite Fr. Michael Francis Mancusi has  been  in  St.  Luke’s  Medical  Center  in  Taguig  City,  Metro  Manila  due  to  stroke.  In  the  morning  of  March  6,  he  was  rushed  to  Tagaytay  City  Medical  Hospital  and  was  given  first  aid  by  the  resident  doctor  and  nurses.  Then  he  was  moved  to  De  La  Salle  University  Medical  Center  in  Dasmarinas,  Cavite  and  was  immediately  admitted  to  the  intesive  care  unit  (ICU).  After  almost  two  weeks,  Fr. Joselito Ortega decided to transfer Fr. Mancusi  to  St.  Luke’s  Medical  Center.  The  state‐of‐the‐art  facilities and the expert doctors and nurses of the  said  hospital  paved  the  way  for  Fr.  Mancusi’s  fast  recovery.  Physical therapists have been attending  him  as  well.  Fr.  Mancusi’s  sister  and  a  nephew  from  the  US  also  came  to  check  at  his  situation.  They  left  after  ten  days.  Since  Fr.  Mancusi’s  hospitalization, the brothers took turns in going to  the hospital to look after him.  

A pose with Msgr. Gerry Santos (in blue polo)

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Fr. Silva visits the Barnabite Confreres in the Philippines     Very  Rev.  Fr.  Francisco  Chagas  Da  Silva,  one  of  the  four  assistants  superior  general,  came  to  the  Philippines  for  a  fourteen‐day  visit  and  to  represent  the  superior  general  Fr.  Giovanni  Villa  for the Ordinations. Fr. Silva arrived last March 31  and  stayed  at  St.  Paul  Scholasticate.  He  was  the  first Brazilian Barnabite to visit the Philippines.  During  his  stay,  he  had  the  chance  to  visit  the city of Tagaytay and trekked Taal volcano with  Fr. Arvin Dagalea and the confreres. He also visited  the  Barnabite  communities  of  Marikina  and  Silangan.  The  fathers  also  toured  him  to  Intramuros,  the  Manila  cathedral  and  San  Agustin  Church.  After  his  week‐long  stay  in  Tagaytay,  he  moved  to  St.  Anthony  Mary  Zaccaria  Seminary  in  Marikina.  The  fathers  of  the  said  community  toured  him  to  various  places  of  interest  in  Marikina,  introduced  him  to  the  Angelic  Sisters,  the  Sisters  of  the  Little  Workers  of  the  Sacred  Heart  and  to  the  lay  affiliates.  Moreover,  together  with  Fr.  Jimmy  Anastacio  and  his  novices,  Frs.  Cirilo  Coniendo,  Arvin  Dagalea  and  Thomas  Tabada,    Fr.    Francisco  went  to  Baguio  City  for  a  two‐day  excursion.  The  city  is  considered  as  “the  summer  capital  of  the  Philippines”  because  of  its  cool and relaxing climate and surroundings.  Before Fr. Francisco left the Scholastice on  April  4,  the  brothers  organized  the  “community  night”.  Through  the  initiative  of  Br.  Roxie  Roflo,  the  brothers  enjoyed  the  parlor  games  and  song  presentations.  Food  and  drinks were also served. 

Fr. Francisco da Silva (2nd from left), assistant superior general of the Barnabite Order poses with the scholastics.

Fr. Francisco (third from left) poses with Fr. Joselito, Bishop Tagle and Fr. Vhon Arellano.

The  brothers  also  serenaded  Fr.  Francisco  with  English  and  Filipino  songs.  They  all  sang  “Pagkakaibigan” (Friendship), a song adaptation of  John  13.  Fr.  Francisco  expressed  his  gratitude  for  the brothers’ hospitality and kindness, encouraged  them  in  their  vocation  and  invited  them  to  Brazil  for  pastoral  experience  in  the  Barnabite  shrine  of  Our Lady of Belem. Despite  his limited English, he  tried  to  express  himself  and  talked  with  the  brothers.   Fr.  Francisco  conveyed  to  the  new  priests  and deacons Fr. Villa’s message. He recognized the  Congregation’s joy in having three new priests and  two  new  deacons:  “la  nostra  famiglia  religiosa  eleva la sua lode di ringraziamento a Dio per il dono  ricevuto.  Dono  che  vediamo  nei  vostri  volti”  (Our  religious family raises its praise of thanksgiving to  God  for  the  gift  received.  A  gift  that  we  see  and  contemplate  in  your  faces).    He  reminded  the  newly ordained of their new titles: padre (father),  sacerdote  (priest),  diaconi  (deacons)—”per  il  nostro Dio, per la sua Chiesa” (for our God and for  His  Church).  He  wished  the  new  ministers  all  the  best for their ministry.   Fr.  Francisco  left  the  Philippines  on  April  12. On his departure, he received a Tshirt with the  printed  image  of  the  Founder.  It  was  a  shirt  especially made for St. Paul Scholasticate.   To  Fr.  Francisco,  grazie  caro  padre!    We  hope your first visit would not be the last.    

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Barnabite scholastics graduate with “flying colors”

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The  Divine  Word  School  of  Theology  (DWST)  in  Tagaytay,  where  the  Barnabite  professed  brothers  take  their  theological  studies,  culminated  the  school  year  2010‐2011  with  the  Commencement  Exercises  or  graduation  rites  last  26th  of  March.    On  that  special  day,  fourteen  (14)  Barnabite  scholastics  received  the  academic  titles  namely  the  two‐year  Philippine  government  recognized degree Bachelor of Arts (A.B.) major in  Theology  and  the  four‐year  Ecclesiastical  studies  in Theology.   The  celebration  started  at  8:30  in  the  morning  with  a  solemn  baccalaureate  Mass  presided  by  His  Excellency  Most  Reverend  Joel  Baylon,  D.D.,  Bishop  of  the  Diocese  of  Legazpi   together  with  the  rectors,  priest‐professors  and  formators  of  the  different  communities  and  religious houses. After the celebration of the Holy  Eucharist, the graduation ceremony followed. The  guest  speaker  was  the  former  ambassador  of  the  Philippines to the Holy See Honorable Henrietta T.  De  Villa,  who  is  at  present  the  president  of  the  Mother  Butler  Guild.    The  graduation  was  held  in  the  seminary  chapel  of  DWST.  The  ceremony  was  quite  long  that  it  ended  at  around  2:00  o’clock  in  the  afternoon.  The  whole  community  of  St.  Paul  Scholasticate  was  present.  Unfortunately,  not  all  the  families  of  the  Barnabite  graduates  attended  though  some  had  their  relatives  and  immediate  family  members  present  particularly  those  residing near Tagaytay.  

Fr. Michael Sandalo (left) assists in placing the hood on Scholastic John Koten.

The “cream of the crop” of the Barnabites and DWST

The  Barnabite  brothers  who  obtained  the  degree A.B. in Theology include Cunan Adaro, Rey  Carmelo  Ausejo,  Alfredo  Dolog,  Jr.,  Benedict  Insigne,  Glenn  Gaabucayan,  Alvin  Libay,  Mark  Anthony  Pondoc,  Gerard  Sala  and  John  Paul  Osip.  Aside  from  their  academic  degrees,  the  same  scholastics  were  also  honored  by  the  DWST  for  their  excellent  academic  performance.  Four  of  them  graduated  as  Magna  cum  laude:  Cunan  Adaro, Rey Carmelo Ausejo, Glenn Gaabucayan and  John Paul Osip. Three were honored as Cum laude:  Alvin  Libay,  Mark  Anthony  Pondoc  and  Gerard  Sala.  Moreover,  the  three  deacons  Clyd  Autentico,  Jonathan  Ramoso  and  Thomas  Federick  Tabada,  who  all  finished  the  four‐year  Ecclesiastical  program, also received their A.B. Theology degree.  Their  hard‐work  and  academic  excellence  were  also recognized: Deacon Jonathan was honored as  Cum  laude  while  Thomas  Tabada  distinguished  himself with two awards as a magna cum laude in  A.B.  Theology  and  a  cum  laude  graduate  in  Ecclesiastical  studies.  Scholastic  Yohanes  Koten  also received his degree in Ecclesiastical studies as  well as Bro. Pat Golis who opted not to attend the  graduation rites due to his advanced commitment  in the parish.  After the graduation, the whole community  celebrated  with  a  sumptuous  lunch  in  the  seminary refectory. After lunch, Sr. Daisy Maciado,  the  superior  of  the  community  of  the  Hospitaler  Sisters  in  Tagaytay  and  a  good  friend  of  the  community,  invited  the  brothers  and  the  fathers  for    a    celebration    at   Starbucks    coffee    shop.   

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Celebrating the day’s triumph!

The  fathers  and  the  brothers,  Sr.  Daisy  and  her  postulants  all  enjoyed  the  whole  afternoon  celebrating the success of the Barnabite graduates.   The  occasion  had  been,  indeed,  a  blessing  to the community as the scholastics received their  academic  degrees  and  distinguished  themselves  for their academic excellence. Their labor had not  been  in  vain  for  by  the  sweat  of  their  brows,  the  harvest was abundant. Keep up the good work for  the  glory  of  God!  The  community  of  St.  Paul  Scholasticate  is  very  proud  of  you!  (Br.  Gerard  Sala)      First Affiliates in Tagaytay   The  Barnabites  in  the  Philippines  have  new  lay  collaborators  in  the  persons  of  Mr.  Eduardo  and  Mrs.  Alma  Roa.  They  were  officially  admitted as affiliate members of the Congregation  during  the  Ordination  rites  last  April  2nd.  The  couple  has  been  good  friends  of  the  St.  Paul  Scholasticate community since its foundation in its  present  site  in  2005.    Because  of  this,  they  have  become  especially  connected  to  the  Barnabite  Fathers.  Now  as  affiliate  members,  they  have  become united with the Order in a special bond of  friendship and share in its spiritual benefits.   Mrs.  Alma  Roa  has  always  been  particularly  involved  in  the  activities  of  Tahanan  Mapag­aruga  ni  Padre  Semeria,  the  pre‐school  attached  to  St.  Paul  Scholasticate.  While  Mr.  Eduardo  Roa  has  been  teaching  English  grammar  and composition to the First year scholastics. Mrs.  Roa  has  also  taught  English  oral communication  

skills  to  the  same  seminarians.  Most  of  all,  both  have  always  encouraged  and  provided  moral  and  spiritual support to the confreres in their vocation  and  in  the  pastoral  activities  of  the  fathers  of  St.  Paul Scholasticate community.     On  the  day  of  their  inclusion  as  Affiliate  members,  the  couple  was  called  to  the  altar  and  the  Delegate  superior  of  the  Barnabites  in  the  Philippines,  Fr.  Joselito  Ortega,  read  the  official  decree  of  affiliation  from  Rome.  Fr.  Francisco  Da  Silva, assistant superior general of the Barnabites,  gave  them  the  tokens:  an  image  of  Our  Mother  of  Divine  Providence  and  a  medallion  with  the  inscription  of  the  Holy  Founder.  The  laminated  certificate  of  affiliation  was  also  given  to  them.  It  was, indeed, a surprise for them to be honored and  recognized  for  their  generosity  and  collaboration  through the years of the Barnabite presence in the  Diocese of Imus.     Mr.  and  Mrs.  Roa  have  two  grown‐up  children,  both  already  married  and  professionals.  The  Roa  residence  is  just  in  front  of  St.  Paul  Scholaticate  building.  For  this  reason,  the  couple  has  always  been  present  in  the  Masses  and  other  spiritual activities of the community.     At  present,  the  Barnabites  in  the  Philippines have six (6) affiliate members all based  in Marikina City. With the addition of Mr. and Mrs.  Roa,  the  Filipino  affiliates  now  reach  eight  (8)  in  number.  Congratulations  to  sir  Ed  and  ma’am  Alma!  

Eduardo and Alma Roa, the first affiliates of the Barnabite Congregation in Tagaytay

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Barnabites in Indonesia for “exploratory visit”

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  By  the  urging  of  the  General  Council  in  Rome, Fr. Joselito Ortega, delegate superior of the  Filipino  Barnabites,  Fr.  Michael  Sandalo,  rector  of  St.  Paul  Scholasticate  and  Rev.  Yohanes  Koten  left  last  April  6  for  a  weeklong  “exploratory  visit”  in  Indonesia.  The  said  visit  was  intended  to  see  and  and  evaluate  the  possibility  of  establishing  the  Barnabite presence in Indonesia.     The  fathers  arrived  in  Maumere,  Flores  Island  after  a  12‐hour  flight.  Their  travel  was  so  exhausting  and  long  because  they  left  Manila  at  9  pm  of  April  6th  and  arrived  in  Jakarta  at  12  midnight.  Then  they  had  to  wait  for  a  flight  to  Kupang  at  6  am  and  took  another  plane  to  Maumere at 10 am. They were accomodated by the  Sisters  of  Our  Lady  of  the  Angels  whose  convent  was  half  a  kilometer  away  from  the  Maumere  domestic  airport.  The  mother  superior  Sr.  Ma  Cecilia  Tano,  SdA  and  the  postulants  attended  to  their needs. The Angelic sisters Lilia Domingo and  Vilma Tado accompanied them in their travels and  meetings  with  the  bishops.  Both  sisters  spoke  fluent Bahasa, the official language of Indonesia.     The  fathers  intended  to  know  the  present  situation  of  the  dioceses  of  Larantuka,  Maumere  and Ende—all in Flores Island. The island is said to  be  home  to  1.6  million  Indonesians,  the  majority  are  Catholics.  The  fathers  inquired  about  the  apostolate of the religious in the said  dioceses,  

(From left) Angelic Sr. Lilia, Rev. Yohanes, Bishop Franciskus Kopong Kung (Bishop of Larantuka), Fr. Joselito and Fr. Michael

(from left) Rev. Yohanes, Bishop Kherubim Pareira, SVD (Bishop of Maumere), Fr. Joselito and Fr. Michael during the meeting at the Maumere Bishop’s residence, April 10.

the  socio‐economic  situation  of  the  faithful,  the  parishes and the clergy, vocations and the possible  future ministry the Congregation could offer to the  faithful.     Accompanied  by  Sr.  Vilma,  the  fathers  started  their  mission  on  April  8.  From  Maumere,  they  travelled  to  Larantuka  to  meet  the  Vicar  General  of  the  Diocese  of  Larantuka,  Fr.  Romo  Gabriel  in  the  Bishop’s  residence.  Fr.  Gabriel  shared  with  the  fathers  his  personal  insights  on  the  current  situation  of  Larantuka  diocese.  The  following day, April 9, the fathers headed to Ende,  east  of  Flores  Island.  They  met  the  Archbishop  of  Ende,  Most  Rev.  Vincentius  Sensi  Potokota  in  the  archbishop’s  palace  in  Ndoma.  The  said  bishop  expressed his openness to accept the Barnabites in  his  diocese.  He  explained  that  the  diocese  needs  school  administrators  because  most  educational  institutions  are  either  mismanaged  or  lack  schoolheads. At the end of the meeting, he happily  exclaimed  “I  shall  expect  good  news  from  you!”  which  appeared  to  be  a  statement  of  high  expectations. He also invited the fathers for lunch.     In the morning of April 10, the fathers had  an  audience  with  the  Bishop  of  Maumere,  Most  Rev.  Kherubim  Pareira,  SVD.  Though  already  advanced  in  his  age,  he  spoke  with  much  enthusiasm  and  vigor.  He  and  Fr.  Joselito  talked  about the health care ministry of many religious in  his  diocese.  He  also  expressed  his  willingness  to  receive  the  Barnabites  in  his  diocese.  After  the  meeting,  the  fathers  decided  to  visit  the  school  of  Theology   and   Philosophy   of  the  Society  of  the 

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Saint Paul Scholasticate Newsletter

iPaul
Saint Paul Scholasticate

THE CLERICS REGULAR OF SAINT PAUL — BARNABITES —
(From left) Sr. Lilia, Rev. Yohanes, Fr. Joselito, Archbishop Vincentius, and Fr. Michael

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: saintpaulscholasticate@gmail.com Director: Fr. Michael Sandalo, CRSP Editor-in-Chief: Br. Rey Carmelo A. Ausejo, CRSP Associate Editor: Br. Mark Anthony Pondoc, CRSP Staff Writers: Rev. Jonathan G. Ramoso, Rev. Thomas Federick S. Tabada, Br. Gerard Sala, Br. John Paul Osip, Br. Raphael Laotoco, Br. Julimar Pulvera, Br. Cunan Adaro Contributors: Fr. Michael Francis Mancusi, Fr. Clyd Autentico, Rev. John Koten, Rev. Pat Golis Typeset in the Philippines by the Saint Paul Scholasticate, April 2011

Divine  Word  in  Ledalero,  the  town  next  to  Maumere. They met Fr. Andreas Mua, SVD, a good  friend of the Angelic Sisters and Rev. Yohanes. He  shared with the fathers his experiences of helping  religious  institutes  establish  themselves  in  Flores.  He  also  offered  his  availability  to  assist  the  Barnabites.     The  afternoon  of  the  same  day  was  dedicated  for  a  meeting  with  the  Bishop  of  Larantuka, Most Rev. Franciskus Kopong Kung. He  decided  to  meet  the  fathers  in  the  convent  of  the  Angelic  Sisters  in  Maumere.  Like  the  other  two  bishops,  he  would  likewise  be  happy  to  have  the  Barnabites in his diocese. He also offered to ordain  Rev. Yohanes, who belonged to his diocese, to the  priesthood if it would take place in Indonesia.     As  they  went  from  one  place  to  another,  the  fathers  were  all  amazed  by  the  breathtaking  beauty of the virgin forests and blue sea of Flores  Island.  They  had  the  chance  to  visit  Kelimutu  National  Park  and  trekked  Mt.  Kelimutu  which  is  famous  for  its  three  craters  with  different  colors.  Moreover, they also met one of the sisters of Rev.  Yohanes and stopped at her house for snacks.     On  April  11,  the  fathers  left  Maumere  and  flew  to  Denpasar,  Bali.  They  stayed  at  the  newly  constructed transient house of the Sisters of Mary  Immaculate.  They  had  the  chance  to  tour  around  Bali. They flew to Manila via Jakarta at midnight of  April  12.  Rev.  Yohanes  went  back  to  his  family’s  house in Larantuka for vacation.     The  fathers’  encounter  with  the  Local  Ordinaries  had  been  very  positive.  With  the  blessing  of  Divine  Providence,  Indonesia  could  become the next mission of the Barnabites.  

Quis nos separabit a caritate Christi?