Quis nos separabit a caritate Christi? An gladius?

Saint Paul Scholasticate Newsletter
No. 8 Christmas 2008

by Giovanni Scalese, CRSP Somebody may have thought: They are no more around! What happened? Actually, we have been out of circulation for several months. We were supposed to reach you with an issue of iPaul around the end of September; but—we must confess—we did not make it. First of all, because that was the time of the preparation for the first semester’s exams; and then we have to say that the period just elapsed was very busy: reading this edition of our newsletter, you will realize how many things happened these last months. But now, with the Christmas break, we are here again, wishing to share with you a little of our life. I take this opportunity to take my leave of you, at least for some time. For Father General assigned me temporarily to India. I do not know what the future holds. I just continue my journey in the following of Christ, according to the will of God, expressed in the decisions of my Superiors. I ask you to accompany me with your prayers, that I may live up to my call.


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walking daily with saint Paul
by Michael F. Mancusi, CRSP

1 We know that all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to His purpose. (Rom 8:28) 2 You were buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised with Him through faith in the power of God, who raised Him from the dead. (Col 2:12) 3 Examine yourselves to see whether you are living in faith. (2 Cor 13:5) 4 Put on the breastplate of faith and love and the helmet that is hope for salvation. (1 Thess 5:8) 5 We proclaim Christ Crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles. (1 Cor 1:23) 6 The aim of this instruction is love from a pure heart, a good conscience, and a sincere faith. (1 Tim 1:5) 7 In Him you also, who have heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and have believed in Him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, which is the first installment of our inheritance toward redemption as God’s possession, to the praise of His glory. (Eph 1:13-14) 8 We hold this treasure in earthen vessels. (2 Cor 4:7) 9 Reject godless ways and worldly desires and live temperately, justly, and devoutly in this age. (Tit 2:12) 10 You and I may be mutually encouraged by one another’s faith. (Rom 1:12) 11 Do what is proper. (Phlm 1:8) 12 Serve one another through love. (Gal 5:13) 13 Guard this rich trust with the help of the Holy Spirit that dwells within. (2 Tim 1:14) 14 Pursue what leads to peace and to building up one another. (Rom 14:19) 15 For us there is one God, the Father, from Whom all things are and for Whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through Whom all things are and through Whom we exist. (1 Cor 8:6) 16 Behold, now is a very acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation. (2 Cor 6:2) 17 Pursue righteousness, devotion, faith, love, patience, and gentleness. (1 Tim 6:11) 18 We know that all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to His purpose. (Rom 8:28) 19 I do not want you to be unaware. (Rom 1:13) 20 If, while we were enemies, we were reconciled to

God through the death of His Son, how much more, once reconciled, will we be saved by His life. (Rom 5:10) 21 Avoid profane, idle talk. (2 Tim 2:16) 22 Be firm, steadfast, always fully devoted to the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain. (1 Cor 15:58) 23 Exhorting and encouraging you and insisting that you conduct yourselves as worthy of the God who calls you into His kingdom and glory. (1 Thess 2:12) 24 Grace was given to each of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift. (Eph 4:7) 25 It is no longer I who live, but Christ Who lives in me. (Gal 2:20) 26 He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. (Col 1:17) 27 Draw your strength from the Lord and from his mighty power. (Eph 6:10) 28 God is faithful and will not let you be tried beyond your strength; but with the trial He will also provide a way out, so that you may be able to bear it. (1 Cor 10:13)

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29 I continue my pursuit toward the goal, the prize of God’s upward calling, in Christ Jesus. (Phil 3:14) 30 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. (1 Cor 13:7) 31 When ridiculed, we bless; when persecuted, we endure; when slandered, we respond gently. (1 Cor 4:1213)

1 Put on the Lord Jesus Christ. (Rom 13:14) 2 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly. (Col 3:16) 3 You were also called to the one hope of your call. (Eph 4:4) 4 I give thanks to my God through Jesus Christ for all of you. (Rom 1:8) 5 For the love of money is the root of all evils. (1 Tim 6:10) 6 Whatever gains I had, these I have come to consider a loss because of Christ. (Phil 3:7) 7 Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting? (1 Cor 15:55) 8 May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the endurance of Christ. (2 Thess 3:5) 9 For in Him were created all things in heaven and on

earth, the visible and the invisible, all things were created through Him and for Him. (Col 1:16) 10 The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. (1 Cor 1:18) 11 The hearts of the holy ones have been refreshed by you. (Phlm 1:7) 12 He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.” I will rather boast most gladly of my weaknesses, in order that the power of Christ may dwell with me. (2 Cor 12:9) 13 Take as your norm the sound words that you heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. (2 Tim 1:13) 14 We are fools on Christ’s account. (1 Cor 4:10) 15 Be on guard. (2 Tim 4:15) 16 Do not continue in ignorance, but try to understand what is the will of the Lord. (Eph 5:17) 17 We do not preach ourselves but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your slaves for the sake of Jesus. (2 Cor 4:5) 18 A person should examine himself. (1 Cor 11:28) 19 The one who stands firm in his resolve, however, who is not under compulsion but has power over his own will, … will be doing well. (1 Cor 7:37) 20 Every athlete exercises discipline in every way. They do it to win a perishable crown, but we an imperishable one. (1 Cor 9:25) 21 In Him we were also chosen, destined in accord with the purpose of the One who accomplishes all things according to the intention of His will, so that we might exist for the praise of His glory, we who first hoped in Christ. (Eph 1:11-12) 22 For our sake He made Him to be sin who did not know sin, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. (2 Cor 5:21) 23 Be eager to present yourself as acceptable to God. (2 Tim 2:15) 24 Affliction produces endurance, and endurance, proven character, and proven character, hope, and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us. (Rom 5:3-5) 25 Through the Spirit, by faith, we await the hope of righteousness. (Gal 5:5) 26 Let us stay alert and sober. (1 Thess 5:6) 27 Love is not jealous, (love) is not pompous, it is not inflated. (1 Cor 13:4) 28 In Him dwells the whole fullness of the deity bodily, and you share in this fullness in Him. (Col 2:9-10) 29 The Spirit too comes to the aid of our weakness. (Rom 8:26)

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1 How can we who died to sin yet live in it? (Rom 6:2) 2 I ask that supplications, prayers, petitions, and thanksgivings be offered for everyone. (1 Tim 2:1) 3 For godly sorrow produces a salutary repentance without regret. (2 Cor 7:10) 4 God did not call us to impurity but to holiness. (1 Thess 4:7) 5 For we are His handiwork, created in Christ Jesus. (Eph 2:10) 6 Your faith might rest not on human wisdom but on the power of God. (1 Cor 2:5) 7 God does not lie. (Tit 1:2) 8 Mend your ways, encourage one another, agree with one another, live in peace, and the God of love and peace will be with you. (2 Cor 13:11) 9 If then you were raised with Christ, seek what is above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. (Col 3:1) 10 Let us celebrate the feast, not with the old yeast, the yeast of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. (1 Cor 5:8) 11 Refresh my heart in Christ. (Phlm 1:20)

12 Do not let the sun set on your anger, and do not leave room for the devil. (Eph 4:26-27) 13 We walk by faith, not by sight. (2 Cor 5:7) 14 Respect those who are laboring among you and who are over you in the Lord and who admonish you, and to show esteem for them with special love on account of their work. (1 Thess 5:12-13) 15 God’s invisible attributes of eternal power and divinity have been able to be understood and perceived in what He has made. (Rom 1:20) 16 Be careful to devote themselves to good works; these are excellent and beneficial to others. (Tit 3:8) 17 If we live in the Spirit, let us also follow the Spirit. (Gal 5:25) 18 Bear your share of hardship along with me like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. (2 Tim 2:3) 19 Guard what has been entrusted to you. (1 Tim 6:20) 20 No one should seek his own advantage, but that of his neighbor. (1 Cor 10:24) 21 Since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. (Rom 5:1) 22 Our hope for you is firm, for we know that as you share in the sufferings, you also share in the encouragement. (2 Cor 1:7) 23 I am confident of this, that the One who began a good work in you will continue to complete it until the day of Christ Jesus. (Phil 1:6) 24 He rescued us from such great danger of death, and He will continue to rescue us; in Him we have put our hope (that) He will also rescue us again. (2 Cor 1:10) 25 For just as woman came from man, so man is born of woman; but all things are from God. (1 Cor 11:12) 26 Be gentle with everyone. (2 Tim 2:24) 27 Stand firm in the Lord, beloved. (Phil 4:1) 28 When I was a child, I used to talk as a child, think as a child, reason as a child; when I became a man, I put aside childish things. (1 Cor 13:11) 29 Be open to every good enterprise. (Tit 3:1) 30 In Him all the fullness was pleased to dwell. (Col 1:19) 31 For Christ is the end of the law for the justification of everyone who has faith. (Rom 10:4)

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Pauline-Zaccarian Spirituality


by Yohanes Besi Koten, CRSP
Spirituality is a way that combines the belief and the experience in the everyday life of the people. In this context, people come to integrate their faith and their actions, which give meaning to their lives. They want to live in a righteous way of life, which brings them to a spiritual maturity. As Christians, we have faith in God through His Son, Jesus Christ, who calls us to live our faith in Him alone. This shows our fidelity as adopted sons and daughters in Christ Jesus. St. Paul’s spirituality is a kind of submission in doing God’s will. He believed that Jesus is the Lord. His Damascus’ experience is a call for doing God’s will. “What am I to do, Lord?” (Acts 22:10 NRSV). This question is his willingness to do what God has commanded him to do. He will bring the Good News to the people who do not know God yet. This event makes him deservedly called “Apostle of the Gentiles.” He teaches people to live a life worthy according to their calling in the light of the Gospel of Christ Jesus. It is an act of righteousness for the benefit of others in their spiritual growth. It is to show that Jesus is the mirror of their existence, growing to spiritual maturity. He is the center of their lives. He is everything! As sons of St. Paul, it is our duty to follow in his footsteps to proclaim the Gospel of Christ Jesus to all nations. We must teach our modern people to have Christ Jesus as the center of their lives. The Gospel is the basic principle and the foundation for their way of living in this passing world, so that “it is no longer we who live but Christ who lives in us” (see Gal 2:20 NRSV). It is Jesus who transforms our lives like His. Here, we allow Jesus to be with us. It is because we are living in the “already” and “not yet” life; we must live out the Gospel values so that when the time comes, we can be worthily accepted by Jesus in His Kingdom. For this reason, living in righteousness is really a weapon for spiritual growth that brings salvation to our souls. It is in accordance with the saying of our Founder, St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria, that we must fight the good fight in order for us to gain our salvation. He wants us to be great saints. As great saints, we must run like madmen in the race of life to gain our goal, our salvation in Christ Jesus. Looked upon as a game, Jesus never counts the score that you get, but He will ask how you played the game. Therefore, let us play the game well, because it is the demand that the Lord wants us in living a righteous life! Let us ask ourselves, “What am I to do, Lord?” in pursuing our spiritual maturity. Let us examine some helpful ways as our Protector and our Founder laid down for us. We must observe well the commandments of God because it is the guidelines for our spiritual growth. Live the Gospel and Christian values, which lead us to make progress in our spiritual life. Keep alive the love of Christ in our hearts that make us become the “light” and the “salt” for our neighbors. “Eat the Cross” that makes us worthy by dedicating ourselves to the service of the Word of God, for the glory of God and the benefits of our brothers and sisters. Frequently receive Holy Communion for the nourishment of our soul. Pray always like incense in the presence of God. In doing these, we imitate our Founder and our Protector, for as St. Paul says, “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ” (1 Cor 11:1 NRSV). Let us “proclaim everywhere an energetic spirituality and zealous spirit” (The Writings, p. 32) to all people. Then, as we go on in living out our spiritual life, let us again hear from our beloved Founder, in his last sermon, “Let us lay aside every encumbrance of sin which clings to us and persevere in running the race which lies ahead; let us keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, who inspires and perfect our faith ... So, in all we do, we strive to present ourselves as ministers of God, acting with patient endurance amid trials, difficulties, distress, beatings, imprisonments, and riots; as men familiar with hard work, sleepless nights, and fasting; conducting ourselves with innocence, knowledge, and patient, in the Holy Spirit, in sincere love, as men with the message of truth and the power of God; wielding the weapons of righteousness ... Let us make the effort to follow his teaching and example in our life” (The Writings, p. 145). Righteousness is the weapon for our spiritual growth. May our Lord, Jesus Christ, bring to the fullness what we have done in striving for the salvation that He has promised. “Lord, help us in living a righteousness life for your Kingdom and the salvation of our souls.” God bless!

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Our Co-Sisters


by Jecker R. Luego, CRSP
The  fundamental  project  of  our  Founder  St.  Anthony Mary Zaccaria was wide and complete.  He had not thought only of founding a group of  men, who wanted to live a life of service and ho‐ liness. He altogether thought of a group of single  women  and  a  group  of  married  couples  who  were willing to give their lives in charity for the  sake  of  renewal  and  reformation  inside  the  Church.  In  this  section,  however,  the  focus  will  be given to the Angelic Sisters, the congregation  of nuns founded by Anthony Mary.   Anthony  Mary  started  the  project  with  the  Countess  of  Guastalla,  Lady  Ludovica  Torelli,  who was under his firm and enlightening direc‐ tion.  Moved  by  his  words  and  testimony,  a  group of women committed to a life of full sub‐ mission  and  dedication.  This  group  of  women,  considered as his “beloved daughters,” “dear to  his  heart,”  and  “the  crown  and  glory  of  his  spirit” was born on January 15, 1535. While other  religious  women  were  living  a  life  inside  the  cloister,  “behind bars,” the Angelics  freely went  around  the  streets;  they  entered  homes,  served  in  the  hospitals,  welcomed  youths  who  were  in  danger, and reformed monasteries. It was all an  invitation to struggle and action as reformers.   The  Angelics  were  considered  the  first  fe‐ male congregation of active life in the Church. It  was  something  anticipating  what  would  have  happened  with  Vatican  II.  Unfortunately,  the  Council  of  Trent  (1545‐63)  obliged  the  Angelics  to  live  in  cloister.  While  at  the  middle  of  19th  Century,  the  Napoleonic  Suppression,  prohibit‐ ing  the  admission  of  postulants,  reduced  the  congregation  into  extinction  (the  last  Angelic  died  in  1846).  Nevertheless,  in  1879,  after  years  of silence, the light of hope shone to the congre‐ gation  through  the  person  of  a  Barnabite  priest,  Fr. Pio Mauri. After the first foundation in Lodi, 

Venerable Mother Giovanna Maria of Eucharistic Jesus 

other  monasteries  followed  at  Crema,  Milan,  Naples,  Arienzo  and  Fivizzano.  In  1919  the  Bel‐ gian Mother Giovanna Maria of Eucharistic Jesus  (in  the  world,  Flora  Bracaval)  reformed  the  An‐ gelics, obtaining of the Holy See the union of the  three  monasteries  then  existing  (Milano,  Fiviz‐ zano  and  Arienzo)  and  the  constitution  of  the  “Congregation of the Angelic Sisters of St. Paul,”  a religious institute of simple vows without clo‐ sure. She became the first Mother General of the  new  congregation  and  now  is  waiting  for  her  beatification  (she  is  already  considered  “Venerable”).  

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Mother Alessandra Sala 

From  then  on,  the  Angelics  grew  as  they  were  before,  women  outside  the  cloister.  The  congregation  spread  throughout  Italy  and  Europe.  They  also  went  to  the  Americas  and  lastly  to  Asia,  in  the  Philippines.  In  1986,  with  the  help  of  the  Camillian  Fathers  and  the  Fran‐ ciscan  Sisters  of  La  Verna,  the  Angelics  came  to  the  Philippines  through  the  effort  of  the  late  la‐ mented  Mother  Alessandra  Sala,  the  founder  of  the  Angelics  in  the  United  States,  together  with  Sister  Teresa  Bianco.  In  Marikina,  where  the  Camillians and the La Verna Sisters are located,  they  bought  a  residential  house.  This  house  be‐ came  their  first  convent.  In  1988  they  bought  a  piece of land in front of their house, where they  built  their  convent  with  a  pre‐school  in  it.  Little  by  little,  the  pre‐school  grew  until  it  became  what it is now the “Mother of Divine Providence  School.” When the Barnabite Fathers also arrived  in  Marikina,  the  Angelic  Sisters  sold  the  first  house to them.  The first Filipina Sisters, Asteria Alfonso and  Margarita  Lamaton,  had  their  perpetual  profes‐ sion  in  1991.  Since  then,  the  professed  sisters  grew  in number  so that they  bought  again their  first  house  in  order  to  accommodate  their  in‐ creasing  number.  As  a  part  of  their  expansion  here in the Philippines they went down south in  Medina,  Misamis  Oriental,  in  Mindanao.  There 

they built a retreat house intended for the priests  and religious of the area. They also went to Indo‐ nesia in order to find candidates there (and now  they already have a welcoming house).   At  present,  the  Philippine  Delegation  of  the  Angelic Sisters is composed of thirty (30) Filipina  perpetually  professed  sisters  and  of  two  (2)  In‐ donesian  junior  sisters.  There  are  also  two  (2)  Filipinas  and  ten  (10)  Indonesians  who  are  cur‐ rently  undergoing  formation.  Hopefully,  the  Delegation is looking forward to still increase in  number  with  the  help  of  Divine  Providence.  To  you  sisters,  “Raise  the  flags”  without  counting  the  cost.  May  the  Mother  of  Divine  Providence  continue  to  guide  and  accompany  you  in  your  journey  here  in  the  Philippines  and  beyond.  MAY YOU HAVE A MERRY CHRISTMAS AND  A BLESSED NEW YEAR! 

The Angelics in Indonesia with their aspirants 

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Pages of Barnabite History


MISSION TO BURMA (1722-1830)
by Rosauro A. Valmores, CRSP

Jesus continues to unleash history here and now and moves it towards the fullness of human beings. Jesus is the all-encompassing, global, and cosmic Messiah. Throughout the history of mankind Jesus manifested Himself even in the dark ages of our Church’s history. He transcended His infinite radiance towards humanity through the people who worked for the glorification of his name. In the history of the Church, specifically in her efforts of extending her arms towards the nations who were not yet reached by evangelization, the Barnabite Order has something to share in the pages of the Church’s most treasured accounts of history regarding missions which are now kept in her archives. Apostolic missions are no longer new to the Barnabites. Since the time of Reformation, the Congregation zealously bore witness to the Founder’s vigor, the missionary zeal of Saint Paul, and most of all, the salvific reality of the Crucified Lord. In the years 1722 up to 1830, the Barnabites wholeheartedly showed their fervent zeal when a new horizon of apostolic mission was given to them by Pope Clement XI. For more than a century the Barnabites engaged themselves vigorously with love and dedication in their mission in the Far East in spite of persecutions, shipwreck, and even death. Braving deprivation and loneliness, the confreres sowed and propagated the seed of the Holy Faith so that the heart of Jesus might become the heart of the inhabitants whom they were serving in their field of mission. At the outset of the 17th century, missionaries were scattered throughout the globe bringing with them the banners of their nations and also their courage of propagating faith for the pagan nations. Portuguese, Spaniards, French, and Britons were among the many nationalities that were scattered around the Northern and the Southern hemisphere in their pursuit of doing mission. In

The map of Ava and Pegu drawn by Fr. G. Mantegazza

the Far Eastern part of the globe, specifically in Burma (the present day Myanmar), Portuguese missionaries arrived there as early as the 15th century as a result of Vasco da Gama’s discovery of the sea route to India in the year 1497. Portuguese missionaries came to Burma as pastors to sailors and settlers. Burma at that time was divided into kingdoms. Conflicts and wars were inevitable. Centuries prior to the entrance of the Barnabite Order in Burma, there arose a conflict that somehow made the inhabitants more cautious and discomfited towards foreign missionaries. Accordingly, some Portuguese colonizers created tension that paved the way for the inhabitant’s fierce resistance as their pay-back for all the destruction and plunder that the colonizers had caused. The history of evangelization in Burma did not end into a tragic story. After those dark pages

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of the history of Burma’s evangelization, there comes a light of hope that penetrates in the hearts of the poor inhabitants. In the year 1719, Pope Clement XI sent missionaries from our Congregation to China. But since the mission to China had practically no results because of the influence exercised by some Mandarins over the Emperor K’angnsi, who at first seemed to be willing to come to a compromise, the Papal Legate Bishop Ambrose Mezzabarba chose two zealous Barnabites, Fr. Sigismondo Calchi and Fr. Joseph Vittoni, to be sent to Burma for a mission. Although there was already a vast number of indigenous people who were converted to the Catholic faith during the time of the Portuguese mission, Catholics in Burma, regard 1722 as the year their Church was founded. Officially, the historical records of the Catholic Church in Myanmar begin with the appointment given to Fr. Calchi and Fr. Vittoni by the Papal Legate. Fr. Sigismondo Calchi was delegated by Bishop Mezzabarba as missionary and Apostolic Vicar in the kingdoms of Ava, Pegu, and Martoban. The first years of the Barnabite mission in Burma were very hard, especially because of the opposition by the French and Portuguese missionaries of neighboring Siam (Thailand), who accused Fr. Calchi of being a Chinese spy. But in spite of such opposition, God’s Providence turned such irrational aversions into a blessing. Fr. Calchi’s fervent zeal for apostolate conquered the benevolence of the king of Ava, who not only allowed him to preach, but also requested Fr. Vittoni to go back to Rome as his ambassador to the Pope. Under the selfless pasturing of these two Barnabite religious, the king gave them the authority to build churches, but more importantly the king of Ava put the whole mission under his protection. The king also gave a large donation for the first church that the fathers built, and he asked Fr. Calchi that proper diplomatic ties be established with the Pope from whom he wanted “other missionaries and men who could paint, make tapestries, work gold, silver and glass; and more astronomers, geographers, and mechanics,

to educate his subjects in the way to Heaven, and initiate them into all forms of human knowledge.” All of these requests are not surprising since Fr. Calchi first of all had dedicated himself to the study of the Burmese language to the point of composing and publishing for the first time a dictionary. Fr. Calchi’s attitude became a trademark of the Barnabite mission. They brought the Gospel, but at the same time they made a scientific study of the peninsula, its history and culture, and created cultural ties between Italy and Burma, which were above the contingent politicaleconomic interests. After many years of selfless service to the inhabitants of Burma, Fr. Calchi breathed his last, and all his accomplishments were like sweet smelling incense offered directly to the Lord. His efforts and accomplishments were not left unnoticed; rather, it paved the way for more Barnabite missionaries to embark a mission in Burma. After the death of Fr. Calchi, waves of zealous confreres continued his unfinished aspirations which were already sowed in Burma. In 1740, Pope Benedict XIV decreed that the mission in Burma, specifically in the kingdoms of Ava and Pegu should be entrusted only and solely to the Barnabites. On January 29, 1741, the Pope nominated and consecrated Fr. Gallizia as Bishop of Elima and Apostolic Vicar of Burma. Together with Fr. Gallizia were Frs. Paul Nerini, Alexander Mondelli, Gianatonio de Conte. These four fervent soldiers of Christ embarked in a treacherous and adventurous voyage in the high seas going to the kingdoms of Ava and Pegu, loosing almost everything including the sacred vessels. A few years after their arrival in Burma, political conflict arose and finally there was a division of the kingdoms. The Barnabite missionaries were also divided in their field of mission since some of them were scattered on both sides of the two kingdoms. Bishop Gallizia and Frs. Mindelli and Del Conte who were in the kingdom of Ava were unjustly accused of treason and were killed together. Meanwhile, Fr. Nerini, with his companion Brother Angelo who was in the other kingdom, heard the gruesome

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news about the fate of their confreres and were also forced to flee for safety from one town to another for four death defying years of escape. On April 21, 1749, after the long and tiring escape, Fr. Nerini and his companion Brother Angelo returned and were welcomed back in by the natives of Siriam. There these two battered soldiers of Christ continued with much greater enthusiasm in their apostolic mission. Under their guidance and tireless efforts, a new small city with a school, a conservator, hospitals, and beautiful stone churches were built. Developments in Burma continued to flourish under Fr. Nerini. But since the fervent priest was not getting younger every day, he invoked for help from his confreres. On January 24, 1752 the secretary of Propaganda Fide asked the Congregation’s Father General, Rev. Alexander Viarizzi de Roas, for another batch of Barnabite missionaries to be sent to Pegu, and to announce the election of Fr. Nerini as a Bishop and Apostolic Vicar. Without any trace of hesitation, the Father General wholeheartedly submitted to the authority. Fr. Nerini felt happy upon hearing the good news regarding the new batch of confreres who would help him in doing mission. But the good news that gladdened the heart of Fr. Nerini turned into a grue-

some one. All four brave and courageous Barnabite missionaries perished in a shipwreck, loosing all the goods needed including the documents that would name Fr. Nerini as a Bishop. After such terrible news, another worse event took place in the field of mission. Another war erupted and Fr. Nerini found himself besieged in Siriam. All the fruits of his labor collapsed. His residence and the church that he had built were heavily damaged. The worst part was that Fr. Nerini was beheaded by the soldiers because he refused with great courage to release the poor women who had taken refuge in the church. Fr. Nerini’s head was brought to the ruthless king. It was August of 1756 when another brave and courageous Barnabite missionary had witnessed the zeal of being a faithful servant of Christ. The death of Fr. Nerini was not an obstacle for the Congregation’s commitment to its missionary works in Burma. After Fr. Nerini’s death, other two Barnabite missionaries, Fr. Alexander Gallizia, the nephew of Bishop Gallizia, and Fr. Sebastian Donati, were sent to rebuild the mission in Burma. The effort of rebuilding the mission was again blown into the wind when both priests died. After the death of the two missionaries, the Barnabite Order still continued to send zealous confreres in order to continue the mission. In spite of the many hardships and endless challenges that awaited them in the field of mission, young Barnabite missionaries selflessly offered their lives in their apostolic mission in Burma. For some it would appear absurd if one goes to a mission without any knowledge of what lies ahead in the field of mission; but, in the case of the Barnabite missionaries in Burma, life for them would be more absurd if it would only be lived selfishly under one’s comfort zone. Those brave Barnabite missionaries did not only show to the world how to live and share one’s life to others, but they also witnessed to others how to live a life in harmony with the will of the Father. In the year 1830, after a century of unbounded love and dedication to apostolic works, Father General Joseph Peda officially gave up the mission in Burma.

No. 3 8

Our Neighbors


THE ROGATIONISTS of the heart of jesus
by Cirilo B. Coniendo, CRSP The Congregation of the Rogationist Fathers is precious to the Saint Paul Scholasticate because of Fr. Cesare’s service to the community as ordinary confessor of the scholastics. Every other week Fr. Cesare Bettoni, RCJ together with his novices come to the Scholasticate in order to confess the students while two priests of our community hear the confessions of their novices. Fr. Cesare has been of service to our community for three years already. This reciprocal service of the two communities builds a strong bond between each other so that we consider each other as “neighbors in spirit”. Fr. Cesare is only one of the several devoted Rogationists who offer service to the Church for obtaining holy vocations from God. The Congregation of the Rogationist Fathers and Brothers is a pontifical clerical religious institute, founded by St. Hannibal Mary Di Francia (1851-1927). The Congregation of the Rogationists of the Heart of Jesus (RCJ) finds its spirituality in the words of Jesus in the Gospel “The harvest is rich but the workers are few. Pray, therefore, the Lord of the harvest that He may send workers into His harvest” (Mt 9:37-38; Lk 10:2). The name “Rogationist,” taken from the Latin word rogate which means “pray,” qualifies them for a great mission to implore God for numerous and good apostles for His Church. They are the Apostles of the “Rogate” whose entire life is centered to the daily prayer for vocations to the priesthood and consecrated life in the Church, propagation of this prayer worldwide as well as care and promotion of human and spiritual welfare of orphans, needy children and the poor. Today the small Caravan of the Rogationists that started in Southern Italy has reached other countries in Europe, the United States, Albania, Brazil, Argentina, Rwanda, the Philippines, India, Vietnam, Papua New Guinea, Korea and Indonesia. In the Philippines the Rogationists started their presence and activities in 1976. In this short period, the Rogationists dedicated themselves in par-

St. Hannibal Mary Di Francia

ticular activities for the Church. They established a center of formation according to the inspiration of their founder. The Rogationist Seminaries are constituted by different houses of formation varying from one another according to the levels of formation. The initial formation of the candidates, while studying philosophical courses, is done in “Fr. Hannibal Formation Center” (Manila) for those coming from Luzon and in “St. Hannibal Formation Center” (Cebu) for those coming from Visayas and Mindanao. The “Fr. Di Francia Center of Studies” caters to all religious students who are studying their theological courses. Meanwhile, a

No. 3 8

Our Places of Origin


“Rogationist Senior Seminary” accommodates all young professionals who would like to discern their vocation to the Rogationist religious and priestly life. Furthermore, the Rogationists in the Philippines, under the guidance of Fr. Carmelo Capizzi, RCJ have established orphanages, health and nutrition centers, schools for the deaf and mute, technical-vocational schools, scholarship programs for poor children, centers for professional management, centers for relief and assistance, parishes and oratories. They have accepted parishes because they believe that it is in the parish that life is centered in the celebration of the Eucharist and the proclamation of the Word of God. It is in the parish that people are incorporated into the Church through baptism, the young receive religious education, and where mission work takes place. Since a parish is necessarily a center of the new evangelization, the Rogationists have accepted parishes where the Rogate is expressed through various forms of pastoral activities for the service of the local Churches. Among the parishes entrusted to the Rogationists are: Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary Parish in Multinational Village, Parañaque City; Our Lady of Pillar Parish in Zaragoza, Bolinao, Pangasinan; and St. Francis Xavier Parish, Parang, Bagac, Bataan.

by Albino T. Vecina, CRSP

  Southern  Leyte  was  formerly  a  sub‐province  of  Leyte  or  a  third  district  of  the  whole  province  of  Leyte.  It  was  consisting  of  the  municipalities  from  Palompon to Hinunangan and the center of these mu‐ nicipalities was the municipality of Maasin. In Maasin  there  have  been  some  offices  established  to  govern   some areas that located in part of southwestern Leyte.  “Historically, the governing municipality was the  depository  of  cedula  tax  collection  from  Palompon  to  Hinunangan.  This  was  administered  by  the  office  of  the  Administrado  de  Hacienda,  equivalent  to  the  pro‐ vincial  treasurer,  a  position  under  the  Secretario  de  Hacienda.  There  was  also  established  in  Maasin  a  Court  of  First  Instance,  then  known  as  the  Promotor  Fiscal, where all minor administrative and other cases  from  Palompon  to  Hinunangan  were  heard  and  dis‐ posed”  (http://www.search.com/reference/southern  Leyte).  During  the  Spanish  colonization  there  was  the  lowest  of  population  of  the  sub‐province  because  of  the  continuing  raids  of  Moro  slaves  which  discour‐ aged growth. But in 19th century the immigrants from  Bohol  and  Cebu  occupied  and  populated  the  area  once again.     

The Rogationist novices with Fr. Cesare (the second from left)

The Birth of the New Province 
  With  the  change  of  sovereign  powers  all  the  of‐ fices in Maasin, excluding the fiscal office, were abol‐ ished  and  transferred  to  Tacloban,  the  capital  of  the  whole province of Leyte. This created a big problem.  There  was  “the  difficulty  in  managing  the  affairs  of  government  in  Tacloban  and  the  language  barrier  between  the  Cebuano  speaking  of  the  south‐ westerners and the Waray of the easterners. The diffi‐ culty  of  managing  the  entire  Island  from  Tacloban  suggested  the  need  to  separate  the  Island  into  two  provinces.” (ibid.) 

No. 3 8



There  were  some  attempts  to  pass  a  law  for  the  division  of  Leyte  into  two  provinces.  Finally,  at  the  sixth  attempt,  Congressman  Nicanor  Yñiguez  intro‐ duced  a division law and opted his own district to be  a province. He abandoned the first bill and presented  House  Bill  No.  1318,  proposing  a  new  province  of  Southern  Leyte.  This  comprised  16  municipalities  from  Maasin  to  Silago,  in  the  main  land  and  in  the  Panaon Island.  The bill turned into a Republic Act 2227, creating  the  province  of  Southern  Leyte.  President  Carlos  P.  Garcia  signed  the  Act  into  a  Law  on  May  22,  1959.  Southern  Leyte  was  inaugurated  as  a  province  on  July 1, 1960 with 16 municipalities making Maasin as  its capital town.  Some  years  later,  after  the  inauguration  of  the  province,  there  were  three  more  municipalities  cre‐ ated.  These  are:  San  Ricardo  from  Pintuyan,  Tomas  Oppus from Malitbog and Limasawa from Padre Bur‐ gos,  which  became  independent  from  their  former  municipalities.  Currently the province is divided into 18 munici‐ palities; namely, Macrohon, Padre Burgos, Limasawa,  Malitbog,  Tomas  Oppus,  Bontoc,  Sogod,  Libagon,  Liloan,  Hinunangan,  St.  Bernard,  San  Juan,  Anaha‐ wan,  San  Francisco,  San  Ricardo,  Pintuyan,  Silago,  Hinundayan; and one city, which is Maasin, the capi‐ tal of the Province. There are also a total of 501 baran‐ gays throughout Southern Leyte.     

Map of Southern Leyte Province. You can easily see  Maasin, the capital, and Limasawa Island, the place of the  first Mass in the Philippines (not in Asia!) 

  The  Province  possesses  four    islands:  Panaon  Is‐ land,  San  Pedro  Island,  San  Pablo  Island,  and  the  most famous island in the Province, Limasawa Island.  The island of Limasawa plays an important role, not  only  in  the  Province,  but  also  in  the  Philippines  his‐ tory. If the land of Judah is blessed because the Mes‐ siah was born in the small town of Bethlehem, so also  the  land  of  Southern  Leyte  is  blessed  because  it  was  also  in  the  small  island  of  Limasawa  that  Christen‐ dom was born.  Historically,  the  great  expedition  headed  by  Fer‐ dinand Magellan of Portugal, landed in Limasawa on  March  28,  1521.  The  first  holy  Mass  was  held  on  March  31,  1521,  officiated  by  Friar  Pedro  de  Val‐

derama,  the  expedition  chaplain.  Raja  Kolambu,  a  leader  of  the  natives  of  the  island  and  his  men  at‐ tended the first Mass together with Magellan and his  men.  During  this  event  the  Christian  propagation  of  the faith was started. Limasawa is believed to be the  first  site  of  Catholic  Mass  and  the  birth  place  of   Christianity in the Philippines. Magellan erected a big  cross  on  this  island  of  Limasawa  as  a  sign  of  the  Christian faith.  The municipal island of Limasawa is always com‐ memorating  yearly  the  historical  coming  of  the  reli‐ gious  and  Spaniards  every  March  31.  There  is  a  cul‐ tural  presentation  of  this  activity  which  is  called  Sinugdan,  which  literally  means  “the  beginning.”  It  connotes  the  beginning  of  the  first  Mass  and  the  Christian faith of the country. 

No. 3 8 Types of Climate 



The Province has two types of climate, type II and  type  IV.  Type  II  is  characterized  by  the  absence  of  a  dry  season  with  a  very  pronounced  maximum  rain  period occurring in the months of November to Janu‐ ary. This type prevails in the eastern half of the prov‐ ince. Type IV has a rainfall that is more or less evenly  distributed throughout the year. This type prevails in  the western part of the province. 

Sur  and  Surigao  del  Sur.  The  fibers  from  Leyte  and  Southern  Leyte  are  recognized  as  having  the  best  quality. Abaca and coconut are important to  the live‐ lihood of the province. 


Types of Soil 

The  province  has  numerous  types  of  soil,  but  there is a special type of clay soil that can be found in  Maasin,  Guimbalaon,  Himay‐angan,  Bolinao,  Quin‐ gua and Malitbog. The clay in these areas is found to  be a good raw material for ceramics and pottery. 

Southern  Leyte  is  located  in  the  Eastern  Visayas  region.  It  occupies  one  fourth  of  the  island  of  Leyte;  its total land area is 1,734.8 square kilometers. It has a  total population of 558,804 and 90% of the population  is  Catholic.  The  language  spoken  by  the  Southern  Leyteños are Cebuano and Boholano; but, they also use  some vernacular, like Waray and Tagalog, as their sec‐ ond language. They can also understand foreign lan‐ guages, such as English and Spanish. 

Barnabites from Southern Leyte 


Southern  Leyte  has  a  major  product  from  abaca  and  coconut  plantations.  The  Southern  Leyteños  are  involved in coconut planting which is widely distrib‐ uted  industry,  especially  in  the  mountainous  and    plain  areas.  They  also  plant  abaca.  The  province  is  considered as  one  of  the major  producers  of  abaca fi‐ ber in the country. Other  parts of the Philippines that  produce  abaca  fiber  are:  Catanduanes,  Leyte,  Davao  Oriental,  Nothern  Samar,  Sorsogon,  Sulu,  Davao  del 

Since  the  beginning  Southern  Leyte  was  one  of  the places where the Barnabites went in search of vo‐ cations.  There  is  already  a  Barnabite  priest  hailing  from  this  province:  Fr.  Jecker  Luego,  from  St.  Ber‐ nard.  Two  are  the  Southern  Leyteños  temporarily  professed:  Bro.  Joseph  Bernales  and  Bro.  Albino  Vecina, both from Tomas Oppus. At least five are the  novices  native  of  the  province:  Alfredo  Dolog,  from  Bontoc; Alvin Libay, from San Ricardo; Rey Carmelo  Ausejo,  from  Malitbog;  Cunan  Adaro,  from  Hinun‐ dayan; Gerard Sala, from Maasin. 

No. 3 8

Places of Our Apostolate


by Rasauro A. Valmores, CRSP
Throughout the 475 years of Barnabite history, our priests, brothers, and seminarians have been always involved in apostolic activity. Five years ago the Saint Paul Scholasticate was established in Tagaytay City, Cavite. During these years the Barnabite scholastics have continued their apostolic tradition; they were engaged in various pastoral endeavors. Ministerial activity has taken them to the classrooms, among the poor, in the chapels and parish churches, and working with other religious congregations. The chapel of Our Lady of Candelaria, located at Rodeo Hills Subdivision in Alfonso, Cavite, has been one of the recipients of the Barnabites’ apostolic ministry. Our Lady of Candelaria is a private chapel owned by Mrs. Diosdora Gonzalez, from Jaro, Iloilo. At first, the place where the chapel now lies was originally the site where the family erected their small private prayer room; but, since the Holy Spirit moves in many ways, the owner then decided to convert their prayer room into a chapel that could somehow also be used by their neighbors for their spiritual enrichment. It was on December 8, 1990 that Mrs. Gonzalez’ pious plan was materialized; the small private prayer room was then transformed into a lovely chapel. In the outset of its function as a chapel, Mrs. Gonzalez coordinated with the parish priest of Alfonso (on whom the place then depended), Rev. Fr. Redentor Corpuz, for the regular Sunday Mass. But since Fr. Corpuz at that time had no assistant parish priest, he gave Mrs. Gonzalez permission to look for some available priest who could celebrate the Mass. Mrs. Gonzalez spent seven persevering years of searching and fetching for an available priest for the Sunday’s Eucharistic celebration. It was not long before Mrs. Gonzalez became sick and was brought to her eternal home with her patroness. Thereafter, the daughter of the late Mrs. Gonzalez, Mrs. Perla Gonzalez-Parong, continued what her mother had planted at Rodeo Hills Subdivision. It was really God’s blessing that the new Saint Paul Scholasticate in Tagaytay was looking for an area in which they could render their apostolic service as part of the Congregation’s formation program for the scholastics. Rev. Fr. Lino de Castro, the pastor of the newly erected quasi-parish of Kaytitingga referred Rev. Fr. Giovanni Scalese, CRSP, Superior of the Barnabites in Tagaytay, to Our Lady of Candelaria chapel as their new apostolate area. Shortly after its first year of apostolic work at Our Lady of Candelaria chapel, Fr. Scalese submitted a special request for a blessing to the chapel from Pope John Paul II during his visit to Rome in 2004. Since its foundation, Our Lady of Candelaria chapel serves the Rodeo Hills’ community in their spiritual journey. The chapel itself plays a vital role

No. 3 8

Christmas Meditation


in the spiritual formation of the faithful. It also serves other residents from the neighboring subdivisions that frequent the chapel for the Sunday’s Eucharistic celebration. For eighteen years of pious service to the faithful of Rodeo Hills Subdivision, Mrs. Perla Gonzalez-Parong continued the noble and pious undertakings of her late mother. Mrs. Parong did not only help the community in regard to their spiritual growth, but she also supported the youth in their material needs; such as, school supplies, scholarships to some regular altar boys, and choir members. Every year at Christmas, the Gonzalez family, together with some kind hearted churchgoers, gives bundles of joy to the children as tokens for their active participation in the chapel’s activities since its foundation. By God’s providence, the ever faithful undertakings and aspirations of the family who founded Our Lady of Candelaria chapel will continue to be in the service of the Church, and be in selfless service to the faithful of Rodeo Hills Subdivision and its neighboring residents in spite of trials and challenges of time. Nevertheless, the apostolic ministry at Our Lady of Candelaria chapel goes beyond liturgy. The Barnabite scholastics interact with the congregation, especially the young people, who would be the chapel’s next generation of faithful and active members. It is through that interaction by which the Barnabite scholastics witness to the universal call of a commitment to life as a Christian.

by Jose Nazareno S. Gabato, CRSP
An  event  that  made  me  realize  the  real  mean‐ ing of Christmas!  Last  December  6,  2008  I  found  five  hundred  pesos  (₱500)  while  we  were  buying  groceries  at  Olivares supermarket. I wondered why those peo‐ ple  who  were  ahead  of  me  in  paying  for  their  goods  at  the  counter  had  not  noticed  the  money.  This  led  me  to  conclude  that  the  money  was  not  intended for them but for me: “God intends to give  me that money”. It was God’s Christmas gift to me.  This  is  how  God  answered  my  prayer  since  I  was  planning to buy second hand shoes worth six hun‐ dred pesos. All I needed was to add a hundred pe‐ sos  and  I  could  have  a  “new  pair”  of  second  hand  shoes this Christmas.  The  following  day  (Sunday),  while  I  was  ar‐ ranging the seats for the choir, Ate Tes, one of the  choir members, told me that Kuya June would not  be able to come since his wife was brought to the  hospital  due  to  a  serious  sickness.  Kuya  June,  by  the way, is my partner in playing the guitar during  Sunday’s liturgy. He is a blind man. I knew that he  badly needed some financial help to buy medicines  for his beloved wife who was in the ICU (Intensive  Care Unit) during that time. I remembered the 500  pesos  I  had  found.  I  was  thinking  of  giving  it  to  him. However my good intention was clobbered by  my  self‐centered  desire.  I  was  thinking  that  the  money was given to me by God not for my needing  friend  and  companion  but  for  my  new  pair  of  shoes.  Many  days  had  passed  when  I  heard  that  Kuya  June  was  in  extreme  need  of  financial  assis‐ tance  to  buy  medicines  for  his  beloved  wife,  who  was diagnosed with a cancer, and for the hospital  bill  that  continued  to  balloon  day  after  day.  But  this news did not soften  my adamant heart. I was  so  insensitive  and  indifferent  to  the  need  of  my  dear blind friend; instead, I was driven by my self‐ centered  interest  to  save  the  money  for  my  per‐ sonal purpose. To tell you frankly, I do not need a  new  pair  of  shoes;  I  already  have  five  pairs.  This  shows  how  selfish  I  am.  This  made  me  wonder  why I allowed my egoistic desire shutter my good  desire  to  help  my  blind  friend  and  companion  in 

No. 8



need. I was so indifferent that I had chosen a pair  of Ukay­Ukay shoes rather than the value of life to  the dearest wife of my dear friend.  Days  passed  by  and  I  received  a  text  message  from  Ate  Tes  telling  me  that  Kuya  June’s  wife  had  passed  away.  She  asked  me  to  pray  for  her  soul  and  for  Kuya  June  who  needed  comfort  and  strength because of the death of his beloved wife. I  went to the chapel to pray. After a minute of pray‐ ing I found one word: crying. I felt pity, not for Ate  Gina, who had been suffering and struggling in her  last breath due to the cancer. I neither felt pity for  Kuya  June,  who  had  lost  his  dearest  wife  who  taught  him  how  to  love  and  showed  him  the  real  meaning  of  love  in  spite  of  being  sight  impaired.  Truly love is not coming from the eye but from the  heart:  “What  is  essential  is  invisible  to  the  eye” (The Little Prince). Anyway, I did not feel pity  because of the situation of the two. Yes, they had a  pitiful  situation;  but  there’s  still  a  worse  pitiful  situation.  My  situation!  Yes,  my  situation.  At  that  moment  I  really  felt  pity  for  myself.  I  felt  pity  be‐ cause of being greedy. I feel pity of myself because  of being indifferent. I feel pity of myself because of  being an egoist. These instincts are not of humans  but  of  animals.  These  vices  stripped  me  from  my  dignity  of  being  human.  These  vices  stripped  me  from my dignity of being a son of God. How come  was I not able to share the money with my friend  who  was  in  great  need?  Money  which  was  not  a  fruit  of  my  labor;  it  was  a  gift  from  God  and  God  intended  me  to  share  that  gift  with  my  friend,  which I did not do because of my egotistical inter‐ est.  This event made me realize the real meaning of  Christmas.  How  do  I  celebrate  Christmas?  Do  I  celebrate  Christmas  by  just  having  a  new  pair  of  shoes?  If  I  celebrate  Christmas  with  just  a  pair  of  shoes,  that  would  be  the  poorest  Christmas  cele‐ bration  ever!  Having  a  new  pair  of  shoes,  this  Christmas would not make any sense to my life, to  my  vocation,  to  the  relationship  with  my  friends  and to my relationship with God. Christmas is not  about  having  a  new  pair  of  shoes,  shirts,  cell‐ phones,  i‐pods,  computer,  etc.  Christmas  is  not  about  having  something  that  will  not  last!  Christ‐ mas is not about receiving and buying some things.  On  the  contrary,  Christmas  is  about  loving  and  sharing!  Christmas  is  a  moment  of  reflection  to  remind  us  of  our  real  purpose:  to  love  and  to 

share.  A  celebration  which  reminds  us  that  Christ  dwelt  among  us  to  show  us  His  love,  to  embrace  His  love  and  to  share  His  love  to  our  fellow  hu‐ mans.  It  is  a  celebration  that  reminds  us  that  Christ lived among us to share His love. Christmas  is a celebration of receiving Christ Jesus’ love  and  sharing this love to our brothers and sisters, espe‐ cially  those  in  need:  the  poor,  the  outcasts,  those  who are persecuted, the marginalized, widows and  orphans,  and  those  victims  of  injustices.  God  calls  us to be the agents of His LOVE to the world. Bor‐ rowing  the  words  of  Mother  Teresa  of  Calcutta,  a  witness  of  God’s  LOVE  to  the  poor  and  the  out‐ casts, who wrote to her friend: “God is in love with  us and keeps giving Himself to the world through  you, through me... May you continue to be the sun‐ shine  of  His  Love  to  your  people  and  thus  make  your life something beautiful to God.”  After some prayerful moments in the chapel, I  decided  to  give  the  money  to  Kuya  June.  I  also  asked  Fr.  John  for  a  little  financial  support,  which  he  willingly  gave.  Now  you  may  ask  what  hap‐ pened to the shoes I longed to buy? Well I am not  able to buy them. But does it mean that my Christ‐ mas will not be complete and would not be joyful  since  I  am  not  able  to  acquire  it?  Definitely  NOT!  Instead  I  have  never  been  so  happy  like  after  handing  the  money  to  Kuya  June.  I  know  that  the  amount  was  just  a  little  to  pay  the  hospital  bill.  What  matters  most  is  that  we  were  able  to  help  our friend in a very little way and we did it whole‐ heartedly.  At  that  moment  I  came  to  realize  that  the  real  purpose  of  that  money  I  had  found  was  not  to  buy  a  pair  of  shoes  for  me  but  to  share  it  with my dear blind friend who really needed assis‐ tance!  I  know  that  God  allowed  me  to  experience  this  event  so  that  I  may  realize  the  true  Spirit  of  CHRISTmas!  What  about  you?  How are you going to  celebrate  your  Christmas?  Are  you  going  to  celebrate  Christmas  with  the  list  of  things  you  want  to  acquire?  Or  are you going to cele‐ brate  it  by  allowing  Jesus  to  be  born  again in your life? 

No. 3 8

From our Correspondents in Italy


Last July three of our scholastics—Clyd Autentico, Jonathan Ramoso and Thomas Tabada—left for Italy to undergo their period of preparation for solemn profession. On August Isfridus Syukur joined them. Here are their first impressions.

We arrived here in Italy on July 17, 2008. We stayed in San Felice a Cancello, Caserta for almost four months, from July 22 until October 31. On November 3 we went back to Rome. On the following day we started attending an Italian class at Società Dante Alighieri up to November 28. The program of the preparation for our solemn profession began on December 6 and it will last until March. Well, talking about my experience here in Italy, in general it is nice. We visited many places here in Rome and in Naples, which are quite beautiful and interesting, like the four major basilicas and other churches, Piazza Venezia, Piazza Navona, Pantheon, Colosseo, etc. We visited also Caserta Vecchia, Naples, Pietrelcina, Villa Ricca (the place where Venerable Padre Vittorio De Marino was born). This coming December 26 to 28 we will have a trip to Monte Cassino and some places around Naples with Fr. Francisco Silva, our Padre Maestro, and Fr. Michael Sandalo. The only thing that I do not really like here in Italy is the cold weather; but for the rest, there is no problem.

I have been staying in Italy for five months now and I have some experiences that somehow beautify my life. Better, they make me wonder and even proud of having discovered and lived in another reality, which I had never had before. For instance, when I was born, my parents, teachers, friends, used to tell me that the Holy Father, who is the head of the Catholic Church, lives in Rome, at the Vatican. I used to see Saint Peter’s Basilica via TV, and that was good enough. A reality, which I knew through TV and religion classes, now is no longer distant a mile

away from me, but it’s just a centimetre away from where I stay. In fact, the first place I visited here in Rome was Saint Peter’s. Feelings, excitement, and joy within me were indescribable at the moment I set my foot on its ground. There were no other words except wow… beautiful... wow... wonderful... while my heart kept on saying, “Thank you, Lord, for bringing me here, for letting me know and experience this.” It was unbelievable at first, but now it becomes unforgettable. I also have an experience of having been in other basilicas and churches in Rome. Not only churches, even the tombs of first Christians, popes and martyrs, whom I had learned to know through a subject called “History of the Church.” Besides, so far I have already visited the birthplace of our contemporary saint Padre Pio. Not to mention the places of our venerable Fathers. For instance, the birthplace of Venerable Francesco M. Castelli in Sant’Anastasia, whose tomb is in Santa Maria di Caravaggio, Naples. And then the birthplace of Venerable Vittorio De Marino in Villaricca and his tomb in San Felice a Cancello, Caserta. My experience of staying in San Felice was wonderful. There I learned to mingle with people from young to old. I enjoyed their company and presence both in the liturgical celebrations everyday and in the soccer game in the soccer field. I am touched by their dedication and service to the Church especially in making our Parish of San Giovanni Evangelista a place of prayer, a place where everybody lives like

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brothers and sisters. It is always a joyful celebration when it comes to Sunday Masses. To be in a new environment may be very fearful at first, but it is always an exciting and unforgettable experience, because I learn new experiences which add colour to my life. I learn a new language, new ways of life, food, and so on. These new experiences of another reality increase my knowledge of the world and they widen my view of life. Indeed, having been to different historical and cultural places makes my life even more beautiful and meaningful. To experience another reality, culture, and mentality of different people is a greatest treasure and experience that can lead one to appreciate how omnipotent God is and how vast and rich the world we live in. At present, we are doing the three-month period of preparation for solemn profession. In fact, we have been doing it for two weeks now. We started last 6th of December up to February 2009. And according to the decision taken by the General Council, for the months of December and January we will be doing it in Rome with the Fathers here. Instead for the month of February we will go to Cremona under Fr. Aldo Rizzi’s guidance. Aside from the “religious classes” with the Fathers, we also have an Italian class with Professoressa Daniela every Tuesday, Thursday and Friday afternoon. And for Christmas vacation (from the December 25 up to 28) we will visit some places in Campania. Montecassino is part of the agenda.

Isfridus, Clyd, Jonathan and Thomas in front of the Basilica of St. Cecilia

The period of time that I am spending for my formation in Italy is indeed fruitful, or rather, it adds “flavour” to the person who I am. I understand more, as a religious belonging to the Order of the Barnabites, the heritage of the founder, St. Anthony M. Zaccaria. As they say, for one to know a particular community, he must necessarily be part of that community; and not only that, but also, to be fully immersed into that reality: cultural background, mindset, individual behaviour and language. Hence, the fact that I am here in Italy, the place of origin of the founder, is a great opportunity of learning, because it deepens my understanding and the knowledge of the Congregation as well. The daily interaction with the people, especially the older Barnabite priests who transmit the tradition from generation to generation, is a precious gift for the young members. To mention one, Fr. Giuseppe Cagni, who once a week gives us a class about the life of the founder and the history of the Congregation. Secondly, the three-month period of formation spent in San Felice, Caserta was, for me, a foretaste of missionary life. Fortunately, there were four Italian candidates along with us, together with four Fathers. Along with the formation and daily encounter in life, it opened me up to be culturally conscious of the diverse mindsets, views, attitudes and behaviours of each person. Problems occurred, but the spirit of community prevailed. Hence, our every Tuesday encounter together with the youth in San Felice headed by Fr. Giovanni Nitti was a memorable experience. We miss very much the welcoming and friendly attitude of the youth we encountered there. We played calcio (= soccer) sometimes in the Oratory, even at night. Finally, this year is a way of discovering/ uncovering oneself. At the beginning, I thought that it was a time to do nothing, because practically there was no preoccupation about academic subjects, but it is a time to do and discover more. In fact, the personal capacity and ability is surfaced. But more than this, it is a precious time for discerning oneself in relation with God and others. Merry Christmas and Heppy New Year! Buon Natale a tutti! Mga kapatid ni Kristo, salubungin natin ng masaya ang araw ng Pasko!

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The Pauline Year
On the occasion of the 2000th anniversary of St. Paul’s birth, Pope Benedict XVI has proclaimed a special “Jubilee Year” in honor of the Apostle to the Gentiles. It is being celebrated world-wide, not just in Rome. All institutions that are associated with St. Paul, especially by name, are called upon to develop initiatives for this celebrative year. The Clerics Regular of St. Paul of the Saint Paul Scholasticate are joining the celebration by creating their own programs and partaking in those of others. We began the Jubilee Year at its commencement, June 28, 2008 (the vigil of the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul) with a solemn celebration of the Office of Reading presided by Rev. Giovanni M. Scalese, CRSP. On the actual feast day, the priests of the community were strongly encouraged to preach on St. Paul for the various Masses at which they celebrated. The Saint Paul Scholasticate community offers to the various religious congregations of Tagaytay a series of monthly lectures (“Lectura Pauli”). These lectures are aimed to deepen a knowledge of Pauline doctrine and Pauline spirituality from his scriptural letters. They are being held in the Zaccaria Hall of the Scholasticate on the last Wednesday of the month. From 5:00 p.m. till 7:00 p.m. Rev. Giovanni M. Scalese, CRSP gives an academic lecture, providing outline and maps, on one or more of the Pauline letters. July began the series with an introduction to Paul through a presentation on his life. August was open to the two letters to the Thessalonians. In September the Galatian letter was presented followed by that to the Philippians in October. The last Wednesday of November was the occasion of having the first letter to the Corinthians as the topic. The remainder of the year (January-May) the lectures will be on: 2nd Corinthians, Romans, Colossians and Philemon, Ephesians, and the Pastoral Letters respectively. The number in attendance on these Wednesdays have ranged between thirty to over one hundred. In the morning hours of October 25 of this year, our scholastics participated in the “Pauline Walk” sponsored by the Pauline Fathers (Society of St. Paul). The gathering took place at the Rogationist College in Silang with participants from the laity, clergy, and numerous religious congregations within the Imus diocese. During the three hour walk the marchers sang hymns, prayed the rosary, and/or read the Pauline letters. The morning concluded at the St. Paul Seminary in Silang with a rousing talk by the Pauline Provincial. All were then given a snack of rice and chicken for the return trip home. From October 27 through October 30 the Zaccarian Family (Barnabite priests, scholastics, and novices; the Angelic Sisters in Marikina; three representatives from the Laity of St. Paul) celebrated the Jubilee Year with a “Pauline Days’

The participants in the “Pauline Days”

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Retreat.” The retreat master was Rev. Giovanni M. Scalese, CRSP who gave two daily lectures each day of the retreat. The first day concentrated on “St. Paul’s Calls.” This concerned itself with Paul’s encounter with Christ on the way to Damascus as well as his call within his universal Christian calling through the intervention of Barnabas. The topic for October 28 was on the “Treasure of Paul.” These talks dealt with the knowledge of Christ and the love of Christ. (This author found these talks most moving and thought provoking.) “Paul’s Charism” was presented on the third day of the retreat and centered on the grace that was given to Paul as gift. After lunch some of the Angelic Sisters had to return to Marikina due to ministerial commitments. The other retreatants were present for the early evening “Lectura Pauli.” The last day of the retreat was based upon “Paul’s Gospel” of the justification through faith working through love. Each day the collective Zaccarian family assembled for meditation, Mass, and four different times for prayer from the Liturgy of the Hours. During these days we also had the opportunity to celebrate together the tenth anniversary of the sacerdotal ordination of Rev. Jesus M. Allado, the first Filipino Barnabite. The one comment that was given witness was the close family atmosphere among the three groups gathered together. There was a oneness exhibited by their interaction. Rev. Michael M. Mancusi, CRSP authored a booklet of a “Daily Walk with St. Paul” for the Jubilee Year. For each day of the year there is a quote from St. Paul’s letters as a source of meditation. This booklet is being used by the local religious congregations as well as Barnabite and Angelic houses world-wide and numerous parishes in North America. So far our Pauline celebrations have been encouraging, as if as an exhortation from the Apostle himself. (Michael F. Mancusi, CRSP)

5th of July
Life is to be lived with a joyful heart. As we go on in experiencing life with its “ups” and “downs,” sometimes we come to reflect the unforgotten events that came across our lives. When we recall them, there are some feelings which flower from those events. It is really magic: an unforgotten event! How about the 5th of July? Is it an unforgotten day? Certainly, it is! This day, we come to remember an event that has never been forgotten throughout the centuries. It is an event, an unforgotten event, where the Zaccarian Family— Clerics Regular of St. Paul, Angelic Sisters of St. Paul and Laity of St. Paul—celebrates the feast in honor of its Founder, St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria. This year, we celebrated this unforgotten event in our Chapel of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Tagaytay. The main celebrant was our Philippine Delegate and Rector of Saint Paul Scholasticate in Tagaytay, Rev. Fr. Giovanni M. Scalese, CRSP. Concelebrating were Fr. Jecker M. Luego, CRSP, Fr. Michael M. Mancusi, CRSP, Fr. Cirilo M. Coniendo, CRSP, and other priests from different congregations. There were also some women religious congregations and the people in our area who came to join us as we thanked God for this wondrous event, an unforgotten event.

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During the Mass, in his homily, Fr. Scalese emphasized the meaning of this unforgotten event by saying that our Founder, St. Anthony Mary was a follower of St. Paul and, urged by the love of God, vigorously preached the Mystery of the Cross of Christ Jesus and the Eucharist. We must nail ourselves to the Holy Cross of Christ Jesus. We must always come to the Eucharistic table of the Lord to receive Him for the spiritual nourishment of our souls and worship Him in adoration. And as usual celebration, after the Mass (the spiritual table), we went to the dinner table as we shared our blessings with those people who participated. It was really an unforgotten event as we thanked God and shared the blessings that God has given us. God bless! (Yohanes B. Koten, CRSP)

With the theme “Fellowship and Mission with St. Paul in the Service of the Divine Word” last August 25 & 28, 2008 we had a two-day celebration of “DWSTSA Days” held at the Divine Word Seminary (DWSTSA stands for “Divine Word School of Theology Students Association”). The said activity was aimed to promote and cultivate the spirit of camaraderie among the students and professors and to deepen three important values: fellowship, mission and service in line with the Year of St. Paul. The first day was formally opened with a Mass presided by Rev. Fr. Michael Mancusi, CRSP. It was followed by the parade which started from the school’s entrance going towards the gym. It was animated by the different cheers and roars of the students and the people living outside the school who attended and witnessed the event. Right after the clatters and yells, the lighting of the torch was completed by the representative of first year, Sem. Miguel Alfonso Palma, a San Pablo Seminarian. The oath of sportsmanship was given by

Robert John Comia, OSJ, DWSTSA President. A short message from the Dean came next. In his message, he emphatically mentioned the importance of establishing a good relationship among the seminarians and among the professors as well. The cheering competition started at 10am11am. This was highlighted by the series of ground demonstrations and dances by the students. As a matter of fact, the gym was filled with audience, some friends of the seminarians, members of their families and benefactors. In the midst of the competition, the audience burst into laughter when a Barnabite seminarian, Jose Nazareno Gabato, a fourth year student, showed us his exotic performance by imitating the figure of a mermaid. His costume somehow fascinated the judges and that made them declared to be the winner. At 11:30am we had the indoor games which included: table tennis, game of the general, scrabble, chess and dama (= “checkers”). These were done on the stage of the gym while some players were busy practicing for their games. At 12noon, we took our lunch together with the professors. We had a variety of food since every congregation was assigned to bring some. It was in that moment that we were able to unite ourselves despite diversity, regardless of congregations and dioceses. At exactly 1pm, we started the elimination round of the game, winner against winner and loser against loser. On the second day, August 28, 2008 at 8am, we had the academic festival. This activity included: quiz bee and an extemporaneous speech. For quiz bee it was Den Mark Malabuyok and Serio Kabamalan, third year students, who were pronounced as the winners and for the extemporaneous speech it was Julious, a first year student, who was pronounced as the winner. He was able to beat the other years by quoting biblical passages related to the topic. Then at 9am we started the championship games until 4pm in the afternoon. The fellowship night followed at

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6:30pm. During this moment the seminarians as well as the professors gathered together in the table and shared about the particular topic given and meal followed afterwards. Various class presentations followed, it was highlighted by the display of talents of the students. Right after the presentations, we had the awarding of the winners. The overall champion was the first year. The second place went to the third year and the third was the second year. The two-day activity was indeed a successful and memorable event because it was not the same as the usual event in the past. It was celebrated in the spirit of St. Paul. As a matter of fact, we divided ourselves for the sharing according to the letters of St. Paul. We were given a particular topic about him and we tried to expound and apply it to our life. The celebration was successfully ended at 11pm. (Pat M. Golis, CRSP)

Fatima Celebrations
The apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary at Fatima on May 13–October 13, 1917 made a great impact to the whole Christendom. Devotion to the Virgin under the title of Our Lady of Fatima spread throughout the world. Homes have images and statues of the Virgin; in religious houses, residential houses and even in public offices (in the Philippines) the image or statue of the Blessed Virgin under this title is devoutly enshrined. The block rosary devotion and the dawn rosary devotion use the image or statue of the Virgin of Fatima. Our Congregation, the Barnabites are among those who are devoted to the Virgin Mary of Fatima. In fact there is a big shrine to Our Lady of Fatima in Lewiston, New York. Here in the Philippines we are hoping to have one. There should be no confusion with the official title of the Virgin venerated by the Congregation under the title “Mother of Divine Providence.”

Rev. Fr. Giovanni Ma. Scalese, CRSP started the devotion to Our Lady of Fatima as soon as the Saint Paul Scholasticate in Tagaytay was inaugurated. A “thirteenth of the month” devotion was started, opening every 13th of May and culminating every 13th of October. This year the devotion was opened with a procession as reported in the previous issue. Each month the faithful came to pray the Holy Rosary in the small open outdoor chapel dedicated to the Virgin Mary of Fatima. It is very inspiring to see people coming late at night (8:00pm) to participate in the activity, most especially because the children outnumber the adults. Aside from the monthly rosary, a weekly rosary with the faithful is also going on every Sunday at three-thirty in the afternoon. This year the monthly devotion culminated with the celebration of the Holy Eucharist, a short procession with Caracol (a devotional dance to the Virgin Mary), and offering of flowers. The Barnabite Altar Servers were also installed after

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The Caracol dancers

the Homily (see related news article). The event was headed by Fr. Giovanni and attended by the different neighboring communities, such as the Hospitalers Sisters of Mercy, the Merciful Sisters, FICC (Congregation of the Daughters of the Immaculate Conception of Charity), and all the devotees around Barangay San Jose. After the Eucharistic Celebration, the procession from the Chapel of the Sacred Heart going to the Fatima Shrine followed. It was led by the New Altar Servers, followed by the Caracol dancers, the faithful, and finally the statue of Our Lady of Fatima accompanied by the priests and brothers. The statue was greeted with a shower of roses from the flower girls awaiting the arrival of the Virgin Mary. The statue was enthroned on the pedestal designed for that celebration. The singing of the Fatima Ave echoed in the air and the act of consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary was performed by Fr. Giovanni. The offering of flowers came next while the Caracol dancers swayed in the background to the tune of Philippine folkdances. The people then offered their flowers one by one in front of the statue of the Virgin. One could see the devotion of the people in the reverential actions and gestures they made while offering flowers. After the offering of flowers the final blessing was given to all present.

A simple fellowship followed in the Sala Zaccaria, sharing the meal the community prepared for everyone. The fellowship was not so much on the food that was shared but on the stories and laughter as expressions of being happy as one family. The devotion was most awaited and is already a part of the lives of some devotees. In fact last November a group of devotees came over thinking that the monthly Rosary was still going on. The devotion is to mark the six apparitions of the Virgin Mary in Cova da Iria, Portugal. It is not the only reason why we celebrate the monthly devotion and the weekly devotion aside from the daily rosary each one should pray; it is also in keeping with the words of the Virgin Mary asking the people to pray the rosary always and to make sacrifices. The apparition was highlighted with the miracle of the sun that emanated different colors. This miracle now continues to happen in each individual as the Virgin continues to color the life of her children on earth as she brings all of us to the feet of Her Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Mabuhay! Mahal ka naming Inang Maria (“Long live! We love you Mother Mary”). (Joseph M. Bernales, CRSP)

“Mga Linkod ng Dambana”
Last October 13, 2008, concurrently with the commemoration of the last apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Fatima, ten young boys were installed as Linkod ng Dambana (= “altar servers”), in the Scholasticate Chapel of the Barnabites of Tagaytay, Philippines. The event was attended by their parents and relatives as well as religious congregations and the lay faithful in our neighboring area. The solemn celebration was presided by the Reverend Father Giovanni Ma. Scalese, CRSP, the Superior of the Saint Paul Scholasticate in Tagaytay and Delegate Superior for the Philippines.

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The thought of forming a group of Altar Servers was conceived because of the need of Altar Servers in one of our apostolate areas, the Barangay Chapel of San Jose. One boy was recruited and another more volunteered, until they reached fifteen applicants. Five of them were not able to make it to the investiture for different valid reasons. The boys faithfully attended the weekly seminar and training every weekend. Bro. Albino Ma. Vecina, CRSP, took care of the catechism class and Bro. Joseph Ma. Bernales, CRSP took care of the seminar. The training and seminar started from the last week of June and culminated on the day of their investiture. Aside from having altar servers for the Barnabite Chapel and the San Jose Chapel, one of our purposes is to set these young boys away from the exposure of bad influence. Both the Barnabite Community and the parents of these boys shared the hope of keeping these boys from becoming juvenile delinquent in the society. Many concerns arose, like the need for tunics and for personal things these boys would use. Mrs. Rosario Quilao, “Tita Rose” as we fondly call her, despite her poverty promised to help us by asking her friends to sponsor the tunics. Another blessing was the help of the Merciful Sisters in sewing the tunics for free. The Servers, their parents and the Barnabite Community are truly

thankful for the generosity of our benefactors through Tita Rose. Today the Barnabite Altar Servers are actively serving for the two chapels mentioned. They serve on Sundays and are scheduled to serve for the Simbang Gabi (nine days of Masses before Christmas, unique to the Philippines) in preparation for the Christmas Season. This Yuletide the Servers will have their Christmas Caroling in order to raise funds for their studies and for the things needed in their service to the church. Those who are able to make it through the investiture are Felipe Jr., Artemio Jr., Jose Ruel Jr., Art Lawrence, Joel, Carlo, Jeffrey, Roderick, Effren, and Marco. At present there are more young boys who express their desire of serving at the Altar of the Lord by joining the Barnabite Altar Servers. They have also their blog. You can visit it at the following address: http:// www.lingkodbarnabitetagaytay.blogspot.com (Joseph M. Bernales, CRSP)

Parish Celebrations
The Saint Paul Scholasticate of the Barnabite Fathers resides in the territory of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Tagaytay City. The parish has been served from its inception by the Capuchin Franciscans and remains so to this date. The Tagaytay Barnabite community and the Capuchins have had a good relationship throughout our presence here in the parish. On September 17, 2008 the new parish team of Fr. Peter Ronald S. Eugenio, OFMCap. and Fr. Royce Andres Quintillan, OFMCap. were installed as parish priest (pastor) and his associate respectively by Most Rev. Luis Antonio Tagle, Bishop of Imus and the presider for the Mass of Installation. The event began with a procession from the Franciscan convent with the Filipino Caracol dancers followed by the various ministries and

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groups of the parish. Behind them were members of the numerous religious congregations that have houses within the parish boundaries. The last were the Franciscans with the two new priests. They were met at the entrance of the church by Bishop Tagle. The Caracol escorted the over twenty priests who concelebrated the Mass. Among them were the four Barnabite priests. The parish concluded the early evening liturgical celebration with the church bells peeling and fireworks aglow. A small reception of traditional Filipino dishes was held on the parish grounds following the liturgical celebration. The patroness of the Diocese of Imus is the Blessed Virgin Mary under the title of Nuestra Señora del Pilar. The feast and tradition of Our Lady of Pillar was brought to the Philippines by the Spaniards. The pilgrim statue of the Virgin travelled throughout the diocese from parish to parish. The pilgrim statue arrived at the parish church of Our Lady of Lourdes from the parish church of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Sungay (one of the Barangays of Tagaytay). The statue remained in the parish for six days of prayer in homage to the Blessed Virgin. On the evening of October 20, 2008 the full Tagaytay Barnabite community joined with different lay groups and other religious communities for prayer and hymns. The 35 minute prayer service was led by an automated power point presentation as well as one from the parish to oversee the evening service. After its six day visitation to the Tagaytay parish, the pilgrim statue moved on to St. Mary Magdalene in Amadeo. This past November 23 the Universal Church celebrated the feast of Christ the King. The feast closes the liturgical year. Here in the Philippines it is a tradition of many parishes to hold special celebrations in honor of Jesus as our King. Our Lady of Lourdes Parish also partook in such activity. At 2:00 p.m. the Tagaytay Barnabite community participated in a Holy Hour before their Eucharistic Lord with other members of the par-

ish, lay and religious. The Barnabite Superior General, Rev. Giovanni M. Villa, CRSP (who had just arrived for a visit to the Philippine Delegation), also participated in these spiritual exercises. The Holy Hour of adoration extended into a liturgical celebration of Benediction presided by the parish priest. As an expression and witness of their faith, the congregation processed to Maharlika, then on to the Rotunda and returning to the parish. The two-hour procession in the blazing sun was led by the Caracol dancers, followed by the Blessed Sacrament and the image of Christ the King. Walking in line in support of their Lord and King were the parish organizations, laity, and members of the religious congregations. Upon returning to the parish church, the community concluded the day’s activities with the Sunday Eucharistic Celebration. Following the Mass a small snack was enjoyed by all. In its short five years of presence in Tagaytay, the Saint Paul Scholasticate has enjoyed good collaboration with the parish of Our Lady of Lourdes in serving God’s people. We pray and look forward to continue such under the pastorship of Fr. Peter. (Michael F. Mancusi, CRSP)

Superiors’ Visits & Purchase of Land
This year we can consider ourselves lucky, because in few months’ time we received the visit of an Assistant General, of the Superior General and of the Treasurer General. These visits were aimed principally at verifying the possibility of purchasing a piece of land here in Tagaytay, but they were also an opportunity for our Superiors to know better our reality and for us to enjoy their presence. It is common knowledge that the Congregation, after twenty years since its arrival in the Philippines, with a dozen Filipino priests and many vocations on the way, is planning its future in this country. Up to now, besides the formation

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houses, we have just a parish in San Mateo, Rizal. Needless to say that this is not enough to satisfy our pastoral aspirations. Wherefore, as early as some years ago, we decided to open a school (one of the main apostolic activities of the Barnabites along the centuries). For this reason, up to now all the newly ordained priest have been continuing their academic studies, in order to get the degrees required to teach and to manage a school. Last year, after a first visit of the Assistant General Fr. Franco Ciccimarra, the Superiors chose Tagaytay as the place of the new school. Now it was the moment to implement this decision. That is why from August 4 to 25 Fr. Ciccimarra came again to the Philippines, spending several days in Tagaytay. During his stay negotiations were conducted to buy a piece of land adjacent to our property. Such negotiations continued after his departure. On November 23 it was the turn of the Superior General in person, Fr. Giovanni Villa. Of course, a Superior General does not look just after economical issues; he is concerned, first of all, about the religious life of his confreres. For this he spent two weeks with us (here and at Marikina) sharing our daily life, talking with each of us, attending our activities and presiding some celebrations. On November 30 Father General was reached by the Treasurer General, Fr. Giuseppe Cagnetta, who came expressly to finalize the transaction about the land. On December 1 we had a plenary meeting of all religious of the Delegation with Father General and Fr. Cagnetta. They left together on December 5. The transaction ended on December 23 with the signing of the Deed of Sale of the new property. We will call it Hacienda de San Jose, in honor of the Titular Saint of our Barangay. Upon it, God willing, the new San Jose College will be built, for the education of the youth from Tagaytay and the surrounding area. (Giovanni Scalese, CRSP)

New Lectors and Acolytes
One of the utmost inspirations of all, when it comes to ministry is the service of Christ. He Himself is the source of ministry in the Church. He instituted the Church, giving her the authority and the mission, as well as the orientation and goal, to shepherd the people of God. To minister is to offer a sincere service for the common good, just like Christ. As the Scripture says, “The Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.” (Mt 20:28) This kind of ministry is being embraced by all who believe and follow the ways of Christ. That is why there is something to cherish about, last November 24, 2008; on that date some of the Scholastics of the Clerics Regular of St. Paul were installed into the Ministries of Readers and Acolytes. We were very much privileged as our Superior General, Right Rev. Giovanni Ma. Villa, CRSP presided over the installation during his visit here in the Philippines. The newly installed as readers are: Bro. Rosauro Ma. Valmores, Bro. Albino Ma. Vecina, Bro. Henry Ma. Pabualan, and Bro. Isagani Ma. Gabisan. They were commissioned to proclaim the readings from the sacred scripture, with the exception of the gospel. As readers they may also announce the intentions for the prayer of the faithful. In the absence of the psalmist, they proclaim the Psalm. On the same occasion,

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Bro. Pat Ma. Golis and Bro. Joseph Ma. Bernales were installed as acolytes, that is as assistants to the deacon and the priest in the celebration of the Holy Eucharist. Before the day of installation, the newly ministers were truly motivated and carefully prepared in terms of spiritual and technical preparations by our beloved Rector Fr. Giovanni Ma. Scalese, CRSP. The said preparations developed in us self-confidence and enthusiasm which inspired us to be involved in the ministry with love and humility on Christ’s behalf. This ministry we have received is a form of training to our chosen vocation, and so with this, may this ministry will not remain only as our obligation, but become fruitful in us in a true and sincere form of service. We are hoping that our ministries and presence may serve as an efficacious symbol to the faithful people to deepen their faith and, if possible, to transform their lives. All this may become possible with the help of the Holy Spirit to make us worthy to minister by that which we have received. (Henry G. Pabualan, CRSP)

Advent is from the Latin word adventus, which means “arrival.” It is a time of waiting for the arrival of Christmas, the coming of Jesus to earth when He was born as a baby in Bethlehem about two thousand years ago. During the Advent season, Christians across the globe prepare for the celebration of the arrival of the Lord into our world through the birth of His Son Jesus Christ. Hence, Advent is a time to celebrate light in the midst of darkness. It is also a time to look forward to when Jesus will come for a second time. Truly, the beginning of Advent is when the preparations for Christmas really starts, the festive menu is planned, gifts are chosen and wrapped, carol songs are sung, cards are written and houses decorated with magnificent Christmas décor. There are three activities that Chris-

tians will not take into for granted: these are caroling, Christmas party and Simbang Gabi or Misa de Gallo or Misa de Aguinaldo. First, one of the signs that Christmas is coming is when we hear a Christmas song. The caroling is heard in every corner of our streets and houses. There are a vast varieties of Christmas songs rendered by the carolers for all to hear. Our Christmas season is warmed through beautiful Christmas songs that keep our hearts alive as we are waiting for the day of commemoration of the glorious birth of our Savior Jesus Christ. They bring smiles to people’s faces. The silent and cold night is broken and warmed with harmonious musical instruments and joyful songs. What seems to be a lonely and desperate night turns into a night of full of joy and hope. Even the Barnabite scholastics caroled from house to house (of our friends, of course) on December 11 to 13. The second aspect is the Christmas parties; they are inseparable from the season of Advent. Giving of gifts or exchanging gifts to our beloved is an expression of our love for them. Christmas parties are everywhere in our country, and we have a different ways of celebrating them according to our creativity. For example, the student-seminarians of the Divine Word School of Theology in Tagaytay City celebrated their Christmas party last December 3 in a different way. As a matter of fact, the whole afternoon the student-seminarians went out from their classrooms and visited different places of Tagaytay City as the area of their “outreach Christmas party.” The first year students of Theology spent their time with the inmates of Tagaytay City jail. They rendered Christmas songs to the inmates and gave them a gift for Christmas. The inmates responded to the generosity of the students through singing and dancing. In this manner both students and inmates shared the spirit of Christmas in a simple way. Moving further, the second year theology class had their own way of expressing their Christmas party. They went out

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from their classroom and visited the poor families of Brgy. San Jose, nearby the school campus. They sang Christmas songs and gave something to those who were not lucky enough to buy foods for Christmas. Also the students of third year class gave a bag of goods and entertainment to the children of the Tahanan ni Padre Semeria. Lastly, the fourth year class did not let this unique opportunity of celebrating the Christmas party pass without their participation. In fact, they went to the Bahay Kalinga in Tagaytay City and gave the children gifts, warmest greetings and sweet smiles. However, the Christmas party did not end in this way. Because all the students of Divine Word School of Theology gathered together during the evening at the covered basketball court of the school and shared together the joy of the Christmas party. There was a singing competition among different year levels. After the singing competition there was the giving of gifts to every year level. This was followed by a common dinner as the conclusion of the party. After the affair the students went to their own formation houses with smiles in their hearts. On December 16 another Christmas party was celebrated, sponsored by the Tagaytay Religious Association (TRA) at the retreat house of the Carmelite Sisters. It was attended by a good number of Sisters, Brothers and Priests from difOur Belen

ferent communities and formation houses. The gathering was especially blessed because of the presence of the Imus Bishop Luis Antonio Tagle, DD. During the gathering, Sisters and Brothers showed their creativity through their parlor games and presentations with dancing and singing. It was during that gathering that an elderly Sister became Santa Claus. Following the parlor games, singing and dancing, like any other gatherings there were enough food for all. After the memorable gathering every participant emphatically stated that it was another page to be treasured upon in the book of life. Finally, another famous activity before the day of Christmas is Simbang Gabi. In these nineday dawn Masses we can notice that our churches are full of Catholic believers, no matter how cold the weather may be. Our Catholic churches are smiling because of colorful Christmas lights, lanterns, Christmas trees and the beautiful image of the nativity which is displayed either inside or outside of the church. Hence, the most delightful smile is on the face of every true believer who is attending the Simbang Gabi. Simbang Gabi is one of the most popular traditions in the country; however, it is not just a tradition that is celebrated because we need to do so. It is a significant moment not only because it strengthens the relationship among family members, but also because it is the time in which our faith is intensified. This is the time when we must feel the presence of the Lord because it is the spiritual preparation for Christmas, the birth of Jesus Christ. It does not matter if one has the stamina to complete the novena or not; what matters is what is inside the heart. The blessing does not depend on the number of Masses attended. What really is important is the disposition of the person who receives the Lord’s blessing. We have had our Simbang Gabi, beside in our chapel (at 5am), also in the Barangay chapels of San Jose and Buho (both at 8pm) and in the chapel of the Daughters of St. Joseph of Caburlotto (at 5am). (Isagani B. Gabisan, CRSP)

No. 8



“Nutrition Month”

Tahanan ni Padre Semeria
Many activities happened at the Tahanan in these past few months. It all started last June 2008, with an opening Mass, celebrated by Father Cirilo B. Coniendo, and the oath taking of the new set of officers, followed by the traditional distribution of school supplies to the poor students. There are three new teachers this year, coming from the first year of theology. They are: Bro. Henry Pabualan, teacher by profession, who is teaching Basic English to the children; Bro. Isagani Gabisan, Philosophy graduate, who is teaching Mathematics; and Bro. Albino Vecina, a Philosophy graduate also, who is teaching Religion. On this same month, the classes started with full of energy; we have 18 students in the preparatory school, and 12 from the Elementary and High School, with three collegians, one of whom will finish her studies in computer science at the end of this school year. During this year, we also celebrated the “Nutrition Month.” We had two good speakers coming from two different walks of life, a nun and a mother. They talked about healthy food and healthy mothers: “Sa wastong nutrition ni mommy siguradong healthy si baby,” which means: “In the right nutrition of mommy for sure there is a healthy baby.” There was a contest of

nutritious food, in which all the mothers participated, including the cooking of simple but nourishing food and a slogan-making contest, in which the children showed their talents. This year we also celebrated the Linggo ng Wika. The theme for this event was “Wika mo, Wikang Filipino, Wika ng mundo mahalaga.” It all started with a parade, with the students and mothers. There was a series of activities held on that day; we were able to see the different costumes of Filipinos, some traditional dances of our culture, speech and Filipino songs. How nice to remember the past and to look back on our different rich cultures and traditions! Seeing those colorful and wonderful costumes and dances, reminds me of what we are as a Filipinos. In the second semester, Bro. Joseph Bernales, who had taken care of the Tahanan for one year and a half, turned it over to me. I immediately started working for the preparation of Christmas. Our first activity was a whole day recollection; the theme was “The faces of Jesus.” The emphasis was on Jesus: to invite Jesus in the heart and to recognize him in the faces of the poor, hungry, sad, happy, smiling, crying, desperate, and in joy. There followed confessions and the recital of the Rosary in our Fatima Chapel. On December 20 there was the Christmas Party, with the gift giving, exchange of gift, various activities for the children and mothers. Even if the gifts we gave them were not the best ones, they enjoyed them and felt happy. How nice to spend time with them just to be with them (I remember my Professor who would say in order to be one with the poor you have to be with them). The activities we had were very simple, but it was moving to touch other peoples’ life by sharing the gifts we had; in our own little way we put Jesus at the center of our life. By reaching out our neighbors and doing good to them, we let them feel the presence of God by giving them love and importance. We hope that this will happen not only for Christmas, but will last the whole year round. Of course, this would not be possible

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Saint Paul Scholasticate Newsletter

Saint Paul Scholasticate

“Linggo ng Wika”

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. Jecker R. Luego, Fr. Michael F. Mancusi, Fr. Cirilo B. Coniendo, Jose Nazareno S. Gabato, Arvin A. Dagalea, Yohanes Besi Koten, Clyd S. Autentico, Pat M. Golis, Jonathan G. Ramoso, Thomas Federick S. Tabada, Isfridus Syukur, Rosauro A. Valmores, Joseph M. Bernales, Albino T. Vecina, Henry G. Pabualan, Isagani B. Gabisan Typeset in the Philippines by the Saint Paul Scholasticate, December 2008

without those people who have a very generous heart and open their hearts to Jesus: thanks for their kindness and generosity; despite of their busy life, they find time and effort to extend the graces they received to others by sharing what they have. Their names are not mentioned, but in the eyes of God they deserve a great reward. (Arvin A. Dagalea, CRSP)

Fr. Papa’s arrival
On Friday, December 19 Fr. Frank Papa, CRSP came back to the Philippines, after spending little more than one year in India, where he has started the first Barnabite community in that country (see iPaul No. 3, pp. 17-18). He had lived in the Philippines for almost twenty years as Rector of the St. Anthony Ma. Zaccaria Seminary in Marikina and Delegate of the Superior General for the Philippine Barnabite Communities. Now the Superiors asked our Rector to replace him, at least temporarily, in India; and for this reason Fr. Frank came to Tagaytay to replace in turn Fr. John in his capacity both as Rector of the Saint Paul Scholasticate and as Delegation Superior.

Quis nos separabit a caritate Christi? An gladius?