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For the Formation of Jesuits in the Philippines

For Elderly and Infirm Jesuits

 

 

Sacred Heart Parish

Fr. Robert Rice left in early March for a sabbatical in New York. While there, he will celebrate his 50th Anniversary in the priesthood, joining the other survivors of his ordination class. Alumni of Ateneo de Naga University, some former students of Fr. Bob, gave him a Filipino “fiesta,” including “Lechon” during the meal and a presentation of Filipino dances. Fr. Rice’s relatives were much impressed by the meal and program and understood better why Fr. Bob loves to work in the Philippines.

Fr. Regis Wan is acting Chaplain at the large Chong Hua Hospital. He succeeds Fr. Paul Deslierres [GLC] who returned to Montreal last July. Having celebrated his 58th birthday on March 25, Fr. Regis is the youngest of the five Jesuits at SHP. He and Fr. Peter Chuang are kept busy doing extra ministry among their many Filipino Chinese friends.

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Mary the Queen Parish and Xavier School

Fr. Catalino Arevalo gave a series of lectures covering “The New Christology” on the mornings of Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday.

Fr. Andre Gelinas arrived on 8 Apr after more than a month of giving retreats in the U.S., Canada and Rome. He was scheduled for a retreat in Hong Kong on the way back, but the SARS epidemic forced its cancellation, and flew home directly.

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Ateneo de Manila University

Fr. William Kreutz, directed the annual 8-day retreat for the Jesuit Community during Holy Week. The first day of the retreat, Saturday, was ordination day for the new Jesuit priests at Loyola House of Studies. Instead of distracting, this helped to focus prayer at the start of the spiritual exercises.

A group of teachers from all Jesuit high schools made an 8-day retreat as one group at the Jesuit Retreat House in Malaybalay, Bukidnon, guided by Fr. Asandas Balchand, with Frs. Arsenio Nuñez and James O'Donnell (making his own retreat) also on hand.

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Ateneo de Naga University

The liturgical celebrations of Holy Week were held in the new University Chapel with different members of the community volunteering for the services. Fr. Superior/President Joel Tabora washed the feet of the apostles on Holy Thursday and Fr. Ernesto Carretero presided at the Easter Vigil. Fr. Alex Badiola gave a much-appreciated homily during the Good Friday liturgy. After celebrations on Holy Thursday and for the Easter morning Mass, the Jesuits invited some of the congregation into the community dining room for a little sharing. For the Easter Vigil the number of worshippers almost matched the food preparation, so all were invited in.

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Jesuit Retreat House-Malaybalay

Three of the newly ordained priests—Frs. Stephen Abuan, Christopher Dumadag and Wilfredo Samson—honored JRH with a concelebrated Mass in San Ignacio Chapel on 27 Apr. Bp. Honesto Pacana, the Bukidnon Jesuits, and Fr. Peter Pojol joined them. Adding to the festivity, Br. Deogracias Trinidad played the violin with the Sisters’ choir.

For the first four months of the year there were 1,179 retreatants and 282 recollectionists. Among the 447 high school seniors were four groups from Xavier University. Making the JRH-M Retreat for Jesuits conducted by Fr. Jojo Magadia from 30 Apr till 8 May were Frs. James McKeough, Stanislas Lagutin, John Carroll, Ruben Reyes, Rene Tacastacas, Peter Pojol and Brs. Trinidad and Sulpicio Quipanes.

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Railaco, East Timor

Fr. Samuel Dizon recently wrote: “In August, Jesuit presence in Railaco will be 2 years old. The population is now 8,000. Railaco has 9 sucus and 12 chapels. Eight chapels are permanent, in concrete; the other four are in the process of construction.

“Railaco is in preparation for parishhood. It has the usual organizations including a parish council. The youth are active as scouts and acolytes. First year concentration was on the formation of extraordinary ministers. They hold the liturgy of the Word complete with Communion every Sunday at the sucus while the priests visit the sucus regularly twice a month for Mass. There are 18 extraordinary ministers. The second year has seen the initiation of basic communities. The traditional barrio structure has been maintained. The idea, of course, is more laity participation in church life. Thus, hopefully, empowerment follows. The trainers are teachers and one SVD scholastic. The barrio animators are at least junior high graduates. At present, there are 63 animators for 20 barrios. To date, then, a good half of Railaco is attempting the church model, consisting of basic Christian communities.

“Furthermore, health care has been more surely attended to by Fr Martin Antonio (“Bong”) Abad Santos. His Masses at the sucus are followed by consultations and treatment of a good number of sick people. In the center or Poblacion, the sick come after Mass in the morning or late in the afternoon when Bong would be back from the villages. He also regularly attends to the prison inmates in Fatuquero and the patients at the clinic in Gleno. He also finds time to cover for Bro. Dan in Dare. At the right side of the Railaco Residencia, a raised platform in the style of a native Timorese hut is being built for field Masses in immediate anticipation of the parish inauguration. Around it, the space will be utilized to house a clinic with rooms connected with medical care.”

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SAPAK Experimental Farm

March saw a second wave of Japanese visitors, this time from Sophia University led by Fr. Generoso Florez [JPN]. All attended Mass even though only Fr. Florez is Christian. Fr. Manny Non urged Fr. Florez to bring them to Dungguan where he might be able to evangelize them through the man-sized Stations of the Cross. There is hope that, as with former groups over the past 22 years of these Philippine exposure trips, some may ask for instruction and baptism.

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Xavier University

Holy Week services were held with the same dignity and solemnity that have become traditional since Fr. Mariano Varela organized the Chapel Aides for altar service and choir. This year’s solemnity was enhanced by the attendance of 16 lay Eucharistic Ministers. Main celebrants and homilists: Holy Thursday, Fr. Samson; Good Friday, Fr. Rector Asandas Balchand; Easter Vigil, Fr. Calvin Poulin.

With a scarcity of priests to celebrate Holy Week services at the various principal chapels of the extensive parish of Lumbia, Fr. Leonel Sumpaico repeated what he did last year, viz., celebrated common services for the entire parish. These were open-air services in an open field in Xavier Estate Subdivision.

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Sacred Heart Parish

Mary the Queen Parish and Xavier School

Ateneo de Manila University

Ateneo de Naga University

Jesuit Retreat House-Malaybalay

Railaco, East Timor

SAPAK Experimental Farm

Xavier University

 

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© 2003 Philippine Jesuit Foundation