To celebrate 150 years presence of the Vincentian community in the Philippines, the Archdiocese of Manila inaugurated last July 22 the new Santuario de San Vicente de Paul as diocesan shrine and parish in Novaliches where the St. Vincent Seminary is.
Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Tagle officiated in the Concelebrated Mass with Novaliches Bishop Antonio Tobias, Bishop Emeritus Teodoro Bacani and Antipolo Bishop Gabriel Reyes.
It was on July 22, 1862 when the religious orders founded by St. Vincent de Paul—the Congregation of Mission and the Daughters of Charity—arrived in Manila.
Fr. Tim Cirujales, director of the Miraculous Medal Association, said that Queen Isabela II had wanted to send the Daughters of Charity to the Philippines. But the nuns refused to come without being accompanied by the Vincentian Fathers.
In his homily, Fr. Danny Pilario, CM, dean of the St. Vincent Seminary School of Theology, said that at exactly 8 a.m. on July 22, 1862, 19 members of the Vincentian family—15 Daughters of Charity, two Priests of the Mission and two Vincentian brothers—came down from the boat Concepcion after more than three months of difficult travel at sea.
Following St. Paul’s exhortation to the first followers of Jesus Christ that is “All things must be done in charity,” the priests and nuns of St. Vincent de Paul did just that in their churches and their charity houses like the Hospicio de San Jose and the Asilo de San Vincente de Pablo.
Theme of the year-long celebration is “Tapat-Loob, Tapat-Kaloob: 150 Years of Creative Fidelity.” Fr. Pilario said the celebration would focus on katapatan ng loob (sincerity) and katapatan sa pagkakaloob (charity).
“Fidelity to the charism and creativity in mission!” Father Pilario said. “As we look back to those 150 years, we are challenged to be faithful to the dream Vincent and Louise (de Marillac) handed down to us, faithful to the building of God’s kingdom, faithful to our calling to preach the Good News to the poor, the lame, the weak and the downtrodden—which is also the dream of Jesus himself. But as we look back in fidelity to our past, we are also challenged to be faithful and creative to our present and the future that lies ahead. Creativity, because St. Vincent says: ‘love is inventive unto infinity!’”
How it was then
Fr. Pilario recalled the coming of the Vincentians.
“As they landed in our shores, the first CMs and DCs were confronted with new faces, new needs and new situations,” he said. “It is in these new contexts that they were called towards creative fidelity. While reading the early accounts of their missions, one can only admire how courageous and daring they were. Several days after they arrived in Manila, maybe even before recovering from seasickness, the Vincentians took over the Manila seminary. After a few years, they took over Naga, then Cebu, Jaro, Vigan, Calbayog and the other dioceses.
“When they were doing this, they were only a group of 11 priests and four brothers. One can also imagine how far these places were during that time. Some of these were new dioceses then. I was surprised to have read that as early as 1907, we were already handling a high school seminary in Jagna, Bohol! I myself am from Cebu but I have never been to Jagna until now. True, it has always been a Vincentian trademark to go where the church calls us. ”
St. Nicholas of Bari
I hear Mass at St. Vincent de Paul Church on San Marcelino Street in Ermita at 8 a.m. every Monday. The Mass honors St. Nicholas of Bari.
Fr. Rene Ruellos, CM, encouraged us to do the Monday novena, The intercession of the saint is efficacious, according to the priest.
One beautiful facet of the church is the presence of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal up in the altar. We pray to her by touching the blue ribbon falling from her throne in the altar.
Divine Mercy in Krakow
On Sept. 17, a group of Filipino pilgrims will relive the experience of Saint Faustina Kowalska when they visit her church in Krakow.
The devotion to the Divine Mercy is based on the actual writings of Saint Faustina on her diary recording the revelations she received from God. And even before her death in 1938, the devotion had begun to spread.
The group will also visit the majestic Schonbrunn Palace in Vienna; Postjona Cave, a Unesco World Heritage Site in Slovenia; the monastery at Jasna Gora, where the very miraculous icon of the Black Madonna believed to have been painted by St. Luke, is enshrined.
A visit to Poland is not complete without visiting the miraculous image of the Infant Jesus of Prague in the Church of Our Lady of the Victorious.
Pilgrimage chaplain is the inspiring Fr. Lambert Legaspino. Call Adam’s Travel at 5211651 or 5223876, text Anna at 0908-5919908.
Peñafrancia in Manila
The pilgrim image of Our Lady of Peñafrancia will be brought to the Shrine of St. Therese of the Child Jesus in Villamor Airbase on Aug. 3, 11 a.m., for the 12 noon Mass of Military Vicariate Bishop Leopoldo Tumulak. She will leave on Aug. 6, 6:30 a.m., and brought to the Claretian School on Madre Ignacia Avenue, Quezon City. Organizer is the Pinagsararong Bikolnon Association.