The Oblates of Saint Joseph (OSJ), a religious congregation founded by St. Joseph Marello in Asti, North Italy, celebrates 100 years of missionary presence in the Philippines in August 2015.
Inspired by Saint Joseph the Patriarch, its principal patron, OSJ today serves in 21 parishes and eight schools in 14 dioceses all over the country. Its main charisms are assistance to the diocesan clergy in the Missions and parishes; the religious and moral education of the young; and the propagation of the devotion to St. Joseph.
The first five Italian OSJ missionaries arrived in the Philippines and began mission work on Aug. 26, 1915, upon the invitation of the bishop of Lipa, Msgr. Giuseppe Petrelli, who was also apostolic nuncio.
The new Church of Lipa was in dire need of missionaries for the big task of manning several parishes and serving countless faithful in the most challenging situations.
Because of the invitation of the good bishop, the OSJ superiors made the monumental decision to send missionaries outside of Italy for the first time.
The opening of the Philippine mission signaled the birth of a charism for the humble family of Saint Joseph. Before long, the OSJ was opening several mission fronts in different parts of the world.
The first mission area of the OSJ in the country was San Jose, Batangas.
The hand of St. Joseph was all over this event; the bishop who invited them, two of the first five missionaries and the parish entrusted them all bore the glorious name of St. Joseph.
To prepare for the centennial celebrations and in furtherance of its charism, the OSJ will hold a series of symposia on Saint Joseph in celebration of the Year of the Laity. The intent of the symposia is to present Saint Joseph as the Model of Lay Spirituality to emphasize the point that his spirituality is as relevant as ever.
The first symposium will be held Nov. 8, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. at St. Benilde Gymnasium, De la Salle in Greenhills, Mandaluyong.
Solemn Mass presider and first speaker is Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas, president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines.
Other speakers: Ambassador Howard Q. Dee; Fr. La Toschi, OSJ; and Bishop Broderick Pabillo.
The Southern Philippine leg of the celebrations will be on Nov. 16 in the Grand Caprice Restaurant, Lim Ket Kai Complex, Cagayan de Oro City.
The Northern Luzon leg will be on Nov. 19 during the blessing of the St. Joseph House of Spirituality in Barangay Calamagui, Sta. Maria, Isabela, a retreat center built by Larry and Sophie Pagauitan, great devotees of Saint Joseph and Saint Joseph Marello.
For inquiries, reservations and pre-registration, contact tel. 7252044 (daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.) or email at [email protected] Entrance is free.
Tirona clan reunion
Bessie Escobar Sayoc belongs to the eighth generation of the Tironas in Cavite. Archbishop Rolando Tirona of Nueva Caceras is her cousin.
There used to be four independent clans “and we didn’t know then how we were related,” she said.
She led the research into the family tree. “We were able to trace the common ancestor of all the big Tirona clans in Cavite,” she said.
“We were successful in moving four generations up until we arrived at our common ancestor Juan Tirona, married to Dominga Paula (date of birth: around 1750),” she explained.
The clan will hold its sixth reunion on Nov. 15 at the Island Resort Covelandia. Archbishop Tirona will celebrate the Mass.
Hermano for “Soledad”
Judge Matias Garcia of the Regional Trial Court in Bacoor, Cavite, is the “hermano mayor” of the “Soledad” fiesta on Nov. 9-16.
When he passed the bar in l990, he and his mother, Josefina Mandaje Garcia, walked on their knees toward the altar of San Roque Church to thank La Soledad.
Our Lady of All Nations
Tony Moninola writes: “We now accept orders for Lady of All Nations Calendars Yr. 2015 at P8 per piece plus freight cost. You may contact us at tel. 8439015 or 0905-3423999. The image of the Lady of All Nations is in the middle and surrounded by the Mysteries of the Holy Rosary, with picture of Pope Francis and the calendar is found at the bottom. The calendar is 13×23 inches.”