Read the news from events, activities and other updates on the different communities here in the Philippines
"Into the desert with Jesus"
Around 85 people, many new, joined the Verbum Dei one day Lenten recollection in Christ the King Parish, Greenmeadows on 20 March 2019. The opening dynamic helped us deepen the Lenten means of prayer, fasting and almsgiving. The 1st guidelines by Fr James focused on the Lenten message of Pope Francis where we were invited to enter into the desert with Jesus to allow Him to transform the barren land into a fruitful garden - Isaiah 51:3 “Her deserts he shall make like Eden, her wasteland like the garden of the LORD; Joy and gladness shall be found in her, thanksgiving and the sound of song.”
The participants were also invited to enhance the perspective of their Lenten journey and transformation in line with the invite of Pope Francis: “by concretely welcoming Christ’s victory over sin and death into our lives, we will also radiate its transforming power to all of creation.” (Pope Francis, Lenten message 2019).
In the afternoon, Stella Deriquito, a Verbum Dei apostle gave a beautiful talk on the effects of sin. We were invited to see our sins not as a LIST but as a LOSS – where we lose out on our relationship with God, with others, with self and with the whole cosmos. We were reminded that our prayer during this time is not to close ourselves off in a purely private world. “To pray is not to step outside history and withdraw to our own private corner of happiness. When we pray properly we undergo a process of inner purification which opens us up to God and thus to our fellow human beings as well.” (Pope emeritus Benedict XVI).
The closing homily centered on the importance of the mission of the Church and that the whole of creation is waiting with “eager expectation” (Romans 8:19) to learn how to pray. “Let us not allow this season of grace to pass in vain! Let us ask God to help us set out on a path of true conversion. Let us leave behind our selfishness and self-absorption, and turn to Jesus’ Pasch” (Pope Francis, Lenten message 2019).
Happy onward Lenten journey!
With thanks to the WordNews team
Verbum Dei Musuan had its first ever silent retreat from 6pm on Friday March 22 to lunchtime on Sunday March 24. It was attended by around 20 participants, mostly youth. They did very well with the silence and were very participative. Many were coming from busy schedules and were hungry and thirsty for the Word of God. The retreat was run by an ecclesial team – Pearl (Rebusit) from the misioneras and James (McTavish) from the misioneros.
The retreat focused on prayer with the Trinity. The participants were reminded of the centrality of the Word in our prayer because we listen to God when we pray with the Sacred Scripture (see Dei verbum, no. 25). Following the advice of Jesus, we entered into our inner room, closed the door and prayed to our Father who sees in secret (Matthew 6:6). The mid-part of the retreat centered our prayer in a dialogue with our loving Father who has loved us with an everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:3). Darwin, one of the participants shared that what helped him most was to experience the mercy of God. Jaime Bonet, the Verbum Dei founder compared the mercy of God to a blood transfusion - “In front of more sin, there is more love of God. The more the mercy of God is poured out over the misery of the sinner who has a very severe hemorrhage! God gives you more blood, more life.”
A time of prayer was also had with Mother Mary in the rosary followed by prayer in front of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. The final part of the retreat focused on prayer with the holy Spirit. “In the same way, the Spirit too comes to the aid of our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit itself intercedes with inexpressible groanings” (Romans 8:26).
For most of the participants it was their first experience of a silent retreat and they discovered God wanted so much to speak to them.
We continue to pray for the perseverance of Verbum Dei in Musuan!
With thanks to Pearl, James and the WordNews team
Each one of us has our own dreams to fulfill in life, dreams that will motivate and shape us to become a better individual in the future. Dreams that will make us happy once these dreams will turn to goals, then goals will in turn become our achievements. Isn’t it joyful when you tell yourself that you finally had the chance to fulfill your life with these goals and move on in making another dream? When you think about, it is a great sense of fulfillment and you try to walk on the right path for the rest of your life.
But the question is, have you ever dream big? Have you ever thought that your dreams in life will soon become reality? Do you trust yourself enough to make all your dreams come true despite of fear, hardships and obstacles along the way? Are you afraid of taking each step towards achieving your real-life goals? If you cannot answer these deep - thoughtful questions, then let me share to you how I understood life and embrace it’s significant in gaining experiences to achieve your dreams.
The night before the recollection, Father Bong told me that I will be in-charge of the Powerpoint Presentation. I will be his assistant during his presentation for the program as he will be one of the speakers for the recollection. I have never done this before to be honest, it was my first time. I knew that even though I never had the experience with a powerpoint presentation, I took the liberty to ask Father Bong to teach me how. At the back of my mind, I was actually nervous and excited at the same time because I know it will be easy just like using a Microsoft word or Excel.
On the day of the recollection, I arrived 7:35 in the morning so I had time to prepare and to practice the presentation before the program started at 8:00. Father Bong gave me the handouts of the program and taught me everything in order for me to assist him with his presentation smoothly without any issues and difficulties during the program.
As I was preparing, the Senior High students of Balara High School arrived on time and they were properly assisted with hospitality. As we started, Father Bong welcomed the students with such a lively song entitled ‘I Have a Dream’ by Verbum Dei. The Senior High students were so very eager because Father Bong added some actions to the song. The students had fun and loved the song to their hearts’ content. Who wouldn’t be when the song was full of thrill and excitement.
The speakers were amazing with their presentations. The first speaker talked about the actual example of 1,000 peso bill and at this moment, the students were seriously listening as she crumpled and stepped on the money. She showed it to the students, asking if they still want the bill to which they delightedly replied “Yes!”. The bill is still significant because they do all know that it is still the same amount of valued money but what was the main lesson of the speaker’s talk?
The point was for us to understand how important our lives are in the Eyes of God, how Jesus still loves us no matter what we are going through in our lives. The bill she showed represents us as we human beings encounter awful experiences, heartbreaks and lost. He will never abandoned us despite our shortcomings, fears, troubles, problems and all those negative things that make us undervalued by those obstacles and hardships we encountered in our paths. He will never stop believing and will forever be patient with us with welcoming arms no matter how sinful we are.
Sometimes it’s really hard to have faith when we are in a worse kind of situations; situations of disappointments in life, sorrow and death but there is always a reason for everything. At times we wonder why these things happen to us as we tend to be frustrated and cursed the life for giving us the hard time to live but one thing is for sure, surrender everything to God and trust that His plans for you will never fail. Timing is everything and time is gold, never forget the saying “Patience is a virtue.” as being patient leads us to the right path that God will be given to us. Just keep on believing in your dreams and trust God’s perfect timing.
The Senior High students actively participated in the activities. Those activities were the best part of the program because we got the chance to get to know them about their life experiences. We learned more about them as they shared their pains, sorrow and sad stories of how hard life was to them within their family, friends, love, school and among other things that lead to becoming an obstacle. I was so deeply touched when Father Bong taught them how to view life as they went further throughout the activities. I had learned so much and I am forever thankful for this wonderful opportunity.
As the recollection came to an end, I am so grateful to see such amazing students of Balara High School! I was really amazed by by their expressive hearts and joyful personalities. When I was observing them during the program, I was reminiscing myself wayback in high school. I was this high school student with full of determination and was so focused in achieving my life goals. Those memories will always be missed because I also had my recollection in High School and the best part was to be able to graduate and made a huge step to enter College. Oh how time flies! It’s so good to have those memories when I was still a student. It is such a great experience! I survived and learned so many things. It was the end and yet the beginning of another chapter in my life.
It was indeed a fun-filled and fruitful recollection I’ve ever had; bringing all those memories back in my mind reminded me that no matter how hard life was and still is, I will always be a strong and independent woman. Always remember, don’t stop believing in yourself. Life is short, live it and embrace it. DREAM BIG!
With thanks to Mylen Samson and the WordNews team
Lenten Season is a journey with Jesus. It is when we travel with him to prepare for his Passion, Death and Resurrection. That was exactly what happened in the last March 17,2019 when a total of 15 individuals that comprised of Singles and two priests had gathered together in the Lenten Pilgrimage Recollection organized by the Verbum Dei Pansol, Quezon City at Holy Land, Subic.
On our way to the Holy Land the participants were asked to draw of what describes their present situation in life which ignited the reflective mood of the event.
The activity of the day formally started with a Holy Mass and it formed part of our way of the cross. In the succeeding stations, there were different dynamics and testimonies given for the participants to enter more in the passion and death of Jesus on the cross.
Lent is a great time to journey within. It is a time to examine our lives and see on how we are doing in the journey. It is a time to view our lives in the perspective of Jesus Christ who gave his life for us (see John 15:13) “There's no greater love than this than a man would give his life for his friends". May this season bring us closer to Him.
Thanks to Francis Santos and the WordNews team
Hello sisters and brothers,
Please find attached letter from from our president Fr. Rodrigo Moya and please share to other members of the Verbum Dei family.
Heirs of a Charism, Open to the Dynamism of the Spirit
18th of February, 2019
Dear brothers and sisters of the FMVD,
I hope you are very well, living with joy and generosity to the work of evangelization. I cordially greet you all from Rome. I am writing you to transmit the general objective of the government plan for this sexennium. In the General Board held in December 2018, we were able to elaborate the government plan, almost in its entirety. I found it very interesting to share with you the spirit of the general objective in the light of the V Ordinary Congress. I hope it is very helpful for all.
General objective of the sexennium plan:
Looking at the world and the signs of the times, we will promote in the entire FaMVD, a missionary, prophetic, itinerant and expansive spirit, so that we can joyfully form apostles and evangelizing communities. To do this, we deepen into the roots of our charism and legacy received from Jaime Bonet so that we renew our missionary consecration and we transmit it with creative fidelity to the new generations.
1. Looking at the world and the signs of the times
This is our desire: to lift up our eyes and to see the great harvests of the world and learn to read the signs of the times of today's society. I recognize that we have lived a long period of the foundational stage, in which circumstances have necessarily led us to turn our attention on ourselves, to strengthen the internal structure and the FMVD's proper law: structure of the government, the necessary rules to live our consecration and charism, (Constitutions, Directories, Rules, etc.). It is a necessary stage centered on "strengthening the pegs of the tent" so as to expand and guarantee the permanence and transmission of the VD charism. We acknowledge with gratitude that this stage, though it is not completely finished, has done big realizations.
The V Ordinary Congress has made us see that after all we have lived, this is the time for us to lift up our eyes and see the world to which we are sent in mission. It is time to look beyond ourselves and it is time to see the great harvest to which the Lord sends us to proclaim the Good News. That is why in this sexennium, in a special way, we want to look at the world and the signs of the times.
2. We will promote in the entire FaMVD, a missionary, prophetic, itinerant and expansive spirit.
The main task that the V Ordinary Congress has entrusted to the new General Board is to impel and encourage the mission of the entire VD family. We are asked as a government, in a special way, to engrave a missionary imprint and to promote the apostolic dynamism throughout the Verbum Dei. Certainly, it is a daring and demanding task, but we recognize in it the will of God and we count on his Grace to carry it out. We are excited to engrave a missionary imprint and a prophetic, itinerant and expansive spirit on the entire missionary family.
- A missionary imprint. It is necessary that all the members of the FaMVD grow in conscience and in experience of knowing ourselves hot-branded for a mission in this world. The fulfilment of the mission entrusted to us by Jesus, as Pope Francis says, “is not just a part of my life or a badge I can take off; it is not an “extra” or just another moment in life. Instead, it is something I cannot uproot from my being without destroying my very self. I am a mission on this earth; that is the reason why I am here in this world”. For us, this mission are with these main characteristics:
- A prophetic spirit. In order to embody and engrave a missionary imprint, it is necessary to enliven our prophetic dimension and grow in the preaching of the Gospel. We would like that others may identify us, in a special way, through our preaching: an existential preaching, that reaches the hearts of people and prepared in the warmth of daily prayer. A preaching based on the truths of faith and on the personal assimilation of our themes of “life and love”.
- Itinerant and expansive spirit. Missionary itinerancy is another aspect that has been highlighted, both in the Family Symposium and in the V Ordinary Congress. It has been an aspect that has led us to question ourselves whether our intention in founding a community is to establish ourselves in it forever or if we have the desire and interest to leave a missionary family mature enough and formed so that the members of the FMVD expand and go to other places. By itinerant, I do not mean to make constant changes "without rhyme or reason" in the missionary life, but to embody the evangelizing model of our patron Saint Paul, who formed evangelizing communities; and his itinerant experience was to encourage the disciples' faith and to form “relevos” (successors) that he could leave in his place. I think that Verbum Dei is now in a moment where we can either choose stability of sedentary model or we can be defined by an evangelizing model where itinerancy is an essential ingredient of our missionary spirit. This depends solely on us and on the options we take. Furthermore, we will be expansive if we truly live this missionary and itinerant spirit.
3. So that we can joyfully...
I must confess that in the first formulation of the general objective it was not included the adverb “joyfully”, and that a board member said: "I miss the word joy somewhere." This intervention was echoed in all of us because we recognized that joy is an essential ingredient in evangelization. Carrying the Good News of the Gospel is truly authentic when we do it joyfully and willingly, when we are the first to enjoy it.
However, I am aware that evangelizing also has a component of effort, as the Psalm: “Those who go out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with them.” I hope that in our communities there is a smell of joy and happiness that makes us attractive and authentic evangelizers. In order to make this visible, we must fight against everything that smells to persons who are grouchy, gloomy, hopeless, sad, irritable and bitter; being persons as such, we would lose the joy of the Gospel.
4. Form apostles and evangelizing communities
Here is the intention and the purpose of our full-time dedication to prayer and ministry of the Word: to form apostles of Christ and evangelizing communities. Let us say that this is the "spearhead" of our mission and our specific and genuine contribution to the Church. The first step is to form persons sent to the mission and who are trained to give reason for their faith. The second, which is more difficult, is to form communities of evangelical life with an evangelizing dynamism. Nevertheless, to "form apostles and evangelizing communities," it is necessary that we are not at the center of our evangelizing activity and we know how to do and to form people in faith, who in turn can train others. Making our local communities, communities of evangelical life that evangelize others, is really a challenge that we have ahead in our missionary work. It is a challenge that we want to face with the Grace of God, in this sexennium that we have ahead.
5. To do this, we deepen into the roots of our charism and legacy received from Jaime Bonet
Another beautiful thing is that we are growing communally in the awareness that we are heirs of a charism that does not belong to us and that in order to develop it and transmit it to others we need to be open to the dynamism of the Spirit. I believe that in this post-foundational stage, we need to look with gratitude at the life of our founder Jaime Bonet and deepen into the roots of this inheritance that we have received from him. We are in the stage in which we must necessarily enhance and strengthen the historical heritage, so that it constitutes for us an important root and foundation in the living-out and transmission of the charism.
6. So that we renew our missionary consecration and we transmit it with creative fidelity to the new generations.
As you can see, the general objective of the government plan is beautiful, but at the same time ambitious, because it intends to renew and vitalize our missionary consecration. It requires the effort of all and the co-responsibility of all. Without this co-responsibility of all to live and faithfully transmit the Gift we have received, not only that this gift may faithfully reach new generations, but also, it is the specific contribution that we give to the Church as Fraternity. For this, we rely on the Holy Spirit, who accompanies the evangelizing journey of the whole Church for the good of our society and our world.
Rodrigo Carrizo Moya
PANSOL, Quezon City - A pre-Valentine’s festivity entitled #LetLoveSpeak was held last February 9, 2019 at the misioneros’ house. This event, attended by young professionals, happy singles and working people, aimed to celebrate the day of hearts in a more meaningful and fruitful way.
It kicked off with an icebreaker followed by a sumptuous dinner. The night was made even more romantic with serenades by guest performers Girl Valencia, Bryan Calzado, Drew Capones and Jo-anne Mendoza. The highlight of the said activity was a formation on the Five Love Languages by Mr. Dan Caballes, a full time seminar and workshop facilitator, along with his wife Nabelle.
The Pansol misioneros and Pasig misioneras along with lay disciples from Pansol, Ortigas and Makati Schools of the Word organized the activity.
With thanks to Christel Mendoza and the WordNews team
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