Read the news from events, activities and other updates on the different communities here in the Philippines
Welcoming the Verbum Dei Spanish Mission Group
The Verbum Dei-Tagaytay community welcomed the visit of the VD Spanish Mission trip group
beginning August 20 until August 26, 2019.
One of the first highlights of their trip was their visit at the Tagaytay Teachers’ Housing Project or Pabahay community nearby.
The Pabahay area houses a diverse groups of people, composed of professional workers, housewives, skilled and small business owners with their respective families and relatives.
During their visit, the Spanish mission group went around the area and gathered the children living there, from ages five to ten.They were delighted to see and meet the Spanish missionaries and disciples. The children’s active participation and big smiles during the games they played and other activities amused and inspired the group to continue bringing Jesus in their midst, so to speak.
At first, some of the little kids were hesitant to join in the fun games, but when they saw that all the other kids were enjoying and having fun imitating the actions, dancing and cheering of the Spanish group, the other children eventually joined in the fun. They were then given light snacks
at the end of the activities.
All in all, the Spanish mission group together with the VD Tagaytay Missionaries and some Adult disciples, made the children very happy and elated as they experienced the joy of being one with the community. On this first day of the Spanish mission trip, the children felt how to have fun with people they have met for the first time, and sharing the simple joys of just being with others.
With other activities of the Spanish mission group lined up we are looking forward to more joyful experiences with them.
Been There, Done That... What More?
Last August 25, 2019, a recollection for working adults was held at the Verbum Dei Apostolate Center in Brgy. Palatiw, Pasig. The event was spearheaded by VD missionaries and attendees of the Ortigas School of the Word. The recollection aimed to awaken new perspectives as a working person. The 22 participants of the activity hailed from newly-hired graduates to veterans in their field of work.
The program commenced with a fun ice breaker by Sister Gabriela Rocha, followed by an invigorating introduction by Carmela Badajos. Next was an enjoyable dynamic by Katreen Eslava wherein the participants created a collage of clippings symbolizing their accomplishments in various aspects of life. Ed Jose then gave a talk on our continuous search for something more, something beyond the daily routine. After his talk and a sumptous lunch, Sister Gabby again led the group to an animation song to kickstart the afternoon session. Another dynamic by Katreen was done focusing on future plans. The last talk by Sister Pearl Rebusit deepened on Jesus being the ‘more’ that we are searching for, who has a great plan in store for each one of us. The program ended with a mass by Fr. Iwao Ikegami who reminded us that in order to achieve God’s plan we sometimes need to ‘enter the narrow gate’. Overall, the recollection stirred me to continually seek Him who yearns what is best for us. May we find Him in our daily work so that we will bear much fruit in accordance with His Master Plan.
Here are some photos of the event:
With thanks to Christel Mendoza and the WordNews team
Last August 18, 2019, 23 participants gathered for “Connect” - a Singles Recollection at Verbum Dei Apostolic Center in Pansol, Quezon City. It was a whole day event which consist of talks, animation, testimony, Holy Rosary, confession and Holy Eucharist. The event aimed to remind the single participants that amidst the busy world of today, it is still important to connect to the real source of life and energy who is God.
Jonnalyn Estrada, gave the Welcome talk. She gave an introduction about the Verbum Dei Community and encouraged the participants to give the whole day to the Lord by participating well. Belen Desilos gave a talk about Life and Love which showed the relation of the two to each other, that love is the motor of life and it is seen in the example of the life of Christ. Helen Desilos gave a testimony about identity and how she found herself coming out from her shell when she got to know more about Jesus, and joining the Verbum Dei missions. Francis Santos gave the talk about God the Father. He shared that he is always there with us, ever since we were born and will always remain in us because his love is limitless. Francis encouraged the people to connect to God because he is more than the Wifi or the internet but the source of everything.
The recollection ended with a Holy Eucharist celebrated by Fr. Iwao Ikegami. He reminded everyone the importance of being connected to God in every season of our lives and to be able to share the light that the participants receive from him for the benefit of others.
With thanks to Francis Santos and the WordNews team
Different institutions in the Church are holding, “Youth Days” in line with the year long celebration of the Year of the Youth. Percy was invited back to her alma mater, Immaculate Conception Academy, as one of the panelists for a discussion about shepherding the youth with their senior high students. Juvy gave a talk to the youth of the San Agustin Parish in Pasig with theme of “Filipino Youth in Mission: Beloved, Gifted, Empowered.” Let us conitinue to support our YOUTH!
With thanks to Percy Sy and the WordNews team
Friends of Verbum Dei (“Friends”), the NGO that supports the mission work of Verbum Dei celebrated 7 years of existence with a fundraiser entitled “Still Friends after 7 years.”
“Friends” helps in 3 main areas: Apostolate (including vocations, work, missionary journeys, youth apostolate and National communications etc), Advocacy (working with the deaf, persons with same sex attraction and females in difficult situations) and Missionary support.
The work of Friends helps remind us, and be sensitive to, the social dimension of the Gospel, as Pope Francis underlines: “Reading the Scriptures also makes it clear that the Gospel is not merely about our personal relationship with God… Both Christian preaching and life, then, are meant to have an impact on society” (EG 180).
The evening kicked off with the Holy Mass, then a dinner for the 175 attendees, followed by a “Verbum Dei’s Got Talent” concert. We were serenaded by the Ukulele band, then treated to various songs on the theme of Friendship. The grand finale was a rendition of “We are the World” by the Verbum Dei missionaries in their national costumes. With the party in full swing, the dance instructors then led the moves for an hour of energetic and high intensity dance moves.
It was both an evening of fundraising for Friends of Verbum Dei and fun-raising with many new friends!
With thanks to the WordNews team
Filipino Youth Walking with Jesus
The University of Santo Thomas Quadricentennial Pavilion Arena was filled with youthful energy as they celebrated the annual Philippine Conference on New Evangelization VI (PCNE), a four day (July 18 Thursday – July 21 Sunday) gathering of the People of God of the Archdiocese of Manila and from other local churches and ecclesial movements. The Verbum Dei Youth of Pansol or “Apo ni Jaime” (“Grandchildren of Jaime”) as they call themselves were graced with the opportunity to participate in the said event. Its objective this year was to give special focus on the youth, to celebrate and thank God for the gift of youth, to walk with youth, to listen to them, and to give the youth the opportunity to be the protagonists of the new evangelization, among themselves and with those who are in their peripheries. Hence its theme: "Filipino Youth Walking with Jesus"
The said event started on Thursday exclusively for the clergy and consecrated people with the intention of recognizing the youth of today. Friday, July 19, focused on The World of New Generation and was the actual start for the participation of the youth and the youth at heart. Starting the day with the celebration of the Eucharist the Filipino way or Misa ng Bayang Pilipino with the theme: "Jesus walked with them" (Luke 24: 15) and a Marian Procession of the Our Lady of Piat, all presided by Most Rev. Rex Andrew C. Alarcon, Bishop of Daet, and giving everyone a powerful note that "To love is not only to say 'I love you' but also to say 'I will accompany you'".
Then followed welcoming remarks by Fr. Jason H. Laguerta, PCNE Director and a Heart to Heart conversation with Cardinal Tagle, that aimed to listen to the joys and pains of the young people living in the lime light of showbiz and the marginalized people of our society. Together with Austin M. D. Quick, an internationally acclaimed Catholic speaker, and Bro. Bo Sanchez, founder of The Light of Jesus Community and The Feast. Followed by a Walk the Talk: addressing the Global Concerns of the Young People with speakers: Macy Lee, founder of Talang Dalisay, Richy Orozco, founder of Catholic Connect, Joseph Cao Huu Minh Tri, of the Commission on Youth in the Archdiocese of Saigon Ho Chi Minh City, and Stacy Indrawan, of the Youth Commission of the Bishops' Conference of Indonesia.
Then an Evening Prayer presided by Most Rev. Broderick S. Pabillo with the theme: "Stay with us... the day is almost over" (Luke 24: 29) to end the session. Then Saturday, July 20, with its theme: "Discerning: A Listening and Accompanying Church" focused on the relationship between the Mentor and the Mentee. It started with the celebration of the Eucharist presided by Most. Rev. Leopoldo C. Jaucian SVD, Bishop of Bangued, with its theme: "Their Eyes Were Opened" from Luke 24:31, where he told everyone with conviction that 'the Young People are the Treasure, Light, and the Power of the church!' and invited them to 'Be like Mary in discerning the will of God in our lives'. This was followed by 'A Listening and Accompanying Church', hosted by Fr. Jade Licauan and Sr. Helen Palacay FMIJ, a talk show segment which aims to listen to the experience of the youth ministers and their youth disciples and explore the best practices of youth ministry in different contexts. With Benedict Sanchez, son of Bo Sanchez, Bro. Audee Villaraza, Sr. Maria Anunciata Sta. Ana, Dr. Raul Sunico, Mr. and Mrs. Nelson and Cory Villafania, and their son John Mari Francis Villafania as their guest panels. Then followed by a talk about: the Importance of Kindness in the world of today by Serge Gabriel, a spoken word poet, A testimony from Michael Shimamoto by sharing his stories of hope and faith through music, and an impromptu song composition by Fr. Manoling Francisco and Toto Sorioso with the help of asking lyrics from the audience. Then a concurrent session about the New Trends in Youth Ministry by Christina Lamas, where she talked about 'learning the language of the youth', their needs and interests as part of the catholic church, and what we can learn from them. And an Evening Prayer to end the session with the theme: "Were not our hearts burning?" From Luke 24: 32 presided by the Cardinal himself, Luis Antonio Tagle, where he invited everyone to change roles by "treating each other as persons that can be a mentor and mentored." Then Sunday, July 21, the last day of the congress with its theme: The Filipino Youth in Mission: Beloved, Gifted, Empowered. The atmosphere of arena was filled with love and music as they sing their hearts out to God by starting the session with Praise and Worship, followed by a 1-hour drama presentation of Genesis to Jesus, A Musical Narrative of Darkness and Light concert, Live testimonial videos of the Youth and A Holy Mass with commissioning of Missionary Disciples with the theme: "They set out at once" from Luke 24: 33 presided again by Cardinal Tagle, where he invites everyone in his homily to 'pass on our song'.. "Let us pass on the Word of God through our stories. Let us dine together and tell our stories. Especially the stories that tie our generations to the next." - Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle
Overall it was a wonderful youth filled and life filled event!
With thanks to Gabs (Gabriel Cinco Lanada) and the WordNews team
“Write down all that you see”
Recently an essay of James McTavish won 1st place for best essay in the Scholarly magazines category of the 2019 Catholic Press Association (CPA) awards of the United States and Canada. The essay, entitled “Jesus the Divine Physician,” was published in the Linacre Quarterly, the journal of the Catholic Medical Association of the USA.
The essay discussed the ministry of healing of Jesus and how the Church and her members have the ongoing task of continuing this healing work in the world of today. Various questions were dealt with including what did the healing work of Jesus consist of? What is the role of faith in healing? Is it wrong to desire good health? How to live with sickness? Is there a connection between sin and sickness? What reasons can maintain our hope?
On being asked about the award James said “I was happy to receive the award this year. Last year, an essay of mine won second place so now it is nice in 2019 to get a 1st place although I always remember that all glory and honor is yours Almighty Father! I believe that as Verbum Dei we have a great richness to contribute which is the written Word coming from our prayer and our theological reflections.”
James is still writing his reflections and his latest article is called “Priesthood and Same Sex Attraction.” He is a member of the Catholic Theological Ethics in the World Church (CTEWC) and is supportive of their efforts to enhance connections and networking between theological ethicists.
We are encouraged in our Verbum Dei spirituality that the Word have an impact on the society around us (see Verbum Dei constitutions, no 55).
May we all be faithful to the Holy Spirit in transmitting our written reflections to the world of today - from our posts on Facebooks, to the news items we share on the Verbum Dei webpage, and even our theological reflections – knowing that as 1 John 1:4 tells us “We are writing this to you to make our own joy complete.”
The essay “Jesus the Divine Physician” can be viewed on the link below.
Or download the PDF file below.
Midlife is Real!
We were 6 consecrated women, 1 religious brother, 1 religious priest and 27 diocesan priests from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao who signed up for the 14 day Midlife Integration Process (MIP), a program offered by Tagbadbad foundation. Held in a retreat house in Tagaytay city, we all were accompanied by a team of priests, consecrated persons including the help of three of our very own Verbum Dei Missionaries. We began each day with mass with the priest participants taking turns in presiding.
The mornings were spent listening to talks which gave us a lot of light what midlife transition and crisis is all about. They gave us many tools how we can navigate what could be a challenging, dark, lonely moment in our life so as to realize how this stage actually provides a great opportunity to live the paschal mystery and let God bring us to our fullness!
The afternoons gave us space for deeper reflection, processing and ample rest ending with holy hour. They provided us individual counselling and Spiritual Direction sessions. The last 3 days of the process culminated in a retreat led by our Verbum Dei Missionaries, Grace and Margarida, helping us pray and discover that this isn’t just about a process or program but in reality it is about a person... MIP - “meet in person” Christ, participating in His Paschal Mystery, in the deepest darkest corner of our inner life.
The feedback of many participant priests and sisters to the Verbum Dei retreat given here was very positive. We felt so happy to see our Verbum Dei charism at the service of the life of the Church, enriching and nurturing the connection with God of Christ’s ministers, recharging their inner batteries and filling their inner dryness with the life giving of God’s Word.
One of the participants said ‘This was a real retreat, the first real retreat I’ve ever done… the Word was alive, not just theory that filled our heads but touching our lives, helping us to be renewed in our vocations as priests. Thank you so much sisters’,
Midlife Integration Process: June 1-14,2019
Verbum Dei Missionaries who joined as participants: Percy Sy, Marla Galvez
Verbum Dei Missionaries helping out Tagbadbad Foundation:
Grace Gonzalez - Preacher, facilitator of retreat
Margarida Londral as speaker for 2 mornings on the topic of Shadows, served as spiritual director, preacher and facilitator of the retreat
Rachel Lumain - served as spiritual director
Tagbadbad foundation - A non-profit organization offering psycho-spiritual programs for the clergy, consecrated and lay faithful.
With thanks to Percy Sy and the WordNews team
"Receive the Power"
Verbum Dei Pentecost recollection in CTK Parish
The Verbum Dei recollection was held on June 12, 2019 at CTK Parish. It was aptly entitled "Receive the Power" (see Acts 1:8).
Who is the Holy Spirit? This was the question Fr. James McTavish used for openers at the day's talk. Because the Holy Spirit is probably the least understood person of the Trinity. It is important for us to know the Spirit, learn to relate to Him, and understand how He manifests Himself.
The Holy Spirit can come as a dove, fire, wind, water; but most importantly ... He is a Person! He has intentions. He shows willfulness and discretion. He loves, intercedes, teaches, advocates, consoles, and prays. He is the Principal Agent of the Mission.
We receive the Spirit when we believe in Him, and we build a relationship through prayers and faith. Jesus promises the gift of the Holy Spirit to those who seek Him. We know the Spirit is working through us when we are drawn to Christ. The fruit of the Spirit is the result of His presence in our lives. In Galatians 5:22-23 the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
The Celebration of the Holy Eucharist followed after an hour of prayer and sharing.
The mass was presided by Fr. Bong Guinoo and Fr. James McTavish. Readings were taken from Acts of the Apostles 2:1-11 and John 29:19-23.
Fr. Bong gave an enlightening homily on the Spirit's role in molding us into the image of Christ, so that we may live in His likeness. Just as the Apostles received the gift of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, we too can enjoy the fullness and power of the Holy Spirit working in our lives, enhancing our relationship with God.
I. Afternoon activities were the 'the Spirit and Mother Mary'.
Testimonials of the Fruit of the Spirit: Sr. Cecilia shared her experience on fortitude. The gift that helped her overcome fears and gave her courage to take risks for Christ. Enabled her to stand up for what is right even if it meant rejection.
Ms. Judy Tan talked about the fruit of generosity by giving time, talent, and treasure selflessly to glorify God and make a difference.
Dr. Resti Bautista spoke on the fruit of faithfulness. It is the result of the Spirit working in us. For the Spirit is our seal of faithfulness, our witness to God's promise of salvation.
II. Recitation of the Rosary of the Spirit was led by Sr. Cecilia and Sr. Iria (a German Verbum Dei missionary working in Budapest) in different languages symbolizes friendship and solidarity. It was a beautiful moment of collaboration and harmony. We were also blessed to have the presence of Sr Pearl and Brother Jojo, two Verbum Dei missionaries in formation.
What a spirit-filled day it was! Nothing can fill more our hearts with peace and contentment, than the certitude that the Holy Spirit loves us and lives in us. Awareness of His presence in us lead us to renew ourselves and to respect and care for one another. It gives us courage, wisdom, and strength to communicate the Word of God to others.
Let us call on the Holy Spirit to awaken and unleash in us His love and power, so that we may be renewed, empowered, and encouraged to become Apostles of Jesus Christ.
Let us ask the help of the Blessed Virgin Mary, so that we too can be faithful to the promptings of the Spirit. As Fr Jaime Bonet, FMVD, the Verbum Dei founder prayed “Grant me, dear Mama, a detailed and meticulous fidelity, delicate, attentive and grateful to the Holy Spirit. Help me to respond promptly, immediately and sharply to his insinuations.”
Here are some photos of the event:
With thanks to Grace Chan and the WordNews team
“Holy Spirit, be with us!”
Spirit Filled VDMFa-Cebu Celebrates Pentecost 2019
Last June 9, 2019, the Verbum Dei Missionary Family Cebu celebrated the Feast of the Descent of the Holy Spirit, or Pentecost, with the theme “Holy Spirit, be with us!” at Verbum Dei Apostolate Center in Banawa, Good Shepherd Road, Cebu City.
The event started with an animation dance, “Live by the Spirit” led by the vibrant VDei teens and youth. The people were warmly welcomed by Jean Pulmones in her Welcome Talk. Then, they learned more of who is the Holy Spirit in their lives with the talk on ‘Who the Holy Spirit is? The Fire from Above’ which was given by Ann Payos. After which they were led to pray with the Holy Spirit, the Faithful Companion of our soul. Then, to deepen on the ‘Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit’, the participants were assigned to seven booths of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit wherein each gift was explained, elaborated and there was a sharing of experiences of living out that particular gift of the Spirit. Thereafter, the group made a collage that expressed their understanding of that particular gift of the Holy Spirit.
The VDei Kids had their separate talks and activities handled by two Couple Missionaries in the Formation Course: Elena and Kristoffer Ty, Emily and Owen Rapirap.
In the afternoon, the group was on fire as they played some games. A talk on ‘Holy Spirit, the Fire of the VD Mission’ was then given by Lucio Pulmones. It was followed by a time of prayerful reflection of the call of the urgency of doing the VDei Mission. Right after that, the group joyfully shared about the concrete call of Mission that each one received in prayer. The Pentecost celebration culminated with the Holy Mass presided by Father Felix.
During the mass, the VDei Missionary Family warmly welcomed the new member of the VDMFa-Cebu, a missionary couple and family assigned in Cebu. They were Regner and Mae Paguia with their four children. Souvenirs of the Gifts the Holy Spirit were given to the participants. We were more than a hundred.
As a VD Missionary Family, we are challenged by our founder, Jaime Bonet, “Our flesh and blood, vivified by the Holy Spirit, become fruitful throughout the Church. Faithful to the Spirit, our life opens up like Jesus’ side so that many may be born to the Life of God. Marked by the rhythm of the Spirit of love, owner and spouse of our being, this tent of ours in this world will extend for generations without end, for the vitalization of the whole Body of Christ.” (see Verbum Dei Constitutions, no. 71). And our prayer is “Come, Holy Spirit, be with us!
Here are some photos of the event:
With thanks from the WordNews team
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