Read the news from events, activities and other updates on the different communities here in the Philippines
“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
Protect our Children!
A course on protection and safeguarding of minors and vulnerable persons
Jesus held the children in high esteem. In his public life he announced “Let the children come to me; do not prevent them for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these” (Mark 10:14). He also warned, “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea...” (Matthew 18:6). Our Lord himself loved the children and condemned any maltreatment.
It is with profound regret that Pope Francis had to call our attention as Church to the issue of abuse of minors and vulnerable adults. He announced that “The protection of minors and vulnerable persons is an integral part of the Gospel message that the Church and all its members are called to proclaim throughout the world.” (Apostolic letter On the Protection of Minors and Vulnerable persons, 26 March 2019). The Pope repeated his teaching again in his most recent apostolic letter entitled “Vos estis lux mundi” (You are the light of the world) which came into force on 1 June 2019. “The crimes of sexual abuse offend Our Lord, cause physical, psychological and spiritual damage to the victims and harm the community of the faithful. In order that these phenomena, in all their forms, never happen again, a continuous and profound conversion of hearts is needed, attested by concrete and effective actions that involve everyone in the Church.”
The “Child Safeguarding Institute” of the Emmaus Center, Ateneo de Manila, seeking to respond to this urgent call of the Church, has been running a “Basic Orientation Workshop on Safeguarding of Minors.” This is a 5-day course which overviews basic aspects of child safeguarding, and emphasizes safe self, safe community and safe ministry.
One of the Verbum Dei missionaries, James McTavish, participated in the course and the subsequent 3 day “Write shop” for policy writing for his community. He said “this was an excellent course. I was impressed by the overall content and the new emphasis on care of victims first. The inputs by Dr Gabby Dy-Liacco, (a current member of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors), Msgr “Nonoy” Maculino and Dra “Titay” La Vina were both helpful and thought provoking. I realized we all need to work together to make a new culture of safeguarding towards minors and vulnerable adults.”
Further information about this theme can be found below.
New Apostolic letter “Vos estis lux mundi” of Pope Francis:
Website for the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors:
Two Verbum Dei Missionaries received an invitation to join the event organized by the Philippine Bible Society last May 17, 2019 launching the New English Standard Version (ESV) of the Bible, Catholic Edition.
The ESV bible is a formal translation (essentially literal) meaning it tried to translate the bible from its original text word for word as compared to translating it thought for thought (dynamic translation).
It is a revision of the Revised Standard Version or RSV. The original ESV was published in 2001 by Crossway and in 2018, in partnership with an Indian company, Asian Trading Corporation (ATC) launched this Catholic Edition. A group of 20 bible scholars in India worked on checking the translation. We give thanks to people who dedicate their lives spreading the Word of God!
Dear Verbum Dei Family,
Yesterday, May 7, we bid farewell to Sister Ana Miguel who passed away in Siete Aguas, Spain at the age of 90 years and 56 years as a missionary. She was the first Verbum Dei missionary, pioneer of the female branch, who opened the way for many others to live and proclaim the Gospel.
As heirs of the same charism that Ana lived in a discrete and faithful way, we are grateful for her life and above all, for her testimony of fidelity and peace. We ask her and all those who have already preceded us, to continue to encourage us to live our mission with confidence and joy as they did.
We join all the Verbum Dei Family in Siete Aguas who will surely be celebrating this moment so significant for all.
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