Read the news from events, activities and other updates on the different communities here in the Philippines
In His Word
Silence can be action-packed! This was what we, members of the Christ the King Parish SOW, discovered when we attended a silent retreat from November 6 to 10 in Tagaytay. The retreat focused on only 11 lines from Luke 5. But the superb missionary team gave these few lines a full-on attack, giving us an experience of high adventure “in His Word.”
The first day focused on the themes of search and encounter. Fr James helped us pray about how Jesus searches untiringly for us all our lives. Fr. David, fresh from mission in Vietnam, helped us pray on Jesus getting into Peter’s boat, how it changed his life and the life of the church beyond imagining, and how Jesus wants to do this too in our daily lives. Fr. Ismael zeroed in on prayer as the way to put together faith and daily life, and called silence an “affective vacuum” that makes conversation with the Trinity possible.
On the second day, the big theme was prayer and trust. Fr James spoke about how important it is to develop a familiar dialogue with Jesus that will help us develop trust in Him. He also helped us see how much Jesus also trusts US. Sr. Grace told us her vocation story, inviting us to ask Jesus: “What do You want from me?” and to leave behind the shore of our security to discover the ocean of His dreams for us. Fr. David preached a passionate homily about Jesus trusting in us, and how the experience of His trust changes sinners into saints and weak people into people who change history. He also shared stories of mission: hardship posts where he had to learn to trust completely in the providence of God. Fr. Ismael gave the day a “perfect ending” by teaching us how to close each day well by making an exam or summary of the day in prayer with the Trinity.
The third day was all about “catching fish.” Fr. David spoke about how faith and mission go together, and how mission must be done in love. Fr James then spoke about how mission cannot be done by “lone rangers” but rather in humility and in partnership with others. He invited us to ask in prayer: “Where is the Lord calling you to cast your net?” Fr. Ismael capped the day by preaching a very helpful homily on how to evangelize in daily life.
The fourth day was devoted to gathering the fruits and the fish!
With great-hearted preaching that brought together passion and pedagogy, with daily mass, adoration and the rosary, with a community of SoWers eager to pray and to learn, the retreat made us encounter Jesus, larger than life: searching for us, getting into our boat and calling us all to “put out into the deep,” and seeing in all of us “fishers of people.”
Here are some photos of the event:
With thanks to Stella and Mario Deriquito and the WordNews team
On the third day of November 2019, the Pansol Youth Verbum Dei conducted their second mission trip at San Agustin Church, Intramuros Manila with the collaboration of the Missionaries of Charity. The 13 youth facilitators, headed by Kuya Bong, facilitated 125 participants, aged 12-23 years old, from Antipolo City and different areas of Tondo, Manila.
Both the facilitators and the participants gained a fruitful experience from the talks of Ate Elaine about love for life, and Kuya Bong about conversion. The Sacrament of Reconciliation was explained thoroughly by Kuya Bong at his homily, he stated that “if you reconcile your sins to God. He will forget and forgive you, you just need to accept that we are sinners and forgive ourselves for being weak”.
Little by little we the Pansol youth are really getting a taste for mission to other youth!
Here are some photos of the event:
In the Philippines and other countries worldwide, the celebration of All Souls day (2 Nov) is marked by a visit to the cemetery to remember loved ones and pray for them. In order to deepen on the reality of death, the Verbum Dei missionaries conducted a retreat for this purpose: to reflect on the brevity of this life, and to prepare our hearts and souls for death, which one day will come, and we hope not too soon.
It was held on 30 October 2019 in the Christ the King parish, with 65 participants. In the introduction, the letter of St Ignatius of Antioch was shared to us. Before being fed to the lions, he wrote “The time for my birth is close at hand” which seems at first unusual because he was about to die. However, he is actually reminding us that in death, life is changed, not ended. The first talk centered on a spirituality of death and dying. We were asked “What would you do if you only had 5 days left to live?” and more importantly “what is stopping you doing it?” “Choose now what you would wish to have chosen at life’s end” as St Anthony Mary Claret advised.
A formation was also given on Catholic church teaching on suffering, dying and eternal life. Points shared include why is there sickness and suffering as well as how to manage the care of dying loved ones. We were informed that “discontinuing medical procedures that are burdensome, dangerous, extraordinary, or disproportionate to the expected outcome can be legitimate; it is the refusal of "over-zealous" treatment. Here one does not will to cause death; one's inability to impede it is merely accepted.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 2278). Such teaching is eminently practical and useful as one tendency is to overtreat out of guilty feelings.
The afternoon dynamic was “fun” and interesting - to design your own tombstone! A rosary was prayed together with concurrent confessions nearby. In this sacrament we really touch our “dust-iness” but we also experience God’s eternal mercy. The day closed with a Eucharist, celebrated by Fr Bong Guinoo, and Fr Ismael Barros, the General responsible of the male missionaries, along with Fr James. In the homily we were reminded that love is eternal, and that we have passed from death to life when we love others (see 1 John 3:14).
By considering our end in this way, we can hope to arrive there without too may regrets because we already lived. As we heard in the movie Braveheart “All men die, but not all men truly live.”
Here are some photos of the event:
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
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
"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
Called and Chosen
Last May 19, 2019 was an important day for the Pansol, Quezon City Youth Group because it was the day of the Youth Election.
Before the election began Fr. Bong Guinoo gave us some guidelines of prayer to help the participants in choosing the next leader that will be elected. He said that a leader must be someone who follows the example of Jesus. He shared also about Saint Peter and how he was chosen as the first leader of the Catholic Church.
There was a short sharing after the time of prayer, and immediately after that the voting began. After the counting of votes, it was Gab Lanada who was elected as the new Head of the Pansol, Quezon City Youth Group.
Here are the Official Core Members of Verbum Dei Pansol Youth Group:
The Core Group already had planning afterwards about the activities for the second quarter of the year.
Congratulations Gab! We wish you the best in your new mission as the Pansol Youth Head.
We make our prayer like the psalmist “Grant success to the work of our hands Lord, grant success to the work of our hands” (Psalm 90). And may our work help many youth and bear much fruit in the lives of many young people!
With thanks to Francis Santos and the WordNews team
For Jaime Bonet, the Verbum Dei founder, the so-called “School of Apostles” (SOAp) is an essential element of the Verbum Dei spirituality. What is a SOAp?
Stephen Drum, a Verbum Dei member said “In simple terms, an apostle is someone who has not just been evangelized but also becomes an evangelizer. In terms of Christians, it means that the apostle not only believes in Jesus, has a personal relationship with Him, and follows His teaching, but also has accepted the task of helping others to come to a similar relationship with Jesus. For Verbum Dei, the Apostle is someone who does this according to the specific charism of prayer and preaching with the Word of God.”
This is in line with the exhortation of Pope Francis, “In virtue of their baptism, all the members of the People of God have become missionary disciples (cf. Mt 28:19). All the baptized, whatever their position in the Church or their level of instruction in the faith, are agents of evangelization, and it would be insufficient to envisage a plan of evangelization to be carried out by professionals while the rest of the faithful would simply be passive recipients. The new evangelization calls for personal involvement on the part of each of the baptized. So what are we waiting for?” (Evangelii Gaudium, no. 120)
In other words, a SOAp is a school, where you learn, to be an apostle! Not to just to receive, but to learn HOW TO GIVE!
The Quezon city community has the SOAp twice a month, on the first and last Saturdays, from 8am-11am, and we start and end on time. This year we have covered the talks of Welcome, Life and Love, and now we are working on God the Father. Each apostle is expected to pray with the talk, type it up, have it checked and then give it. And as Jaime reminded us, “The School of Apostles, for me, never had as an objective that they learn to preach, but that they live what they have to say.”
For Francis, one of the Verbum Dei Disciples of Pansol, Quezon City, said “School of Apostles is very helpful in the Verbum Dei mission because it makes the person be more prepared in preaching. The last lesson that we had was about God the Father. It reminded me that no matter who we are, we are all connected to one source who is God our Father. He knew us even before we were born. He is always there for us whatever season of life we are in.” For Francis the School of Apostles prepares the disciples to be ready for evangelization which is very vital in our mission as Verbum Family. It helps us to deepen our faith and to be able to be better ambassadors of Christ in our world today.
Resti Bautista, a pediatrician from PGH, has volunteered to give the talk of God the Father on 26 April. Good luck Resti! Enjoy your prayer with God the Father!
See some photos of the event:
With thanks to Francis Santos 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
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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