Read the news from events, activities and other updates on the different communities here in the Philippines
Valentine’s Day this year marked another milestone for the Fraternidad Misionera Verbum Dei in the Philippines, with the Launching of the Pre-Formation Course for Missionary Married Couples. After completing their one-year Discernment Course last November 2021, two married couples now enter a period of even more deepening of their YES to God’s call to mission. Manuel and Imelda Manceli are part of the Verbum Dei Family in Cebu, while Resti and Cecilia Bautista hail from the community in Quezon City.
The Launching kicked off with the celebration of the Holy Mass, officiated by our dear missioneros Fr. Michael Cheong and Fr. Iwao Ikegami at the home of Resti and Cecilia in Antipolo City. They were joined via Zoom by Manuel and Imelda as well as their formators Antonio and Marisol from Madrid Spain, Bimbo and Cookie from Cagayan De Oro City, and Eryle and Ann from Cebu City. The ecclesiality of the Verbum Dei Fraternity was very palpable as the Mass was also attended by the student-missioneros from the Batasan Hills Formation House, our dear missioneras from Pasig and Manila, and the missionary couples from CDO and Cebu.
In his homily, Fr. Michael exhorted the couples to take on the attitudes in James 1:1-11: to pray for perseverance, to ask for wisdom and to walk in faith. He reminded those present of their consecration, which is to be a sign of God’s presence in the world today. We continue to pray fervently for these two married couples, their families and their formators as they embark on another journey of discovery in God’s everlasting love.
Article by Resti Bautista
Read the first issue on the newsletter of the Verbum Dei Missionary Family of Quezon City.
On Jan 9, 2022, an online recollection, “Bagong Taon, Bagong Buhay” was held specially for youths. There were about 100 participants altogether both via zoom and facebook live from different parts of Luzon coming together to listen to the Word of God through guidelines given by Br. Gelo. It was a good, fun and energizing moment to get to meet and listen to youths, and to know that I am not alone on this journey toward newness that 2022 will bring.
In this recollection, one of the things that I learnt and the message I received from God is compassion. Be compassionate to others, to me, and to Him. Through my journey as a nursing student, all the lessons and topics from my subjects are different but there is one similarity: to take care of the patient. To care for all peoples - rich or poor, acquaintance or stranger, men or women, and neighbor as the Good Samaritan has set the example (Luke 10:25-27). With the image of the Good Samaritan, Jesus invites me in the start of 2022, I can be compassionate as a student, classmate, daughter, sister, stranger, and person just as He is!
With thanks to Cassandra Badajos and the WordNews team
“Let the Children come to me” (Matthew 19:14)
I am Jonnalyn Estrada from Verbum Dei Pansol and I would like to share with you all my experience of apostolate with the kids of our neighborhood. Recently we relaunched re the Kids SoW on October 9, 2021. It had been on pause mode because of the pandemic.
The first activity was a "Kumustahan" (How are you?). As I watched the children, I felt their eagerness to learn good lessons from God's Word. It was fun to listen to each of their stories. Yes, I will admit I got to the point where I thought it might be difficult for us teachers to handle the kids – maybe they would be messy and not listen! But actually, they were well behaved and very participative. And really, they were so willing to learn!
I am so happy because we were able to provide guidelines for the children. We teach them every Saturday from 11:00 am-12:00pm. And I am so grateful that I am part of this team working with the children. Thanks to Father Iwao also who guides us, and to Ma’am Cecilia and Doc Resti who continue to inspire and motivate us so that we can teach children well. I also thank the co-teachers - Tita Muriel, Ate Siony, Ate Belen, Ate Helen, Mylen and Kharis. We pray we can persevere and continue to inspire the children. God will inspire and guide us too so that we can be faithful to our mission.
With thanks to Jonnalyn Estrada and the WordNews team
Hope & Healing
Music is very powerful. It has the capacity to make other people happy and be transformed especially in this time of pandemic when many people are looking for inspiration. That’s why the Ephphata Singles Group of Quezon City organized an online Song Forum entitled Hope and Healing last October 24, 2021.
It was an event open for all which was attended by over 30 people, through Zoom and Facebook Live. The activity consisted of ten songs rendered by some of the Verbum Dei Missionaries and disciples. There were also two testimonies given by two of Ephphatha Singles Group members.
As the saying goes “Music is the language of the soul.” May the uplifting songs inspire the people to have hope and healing amidst the difficult situation that we are in today. As Psalm 100 says, “I will sing of your love and justice; to you, LORD, I will sing praise.”
With thanks to Francis Santos
We marvel at God’s handiwork in the midst of these difficult times when this pandemic proves daunting more than ever after reaching the highest number of new Covid-19 cases a day at over 26,000 in our country. God has shown his faithfulness in choosing Reverend Jojo David to serve His people like Christ who had come “not to be served but to serve.” (cf. Mt 20:28)
The ordination to the Holy Orders of Deacon of Joseph V. David was held in the Parish of Holy Sacrifice in UP Diliman, Quezon City last September 11, 2021. The ordaining prelate was Most Rev. Honesto F. Ongtioco, D.D., Bishop of Cubao.
Following strict government guidelines, only a handful of relatives, members of the FMVD, and parish eucharistic ministers were allowed to be present. Despite this limitation, the event turned out to be grander than expected as people all over the globe united in prayer were able to witness the event virtually.
Bishop Ongtioco, in his homily, enthusiastically marked the words of Christ to Jojo “It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you.” (Jn 15:16)
Jojo worked as a professional for more than twenty years and held high positions in several companies. He had his own plans but still, the Lord never left calling him to follow him closely and be his ordained representative in the world of today. Through his life, we can witness that “God is with us.” Truly, the spirit of Christmas is here as we start the “ber” months.
Filled with joy, Jojo echoed the words of our Mother Mary in his thanksgiving saying, “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my savior.” (Luke 1:46-47)
Let us continue to pray for fidelity, fruitfulness, and felicity of our beloved and chosen apostle, Reverend Joseph V. David, as he prepares for his priestly ordination in 2022.
In the month of August 2021, a recollection given to a group of young working adults by the Manila VD missionaries (Ecclesial). It was a 3 full days online recollection with the theme: Many Parts, One Body inspired by 1 Cor 12. Below is a testimony given by one of the participants.
My retreat experience began with me feeling a bit of excitement but also feeling anxious from thoughts with regards to work and things from my daily life. One of the many moments of grace that I experience in the retreat was in the very first session. The question that stuck in my head is a simple how are you and yet, I don't quite know how I really am. I am glad that session was followed by moment of silence where I can once again reconnect with my interior self and be present with Jesus. in my interior mind: I see myself sitting in a room playing or just worrying with my own things yet I forget that Jesus was at the door waiting for me and to give me what true joy is. That moment of joy then came throughout the rest of the retreat. From the moment of affirmation of gifts to a heartfelt conversation with community members and also, the joy of the Lord that was clearly shown from the facilitators of our retreat! This testimony is written a week from the retreat and what changed is definitely my morning routine. A song from brother Isaiah (a youtube channel introduced) now often become the start of the day to get myself back into the right disposition. Life is still the same but that clarity with my inner self with Jesus and knowing I always have the backing of my community members helped me to retain that joy the Lord has given to me during the retreat.
Drug Abuse Prevention Webinar
The Verbum Family in Cebu and Cagayan de Oro (in the Philippines) conducted a webinar titled DRUG ABUSE PREVENTION ON FAMILY MEMBERS on September 5, 2021, in collaboration with the Department of Health Treatment and Rehabilitation Center- Cebu City. Members of the Verbum Dei community from both communities attended the event, as did the majority of police officers from the Philippines National Police Regional Communications and Electronics Unit Region 10, which is led by Police Major July Love Galvadores, who is also a Verbum Dei disciple.
The event started planning in the second quarter of this year. This Department of Health advocacy aims to raise awareness, improve health, and prevent drug abuse, all of which we at Verbum Dei as a community of families totally support and believe in.
School of Preaching in 2 Parts
The community in Mindanao organized a school of preaching in two sessions – June 18 & July 9, 2021 respectively, with special guest speaker Sister Cecilia Teo. The organizers thought that this is necessary as a response to an earlier mention of the need to equip the disciples in preparing, developing and delivering Guidelines in the Schools of the Word. It is imperative that being in this charism, one has to have the fundamentals in preaching the Verbum Dei way. We cannot yield to complacency & timidity thus it is recommended that coaching and training of this kind is indispensable adding growth and maturity in this charism, thus should be done recurrently.
The organizers would like to thank those who attended especially disciples coming from our community in Manila and some VD members in some parts of the US.
“Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone.” (Mark 16:15)
Work is an integral aspect in lives of the people. It is also one of the major concerns of the singles. In line with this, the Ephphata Singles Group of Verbum Dei, Quezon City, Philippines, organized an online formation last June 12, 2021 entitled Beauty and Spirituality of work. The formation was headed by Fr. James McTavish FMVD and attended by 24 participants.
Fr. James reminded the attendees that work is gift. He also shared that not all stress that a person experiences is bad, but that there is also “good” stress that can help the person to function better. He also shared that Jesus himself was a worker and that his example must be emulated. He said that work and spirituality can go hand in hand. By being good in work the person can give glory to God.
Amidst the challenges that the world is facing, Covid-19 pandemic, unemployment and other factors that can affect the lives of the people and with singles in particular - it is very important to be connected to the source, God. He will give us the energy to survive the different challenges. Psalm 55:22 “Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.” Let us enjoy our work , and serve the Lord in this way.
With thanks to Francis Jerome Santos and the WordNews team.
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