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EDITORIAL STAFF

Rev. Fr. Roberto O. Gaa


Moderator

Sem. John Reyman S. Dabuet


Editor-in-Chief

Sem. Richard Anthony A. Lim


Sem. Mark Ian V. Abu
Sem. Gerald M. Moscardon
Sem. Keith R. Buenaventura
Associate Editors

TABLE OF CONTENTS Sem. Ryan Tristan O. Digan


Business Manager
3 | GAUDETE ET EXSULTATE 15 | 25TH ALUMNI HOMECOMING
Called to Be Holy in the Ordinary The Joy of Priestly Life Sem. Jobert Martin S. Gatmaitan
Circulation Manager
4 | CLINICAL AND PASTORAL EDUCATION 16 | PHILIPPINE CONFERENCE ON
Sem. Roldan B. Baliano
Holiness Through Wholeness THE NEW EVANGELIZATION V
Photojournalist
Love at First (and Last) Sight
5 | SUMMER APOSTOLATE: CATECHISM Sem. Renz Marion C. Cunanan
From Knowing about God to Knowing 17 | PHILIPPINE CONFERENCE ON Lay-out Artist/Cover
God THE NEW EVANGELIZATION V
“Moved with Compassion… Feed the
6 | PARISH APOSTOLATE Multitude”
The Little Details of Love CONTRIBUTORS
18 | OPENING OF PALAKHASSAN 2018
7 | 30-DAY RETREAT Healthy Body, Holy Body Rev. Fr. Roy Rexelle M. Decena
Beloved Sem. Mark Ian V. Abu
19 | COMMUNITY NIGHT OUT Sem. John Paul S. Adia
Sem. Edgar R. Calma
8 | ENTRANCE DAY: GAUDIUM 2024 Bringing HASS Together
Sem. Ivan Joseph F. Feniquito
Lord, Here We Are!
Sem. Rodel D.O. Aclan
20 | FILIPINO DEBATE Sem. Justin G. Gatus
9 | COMMUNITY ELECTION Pagtahimik Bilang Tugon Sem. Gerald M. Moscardon
Becoming a Servant-Leader Sem. Carmelo V. Pocdol
21 | ADMISSION TO CANDIDACY Sem. Keith R. Buenaventura
10 | APOSTOLATE SEND-OFF An Entry to Jerusalem Sem. Peter Collin C. Crisostomo
Apostolate Mission-Sending: A Call for Sem. Glicerio T. Tano
Boldness and Joy 22 | THEOLOGY TRIDUUM 2018 Sem. Lester John D. Cabais
Setting the World on Fire! Sem. Tristan Ralf Q. Pacheco
11 | SOLEMN INVESTITURE Sem. Roldan B. Baliano
Binihisan ng Awa at Pag-ibig 23 | Needed: A Form of Government Sem. Renz Marion C. Cunanan
Rooted in Gospel Values Sem. John Reyman S. Dabuet
14 | FAMILY AND APOSTOLATE DAY Sem. Ryan Tristan O. Digan
Kagalakang Mula sa Puso Sem. Jobert Martin S. Gatmaitan
Sem. Richard Anthony A. Lim

EDITOR’S NOTE As you read through the articles and


pages of this newsletter, you will find
Rejoice and Be Glad! accounts of events in Holy Apostles Senior
Seminary for these past months, with
We greet you, as Pope Francis did, in his recent Apostolic relevant reflections of seminarians and
Exhortation, Gaudete et Exsultate, for we present to you, with priest formators. For a greater appreciation
great joy, the First Semester Issue of Dakilang Tanda for the of the theme, we have also cited snippets
Formation Year 2018-2019. of the Apostolic Exhortation, as it applies
to certain events and to our own vocation
Themed Gaudete et Exsultate: Called to Be Holy in the and formation in the seminary.
Ordinary, we center on the said exhortation by the Holy Father
and the invitation to strive for holiness in the simple and May you be blessed while reading
mundane. Dakilang Tanda.

2 DAKILANG TANDA | Volume XX No. 1 October 2018


GAUDETE ET EXSULTATE
Called to Be Holy in the Ordinary
Sem. John Reyman S. Dabuet

A s a freshman in the seminary


formation, I look up to our
priest formators with reverence and
an unreachable star. So, they either
become hopeless or simply afraid of it.
Thus, these Christians live their lives
holiness is uniquely attainable by
ordinary persons. Yes, even you and
me! Every Christian, every member
awe for I see them as persons who according to how the world calls them, of the Church, is called to holiness for
achieved some form of grace, some not to how the Lord calls them. The this is what the Lord wants us to really
form of blessing from God, to live in world calls them to strive for the greater strive for.
a different way. Set apart for God, I things in the world: money, power, lust,
say, priests exude what we term as vanity, material possessions, etc. The “To be holy does not require being
holiness. I have always asked myself, Lord calls them to strive for the one a bishop, a priest, or a religious. We
as someone aspiring to be a priest: great thing in heaven: holiness – a life are frequently tempted to think that
Will I ever achieve that too? One offered back to God. As a Christian, holiness is only for those who can
day, I reflected on the task I do daily where do you see yourself? What do withdraw from ordinary affairs to spend
for our Eucharistic Adoration. I sit by you strive for? much time in prayer. That is not the
assignment on the front pew near the case. We are all called to be holy by
aisle of our chapel and my daily task is This year, Pope Francis provided living our lives with love and by bearing
to open the spotlight for the exposed us a timely Apostolic Exhortation to witness in everything we do, wherever
Blessed Sacrament. Sometimes, I help bring us back to what we should we find ourselves. Are you called to
would be in perfect timing turning on really be striving for. He gave us the consecrated life? Be holy by living
that spotlight. Sometimes, I would be Gaudete et Exsultate (GE), which is out your commitment with joy. Are
too late in pushing the switch for I was Latin for “Rejoice and Be Glad” (Mt you married? Be holy by loving and
distracted or focused with another. 5:12), the line that he used to open caring for your husband or wife, as
Then I wondered: Is there holiness in the whole discussion. The exhortation Christ does for the Church. Do you
this ordinary task I have? expounds on what Jesus told his work for a living? Be holy by laboring
followers especially when persecuted with integrity and skill in the service
A few days ago, I have listened to a for his sake. Through the document, of your brothers and sisters. Are you
homily which brought a new light to the believers and readers get a glimpse a parent or grandparent? Be holy by
word “holiness”. According to the priest, into the heart and mind of the Holy patiently teaching the little ones how
the term holiness in Greek refer mostly Father, especially on how he views to follow Jesus. Are you in a position
to the gods. Being holy is an attribute holiness and how it applies to our lives of authority? Be holy by working for
of being flawless and majestic, as with in today’s world. the common good and renouncing
the Greek gods of mythology. He, then, personal gain” (GE #14).
contrasted this with the meaning of Holiness, according to Pope
holiness in Hebrew, which was much Francis, is the most attractive face of Gaudete et Exsultate brings
deeper. According to him, being holy the Church because the Holy Spirit me joy and hope because it affirms
is an attribute of man belonging wholly raises up “signs of his presence that a simple and ordinary person
to God, despite the imperfections of which help Christ’s followers” (GE #9). like me can also dream of achieving
his humanity. The latter definition just Because it is the face of the Church, and reaching holiness. My simple
made holiness as something man can each of us is called to “Be holy, for I task of turning on the spotlight for
attain, something man can take hold am holy” (Lev 11:44; 1 Pet 1:16). the Blessed Sacrament may be an
of. The priest, then, had this question The Second Vatican Council clearly ordinary task, but if I perfect it by doing
to ask: “Are we afraid of holiness?” says: “Strengthened by so many and it daily with love and fervor, then I do it
such great means of salvation, all the extraordinarily. It may even be my own
The simple Christian definition for faithful, whatever their condition or little step to holiness. How about you,
holiness is being set apart for God. It state, are called by the Lord – each what can be your little step to holiness?
refers to a life becoming an offering for in his or her own way – to that perfect Here in the seminary, I see ordinary
the Lord, the Father, the Master. But for holiness by which the Father himself is activities like playing sports, cleaning
many Christians, holiness is something perfect” (GE #10). the establishment’s rooms, preparing
that ordinary people can never attain; for liturgical celebrations, practicing
for, akin to the Greek definition, Pope Francis says holiness is songs for worship, dining together,
holiness is only for those who dedicate achievable to each in his or her own or having brotherly conversations
much of their lives to God. Moreso, way. St. John of the Cross tells further done with excellence and distinction.
for them, it may be only for the saints that God’s life is communicated I recognize that individually and as a
and holy men and women the Church “to some in one way and to others community, we are walking our own
so declares. For many, holiness is like in another” (GE #11). This means paths to holiness.

GAUDETE ET EXSULTATE: Called to Be Holy in the Ordinary 3


Clinical AND Pastoral Education
HOLINESS THROUGH WHOLENESS
Sem. Tristan Ralf Q. Pacheco

“For priestly formation the importance of human formation cannot be sufficiently emphasized. Indeed, the holiness
of a priest is built upon it and depends, in large part, upon the authenticity and maturity of his humanity.” (Ratio
Fundamentalis Institutionis Sacerdotalis, 63)

R ecognizing that the ‘human


formation cannot be
divorced from growth in spiritual,
and fresh perspective about my own
issues.
sick, or they have a sick loved one.),
I felt reluctant and uneasy. As the
days passed by, I learned that it was
intellectual and pastoral life’ The patient visitations during not the case. Amidst their condition,
(Updated Philippine Program for the CPE provided insights and most of them were welcoming and
Priestly Formation #26), the Holy reflections that were not only helpful warm. Many patients were actually
Apostles Senior Seminary ensures in addressing my issues but also in happy to be visited and prayed over
that its formands undergo the full appreciating life and humanity more. by the chaplains. I have realized
nine-week program called Clinical I had expected that my visitations that my ministry as an associate
Pastoral Education (CPE). would be a source of consolation, if chaplain was far more important and
not hope, for the patients whom I that shielding myself from fear of
CPE sets the ground for training visited, but it turned out becoming rejection was simply a manifestation
hospital chaplains who provide a source of inspiration and of my issue on self-confidence.
emotional and spiritual support to encouragement for me. There were
the patients. This includes patient patients who edified me with their I testify how human formation
visitations, inputs and group conviction about God’s love for them programs like CPE is valuable,
processing where the participants and by their faith and hope even not only to my ministry but also
are ushered into knowing themselves amidst their sickness and sufferings. to my desire to live a holy life. The
more deeply. fruitful experience has given me
During the visitations, I another practical lesson: if I let my
One of the things that I appreciate discovered that I had poor self- weaknesses and issues stand in the
in the processing is that aside from confidence such that approaching way of my ministry, I would miss
being confronted with a participant’s and talking with patients become opportunities to love and to be of
personal issues, I am also made to difficult for me. Overcame by the service.
reflect upon my self more and to be thought that the person I was going to
open to personal discoveries and visit are not in their best dispositions
realizations. I was also led to a new (either because they, themselves are
4 DAKILANG TANDA | Volume XX No. 1 October 2018
Summer Apostolate: Catechism
From Knowing about God to Knowing God
Sem. Keith R. Buenaventura

“What we have heard, what we life. I also remember the kids who, covered courts, and told them who
have seen with our eyes, what we amidst the summer heat, went to the God is, according to my knowledge
looked upon and touched with our parish and prayed the rosary. It was a in catechism, they entrusted to me
hands concerns the Word of life - we humbling experience to see them line their many gripping experiences of
proclaim now to you, so that you too up and offer flowers to the Blessed the work of God in their lives. This
may have fellowship with us; for our Mother after I had given them is not just the God that I have read
fellowship is with the Father and with instructions and short catechism about, nor the God that I have put in
his Son, Jesus Christ.” (cf. 1 John 1:1-3) about Mayflower devotion. a footnote in my research papers, but
the God whom I have seen, touched,

T hese words from the


beginning of the First Letter
of Saint John are a fitting summary of
And the most memorable
experience I had during my parish
apostolate was to give pre-baptismal
and heard - through the lives of
parishioners. The experience of being
sent like the apostles is indeed an
how I spent my summer apostolate catechism to parents and godparents experience of communion with God
in one of the parishes in my diocese. of the children to be baptized. It was in Jesus Christ, our Lord.
During the whole Easter season, I was a challenge to inculcate in them the
sent to serve and be a catechist at graces this sacrament gives to infants
Saint Francis of Assisi Parish in Brgy. and to encourage the parents to
San Andres, Cainta, Rizal. practice their faith with their children
by constantly attending the Mass
Rev. Fr. Roy Crucero, the parish and availing the other sacraments of
priest (an alumnus of San Carlos initiation for their children. The more
Seminary), welcomed me on my first I spoke to them, the more I realized
day by giving two challenges. He said, how challenging the task that lies
“Brother Keith, as you get acquainted ahead for the Church.
here in the ministry of a parish priest,
I only ask from you two things: first, My encounter with the
that you may become close to Jesus, parishioners from all walks of life has
and second, that you may help me been a great help in my formation as a
lead the people closer to God.” priest-in-process. As I journeyed with
them in their chapels, houses, and
I felt the tasks given to me were
daunting, but this proved me wrong
when I finally experienced teaching
catechism to the parishioners. I
joined the families in contemplating
God’s mercy and hospitality just like
Jesus’ call to Zacchaeus, as I led them
in the blessing of their homes. I was
one with the grieving relatives in
reflecting on the Church’s teachings
on death, heaven, purgatory and final
judgment with emphasis on God’s
call to repentance and His promise
of mercy. I also encouraged the many
drivers to pray as I blessed their cars
and motorcycles. I read to them a
short Scripture passage about Jesus,
the Way to salvation and eternal
GAUDETE ET EXSULTATE: Called to Be Holy in the Ordinary 5
Parish Apostolate
THE LITTLE DETAILS OF LOVE
Sem. Justin G. Gatus

“A community that cherishes the little details of love, whose members care for one another and create an
open and evangelizing environment, is a place where the risen Lord is present, sanctifying it in accordance with
the Father’s plan.” (Gaudete et Exsultate, 145)

Fr. Regnel Fuertez, an alumnus of HASS is the parish priest of San Vicente Ferrer Parish, Calulut, City of San Fernando and the apostolate director for the
indigenous peoples in the Archdiocese of San Fernando, Pampanga.

L ast

Archdiocese,
summer’s
apostolate
San
within
parish
our
Fernando,
so they treasure and cherish it in their
hearts. After dinner, we would just
gather outside their house and share
pasalamatan ing Ginu king keyang
grasya at pakalulu!” (In everything
that we receive in life, whether it be
Pampanga, gave me the opportunity stories as we bask under the moon good or bad, we should thank the
for encounter with our indigenous and the stars. They are filled with Lord for allowing us to experience
brothers and sisters. I was tasked joy and contentment in the “little his grace and mercy.)
to lead them in the Bible Sharings things” that they have. Even though
for nine days as they prepared for they do not have much in terms of Sometimes, it is in the simplicity
their Fiesta. Tatay Tony Santiago, a material wealth, they are rich with and ordinariness of life that we
54 year-old Aeta, who lives together their profound “Jesus experiences”. actually get to meet Jesus. This I
with his two daughters, his son- had proven true during my summer
in-law, his nephew, and his four Their simplicity in life gives them apostolate. My apostolate exposure
granddaughters welcomed me in more opportunities to be attentive gave me an appreciative and grateful
their humble home. Living with to the “little details” by which eyes and heart for the blessings that
them had been truly heartwarming God has been good and generous God continues to bestow on me
because of their appreciation of to them. I feel that this type of in my seminary formation. These
daily experiences in life. In various abundance, which is more of their remarkable experiences with a
moments, I was a witness to how love and gratefulness to God, has simple but life-giving indigenous
they would really enjoy their meals also been the source of their natural community had deepened my
together despite whatever food they hospitality and warmth towards appreciation and gratefulness to
had on their table. They were also visitors like me. Tatay Tony told me, the little details of love which Jesus
generous in catering to seminarians “Keng egana-ganang tatanggapan showers us in our daily lives.
because for them, hearing the word tamu king bie, masanting ya man
of God daily is a rare experience and o e masanting, dapat tayang
6 DAKILANG TANDA | Volume XX No. 1 October 2018
30-Day Retreat
BELOVED
Sem. Rodel D.O. Aclan

I must admit that there were


times I found my prayer life
very frustrating. There were times
the processes of the retreat.

The 30-day retreat, as part of the


not rooted in the love of God.

However, much of the fruits


when I felt like having no desire formation program at Holy Apostles of the retreat could only be
to pray or that praying gave me no Senior Seminary, aims for the harvested after the retreat itself. My
consolation. Thus, the idea of a 30- participating seminarians to deepen commitment in loving will be tested
day retreat, which would almost and strengthen their commitment by sufferings and difficulties. It is
entirely be spent for prayer and to the priestly formation. By God’s choosing to be humble even when
meditation was quite intimidating to grace, commitment to the vocation persecuted, maligned and ridiculed
me. “How can I pray continuously has become stronger and clearer. for the sake of Christ. It is when
for 30 days?”, I asked. “What could How? What happened there? The my life becomes more and more
be in store for me in this retreat?” answer lies in what I have realized oriented to loving, honoring, and
and concretely felt during the retreat revering God that I could say that
Finally, last April 5 to May 7, - God loves me unconditionally the fruits become evident.
2018, I experienced this spiritual despite and inspite of who I am.
exercise. The external preparation This was a significant realization The 30-day retreat for me has
was demanding but the most because my commitment to follow only one agendum and that is for
important preparation was my Jesus and to choose Him, even if me to realize, as vividly as possible,
own disposition; my interiority. It it would mean suffering for Him that while a sinner, I am beloved,
required me to be more open to and because of Him, would not be above all, by God.
God and to submit myself totally to possible if such commitment was

GAUDETE ET EXSULTATE: Called to Be Holy in the Ordinary 7


Entrance Day: Gaudium 2024
LORD, HERE WE ARE!
Sem. Renz Marion C. Cunanan

“Rejoice and be Glad!” (Gaudete


et Exsultate, GE #1)

I can vividly remember my


jubilant reaction when I read the
first line of the letter that I received
from Holy Apostles Senior Seminary
last April. That particular week, having
received the good news that I will be
part of the First Year Brothers (FYB)
being accepted the First Semester of
Formation Year 2018-2019, I was
filled with a roller coaster of emotions.
I was happy for having been successful
in the admissions process. I was a bit
sad thinking about the things I will be
leaving behind soon. I was nervous and
anxious about the uncertainties of what
I will be facing in the seminary. I was
excited for whatever is to come. “Lord,
truly, you have blessed me. Now, here
I am!”

We, the First Year Brothers, were given more than one month to prepare all our requirements and personal needs.
During this period given us, I remember that I continued to discern whether to enter the seminary or not. I continued to ask
myself: “Am I ready for the seminary life? Will I be able to let go of the life I have now, and the things that I hold dear?”
At the edges of the busy schedule preparing what I needed to, which involved resigning from work, purchasing clerical
polo’s, giving quality time to family and to friends I may not be able to see for a while; I remember thinking about those
important questions and then offered them back to God. I have made my decision anyway. I am entering Holy Apostles
Senior Seminary. All I have to do was take courage. “Lord, truly, you have blessed us. Now, here we are!”

On May 27, 2018, I finally met the five other men who, like me, had heeded the call to the seminary life. It was a grace-
filled day when we entered HASS in celebration of the Solemnity of the Holy Trinity because as we go through the process
of the formation, we know that we will be guided by the Triune God. It was the day when we took the first step into the
halls of HASS as officially, senior seminarians It was the day our batch, which we eventually named Gaudium 2024, was
assembled. Joining me that day were: Roldan B. Baliano and Ryan Tristan O. Digan from the Archdiocese of Davao, John
Reyman S. Dabuet and Richard Anthony A. Lim from the Archdiocese of Manila, and Jobert Martin S. Gatmaitan from the
Diocese of Imus.

I will always treasure the moments that ensued during the Entrance Day: the celebration of the Holy Eucharist, the
short fellowship with our family and friends, and the parting liturgy. Bidding family and friends our goodbyes and giving
embraces led us all to tears. One by one, we entered the seminary main door, walked towards the chapel, and finally and
symbolically, the door was closed.

My life has been made anew after that. I have a new identity – a seminarian with new priorities and goals. To discern the
will of the Lord and to be formed for servanthood – these shall be our main goals for the months to come in the seminary.
We may have come from various fields of expertise, different dioceses, and diverse backgrounds, but we are now united as
Gaudium Batch 2024 to come and see if Jesus truly wants us to be priests someday. As for me, I will continue to thank God
and boldly go where he leads me. “Lord, truly, you have blessed us. Now, here we are!”
8 DAKILANG TANDA | Volume XX No. 1 October 2018
Community Election 1st Semester
BECOMING A SERVANT-LEADER
Sem. Carmelo V. Pocdol

T he participation and development of every seminarian in fostering a


dynamic community life is vital in the formation of priests-in-process. To
realize this goal, it is imperative to grow as a servant-leader in the community.

Last June 10, 2018, the Holy Apostles Senior Seminary community was blessed
with a new set of servant-leaders. The Community Election was conducted in the
context of prayer to remind every seminarian that each committee or position
or office is a ministry where one could serve and grow as a member and leader
of the community.

For the 1st Semester of the formation year 2018-2019, the following are the
committees with their respective coordinators:

COORDINATORS

Community Coordinator Justin G. Gatus


Assistant Community Coordinator, Ryan Tristan O. Digan
Ecology and Laborandum Coordinator
Liturgy Coordinator Peter Collin C. Crisostomo
House Coordinator and Laundry Manager Lester John D. Cabais
Music Coordinator Tristan Ralf Q. Pacheco
Finance Coordinator and Kitchen Coordinator Rodel D.O. Aclan
Arts and Programs Coordinator Renz Marion C. Cunanan
Food and Health Coordinator John Reyman S. Dabuet
Sports and Recreation Coordinator Jobert Martin S. Gatmaitan
Vocation Coordinator Keith R. Buenaventura
Pastoral Coordinator Glicerio T. Tano
Academic Coordinator and Library Coordinator Carmelo V. Pocdol
Documentation Coordinator Roldan B. Baliano
Computer and IT Manager Richard Anthony A. Lim
Alumni Coordinator and Spirituality Secretariat Gerald M. Moscardon

CLASS BEADLES

First Year Renz Marion C. Cunanan


Second Year Lester John D. Cabais
Third Year Glicerio T. Tano
Fourth Year Carmelo V. Pocdol
Fifth Year Rodel D.O. Aclan
Sixth Year Ivan Joseph F. Feniquito

On the following day, June 11, 2018, in the celebration of Holy Eucharist
presided over by Rev. Fr. Roberto O. Gaa, the seminary Rector, together with the
other formators- Rev. Fr. Roy Rexelle M. Decena, and Rev. Fr. John G. Barro, the
brothers were blessed and were inducted to their respective coordinatorship.

The continuing response to the call to be docile, to be generous with our


time, skills, and talents, to be available for service, and to be co-responsible in the
programs and projects of the seminary is necessary in enhancing an integrated
life. These call has many demands and our respective humble responses will help
produce the servant-leaders God is asking of us to become.
GAUDETE ET EXSULTATE: Called to Be Holy in the Ordinary 9
Apostolate Send-off
Apostolate Mission-Sending: A Call for Boldness and Joy
Sem. Glicerio T. Tano

A postolate, as one of the pillars of formation at Holy Apostles Senior Seminary, exposes and immerses the
seminarians to various pastoral situations like the parish, institutions, urban poor communities and those in
the peripheries to bring the Good News to them. Last June 16, 2018, the community witnessed the Mission-Sending
Ceremony where seminarians renewed their commitment to the apostolate and officially received their apostolate
placements. Our respective apostolate areas are the locus where our Philosophy and Theology take flesh. Through
our presence, we hope to bring Christ to the people and to meet Him in the people we encounter. As workers and
collaborators in the Church’s Mission, it should be clear to us that what we are doing is not our work but Christ’s. He
is the One who lives in our hearts and brings joy to the people through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit - the driving
force in and for every mission. It is the Holy Spirit who empowers us towards boldness (parrhesia) in our witnessing
to and for Christ. As a disciple of Christ, our source of courage is not ours but from the One who sent us in a mission.

One thing that keeps us going in the mission is that we share joy and hold on to the love of God. As priests-in-
process, may we always be faithful to our apostolate, inspire people to share their joys to others, and have an intimate
communion with Christ through a life of prayer and complete dependence on God.

The seminary is very blessed to be assisted by these following parishes and institutions in the Pastoral Formation
of the senior seminarians: Our Lady of Fatima Parish (Pasay City), San Jose Manggagawa Parish(Manuguit, Tondo,
Manila), Ascencion of our Lord Parish (Sucat, Parañaque City), San Juan De Dios Hospital (Pasay City), Santa Clara
de Montefalco Parish (Pasay City), Our Lady of the Most Blessed Sacrament Parish (Pasay City), Our Lady of the
Assumption Parish (Malate, Manila), Santo Niño Parish (Pandacan, Manila), Ina ng Laging Saklolo Parish (Punta,
Santa Ana, Manila), and Christ the King Parish (Proj.7 Quezon City).

The Holy Mass and the Rite of Mission-Sending was presided over by Rev. Fr. Roy Rexelle M. Decena, the
Director for Pastoral Formation.

10 DAKILANG TANDA | Volume XX No. 1 October 2018


Solemn Investiture 2018
Binihisan ng Awa at Pag-ibig
Sem. Lester John D. Cabais

“Today, we are clothed with the Director; Reb. Padre John Barro,
cassock even as God knows that we Director for Spiritual Formation
are imperfect. But we are invested at Batch Moderator; at si Reb.
with the garb not because God is Padre Joselito Valencia, Resident
trying to cover up something in us. Confessor.
The soutane can never conceal
our woundedness. It does not hide Ang pagsusuot ng sutana ay
but rather reveals to us something isang paanyaya na isabuhay ang
grand: that God’s love embraces us bagong pagkataong nililikha ng
completely. This is mercy! Beneath Diyos para sa amin; pagkatao
the soutane is a man who received na pinupuno ng katuwiran,
much compassion.” katotohanan at kabanalan. Bukod
-Message delivered during the sa pagiging biyaya ang pagsusuot
Solemn Investiture 2018 ng sutana, isang tungkulin din
ito na ibahagi si Kristo sa bawat

T unay na pinagpalang araw


ang ika-1 ng Hulyo, 2018
sa dahilang ako, kasama si Sem.
taong aming makakasalamuha.
Ito ay isang masayang tagpo ng
paghuhubog ngunit kasabay nito
Tristan Ralf Q. Pacheco (Diyosesis ay isang hamon para sa amin -
ng Balanga) ay tumanggap ng isabuhay ang diwa ng isang lingkod
biyaya ng Pagsusuot ng Sutana. sa kawan ng Diyos.
Labis ang aming kaligayahan at
pasasalamat sa Diyos dahil sa Bukod sa pagdadamit sa
natatanging kaloob na ito matapos amin ng sutana, diwa rin ng
and unang taon ng paghuhubog pagdiriwang ang maipaunawa ang
sa Holy Apostles Senior Seminary buhay na inaasahan sa amin at
(HASS). ang buhay na aasahan namin sa
hinaharap. Maaring ito ay payak
Mahalaga na may binabalik- na kasuotan lamang na kulay
balikan tayong mga tagpo sa ating puti ngunit kakabit nito ay ang
paglalakbay. Ito ang nagpapaalala tungkulin na ipakita at ipadama
sa atin kung paano at saan tayo sa lahat na kami’y isang nilalang
nagsimula. Bilang isa sa mga na tinanggap, inako, niyakap,
mahahalagang milestones sa kinaawaan at minahal ng Diyos sa
buhay-seminaryo, naging katuwang kabila ng kanyang masalimuot na
namin ang mga kapatid na nakaraan. Sa pagsusuot namin ng
seminarista upang maisakatuparan sutana, muli kaming niyayakap ni
ang pagdiriwang. Ang Banal na Kristo at inaanyayahang maging
Misa ay pinamunuan ni Reb. Padre huwaran ng paglilingkod sa Diyos
Arnel Calata, Jr. kasama si Reb. at sa kanyang sambayanan. Sa
Padre Daniel Voltaire Hui, mga sutanang ito nakapaloob ang pag-
bagong ordenang pari mula sa ibig ng Diyos. Ginawa Niyang
pangkat Epiclesis 2016. Nakiisa karapat-dapat ang hindi nararapat.
din sa pagdiriwang ang mga paring Sa tulong ng Kanyang biyaya, ay
tagahubog ng HASS na sina Reb. malugod at matapang na haharapin
Padre Robbie Gaa, Rector at namin ang mga susunod pang mga
Dean of Academics; Reb. Padre hamon at yugto ng aming lakbay-
Roy Rexelle Decena, Dean of paghuhubog.
Seminarians, Pastoral & Vocations
GAUDETE ET EXSULTATE: Called to Be Holy in the Ordinary 11
12 DAKILANG TANDA | Volume XX No. 1 October 2018
GAUDETE ET EXSULTATE: Called to Be Holy in the Ordinary 13
Family and Apostolate Day 2018
KAGALAKANG MULA SA PUSO
Sem. Ryan Tristan O. Digan

M atagumpay na idinaos ng Holy Apostles Senior


Seminary ang taunang Araw ng Pamilya at
Apostolado noong nakaraang Hulyo 1, 2018. Ito ay dinaluhan
Decena, ang Dekano ng mga Seminarista, na ikinatuwa ng
mga nagkatipon.

ng mga pamilya at kaibigan ng bawat seminarista mula sa Tuwang-tuwa hindi lamang ang mga matatanda kundi
ibat-ibang diyosesis ng bansa. May mga mag-anak ding pati na rin ang mga bata dahil sa sorpresang mga palaro at
nakilahok mula sa mga lugar kung saan nagsasagawa ng papremyo na inihanda ng seminaryo para sa kanila. Wika
apostolado ang mga seminarista ng HASS. Naging masaya pa ng isa sa mga seminarista, “magandang pagkakataon ang
at matagumpay ang pagdiriwang na naglalayong higit pang ganitong mga pagtitipon upang magkakila-kilala ang mga
paigtingin at pagtibayin ang ugnayan ng komunidad ng pamilya at mga bumubuo ng seminaryo.” Bago natapos ang
HASS, ng pamilya ng mga seminarista, at ng mga katuwang programa sa gymnasium, idineklara ng Rektor ang open
sa gawaing apostolado. house. Ito ay ang pagbubukas ng seminaryo para sa lahat
upang bigyang pagkakataon ang mga pamilya na masilip
Ang pagtitipon ay sinimulan sa pamamagitan ng isang ang mga silid ng mga seminarista at mga sulok ng tahanan
Banal na Misa na pinamunuan nina Reb. Padre Arnel A. upang magkaroon din ng ideya ang mga panauhin tungkol
Calata, Jr. at Reb. Padre Daniel Voltaire B. Hui ng pangkat sa pamumuhay at landas na tinatahak ng kanilang mga
Epiclesis 2016. Naging bahagi ng misa ang Pagkakaloob nagpaparing mahal sa buhay.
at Pagsusuot ng Sutana sa dalawang seminarista mula sa
pangkat Eucharistia 2023 na sina Seminarista Lester John Hangad ng isang mag-asawang panauhin mula sa Tondo
D. Cabais (Diyosesis ng Malolos) at Tristan Ralf Q. Pacheco at bitbit ang kanilang apat na taong gulang na anak na lalaki
(Diyosesis ng Balanga). Pagkatapos nito ay nagtungo ang na makadalo muli sila sa susunod na taon. Anila, magandang
lahat sa Sts. Peter and Paul Gymnasium upang maging saksi pagkakataon na mamulat ang kanilang musmos na anak sa
at makibahagi sa inihandang programa, salu-salo at palaro ganitong uri ng pamumuhay sa seminaryo na balang araw
ng mga seminarista para sa lahat ng mga bisita. Habang ay maaaring sundan din ng kanilang anak. Sa kabuuan,
kumakain ay nag-alay naman ng mga nauukol na awitin ang naging matagumpay at maayos ang ginawang pagtitipon at
mga piling seminarista kasama si Reb. Padre Roy Rexelle M. ang bawat isa ay umuwi nang may galak sa puso.
14 DAKILANG TANDA | Volume XX No. 1 October 2018
25 th Alumni Homecoming
T H E J O Y O F P R I E S T LY L I F E
Sem. John Paul S. Adia

H oly Apostles Senior Seminary celebrated its 25th Alumni Homecoming last July
10-11, 2018 with the theme: The Master, the Servant. The theme is aligned to
the Philippine Church’s celebration of the Year of the Clergy and Consecrated Persons.

Most Rev. Jesse Mercado, DD, Bishop of Parañaque and a former rector of the
seminary opened the annual gathering with the inspiring lessons he shared as keynote
speaker. To remain joyful as a priest:

Be happy. Despite the fact that there were many things to do into their respective
ministries, our alumni exude the joy which their love for Jesus radiate to every person
they encounter. The challenge posted by Bishop Jess was “What must be done to
proclaim it?”

Count your blessings. Who would imagine that at this point we have a total
number of 86 alumni priests and one of them is a bishop. This is not just a census for
every year’s achievement but rather a concrete manifestation of God’s grace towards
our community.

Walk the extra mile. The Ignatian Spirituality, especially Magis, which our values
were rooted, aims for excellence with distinction.

Choose wisely. It is a reality that the Church, and even the priesthood, was facing
different issues. But despite all these we have the choice to love rather than to hate.

Do all things with love. Priestly ministry is not a ministry of sadness. We continue
to evangelize the joy of Christian life and to live that out is to become a happy person.

In the afternoon of the first day, the Holy Eucharist was presided over by Most Rev.
Mylo Hubert Vergara, DD, Bishop of Pasig, and a HASS Alumnus. The concelebrants
were the 25-Year Jubilarians from the Corpus Christi Batch 1993, namely: Rev. Fr. Joel
Cariaso (Diocese of San Jose, Nueva Ecija), Rev. Fr. Ireneo Renato Naca (Diocese
of Lucena) and Rev. Fr. Erasmus Soriano (Archdiocese of Los Angeles) and Rev. Fr.
Reymundo Gaspar, who was in mission at Belgium, was not able to attend due to
Pastoral commitments.

The other awardees for this year were: Agnus Cum Cor De Iesu Batch 1998 as
20-Year awardees and includes Rev. Fr. Victor Abijay (Diocese of Bayombong), Rev.
Fr. John Barro (Archdiocese of Manila), Rev. Fr. Regnel Fuertes (Archdiocese of San
Fernando, Pampanga), Rev. Fr. David
Concepcion (Archdiocese of Manila),
Rev. Fr. Leo Caingles (Diocese of
Malaybalay), and Rev. Fr. Orlindo Ordoña
(Diocese of Pasig); the Ruah Batch
2003 as 15-Year awardees includes
Rev. Fr. Ernesto David (Archdiocese of
San Fernando Pampanga) and Rev. Fr.
Jun Estoque (Diocese of Kabankalan);
and the Kerygma Batch 2013 as 5-Year
awardee includes Rev. Fr. Gilbert
Romulo (Diocese of Parañaque).

To reach 25 years in the ministry is


a milestone but it is not just the number
of years that reminds us the root of Holy
Apostles Senior Seminary – Omnia in
Christo (All for Christ).

GAUDETE ET EXSULTATE: Called to Be Holy in the Ordinary 15


Philippine Conference on New Evangelization V
LOVE AT FIRST (AND LAST) SIGHT
Rev. Fr. Roy Rexelle M. Decena

the experience of faith. “Belief means


transcending ourselves, leaving behind our
comfort and the inflexibility of our ego in
order to center our life in Jesus Christ.”3 Every
call is an “exodus towards Christ.” These great
men and women invite us by their lives “to
listen for the voice, to hear it, to believe it,
and to trust it enough and to act on it.”4

At the root of every vocational journey


is the Emmanuel, the God-with-us, who
shows us that we are not alone in fashioning
our lives. He walks with us and he weaves
with each of us a marvelous tale of love.5 It is
our task then to discover the presence of God
in our individual stories and see how we are

O ne of the questions that daring we also see the marvelous things God had being transformed and moved to understand
young people often ask when we worked in the lives of the handmaid Mary that “man cannot fully find himself except
speak before them about vocation is: “Had (cf. Luke 1: 26-38), the Twelve Apostles (cf. through a sincere gift of himself.”6 God has
you been in love?” In this year dedicated for Mark 1: 16-20; Matthew 4: 18-25; Mark 2: 13- conceived to create something big in each of
the clergy and consecrated persons, perhaps 17; Matthew 9: 9-13) and Paul (cf. Acts 9:1- us. Long before we were born, he had thought
with great daring and boldness, I shall also say 31). They give us the means to understand of us and loved us and planned something for
that at one point (or rather at many points) in that call and to respond in faith. Common us. It may sound unlikely or foolish at first
our lives, we had! We had experienced Love- in these calls are the fact that it was personal but if God can fashion a tiny seed, give it life
-being loved and the urge to love, not only and specific; they were called “where they and become what it is intended to be, then he
“love at first sight” but beyond! are;” the content of the call bears a certain could do so with me. In every person lies the
“proposal” or a “project” to be accomplished; deepest calling of becoming the person God
Within the story of every priest, religious there are “possibilities” or “prospects;” and created him or her to be.
or consecrated person, lies an overarching the call is not so clear such that “pauses” are
Love story. In fact, in the personal story of necessary as a personal “position” or decision Whatever calling we might embrace,
every baptized, is a story of the God who has is expected afterwards. that specific life call should be geared towards
first loved us and continues to love and urges fulfilling what God wants for us. It must be a
us to love. From the beginning, God already God is calling out to our hearts, and we response out of love and for love and must
has each of us in his mind. We are never out could hear his voice in our “today.” God may be lived as a life of love. St. Teresa of Calcutta
of His sight. He never excludes us from his call us in various ways: perhaps beginning said, “God bends down and uses us, you and
loving gaze. Since God has first loved us (cf. with an idea that suddenly emerges in our me, to be his love and his compassion in the
1 John 4:10), love is now no longer a mere consciousness; or through another person’s world … He depends on us to love the world
“command”; it is the response to the gift of affirmation of a gift we have been given; or and to show how much he loves it …”7
love which God draws near to us.1 through a text in Scripture we have read or
heard; or by coming face-to-face with human Love, after all, is the “DNA of the children
God is calling out to our hearts, and sufferings as others experience them; or of God” and the “holy vocation by which
we could hear his voice in every story of through our own human pain; or through we have been called.”8 We find ourselves
the Bible. Our biblical heritage is replete inner stirrings of the soul; an experience of returning to this Love and the experience
with stories of real people being called for restlessness or quest for meaning; or through of being loved over and over again. It is also
a specific life purpose like the patriarch a rather gentle way, a natural and undramatic the key in our generous response and in
Abraham (cf. Gen 12: 1-9, 15:1-6, 18:1-14, engagement; or simply through an invitation being sustained in our commitment. At the
22:1-18), the leader Moses (cf. Exodus 3:1 by another to share in an existing ministry.2 end of our lives, we will only be measured
– 4:9), Jacob (cf. Genesis 35:1-13; 27: 1-27; Some also go through a life-changing event by one yardstick. That yardstick is love. Our
32:23-32), the prophet Jeremiah (Jeremiah or encounter and the person is left no longer vocation, the life that we choose in love and
1: 4-19), the young Samuel (cf. 1 Samuel the same after such experience. allow to be blessed by God, becomes our road
3:1-18) and the celebrated King David (cf. and stairway to heaven. From our first and
I Samuel 16: 1-13). In the New Testament, At the core of every Christian vocation until our last sight, may we truly live out our
is a basic movement which is part of vocation to love.
1
BENEDICT XVI. Deus Caritas Est, 1. 5
Ibid.
2
BEN CAMPBELL JOHNSON, Hearing God’s Call: Ways of Discernment for Laity and Clergy. Cambridge: Wm. B. Eerdsman 6
PAUL VI. Gaudium et Spes Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, 7 December 1965.
Publishing Co., 2002. 7
Cited in Spanish translation: Cristo en los Pobres, Madrid, 1981, 37-38 in FRANCIS, Gaudete et Exsultate, Apostolic Exhortation on
3
FRANCIS. Message for the 52nd World Day of Prayer for Vocations, 26 April 2015. the Call to Holiness in Today’s World, 107.
4
Fil Andersen in The Transformation of a Man’s Heart edited by Stephen W. Smith, pp.89-102. 8
JOHN PAUL II. Message for the World Day of Prayer for Vocations, 2001.

16 DAKILANG TANDA | Volume XX No. 1 October 2018


Philippine Conference on New Evangelization V
MOVED WITH COMPASSION… FEED THE MULTITUDE
Sem. Edgar R. Calma

with Cardinal Tagle and five distinguished men and women from the
clergy and the consecrated persons, namely: Msgr. Esteban Lo, LRMS;
Msgr. Jerry Bitoon; Sr. Cecilia Grace, LJS; Fr. Mario Alberto Pacheco,
MCCJ and Sr. Patricia Fox, NDS happened on the second day. It was
truly inspiring that gave us a new perspective of the nobility of human
spirit shared by the guests in their life’s context and how one is truly
formed after the Heart of the Good Shepherd.

Clergy, Consecrated Persons and Lay Faithful Together


The third-day welcomed the participants from clergy, consecrated
persons and the lay faithful with a praise concert that truly warmed the
hearts and spirits of everyone. But our hearts were ignited and kindled
with tears during the Heart to Heart Conversation with Cardinal Tagle
and five well-known guests from the clergy and the lay faithful. They were
Fr. Chito Soganub; Sr. Lucia Olalia, SJBP; Bishop Cornelius Sim; Ms.
Samira Gutoc; Ms. Sabsy Ongkiko and Ms. Antoinette Taus. Moreover,
our hearts were moved with compassion and fed with love because of
the life stories and experiences of these extraordinary individuals. They
“We do not strive to be holy just because we are ordained. We do not have exemplified in the ordinary events of their lives the true meaning of
strive to be holy because we are nuns or brothers. We strive to be holy compassion and service rooted in the redemptive love of Christ. Fr. Chito
because we are baptized. We should strive to be holy from the moment we Soganub is an outstanding example of how his life as a servant leader
were baptized.” and true steward of God’s flock has willingly offered and surrendered his
+ Luis Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle, Archbishop of Manila life to Jesus, the Good Shepherd.

H is Eminence Luis Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle, echoed the call of Pope


Francis to holiness and drew inspiration from the One Priesthood of
Christ during the plenary talk that formally opened the Philippine Conference
Gathered, Nourished and Fed
While the last two-days were filled with insightful plenary and
feed talks as well as various concurrent sessions that centered on the
on the New Evangelization (PCNE) V. topics Personal and pastoral conversion for a true and faithful yes and
Missionary discipleship and servant leaders like Christ respectively. The
In the Apostolic Exhortation Gaudete et Exsultate, the Holy Father highlights of these two days were focused on the challenge of pastoral
identified this “holiness present in the patience of God’s people: in those and missionary transformation in our present context. The different
parents who raise their children with immense love, in those men and women talks available for the participants covered a multitude of relevant topics
who work hard to support their families, in the sick, in elderly religious who on facing moments of crisis, hope and radical conversion. Discerning
never lose their smile…holiness found in our next-door neighbors, those one’s vocation, rediscovering one’s spirituality, genuine responses in
who, living in our midst, reflect God’s presence” (GE, 7). addressing issues of poverty, drug addiction rooted in compassion,
and holiness through engagement and missionary discipleship were
During the opening talk, Cardinal Tagle urged the clergy and the only a few of the interesting and engaging topics included in this year’s
consecrated persons “to be inspired by the dynamism of holiness that concurrent sessions intended to feed everyone’s hunger for solidarity,
many unsung heroes of the faith manifest to us…holiness of life we see discipleship and witnessing in this age of new evangelization.
among simple mothers and fathers, the simple janitors, the simple cleaner
in the canteen, the laundry woman who suffers in order to send her child to PCNE’s “moved with compassion…feed the multitude”, has
school.” It is a kind of holiness being sought and lived out in the ordinariness truly gathered the ordained, the consecrated and the lay faithful in a
of life among the simple people around us in the most familiar occasions continuing understanding, deepening and contemplating on the Word
of our lives. It is a holiness of daily and personal encounter with the Good who is Jesus Christ, Himself. The reflections of Cardinal Tagle during
Shepherd, and with the multitude. It is a holiness rooted and centered on the the conference synthesis was centered on Jesus who was moved with
obedient and faithful Son, Jesus Christ, the High Priest, where the gift of the compassion and fed the multitude. Jesus saw the needs of His disciples
ministerial priesthood is concretized in the genuine service of the common and the needs of the crowd. He saw the scarcity of the resource, and
priesthood. A holiness that is docile to the will of the Father. saw the hunger of the people. Jesus continuously challenges and invites
each one, especially in this year of the Clergy and the Consecrated
This year’s PCNE coincides with the celebration of the Year of the Persons, to their call, to actively respond by bringing whatever gifts and
Clergy and Consecrated Persons as declared by the Catholic Bishops’ talents one possesses to the hands of Jesus. And as servants, we need
Conference of the Philippines. Some of our Bishops, priests and nuns from to go back to the source who is Jesus, the One moved with compassion
the different dioceses in the country attended the first day conference which and will continuously feed the multitude through the Church and His
inaugurated the five-day event. servant leaders configured in His heart.

Days for the Clergy and Consecrated Persons Indeed, the five-day event, has been a very creative, innovative,
The first two days were focused on the topics “Sharing of the One timely and out-of-the-box response of the Church in the Philippines to the
Priesthood of Christ and Formed after the Heart of Christ, the Good call of the Holy Father to reach out to the peripheries and together with
Shepherd.” These two days were specifically intended for the Clergy our people discover a whole new world of possibilities in proclaiming,
and the Consecrated persons to give more time and opportunity for witnessing, knowing and encountering the Risen Christ in the very fabric
prayer and reflection, information for continuing formation, group sharing of lives and facets of our culture, context and present condition. It has
and a Shepherd’s heart conversation with Cardinal Tagle for interior moved and inspired many of us to imitate the compassion of God, our
transformation. Fr. Albert E. Alejo, SJ, gave his reflections on the capacity Father, for we were all truly blessed. It has awakened and renewed
to be compassionate for those who suffer and struggle in life. His guiding the zeal and ardor in us to continue responding to the call as we all
questions were, “Who are my multitude? How do I feel about them? How share in the mission of Christ to feed the multitude through His mercy,
well do I know them?” A very personal, up-close and intimate conversation compassion and unconditional love.

GAUDETE ET EXSULTATE: Called to Be Holy in the Ordinary 17


PalakHASSan 2018
HEALTHY BODY, HOLY BODY
Sem. Jobert Martin S. Gatmaitan

P alakHASSan, the much-awaited


sports event at Holy Apostles
Senior Seminary kicked off on the eve
the teamwork and creativity of the four
Buklurans in their unique and energetic
interpretation of the theme. Mr. Oliver
of the feast of St. John Marie Vianney, Almadro, head coach of the Ateneo
patron of priests. The seminary’s women’s volleyball team, was joined by
annual sports festival is guided by Ms. Lynette Mae Lomantas, Executive
the theme, “PalakHASSan 2018: Secretary of Lorenzo Mission Institute,
Paghuhubog sa Kabanalan, Kalusuga’y and Ms. Ma. Melinda Villaraza,
Pinagyayaman”. The joyous event Operations Officer of Solidaritas
started with a parade of team colors Credit Cooperative in judging the
from the roof deck to the Sts. Peter performances. The Bukluran of St.
and Paul Gymnasium. In a very colorful Matthew was declared the cheerdance
program that transpired in the gym, champion while Buklurans of St. John,
the community initiated once again St. Mark, and St. Luke took 2nd, 3rd,
the lighting of the unity flame and the and 4th places respectively. The night
raising of the PalakHASSan unity flag was capped through a simple fellowship
along with the Bukluran flags, symbols and a volleyball exhibition game. With
of camaraderie and friendship among the cheerdance competition already
the seminarians, staff, and formators of concluded, the ball has started rolling
HASS. for the other PalakHASSan events
dispersed throughout the year.
Rev. Fr. Roberto O. Gaa, Rector
of HASS, challenged the community Pope Francis, in Gaudete et
in his opening message: “Bakit tayo Exsultate, emphasized the call to live a
nagpa-PalakHASSan kasama ang ating life of holiness. Sports has a significant
mga ka-bukluran? Kasi doon din natin role in this pursuit, for holiness is not
makikita bilang simbahan, na tayo just about spiritual nourishment and
bilang pari ay di lamang namumuno perfection. Our bodies are essential
sa mga kasiyahan, tayo rin ay instruments in living out holiness today
nakikipagtrabaho at nakikisalamuha and in our future ministry. As priests-
sa mga tao. Kaya sana ay mapagtibay in process, it is a constant invitation
nito (PalakHASSan) ang inyong to nourish and take good care of our
samahan sa bukluran, at pati narin sa bodies and souls. Our bodies are tools
community” in doing our mission. Our bodies are
a gift from God that must be given
It was followed by the most importance. The PalakHASSan 2018
awaited part of the event, The is a reminder and an invitation to be
Cheerdance Competition showcased healthy both body and soul.

18 DAKILANG TANDA | Volume XX No. 1 October 2018


Community Night Out
Bringing HASS Together
Sem. Mark Ian V. Abu

H oly Apostles
Seminary continues to
emphasize the value of community
Senior and ingenuity of facing life’s hustles and
bustles – traits which are very prominent
to us Filipinos.
naturally come within the family, yet,
because of the love reigning at home,
these problems are conquered and are
living as one of the pillars of seminary easily resolved. Openness and trust
formation. To celebrate the gift of The play also portrayed common are keys for better family living amidst
community, the priest-formators, dynamics in the community and in the the many challenges that arise in this
seminarians and staff flocked to family. Because of daily encounters, set-up.
Quezon City to dine out and to watch people in the community come to
a musical play afterwards. ‘Rak of know each other deeply. They are able Programs, like the Community
Aegis’ – a Filipino musical play staged to extend support and lend help to Night Out, increase the sense of
by the Philippine Educational Theatre each other when needed. So, when belongingness to one another not only
Association (PETA) was on its sixth life does not go smoothly, as the main with the brothers but also with the
run in bringing to life the famous problem in the play was the incessant formators and staff. Above anything
songs of the band ‘Aegis’. Interestingly, flooding, members of the community else, they play a vital role in helping
the realities of life in a common set- unite out of sheer concern so that a the priests-in-process become more
up of informal settlers living together particular goal may be achieved. The mature in the sense of being one with
are incorporated in the songs such play vividly portrayed what Filipinos the people – an important function
as Ulan, Luha, Christmas Bonus and term as damayan and bayanihan. They required for a priest for him to be able
Sinta. The characters’ ‘comic’ struggles, have also shown that relationships to develop, sustain and enhance the
‘drenched’ tragedies, ‘unwavering’ within a community may grow deeper community of believers that will be
hopes and ‘colourful’ dreams blends than any flood that may come. The play untrusted to his care in the future.
with the show of resiliency, creativity also depicted that misunderstandings

GAUDETE ET EXSULTATE: Called to Be Holy in the Ordinary 19


Debate in Filipino
PAGTAHIMIK BILANG TUGON
Sem. Roldan B. Baliano

K augnay ng pagdiriwang ng Linggo


ng Wika, idinaos din ng Holy
Apostles Senior Seminary ang taunang
Ryan Tristan O. Digan (Arkidiyosesis ng
Davao). Sa kabilang banda ang grupong
Di Sang-Ayon ay binubuo nina Sem. Jobert
ay mahamon sa aming tugon bilang mga
nagpapari. Pananahimik man o hindi, ang
mahalaga ay magkaroon ng mapayapang
Debate sa Filipino noong ika-20 ng Martin S. Gatmaitan (Diyosesis ng Imus), hakbang ang Simbahan na maibahagi at
Agosto 2018 sa Silid-Tanghalan ng San Sem. Roldan B. Baliano (Arkidiyosesis ng maipahayag ang katotohanan sa ating
Lorenzo Ruiz. Ito ay nilahukan ng Pangkat Davao), at Sem. Richard Anthony A. Lim pananampalataya.
Gaudium 2024, kung saan naging sentro (Arkidiyosesis ng Manila).
ng talakayan ang pagpapatibay ng Bilang isa sa mga kalahok, bagaman
proposisyong: “Ang pananahimik ang Bilang tugon sa nasabing ito ang unang pagkakataong nakasama
siyang tugon ng Simbahan sa mga pag- proposisyon, ang grupo ng Sang-Ayon ako sa isang opisyal na debate,
uusig.” ay nanindigan na marapat lamang na pinagtibay nito ang aking pakikipag-
katahimikan ang maging tugon ng ugnayan at pagkakaroon ng maayos
Ang Debate sa Filipino ay gawaing simbahan sa kabila ng mga pag-uusig at makabuluhang pakikipagtalastasan.
pang-akademiko kung saan hinahasa sa kanya sapagkat anila, ito ay naayon Nakatulong din ito na mapagtibay ang
ang kakayahan ng bawat isa sa sa katuruan ng Diyos na nagsasabing aming ‘batch spirit’, sa pamamagitan
pakikipagtalakayan, pananaliksik, at “Mapalad ang mga gumagawa ng paraan ng pagtutulungan, pagdadamayan at
pagbibigay ng makabuluhan at may para sa kapayapaan, sapagkat tatawagin pakikiisa sa mga pangangailangan upang
prinsipyong argumento. Ito rin ay daan silang mga anak ng Diyos” (Mt 5:9). At makagawa ng magandang argumento
ng pagbubukas-kamalayan at pakikilahok dagdag pa nila, yaon rin di-umano ang at maisakatuparan nang maayos ang
ng mga seminarista sa mga pangyayaring posisyon ng mga Obispo sa kanilang debate sa Filipino. Sa pamamagitan
kinakaharap ng bansa at ng Simbahan. inilabas na liham noong Hulyo. Sa din ng gawaing ito, ako ay hinamon na
kabilang dako naman ay pinangatawanan magkaroon ng kamalayan at kaisipang
Ang mga miyembro ng magkabilang din ng mga Di Sang-Ayon ang kanilang aking mapaninindigan habang aking
panig ay naglahad ng kani-kanilang sinabi na marapat lamang na mag- ipinaglalaban at pinaglilingkuran ang
kaisipan at paninindigan sa argumento ingay ang simbahan at gumawa ng Simbahang umiibig lamang sa Diyos na
patungkol sa pangangailangan, mga hakbang upang tuligsain ang kanyang Hari.
praktikalidad at kapakinabangan ng ginagawang pag-uusig sa kanya ng iilang
isyung pinag-uusapan. Ang mga grupo tao sa pamahalaan sa kadahilanang ang Isa ring maituturing na biyaya
ng Sang-Ayon sa nasabing proposisyon simbahan ay nagpapahayag lamang ng ang magawaran ng pagkilala bilang
ay sina Sem. Renz Marion C. Cunanan katotohanan na naayon rin sa kautusan Pinakamahusay sa Pananalumpati
(Arkidiyosesis ng San Fernando, ng Diyos na nagsabing, “ang paniniwalang kasama ang aking kaklase na si Sem.
Pampanga), Sem. John Reyman S. walang gawa ay patay.” Sa huli, ang Ryan Tristan Digan bilang Pinakamahusay
Dabuet (Arkidiyosesis ng Manila), at Sem. argumento ay naging daan upang kami sa Pakikipagdebate.

20 DAKILANG TANDA | Volume XX No. 1 October 2018


Admission to the Candidacy
AN ENTRY TO JERUSALEM
Sem. Peter Collin C. Crisostomo

T here is a sense of excitement and curiosity in


clarifying when a family or a friend receives an
invitation for the Rite of Admission to the Candidacy
to Diaconate and Presbyterate. “Ilang taon pa ba?
Oordenahan ka na? Ito na ba yun?” were just some of
the reactions I got as our batch Misericordia 2022 was
preparing for this milestone in our formation. “Not yet
but in God’s mercy and perfect time we are hoping it
will come.”

Last August 27, 2018, the memorial of St. Monica,


Sem. Keith R. Buenaventura (Diocese of Antipolo),
Sem. Peter Collin C. Crisostomo (Diocese of Malolos),
and Sem. Glicerio T. Tano (Archdiocese of Cebu), it should lead us to become holy seminarians and
were admitted to the Candidacy to the Diaconate and eventually holy priests. We are all called to be holy by
Presbyterate. The rite was held at Holy Apostles Senior living our lives with love, and by bearing witness to it
Seminary’s Mary Queen of Apostles Chapel. in everything we do, and wherever we find ourselves.
(GE, 14)
The word ‘admission’ is commonly understood as “a
declaration” or “an entry.” For a seminarian, receiving Our journey as a batch is also challenged through
the gift of the Admission to the Candidacy of Diaconate the homily of his Excellency. He wants us to live out
and Presbyterate means a declaration of belongingness our batch name by being God-centered and having joy
to his diocese, and that the diocese recognizes him as in serving others. He also suggests that we should be
its seminarian through the Local Ordinary. Likewise, fruitful in prayer and be more discerning as we go on
this event signifies his entry to the larger community step further. Most of all, we should love the Church
where he will be serving soon. whom we are serving now as seminarians and whom
we will serve as future pastors someday. All of these
In the Apostolic Letter, Ad Pascendum, Blessed Paul are possible as we step further in knowing God, in our
VI emphasized that the new rite replaces the practice of own “Jerusalem”, through studies and formation. It
having a tonsure as an expression of detachment from continues to be a big challenge and hopefully, through
worldly things. In this rite, the one who aspires to the God’s mercy, we will be able to go through them.
diaconate and priesthood, publicly manifests his will
to offer himself to God and the Church, so that he may “This call from the Lord must be discerned and
exercise a sacred order. understood in the daily signs that reveal God’s will to
the prudent. God’s grace moves and helps the ones he
Our batch leaps up with joy for this gift from God. chooses to share in the ordained priesthood of Christ,”
Despite our unworthiness, our faults, and failures, He said the Bishop in the liturgy. This challenges me to be
showed His mercy upon on us. God has looked upon us more submissive and more discerning about my words
with divine compassion (cf. Gaudete et Exsultate, 82). and actions. Having been duly admitted as a seminarian
He did not abandon us. He allowed us to realize that he of the Diocese of Malolos, this milestone prepares me
is in our midst during the day of our admission through now to enter another phase in my vocation journey and
the Bishop of Antipolo who ministered the rite of our embrace all that of serving God and His flock entails.
admission. Most Reverend Francisco M. De Leon,
D.D., during his homily, reminded the congregation
that being admitted is a very serious matter and that
GAUDETE ET EXSULTATE: Called to Be Holy in the Ordinary 21
Theology Triduum 2018
Setting the World on Fire!
Sem. Gerald M. Moscardon

“Holiness is parrhesia: boldness, “parrhesia”. As Bishop Ambo puts R-EVEAL. Fire not only
an impulse to evangelize and leave it, “parrhesia ay handang mahulog consumes, it reveals a lot about
a mark in this world.” – Gaudete et ng may kahulugan.” He also reflected us – our weaknesses. Bishop
Exsultate #129 on fire as a symbol of parrhesia. “I Ambo warned us on the blocks
have come to the earth to set it on to parrhesia and he highlighted

I nspired by the recent


Apostolic Exhortation of
Pope Francis, the San Carlos
fire.” (Luke 12:49). Jesus himself
preached and ministered with
boldness and zeal. And like Jesus,
mediocrity as the enemy of the
ministry of priesthood. The
problems of the Church are right
Graduate School of Theology we are called to set the world on in front of us demanding our
launched its Theology Triduum, F.I.R.E. attention and response. We should
a three-day celebration of the not buckle under its weight and
theme: “Parrhesia: Pass Beyond F-ERVOR. We are called fall into the trap of minimalism,
the Familiar, Set Out Anew!” to possess apostolic fervor in complacency, and fear.
focusing on the 2019 celebration ministering to the youth who faces
of the Year of the Youth designated issues like depression, bullying, E-MBOLDEN. It takes
by the Catholic Bishops’ suicide, homosexuality, addiction, courage to give oneself to others.
Conference of the Philippines. and absentee parents. During the It takes compassion to understand
This year, the annual gathering second day, young women from the pains of those who are lost. It
of theology students focused on The Lord’s Flock Charismatic is only through the Spirit that we
obtaining information, discussing Community gave their testimonies can have this fire that emboldens.
issues and sharing experiences on of their experiences of these issues It is the same fire that can make
how to be bold and passionate in that brought awareness to their compassion contagious. On the
ministering to the youth. world and sobriety and challenge last day of the triduum, priests and
to us priests-in-process. How do we lay partners gave their testimonies
The first day commenced respond to the “hidden” cries of the in their own ministries - Fr. Bobby
with an input by keynote speaker, young people? dela Cruz of Sanlakbay (ministry
Most Rev. Pablo Virgilio “Ambo” to drug surrenderees), Fr. Juvelan
David, DD. Bishop of Kalookan. I-GNITE. Once our hearts Samia of the Salesian Youth
He led the students to reflect on ignite with the burning passion Movement, Fr. Eugene David of
the Apostles James and John, sons and zeal for the Church, it is bound Courage (ministry to persons
of Zebedee, and their desire to be to consume us. As formands, we with same-sex attraction), and
great. There is nothing wrong to have to be consumed by the desire Ms. Jojie Recelis, a counselor from
seek greatness for we are made to make Jesus known even now. the Center for Family Ministries.
in the image and likeness of the After hearing the testimonies from Through their ministries, we saw
Great Creator. It is our vision of young people, the students went fruits of parrhesia.
greatness that we need to purify. into concurrent sessions called
“Nuggets” where these pertinent The words of Rev. Fr. Enrico
As Christians, if we want issues of the youth were further Ayo, Dean of Studies, summarize
to leave a mark in this world, it discussed and deepened through the experience of the Theology
requires death to self – “kenosis”. the sharing of insights, reflections, Triduum and also serve as a
It is no longer us that is important experiences and challenges to see challenge to us priests-in-process
but Jesus in us that emanates how we can enter and make Jesus and as a Church – synodality,
through our words and deeds, present in their lives. synergy, kenosis!
and that requires boldness –

22 DAKILANG TANDA | Volume XX No. 1 October 2018


‘NEEDED: A FORM OF GOVERNMENT
ROOTED IN GOSPEL VALUES’
Sem. Ivan Joseph F. Feniquito

F ederalism is defined as a system of


government where the powers are
distributed between the national or central
government and the constituent units
such as the state or regional government
and its local units. In this form, the states
or regions have sufficient autonomy over
their respective government units.

The Vicariate of Sts. Peter and Paul


of the Archdiocese of Manila organized
two symposia on Federalism and Charter
Change as part of a series in its issue
advocacy initiatives. The first forum was
held last August 21, 2018 at St. Andrew
Parish with Atty. Christian Monsod.
Another forum was held at the National
Shrine of the Sacred Heart of Jesus last
September 17, 2018 with former Senator
Jose Lina. As a former Senator and increase regional discrepancies in wealth, must lead the people of God to form and
Governor of the province of Laguna, Mr. resources, and services. Another is that in use conscience in our day to day lives. I
Lina exposed the repercussions of the the transitional government, there might realized that as a priest-in-process, I must
proposal to the autonomy and productivity be changes in the electoral process. In not be ignorant and indifferent towards the
of local government units. the study done by the Philippine Institute problems and issues besetting the nation.
for Development Studies, it is estimated There might be times that people in the
Mr. Lina compared the present form that the cost for this change would range community will seek counsel and we need
of government to the proposed federal between 44 and 72 billion pesos due to to answer questions about the problems of
government. According to him, at present the increase in the size of government society. As a future pastor, I must be ready
we have a unitary form of government bureaucracy. The government needs to give counsel to the people around me
with two levels: national and local. The to produce 130 billion pesos for the if ever they would ask about issues like
national government has the responsibility transitional government. Obviously, the this. I may not be an expert, but at least
over all national concerns. While the main source for this needed fund would be I can provide them with guidance and
local government manages the affairs met by imposing additional taxes. moral compass and give assurance that
of provinces, cities, municipalities and my involvement will always be rooted in
barangays. In the Federal form however, The former senator added that there God with the desire to act for the common
there will be three levels of government: are actually many forms of federal system good.
the federal or national government, of government and it depends on the
the regional government, and the local need and what will fit the country. There The symposia gave us a wider
government. In each regional government is no exact template or mould. To him, perspective about Federalism and its
or state, there will be a similar layer the present government system in the effects to our nation. Do we really need to
of bureaucracy just like in the national Philippines on closer analysis, already has have a shift in the form of government from
government. the touch of federal system. There is no unitary to federal? This must be studied
urgent need to change the present system very well. I believe that what is needed is
The advantage of having a federal because decentralization, local autonomy that the leaders of our country must first
form is that the power is decentralized. and the principle of subsidiarity are the be grounded in the Gospel values before
It ensures the autonomy of the local hallmarks of a federal system which are trying to push for changes like these.
governments. In terms of taxes collected, already present in the existing form. The What we need now is a full and honest
each local government retains the 70% basic principles are already embedded in implementation of the current Constitution.
of its income and remits only 30% to the 1987 constitution. The legislative bodies Also, the creation of laws rooted in the
federal government. In this aspect, there just need to come up with laws that will teachings of the Church; the principles of
will be an increased budget for the local implement the tenets of said constitution. human dignity and human rights, integrity
governments to craft and implement and truth; participation and solidarity; and
programs and projects for the general The Church, today, takes by being that of the common good. The form of
welfare and benefit of its constituents. the voice of conscience offering “morally government and the actions of our leaders
suasive” thoughts aimed objectively at must seriously take into consideration
The disadvantage however is that, it educating the people on the merits and what is for the common welfare and the
can cause division in the country. It may demerits of Federalism. The Church protection of our country’s sovereignty.

GAUDETE ET EXSULTATE: Called to Be Holy in the Ordinary 23