Sunday, May 25, 2008

Perpetual Vows 2008

On a rather cloudy morning of May (it rained later), the annual profession of perpetual vows was held here at the seminary chapel. Five young men pronounced "to live for life poverty, chastity and obedience according to the Constitutions of the Society of Divine Word." Representative of the Superior General in Rome and mass presider is Fr. Ernesto Lagura, SVD, member of the Provincial Council of the SVD Southern Province and former president of Holy Name University (Tagbilaran, Bohol).

Perpetual profession makes one a permanent member of the congregation, legally speaking. I wonder whether these young men are aware and convinced of the implication of such a solemn and public oath before God and community, spiritually speaking. I remember some 14 years ago, when seven of us pronounced the final vows. I was preoccupied with visitors and food; it was my first experience of being at the center of public attention. Nonetheless, when finally I came to the line that said, "to live for life," it brought me chills. Such "chilling effect" is still felt whenever I witness perpetual professions of vows.

It's also interesting to see how the celebration of perpetual vows is refined through the years. There is always something new every year. This time, tarpaulin banners are much bigger (biggest) and seminarians begin to wear I.D's.

Although the rite of perpetual vows seems to be the culmination of around 10 years of seminary formation, it is also the start of the different rites of passage to become a full-pledged SVD missionary, usually lasting a year or two. In a matter of days, the five will receive their mission assignments. After few weeks, they will be ordained deacons and will be assigned temporarily to help in the parishes especially in SVD parishes nearby.This December or February next year, depending on the circumstances, they will be ordained priests. The next rite is graduation from Theology which signals the beginning of the preparation to the mission assignments. For those assigned as missionaries abroad, this includes securing a passport and visa, the first experience of an international flight, learning the language of the country---and finally, a missionary.

Sometimes, the experience is so overwhelming and fast-phase that some young missionaries within just a few weeks abroad decide to come home. This abbreviated mission assignment occupied my mind as I prayed for the newest full-pledged members of the Society of the Divine Word.

Fr. Jerome Marquez, SVD
and former parishioners from the Nazareno Parish

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Request for Transcript of Records, Divine Word Seminary, Tagaytay City, Philippines

This blog has been receiving requests from our alumni for their transcript of records at Divine Word Seminary. You may direct your request to:

Fr. Alex Muaña , SVD
Dean of Studies
Divine Word Seminary
4120 Tagaytay City

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Trinity, Pink Sisters and Fr. Dom Flores, SVD

Pink Sisters' Chapel in Tagaytay City
and its sweet-sounding carillon
(photo grab:

For my commentary on the biblical readings for Trinity Sunday, please click on this. Again, may I remind my blogreaders that the materials here may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without my explicit permission.
Tagaytay City is not only known for its refreshing weather and breath-taking view of Taal Lake, it's also famous for its more than 30 religious houses in the city and its environs. One particular place of destination these days is the Pink Sisters' Convent (officially called Adoration Convent of Divine Mercy). It's amazing to see so many visitors coming from all over the country, sometimes from abroad to visit the convent especially to attend mass on Sundays (7:30 am and 5:00 pm). Although a few come for sightseeing, most are her to pray with the sisters.

Last Saturday (May 17), one of the sisters pronounced her final profession to the congregation - meaning she makes a solemn promise to live for life the evangelical vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. It's a mystery and grace that in this rapid world, there are still young people who commit themselves to a life of silence, prayer, and anonymity in the contemplative life.
The final profession was presided by Bishop Pablo David,
auxiliary of San Fernando in Pampanga
where the professing sister hails.

Part of the rite of profession is to receive a ring
and the sister accepting to be "betrothed"
to Jesus, the bridegroom.

The pink sister who took the name Mary Chrisanne
signs her "marriage contract"
Fr. Dom Flores, SVD who is the rector of the SVD seminary in Melbourne, Australia and my uncle blogs about their life in Down Under, click on this and bookmark it.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Pentecost, CTS, Diwa, New Dean, Library, Perpetual Vows, Summer, etc

Followers of this blog have been prodding me to update it. I didn't know blogging is no luxury. I can imagine the difficulty of Luke who "blogged" the missionary journeys of Paul in the second half of the first century A.D. Without it, we would not have the Acts of the Apostles, the only narrative account of the life of the early Church which we read in the mass during Easter Season. Here's a short write-up on Acts especially 2:1-11, the reading for this coming Sunday's Pentecost feast. Click on this.

CTS Students with German theologian, Fr. John Fuellenbach, SVD

Certificate in Theological Studies
Enrollment is now going on for those interested to join the Certificate in Theological Studies program. Classes are held during Saturdays here at the Divine Word Seminary following the official schedule of the academic year. This is a two-year (or four semester) program of studying in depth the Bible, Theology, and Spirituality. For more information, click on this.

Diwa 33 (2007)
The latest issue of Diwa, the academic journal of Divine Word Seminary (Theology) and Christ the King Seminary (Philosophy) is off the press soon (after much delay!). Please place your order to: Here's the table of contents:

New Dean of Divine Word Seminary
We just elected Fr. Alexander Muaña, SVD as our new Dean of Studies (2008-2011). Fr. Alex holds a licentiate in Missiology from the Gregorian University in Rome (2006) and teaches mission theology here. He replaces Fr. Michael Layugan, SVD who has been accepted in the doctoral program at the Catholic University of Louvain. Fr. Laguyan will specialize in the area of church history.
Dean Alex M. (4th from left)
with long time
rector of DWS, Fr. Antolin Uy, SVD

New Librarians
Yours truly has been appointed as a librarian of the Arnoldus Library. Expect then that once in a while in this blog I will write on some recent books on theology and exegesis. Ms. Joyce Pascua, a young licensed librarian will join us at the end of the month. We are also putting up a homiletic collection where students and preachers can have access to excellent and recent literature on how to preach well. The room is called Nicasio Preacher's Collection since most books and materials come from the personal collection of our homiletics professor, Fr. Linus Nicasio, SVD. With all these and other improvements done last year, Arnoldus Library is an exciting place to visit.
The artistic building of the Arnoldus Library

Perpetual Vows
Five in-coming 4th year theology students will profess their perpetual vows to the Society of the Divine Word on May 25 at 9:00 am at the Chapel of Divine Seminary here in Tagaytay: Gil Rochar Dulay, Felmar Fiel, Jonathan Letada, Aris Martin, and Jaekel Solde. This means that after a month or so, months they will be ordained as deacons then few months later, as priests.

Summer Out There

I spent a short yet unique vacation sometime last week in Labangan, a village in the island of Iling which belongs to San Jose, Occidental Mindoro. I was here as a regent in the early 90's. A number of SVDs has also spent summer camps here like Fr. Raymun Festin and Fr. Raul Caga whose names are "written" in the names of some teen-agers here. People here are very warm; despite the poverty in the place, you'll find so many good souls here. I thank the Fabular family, esp. kagawad Lorie Fabular-Dugenia, for their warm hospitality.
This was my "hotel" for a week; thanks to Ate Tina and Kuya Gaspar

our shower place and everything

In the passenger boat: drink "Ursos," the best way to face big waves

this is at the next island, Ambulong

Menu for Lunch: Fresh Sea Urchins
and six-kilo Talakitok

That's Bulaklak, our tourist guide after she brought us up the summit of the island.

She also brought us to one of the caves;
Old friends from the Labangan: Kgd Lorie and Vicky;
Vicky is vacationing with her
husband from the US.