Friday, June 06, 2008

US Concert Tour of Fr. Raul Caga, SVD

Raul and PAX-Minstrels at Techny

Our "concert priest", Fr. Raul Caga, SVD is in the United States for a fundraising/mission animation concert for Divine Word Seminary. The reason why we need to raise money for the seminary is obvious, enough to know we are avoiding the fate of a Nigerian seminary below. Let me have short excursus to quote the news from zenit.org.

Food Crisis Forces Nigerian Seminary Closure
Many Others in Third World Could Follow

KOENIGSTEIN, Germany, JUNE 5, 2008 (Zenit.org).- The Catholic seminary in Makurdi in central Nigeria is facing closure this month as a result of the worldwide food crisis, reported Aid to the Church in Need.Monsignor Kenneth Enang, rector of the seminary, told the aid agency Wednesday that the major seminary, in which some 520 seminarians from 15 dioceses are preparing for the priesthood, has already been forced to ration the food on account of the "astronomical prices."

An additional problem is the price of diesel, which is used to provide electricity. Within just one week, the price of diesel has risen by a third.Father Andrzei Halemba, who heads the Africa desk of Aid to the Church in Need, reports that the worldwide food crisis is becoming an ever greater problem for seminaries throughout the Third World, and is likely to threaten the continued functioning of many other seminaries.

Months earlier, Father Enang had told Aid to the Church in Need of his delight at the many, "good vocations," arriving to his seminary, and the well-qualified staff. He described the seminary as something of a "bridge" between the North and South of Nigeria.It was a "wonderful experience," he added, to see the way in which these young men from all over the country got on together. One could see in it "how Nigeria ought to look."

At that time there was talk of enlarging the seminary, since the space was no longer sufficient for the many seminarians there. Now they are threatened with closure by June 20.

Fr. Raul is also promoting his two CD albums, "Life is Beautiful" and "Called by Love", the latter is recorded, edited, and produced in the Arnoldus Communications Center (or ArCom) located at the basement of Arnoldus Library. The center has since recorded some recent songs of the Fifth Gospel and Padi (group of priest-singers of the Diocese of Urdaneta) . ArCom is directed by XVD composer, Nez Marcelo.

Two years ago, I posted in this blog my review of "Called by Love", please click on this.

Here's Fr. Raul's itinerary in case our US readers want to catch his concert:
May 4 - St. Anthony of Claret Parish, Lakewood, NJ
May 11 - St. Anthony of Padua, Highstown, NJ
May 30 - Techny, Illinois (c/o PAX-USA and SVD Alumni Intl)
June 7 - Dinner and Concert somewhere in Texas.
June 14 - St. Joachim's Church, Hayward, CA (tel: 510-783-2766)
June 22 - Mission Dolores Basilica, San Francisco, CA]
June 29 - St. Matthew County, San Francisco, CA


On the Techny concert, Fr. Raul reports: "Around 100 people came including some confrères and the biggest in revenue so far. PAX-Minstrels (the singing group of Philippine-American XVD's) joined me in four songs. They also sang 2 songs as front act and another 2 songs during the break.