Friday, August 21, 2009

The Day in Tagaytay's Divine Word Seminary

Fr. Fred (rector); Fr. Tony (superior general);
Ate Cory (who does not know her? ); Fr. Pio
; and Fr. Magboo (?)

I'm posting here my letter to Ms. Chin-Chin Gutierrez, Philippine actress, environmentalist, and Time Magazine's 2003 Asian Hero. Chin-Chin is close to the SVD and consider's Divine Word Seminary as her second "home."

Dear Chin,
Thanks for your email. Indeed your father looks like Fr. Tony (Superior General) and how about Fr. Fred Saniel (Rector)? He looks like Arnold Janssen!

It's 3:03 am here and at 4:30, 49 of us here in Tagaytay Seminary will leave for Christ the King Seminary where our we get our chartered bus, one of the three buses hired, to bring us to Abra.

The scholastics and the seniors here deserved that "break" -- we had been working hard, very hard to make our Centennial celebration and alumni/alumnae homecoming in Tagaytay a success, and indeed it was.

Yesterday (August 20) was a big day for Divine Word Seminary, and will be remembered so for years to come.

It began with a good weather that we had been praying for. And so the 300 visitors who came up to Tagaytay beheld the beauty of the seminary--flowers all over, buildings repainted (thanks to many good benefactors), main gate refurbished, manicured lawns and well-trimmed plants. The Clean and Green seminary stood out. For pictures, you can click here-- this is the Facebook of Fr. Gil Alejandria, SVD and you might need to sign up to view them.

Few minutes before 9:00 am, the Superior General blessed the two huge statues of Saints Arnold and Joseph placed infront of the chapel and donated by former SVDs (who call themselves, "Manus Dei"). Then we moved to the Mission Museum for the blessing and opening. This Museum contains many interesting interesting items on the beginning of the seminary and of course on the mission of the SVD--thanks to the initiative and effort of Fr. Alex Muana, our dean.

Just before 10:00 am, we went to the conference hall to confer the "Distinguished Alumnus Award" to none other than Fr. Tony. It's the first time the seminary gives such award. The citation was read by the most senior of the faculty, Fr. Antolin Uy; the plaque was presented by the Rector, Fr. Fred; the alumnus pin was placed on the awardee by Dr. Marita Guevarra, M.D. who represented the Certificate in Theological Studies, the Saturday theology program for the lay born two years ago; the latest book on Filipino theology (F. Claver, S.J., The Making of Local Church, 2009) was presented, the awardee being a theologian himself, by Eric Lacandula the head of the student body; and the latest album "Complines and Vespers" sung /chanted prayers of Divine Word Seminary was also given to him by Fr. Nielo Cantilado, our provincial who is one of the signers and soloists.

After these, Fr. Tony gave his address to assembly. It was an inspiring and theologically stimulating talk where he outlined the role of Divine Word Seminary in the coming years, especially becoming a center of missiological studies in Asia-Pacific region. I will post the text of his talk when I come back from Abra. After Fr. Pernia's talk, the provinicial officially anounced the approval of our affiliation with UST of the Licentiate in Sacred Theology (STL)--Missiology.

The Mass was held around 11:30 am presided by Bishop Artemio Rillera, SVD of San Fernando, La Union who is an alumnus and Bishop Arturo Bastes, SVD also an alumnus preached the homily where he narrated stories of the beginning of the seminary being one of its first graduates.

In the afternoon, Bishop Chito Tagle (Imus) gave a talk to the alumni/alumanae on the importance of theological studies in one's life and ministry. Bishop Chito, who is a professor here, and member of the Vatican initiated Theological Commission, shared some interesting points on the value of theology--each one is graced with "faith" that should constantly be nourished; most especially for pastors to whom a faith-community is entrusted.

As the sun was setting, we gathered in the chapel for our evening prayer -- a sung vespers which is found in the CD Album "Complines and Vespers." It was a great moment to thank God for The Day.

After dinner, Fr. Raul Caga, SVD and his Arnoldus Company (composed of 6 scholastics) staged a concert. The songs and performance was wonderful and really something to be proud of. We were awed. They did very well.

And thus The Day ended, very well.

click here for more pictures of the event.

God be praised!

1 comment:

PH-Elections said...

Hi All! My dad spent his grade school and high school days in Divine Word Seminary... how can i get in touch with his classmates?

My dad is in the hospital right now, we want to reach sana his best friends in high school.

hope you can help.