Sunday, January 16, 2011

Canon Law Forum for the Laity

The graduates of Certificate in Theological Studies (CTS), the Saturday program for the lay at the Divine Word Seminary in Tagaytay City will conduct a Forum on Canon Law entitled “Batas ng Simbahan Para sa mga Layko” (Canon Law for the Laity).

The aim of the said forum is to offer to the laity the opportunity to know the canonical-pastoral issues facing the contemporary Church i.e., marriage; their rights and obligations; and their role in the Church.

Two of the leading Canon lawyers in the country have earlier agreed to be the resource speakers for the Forum: (1) Father Adolfo Dacanay, SJ, professor of Theology at the Ateneo de Manila University, a judge in the ecclesiastical tribunals of Manila and Lucena, and author of Canon Law and Marriage (Ateneo de Manila Press, 2000) and Sacraments of Initiation (Anvil, 2006); and (2) Father Jerome Marquez, SVD, professor of Canon Law at the Divine Word Seminary and San Carlos Seminary, defender of the Bond at the National Appellate Matrimonial Tribunal of CBCP and director at Saint Jude Catholic School in Manila.

The Forum will be held on 22 January 2011 from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm at the chapel of Divine Word Seminary. There will be a minimal registration fee of only One Hundred Pesos (PHP100.00).

For more information, please send a text message to mobile number 09182977004 or please call (046) 4716951.

For the Certificate in Theological Studies program of Divine Word Seminary, please click visit

Doctor Marita Panganiban-Guevarra, M.D. is the over-all coordinator of the Forum; Father Randy Flores, SVD acts as the adviser.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Fiesta of Hesus Nazareno Parish, Dasmarinas, Cavite

TV5 News clip of the Procession - January 9, 2011

For this year's fiesta, which was on a Sunday, the 6:30am mass was celebrated by Bishop Chito Tagle; the 8:30am mass became the fiesta mass with the SVDs--Fr. Nielo Cantilado was the main celebrant and Fr. Lino Nicasio preached the homily.Concelebrating were Frs. Jerome Marquez and Randy Flores who were the pioneers of Hesus Nazareno-Dasma; two Chinese students Frs. Wang and Wang; Fr. Kit Ramirez, the assistant parish priest, and Fr. Manny Mijares, one of the newly ordained SVDs who helps in the parish during week-ends.

Homily of Fr. Linus Nicasio, SVD

Bisperas, the night before the Fiesta. Dasmarinas City Mayor Jenny Barzaga gives her inspiration speech at the Dance Contest for youth sponsored by the ALS under Arnold Janssen Catholic Mission Foundation dubbed as ALSayawan

Miss Laila "Chikadora", special guest, with SVD-ALS learners
Before the Fiesta Mass. Mrs. Teresita "Inday Jaca" (front left), one of the first contacts of the SVDs with Fr. Linus and lectors , Baby and Mila. At the back, Fr. Jerome, Fr. Nielo and Fr. Ed (parish priest)

At the Our Father. The church has a 2,000 seating capacity

The image of the Black Nazarene

At the procession

The following is an article on the history of the parish written last year for the SVD Centennial Book

The Mission History of Simbahan ng Hesus Nazareno
in Dasmariñas Bagong Bayan, Cavite
Fr. Randolf C. Flores, SVD
21 April 2009

Simbahan ng Hesus Nazareno (Church of Jesus, the Nazarene) is, at present, the only SVD parish in the Diocese of Imus (Cavite). It began as a pastoral center on Holy Week of 2001 under the care of the Parish of the Risen Christ in Bulihan (Silang, Cavite)—at that time still administered by the SVD but was turned over to the Diocese in 2003. Fr. Jerome Marquez, SVD and Fr. Randolf “Randy” Flores, SVD, who were teaching Canon Law and Bible respectively at Divine Word Seminary, volunteered to run the pastoral center which, after three years (9 January 2004), became a quasi-parish with the former as the first parish priest (until 2005).

The Beginnings
The establishment of the Simbahan ng Hesus Nazareno, although a result of careful planning and the effort of people of goodwill, was also providential—as one that was “guided by the Spirit” (cf. Gal 5:25). Since the SVD Philippine Central Province was turning over the parish in Bulihan, a former resettlement area, to the diocesan clergy, there was a suggestion from the Vicariate of Immaculate Conception, one of the five vicariates of the Diocese to which Bulihan belonged, for the SVDs to do community organizing in another resettlement area, the Bautista Property located at Barangay Sampaloc IV, in Dasmariñas Bagong Bayan (DBB, Cavite). In the mid-80s, informal settlers from Metro Manila including those from NAIA, Legarda, and MIA Road were relocated to Bautista Property. Statistics showed that there were close to 40,000 relocatees, 60% of whom were children in this 33 hectare relocation area. The diocesan clergy had noticed the growing number of the population, the increasing demands for sacramental services of a priest, the worsening situation of peace and order, the illegal drug problem, and the poverty of the place—the main source of livelihood was doormat making.

Negotiations began towards the end of the year 2000—between the late Fr. Joel Maribao, SVD, then the provincial and Bishop Manuel Sobreviñas, then the bishop of Imus; between Fr. Restituto “Resty” Lumanlan, SVD, then the parish priest of Bulihan and Mr. Ed Pamintuan, former general manager of the government’s National Housing Authority (NHA). The government through the NHA owned the 7,512 sq. m. and the abandoned garment factory located at Barangay Luzviminda Dos which Fr. Resty had judged as the best site for a church building, a convent, an SVD mission center, and a school in the future.

In the meantime, Fathers Jerome and Randy, with two SVD scholastics—Alan Leus and Bernard Sabijon— started to live in a rented house in a nearby subdivision, Bahay Pangarap, in March 2001 in time for the Holy Week preparations. They were assisted by Mrs. Teresita “Inday” Jaca, the lay leader of that place, and Miss Ivy Jaca, her daughter—they were the first contacts of the SVDs.

The pioneer group was supported by Divine Word Seminary in Tagaytay City headed by Fr. Antolin Uy, SVD, then the rector. The support ranged from providing household needs like cabinets and beds to the use of vehicles. Likewise, Miss May Cristobal of Pasay, a friend of the group, gave the initial fund to pay the rent and food for the first two months while the SVD District of Manila provided the monthly missionary allowance.

After the summer break of 2001, the group decided to move to Bautista Property, to live closer to the relocatees. With Mrs. Ana Tapanan and Arjay Venus—a working student then and now an SVD scholastic—as house helpers, they rented a house in Zone which served both as a residence and a pastoral center and named it, "Arnold Janssen Catholic Mission Center." Masses, baptisms, weddings, formation talks, and meetings were conducted at the center. It became a "house church" (cf. Acts 1: 13).

In 11 August 2001, the first Basic Bible Seminar was held in the small chapel of City Homes Subdivision. Fathers Randy and Jerome were assisted in facilitating the seminar by SVD scholastics who were doing their week-end apostolate in Bautista. Three of them are now ordained missionaries of the SVD—Fr. Ferdinand “Ferds” Resuena (now in East Timor), Fr. Ruel “Dudz” Lero and Fr. Alvin Jayma, both are working in the SVD Philippine Southern Province. The SVD scholastics also began to form a youth group, a youth choir, and helped in organizing the BECs which was headed then by Mrs. Gemma Patricio.

Also around this month, the Caburlotto Sisters near Tagaytay City, through the initiative of their superior Sr. Idangela del Ben, sent Sr. Leah Salaga nd Sr. Shirley Vidal to the center to assist the volunteer catechists and eventually to run the catechetical program of the center which their sisters still do until now. The first group of catechists consisted of the two sisters, Mrs. Marina Lopez, Mrs. Erly Navera, and Soledad Brimbuela; and Fathers Jerome and Randy who taught elementary pupils at the public school of Bautista and at the City Homes Academy respectively.

In the same month (13 August 2001), Arnold Janssen Catholic Mission Foundation, Inc. was created to assist the operation of the Center, especially the acquisition of the land and the support of the livelihood programs. Led by Ms. Victoria Amalingan of the SC Vizcarra company and with the valuable assistance of two sisters who are SVD friends—Ms. May Cristobal and Ms. Fe Cristobal—the Foundation was approved by the Securities and Exchange Commission in 7 Nov. 2001.

The following year, the Center, through the financial support of Mr. Edwin Ty, opened its doors to the out-of-school children and youth and non-literate adults. Sagip Dunong (“Save Knowledge”), a non-formal education or Alternative Learning System duly accredited by the Department of Education was established.

Communities of the SVD Pastoral Center
Apart from Bautista Property and Bahay Pangarap, two more subdivisions were under the SVD pastoral center—City Homes and University Hills. Later on, Saulog, Sitio Talisayan and the whole territory of Barangays Luzviminda Dos and Sampaloc IV were included. Then parish priests of these areas—Fr. Ted Villanueva of the Sacred Heart Parish in Area C where Bautista Property belonged and Fr. Fr. Sharkey Brown of the Mabuting Pastol Parish in Pala-Pala where the rest belonged— willingly allowed the SVDs to do community organizing through basic ecclesial communities (BEC), conduct liturgical services, Bible seminars and Bible sharings.

Since there was no church building yet, liturgical celebrations were done in different places—in the basketball court and club house of Bahay Pangarap, in the small chapels of City Homes and University Hill, in the nursery centers and streets of Bautista, and most of the time under a borrowed tent (cf. Exodus 40:2) in front of the abandoned garment factory being negotiated with the government to turn it to a multipurpose center which would house the church and the convent. In fact, it was under this tent that the first mass was celebrated in 9 January 2002 by the just installed bishop of Imus, Bishop Chito Tagle—it was the feast of Poong Hesus Nazareno (Jesus, the Nazarene). When Bishop Tagle would raise the pastoral center to a quasi-parish in 2004, the community decided to name the new parish, Simbahang Hesus Nazareno (and in that church and in that same year, the same bishop would ordain to the priesthood four SVD deacons).

Mrs. Yolly Cayabyab, Mr. and Mrs. Ben and Cora Garcia, Mrs. Gemma Patricio from Bautista Property; Mrs. Inday Jaca and Miss Lita Uko from Bahay Pangarap; Mrs. Nida Serdeña, Mrs. Bella Angeles, and Mr. Ceferino “Fering” Lopez from City Homes; Mrs. Erly Navera from University Hills; and Mrs. Salvacion “Ning” Engojo from Saulog, were the early contacts and lay leaders of the communities belonging to the SVD pastoral center.

From Garments Factory to Church Building
The meetings between the representatives of the SVD and NHA bore fruit. The latter allowed the use of the land and of one of the abandoned garments factories (called “MODAS”) in Luzviminda Dos which Fr. Resty, the main negotiator from the SVD side, saw it as a “very strategic site” (it sits today near a major road where jeepneys ply from Brgy Paliparan to the town of Dasmariñas passing through De La Salle University, the biggest academic institution in the province of Cavite).

A problem, however, arose. Former members of the labor union who had worked in the old factory claimed ownership of the scrap inside the building as their union’s share when the factory closed down in 1994. Representatives of both side sat down to solve the matter---Miss Lita Ukol, Fathers Jerome and Randy, Mr. Fering Lopez, and Mrs. Yolly Cayabyab from the church’s side; Mr. Dominador “Doming” Aganan (labor union leader) and Mr. Ronnie Abayon (barangay chairman of Luzviminda Dos) from the labor union’s side. Negotiations and meetings were mediated and facilitated by Mayor Elpidio “Pidi” Barzaga, then the Dasmariñas mayor (now congressman) and Mr. Romeo Joson (barangay chairman of Sampaloc IV). The final deal was for the pastoral center to pay P60,000 in cash to the union members which was the value of the metal scrap inside the building. That deal was signed by both parties inside the mayor’s office. The community then conducted fund-raising activities especially asking the families to give monetary donations in the masses for their dead on All Saints Day. The Pink Sisters of Tagaytay, through their superior Sr. Josanne Bautista, donated 50% of the amount. Thus, on 7 March 2002, after blessings and prayers were said, future members of the Simbahan ng Hesus Nazareno, entered triumphantly the old factory—the new “God’s house.”

The Simbahan ng Hesus Nazareno Today
Today, the parish runs the following ministries:
• Liturgical Committee (Lay Ministers; Lectors and Commentators; Ushers; Altar Boys; Choirs; Liturgical Arts; Apostleship of Prayer; and Maintenance)
• B.E.C. Organizing
• Basic Bible Seminars
• Livelihood Program (Microfinance System)
• Family Life Ministry under the Family Renewal Movement and El-Shaddai
• Youth Ministry
• Catechism for Children c/o Caburlotto Sisters and Volunteer Catechists
• Formation
• Health
• Environmental Concerns

The second and the present parish priest is Fr. Edilberto Orpilla, SVD (2005- ) whose assistant was Fr. Jose “Joey” Guinto, SVD (2005-2008) and now Fr. Christopher “Kit” Ramirez, SVD (2008-).

Only eight years old but the Simbahan ng Hesus Nazareno has touched many lives. Indeed, it is trying to live the SVD “Prophetic Dialogue” as it fulfills the vision of the Diocese of Imus—“A community that is God-oriented and therefore oriented to neighbor, life, society and creation.”