Monday, June 27, 2011

Let Those Bowling Balls Go!

The very first community recreation for the Redemptorist Formation Community here in Davao was a fun filled afternoon at the local bowling alley at NCCC Mall. So excited were the students to have some fun together that all were ready at 1.30p.m, the agreed departure time. Along with the students were Fr Pio Makabenta CSsR, one of the student prefects, Sr Miriam Alexandrino OSB, the dean of studies and Ms Portia Awayan FLARE, the pastoral directoress and professor in pastoral counselling.
The whole reason for the recreation was for the students to have fun, unwind and to bond with each other hence there was no competition and everybody was just invited to just let loose the bowling balls. It was a definitely a welcome break after all the meetings and schedules of the first few weeks. Altogether we occupied 8 lanes in the bowling alley. With the constant cheers and claps, anyway passing nearby would have thought that there was really some serious bowling going on but it was all in the name of fun.
After 2 hours of bowling, the sign boards above the lanes flashed that the time limit had passed. All in all, everyone had an afternoon of good fun.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

I’m Yours. “Songs Reflect the Feelings of the Heart”

On the morning of Jun 13 marked another significant event here in Davao. It was the day in which two former students of SATMI and members of the Davao community were finally ordained into the Sacred Order of Presbyters. It was graced by relatives and friends of the ordinandi with the students and representatives from different Redemptorist units of Asia Oceania. Jose Arnel Rallos (Arnel) and Joseph Ryan Parantar (Ryan) was ordained by the Most Reverend Bishop Ireneo Amantillo CSsR, bishop-emeritus of Tandag. It was really a meaningful liturgy in which there was a solemn and yet a joyful celebration of vocation and commitment.
Both the old and new senior community members of Davao were there to witness the event. Fr Cruzito Manding CSsR, the former Student Prefect now Provincial Superior of Cebu, was the one who presented the candidates to the bishop and the people. It was also graced by other former students of SATMI now all ordained priests. It was also another inspiring event for the students both old and new to be part of this momentous event. Yet the most visible was Fr Jetana Kitcharoen CSsR (Bird), who was also ordained last May 27, 2011. Before the final blessing the Provincial Secreatary of Cebu, Fr Bing, announced the assignments of the newly ordained. Fr Arnel will be assigned on Iloilo while Fr Ryan will be assigned in Cebu.
After the liturgy in the church there immediately followed a fellowship at the covered court. The guests and friends were graced with a sumptuous meal from a catering service. Then the students rendered them songs that were done by units. Each unit was able to bring meaningful messages through their own rendition of songs in their own languages.  There were also presentations and messages from family, friends and conferrers. Yet the most eye catching was the rendition of “I’m Yours” by the newly ordained, Fr Arnel with the RFC band. As the program ended there were still surprise numbers from the students and other members of the congregation. Even Fr Cruz was able to give a couple of his favorite songs to the crowd with the help of RFC band. It ended with the song “Viva Forever" and the Salve Regina by some selected students. It was truly a blissful event. Finally Fr Arnel and Fr Ryan will now really tell to the people and to God “I’m Yours”.- Bro Rufino Macasaet Jr CSsR (3rd Year Theology)

Monday, June 20, 2011


The end of Summer saw all the first years heading to South West Mindanao, to Zamboanga City for the Intensive Course on Christian Muslim Dialogue of the Silsilah Dialogue Movement. The course was held in Harmony Village on the outskirts of Zamboanga City and the participants were from all over the Philippines, from Manila to Basilan, as well as from around Asia, from China, Sri Lanka and Indonesia.
The Silsilah Dialogue movement was started by an Italian PIME priest, Fr. Sebastiano D’Ambra, to help in the peace process in the region. To help begin a dialogue between Christians and Muslims to help build peace between and amongst the peoples in the region. Hence the course was open to all and including catholics, religious and lay, protestants and muslims. During the course, the participants were introduced to both the christian and muslim faiths, with a catholic priest from Italy who is a close friend of the movement and the community being the resource person for the christian faith and a muslim professor who was the resource person for the muslim faith. In many ways, it was an eye opener for many of the participants who until now only had a very limited view or knowledge of the faith of their christian and muslim brothers and sisters. In addition, it was very heartening to see everyone both muslims and Christians sit togther and interact both in and out of the classroom as well as in the refectory.
In addition, everyone was also highly encouraged to pray everyday in his or her own faith for the courage and strength to be open to dialogue. At the end of the course, all the participants pledged their commitment to work for peace in dialogue with their muslim and christian brothers and sisters. Padayon!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Process Retreat

Immediately after our year end evaluation, the first year students were packed off to Cebu for our annual retreat accompanied by none other than our Student Prefect, Fr Ben Ma CSsR and our pastoral directoress, Ms Portia Awayan FLARE. This is just one simple example of the great amount of care, concern and dedication that is generously poured into the Redemptorist Formation Program. Both of them had put aside their busy schedules as both considered that this time, this retreat was for the first years, of utmost importance and priority.
At the Redemptorist Holy Family Retreat House, we were allowed a day to rest and relax after the endless activities of the previous weeks. It was a welcome break to have nothing to do but just to be with oneself, one’s community and the one God.
The next day, we started our process retreat under the direction of both Ms Portia and Fr Ben. It can be said that for some of the first years, it was the first time to discover a part of themselves which they had never known or named, to discover and name components or areas of their personalities in the context of the MBTI. In addition, it was the first time that personal stories and sharings was done as a complete first year batch. Over the next 5 days, under the professional and compassionate guidance of both Fr Ben and Ms Portia, all of the first years were processed and guided through to discover more of the unique gifts and talents and personalities which each possess and to help each student own it.
At the end of the retreat, we discovered more of ourselves, our batch mates and more importantly of the Redemptorist vocation to which the Holy Redeemer himself has called each and everyone of us to.