Sunday, September 25, 2016

Bp. Tobias Installs New Parish Priest

        On September 25, 2016,  the parish of San Lorenzo Ruiz celebrated its 29th founding anniversary. The day began with the Caracol procession at seven thirty in the morning followed by joyful and festive atmosphere of street dancing and eating "street" food, the SLRP way. 

Entrance procession and rites of installation
          At 10:30 of the same morning, the fiesta high mass was celebrated with the Most Reverend Antonio R. Tobias, Bishop of Novaliches, officiating. He was accompanied by a number of Dehonian priests from the Priests of the Sacred Heart, including their Provincial Superior in the Philippines, Fr. Francis Pupkowski.

Fr. Pupkowski, Fr Al and Bp Tobias delivering their messages
          During the mass,  Rev. Fr. Aloisio Back, SCJ, was installed by the good bishop as the new parish priest of SLRP. Together with him were installed the parochial vicar, Rev. Fr. Rechie Gier, SCJ and Rev. Fr. Candi Bayron, SCJ as pastoral aid. The three priests will take over the pastoral care of San Lorenzo Ruiz Parish. With their installation, the SLRP is now officially under the care of the Priests of the Sacred Heart. It is their second parish in Metro Manila.

           In Fr. Al's acceptance of the pastoral reins of the parish, he took it upon himself that the message of open and heartfelt caring for one another be the core of his ministry. He invited all parishioners to open their hearts to the message of Christ and to each other.

           After the installation, a simple lunch was served at the Formation Center.

Fiesta lunch at the Formation Center

Saturday, September 17, 2016

SLRP Celebrates Parish Night

        Parish Night 2016 was unlike previous occasions in the sense that this year's event was a throwback to the past, maybe way back to the past,  with its ethnic theme of "Katutubong Atin". Hatched a few months back, the PYM presented this theme to the PPC of holding an event that brought us back to the time of our ancestors, to the time of simple community living under the patriarchal rule of the  sultan or the datu. And that was what happened.

         The whole evening began with the usual opening prayer and remarks led by Ate Heidi Temporal and Kuya Peter Tamayo, respectively. This was immediately followed by the opening dance number by the Parish Youth Ministry. coronation of the Munting Lakambini 2016 with an introduction by Kuya Cesar Tiongson, Head of the 2016 Munting Lakambini project.

         The Munting Lakambini coronation night was the culmination of a month-and-a-half long fund raising activity to help raise money for needed church repairs. It was a very successful project and the Munting Lakambini, Jaymie Paglinawan, together with her court, princesses Aina Supnet-Roque, Carlyn Ilaya and Angel Porras and the organizers, thanked with their little fashion show. 

         The program then proceeded with the performances by the different groups together with the religious in their much awaited numbers. Group 1 (composed of the MBG, AP and CFC) performed an Igorot dance. Group 2 (composed of the Music Ministry, PYM and SSDM) presented an ethnic tribal dance with a modern twist. Group 3 (composed of LECOM, KoC and Mass Media) performed a Castilian inspired La Jota de Moncadena. Group 4 (composed of LOM, BRC, Catmin and EMHC) presented a Muslim inspired number. The Religious, for their part, presented a dance adaptation of the conversion of the natives to Catholicism but instead of the Sto. Nino, they brought the image of San Lorenzo to the natives.

          Interspersed with the dance numbers were raffle draws for one and all. The evening was capped by the closing message of Fr. Rechie Gier, who thanked everyone for coming and enjoined all to continue to build this Christ-centered community into a vibrant and lively parish bringing the message of sharing and caring for one and all.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Happy Birthday Mama Mary

Blessing of Mary's Statue
It has been a while since the parish celebrated Mama Mary's birthday with an evening mass. And so it came, on September 8, 2016, after a 3-year hiatus that the parish celebrated Mary's brithday with a Holy Mass presided by Fr. Al Back, our soon-to-be parish priest. And it was not just the regular mass but a High Mass in honor of our mother.                                                         
In Fr. Al's homily, he clearly spelt out the role of our Mother in our salvation. It was because of Mary's fiat that Jesus, the Son of God, came into this world to save us all from our sins. And she, who accepted God's invitation to be the mother of God, is also our mother. Of all the saints and angels in heaven, Mary is only one of three persons whom the church celebrates their birth. The other two are Jesus Christ and John the Baptist. Jesus was from the beginning free from sin and John the Baptist was sanctified and cleansed of original sin upon Mary's visit to her cousin Elizabeth and as scriptures say 'the child leapt with joy.' As for Mary, her Immaculate Conception, allowed her to be born sinless and was always in a state of grace, was unblemished as the Mother of God.

Mama Mary's Birthday Wall of bday cards and petitions
Father was happy that the Birthday Wall for Mama Mary was full of birthday cards and petitions from parishioners. It was unusual for him to see many parishioners attended the mass when he did not see these many coming to daily masses. He attributed this to the Filipinos' warm devotion to Mama Mary's birthday, just as Filipinos love to celebrate birthday occasions. With all those petitions and well wishes, how can our mother not accede to her children's petitions!

After the mass, the congregation honored Mary with a candlelight procession and the recitation of the rosary as it wend through the streets of Tierra Verde 1. Amidst the threatening rain, the procession went on under a very light drizzle as if it were Mary's tears coming down from the heavens and blessing all. 

Fr. Al gives his blessing to all 

The evening ended with a prayer and blessing from Fr. Al for all the participants that they may be blessed by our mother.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Welcome Back Fr. Sergio

Fr Sergio giving his personal blessing after the mass
Last Friday, August 26, a newly ordained priest was back in SLRP. This time he was the main celebrant at the 6:30PM mass, his first mass in the parish where he served as a deacon few months back. The mass was a fitting occasion as it coincided with the monthly Adoration for Vocation where the religious community in the parish offered prayers for the growth of vocations.

Flash back to about a year ago.  A deacon from the congregation of the Priests of the Sacred Heart, began serving in our parish. He would normally accompany a Dehonian priest who presided the anticipated Saturday evening mass at the parish.  He had a jolly demeanor, was always smiling and energetic, full of life and excitement as he seriously went about his priestly duties. He read the gospel and on some occasions delivered the homily. He served as a deacon for about six months.

Fr. Sergio after his ordination in Brazil with our Fr. Al
                Towards the end of April this year, he bade farewell to the parish as he had to fly back to his native Brazil for his priestly ordination. His ordination was scheduled for June 3, 2016, the feast of the Sacred Heart in his home parish of Paroquia Nossa Senhora de Lourdes (Parish of Our Lady of Lourdes) in Sao Jose dos Campos in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

          Reverend Father Sergio Shoiti Matumoto is back in the Philippines. And it looks like here he will stay for a while. He mentioned that come October this year he will be assigned to the new parish under the supervision of the Priests of the Sacred Heart in Tanay, Rizal.

                Welcome home Father Sergio. Our prayers go with you on your new assignment. 

                Deus  pai  via!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Inang Desay (Mary, Untier of Knots) Visits SLRP

Image of Inang Desay arrives in SLRP
    On the evening of July 26, 8PM to be precise, the pickup truck carrying the image of Inang Desay, Mary, Untier of Knots, arrived at the parish. Spearheaded by our Parish Youth Ministry, led by Arriane Santos, and our Ministry of Altar Servers, led by Justin Callejo, they carried the image of our lady into the church entrance and into the welcoming parishioners, led by Fr. Rechie, our parish administrator.

Blessing of the Image
    A short procession followed immediately where the image, borne by Fr. Rechie, was carried to its resting place at the right side of the altar. The image was blessed, positioned on its pedestal, and incensed.

    Fr. Rechie led the prayer ceremony. Arriane read the welcome prayer, after which the gospel was read and the prayers of the faithful was offered.  Six PYM representatives carried the novena articles (such as notepad, ballpens, the novena prayer and the pieces of string with knots) to be used by the parishioners before the altar which Fr. Rechie blessed. A 3-minute silent prayer for the intentions of the holy Father and the universal church, the diocese of Novaliches and the parish of SLR followed. 

    After the singing of the closing song to Mary, Arriane introduced the San Isidro Labrador Vicariate Youth Coordinator, Richard Bautista, who gave an overview of Mary, Untier of Knots. According to him, this devotion is being propagated in the Diocese specially for the Youth. It is the hope of Bp. Tobias that it will eventually spread the devotion to the entire diocese. Inang Desay, as she will be called, will have her place of honor at the Shrine of the Youth, the church of Kristong Hari in Commonwealth, when it is completed.

SILV Youth Coordinator
giving the overview of Inang Desay
    It was Pope Francis, then bishop of Buenos Aires, when he was in Germany, became a devotee of Mary, Untier of Knots ( When he returned to Argentina, he brought her image and propagated the devotion to her in his diocese. In similar manner, it is the same devotion that Bp. Tobias would like to propagate in the Diocese of Novaliches. 

   It is said that the Lady Undoer of Knots was in biblical reference to Mary, who through her obedience, undid the knot which Eve, through her disobedience, tied the knot of disgrace on the human race. (For a historical background to our Lady, pls follow this link:

Our lady will stay with us for five days until July 30. So if you have time, you may visit her at our church and pray the novena from 3-8PM daily until Saturday when she leaves for her next parish visit.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

First Novena Mass Ushers In Fiesta 2016 Preparations

     SLRP officially started its spiritual preparations for the forthcoming fiesta with the first Novena Mass to San Lorenzo Ruiz last July 24 during the 10:00AM mass. Fr. Rechie Gier was the main celebrant. On this Sunday, he expounded on the gospel reading where the apostles asked Jesus to teach the how to pray.

It was a fitting start of the novena as it is a form of prayer, recited over nine periods. In SLRP's case, the novena devotion to SLR starts nine Sundays before his feast.

      In his homily, he expounded on what our important focus should be when we pray. According to him, it is not the form nor the kind of prayer that is important but what is one's intention in praying. He asked the parishioners gathered if they had already had their intention when they came in for Sunday mass. What is our purpose or intention for coming to Mass and praying? Jesus taught His disciples the Our Father as a way of praying to God.

      He shared a short and meaningful commentary of his Theology professor, a German priest by the name of Fr. Rudy Horst on the Our Father. According to Fr. Horst,

     - do not say "Our" if you live in isolation with your egoism,
     - do not say "Father" if everyday you do not live like a son or a daughter,
     - do not say "Who art in heaven" if you think only of earthly things,
     - do not say "hallowed be Thy name" if you do not honor Him,
     - do not say "Thy kingdom come" if you confuse him with material success,
     - do not say "Thy will be done" if you do not accept it when it is painful,
     - do not say "Give us this day our daily bread" if you are not worried about people
             who are hungry, who are without means to live,
     - do not say "Forgive us our trespasses" when you bear you brother a grudge,
     - do not say "And lead us not into temptation" if you intend to keep sinning,
     - do not say "Deliver us from evil" if you do not take position against evil, and
     - do not say "Amen" if you do not take the words of the Our Father seriously.

     It was a new take on the words and meaning of the Our Father, and especially makes one conscious of one's intention when praying.

Fr Rechie blesses the youth
PYM in their dance number
     After communion, Fr. Rechie gave a blessing to all the youth present after which the PYM presented a dance number that conveyed the message to the youth to actively participate in our society and help build  a better social environment in our communities. In the mass, Fr. Rechie also announced that the Sunday 5PM mass will now be the Youth Mass to give importance to the youth and to encourage them to participate more in parish activities.

Lunch at the convent

    After the mass, a hearty lunch among the priests, members of the youth and mass media and Cruz Compound,  were gathered at the convent. It was a befitting start to SLRP's fiesta preparation.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Dehonian Priests Administers SLRP

Rev. Fr. Rechie Gier, SCJ
Parish Administrator
 On July 1, 2016, the Congregation of the Priest of the Sacred Heart became the administrator of the parish of San Lorenzo Ruiz upon their appointment by his Most Reverend Antonio R. Tobias, DD, Bishop of Novaliches last June 2016,  Rev. Fr. Rechie Gier, SCJ, in turn, was assigned as its parish administrator until the time that a new parish priest shall have been installed. 

Fr. Rechie, a young priest, arrived in the parish last Monday, July 4, to take on his new assignment as the parochial vicar or parish administrator. Prior to this assignment, he was assigned as Formator in SCJ's Formation Center in Cagayan de Oro. He also was assigned to the Diocese of Pagadian and served in Ipil. 

He is no stranger to our parish as he attended theology and formation studies here in the Dehon House in Tierra Verde II and was ordained a priest in 2010 here in our parish.

Rev. Fr. Candido Bayron, SCJ
He will be assisted by Rev. Fr. Candido Bayron, a 2-yr priest of the SCJ, who, like Fr. Rechie, took up his theology studies here with the Dehon House and was ordained to the priesthood last November 2014, also here in our parish.

Both of them were supposed to take up further studies but God had a different plan for them. They will both be assigned to our parish and await the arrival of the appointed parish priest who is expected to be in the parish by the end of July.

Let us all give them a warm welcome. 

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Thank You Father JB!

FJB (Center) with PPC representatives
(Front L-R: Ate Mayette, Ate Tess, Ate Heidi, Ate Lina, Ate Linda and Ate Lou)
(Back L-R: Kuya Cesar, Kuya Boy, Kuya Peter and Kuya Ed)

In a quiet and low key gathering, the parish, through the Parish Pastoral Council, bid farewell to Father JB Abellana. On FJB's last day in the parish last June 30, the PPC got together to say thank you for the three years he stayed on as pastor of SLRP. 

FJB left the parish for health reasons. With his diabetic condition not getting any better despite more than a year of dialysis, he has decided to final seek a kidney transplant which his doctors and well-meaning friends and parishioners have advised him. 

JFB (center) with PPC representatives and with addition of Ate Bel.

According to FJB, he will take on a less stressful schedule so he can fully concentrate on looking for a viable kidney donor as his wish is to have his transplant completed within the year.

We, your parishioners in SLRP, pray that you will find the right donor and for a successful transplant operation.

Via con Dios FJB.