Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Triple Treat Celebrations

In a short span of a little over a month, the parish had a triple treat celebration. The three Dehonian priests of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, each celebrated a milestone in their lives as they complete their first semester as pastoral caretakers of SLRP.

The first event was our parish priest, Father Al's 64th birthday which was last October 31. According to Father Al he feels something new as he jokingly avers that vthis is the first time he's celebrating his 64th natal day!

This was followed two weeks later with Fr. Candi's 2nd year Sacerdotal anniversary to the priesthood. As a trivia, Fr. Candi was ordained  here in the parish two years previous.

Last was Fr. Rechie, who celebrated his birthday last December 4, a Sunday. For his birthday, he thanked his well wishers who attended the masses he celebrated last weekend. He had a simple wish for his birthday for a simple guitar for use by the religious sisters who attend daily masses. His wish was quickly granted. On behalf of the parishioners of SLRP, the PPC Chairperson Kuya Peter Tamayo read a prayer of felicitation and intercession for Fr. Rechie's continued growth in his vocation and that he be granted good health of mind and body. Fr. Rechie, on the other hand, asked the parishioners pray for them (priests) and the parish so that both may grow in their relationship with each other and with God.

Each was treated in a simple repast. 

Sunday, November 27, 2016

SLRP Launches Year Of the Parish

In the 10:00AM mass of November 27, 2016, in simple ceremonies, SLRP ushered in the new liturgical year's theme of "Year of the Parish, Communion of Communities", with the unveiling of the new altar backdrop by the PPC Chairperson Kuya Peter Tamayo and the Pastoral Finance Council Chairperson Kuya Cesar Tiongson.  Our parish priest, Rev. Fr. Al Back then blessed the backdrop followed by a short prayer welcoming the coming year.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Christ the King

The end of the liturgical year marks the time when the Catholic Church celebrates the feast of Christ the King. All Christians profess their belief that Christ is the king of the universe, the king of heaven and earth. 

And so with this year's culminating activity, SLRP celebrated the feast with a parish-wide procession where the Blessed Sacrament was processed throughout all the areas of the parish - Cruz Compound / Saplan, Dona Faustina Village 1, St. Dominic 4, UP Professors Subdivision and Tierra Verde 1 & 2. Also included in the procession were those along Tandang Sora Ave between Glenn and Armstrong Streets of Dona Faustina Village 1. This marks the parish under the kingship of Christ.

While we profess Christ's kingship over all things in heaven and on earth, over all our lives, over all our minds and our hearts, He reigns over all those poor in spirit, those who mourn, the meek, the hungry and thirsty (for righteousness), the merciful, the pure of heart, the peacemakers and the persecuted. As we kneel and worship him as our king, His message of humility, charity, and brotherly love should reign in our hearts. For he came not for the rich but for the poor, the lowly and the lost sheep.

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 (http://catholicstraightanswers.com/why-does-pope-francis-have-a-special-devotion-to-our-lady-undoer-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: http://www.piercedhearts.org/hearts_jesus_mary/apparitions/untier_knots.html)

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.