VINCENTIAN NEWS: SEPTEMBER 2017 ISSUE
Volume 25, No.9. Quezon City. Sept. 30,2017. Edited by Fr. DelaGoza,CM
911. Brother Nelson Malan (1956-2017): “ Missionary ad Gentes” and “Missionary ad Confratres”. Did Brother Nelson Malan, CM enjoy moment-to-moment happiness during the 62 years that he journeyed with us in this world? From the many talks and inspiring experiences of dozen of confreres, Brother Nelson tried his best to bring instant, Facebook, moment-to-moment happiness to the confreres he lived with: in Thailand, in Iloilo, Cebu, Cadlan and the various houses of Manila. Those who lived with him for many years are witnesses to his great desire to make the confreres happy and to make the house a community of friends. He was a great missionary ad Gentes (Thailand) and also a great missionary to the Confreres (ad confratres).
Nelson Malan was born of Federico Malan and Lolita Inocencio on September 5,1956. He was the fifth of eleven siblings. He was born in Molo, Iloilo and entered the novitiate on April 16,1987. After his vows, emitted at Villa Santa Luisa in 1990, his longest assignment was in Thailand (1994-2000). After his return from the Thailand Mission, he was assigned to San Roque Parish in Cebu, then to VHS/SVS as assistant director of Thai Students. In 2004 he was at DePaul College in Iloilo where he was the treasurer of the college. On October 18,2015, he celebrated his Silver Jubilee in Vincentian Hills Seminary, Angono, Rizal.
During the four days that he was at the Cosmopolitan Funeral Homes near the Santuario de S.Vicente de Paul, around a dozen confreres and seminarians expressed their feelings and experiences with Bro. Nelson Malan. The “persona” that came out was that of service and care for confreres despite sufferings and personal needs. He was always ready to listen and to hear about the recent “chismes” and the recent commentaries on people long gone by. His room was a refuge of many seminarians trying to find comfort and help during the problematic times of their lives. Even his stay in Thailand was a great occasion for Bro. Malan to work for his studies and offer help to others.
Funeral services at Assumpta Park, Paranaque, September 20. More than twenty priests concelebrated including Bishop Rolly Santos and Fr.Gregg Banaga. Luckily, the brothers and sisters and some relatives of Brother Nelson arrived on the evening of September 19 and were able to attend the Funeral services at the Assumpta Park. Bishop Rolly Santos shared some words and noted the virtues of humility and simplicity of Brother Nelson Malan who was both a “missionary ad Gentes” and “a Missionary ad Confratres.” May he rest in Peace.
912. 400th Anniversary: “ Feeding Program” Santuario de San Vicente de Paul (Sept.2). How do we make ingrained and incarnate in the Vincentian culture the values and ideals that St. Vincent started 400 years ago in faraway France? Hours were spent and studies were made but the proposal that gained instant approval was a “feeding program” for the poor in the Tandang Sora area. It was decided that three groups will be formed: one of the Santuario, another of St.Vincent and another of DePaul House. The Provincial House will join the DePaul house.
For more than one month now, the Santuario de San Vicente de Paul Parish initiated their group and have been successful in giving food for around 80 people in the area with a very good pre-packed meals prepared by the various ministries of the Parish. It was on September 2 at 8:00 pm that this writer was able to join around 10 “Greeters Ministry Group” to distribute the food. They went through Tandang Sora Ave.,made a U-turn on Mindanao, Ave., made a left on Congressional Ave, left on Visayas Ave and returned home at Tandang Sora. It was a relatively short distance of 3kms but they were able to distribute 80 pre-packed meals for as many street children and adults.
It was inspiring to note the poor who were living right on the streets, sometimes under a bridge or just in a covered sidewalk near a large building. Obviously some were waiting for our group which has already been there for four or five times previously. The poor children actually run after our L-300 (all purpose vehicle) to catch some of the food. The young ones did have smiles and thank you on their faces. The older ones had sadness in their eyes but showed some gratitude but were not as happy as the children. Anyway, all of them said thank you.
913. Medical Mission. Believe it or not but there were close to one thousand people who took advantage of the “Marie France Medical Mission” on Sept.1-2 at the covered court of St.Vincent seminary and the Santuario de san Vicente. There have been other medical missions, especially during the Popular Missions, but not in such an organized and efficient way. No less than Mayor Belmonte of Quezon City and some officials of the city came to observe and encourage the people who really needed help. There were around 20 medical doctors, an equal number of nurses, the staff of the Marie France and several sections of medical treatment: general medicine, dental medicine, OB-GY, eyes, blood pressure, medicine dispensing etc. As previously noted, there were so many preparations (they spent the night working) putting up the tents, the examination labs(including OB-GY), the medical storage etc. They claim that they had so many medical equipment that could be better than many small clinics in the country.
While most of us are aware of the “beauty products” that Marie France Group of companies are doing, we are missing many of their pro-poor and pro-people programs like the medical mission. The medical Mission at SVS Covered Court showed invencible proof that beauty and hard work can go hand in hand.
914. Retirement Home. (Four Weeks in September). It is an indescribable feeling to witness the completion of a project which started around a year ago. To watch a beautiful building grow before one’s eyes and to see that there will be many Vincentians who will soon reach the age of 70, the appropriate age for stepping inside the Retirement Home.
Today (September 6), they have started using heavy equipment (pison) to level and compact the ground for the route from the Santuario to DPH. Earlier they have been ferrying the earth from the Retirement Home to the former Football. It is amazing how much earth has been dug up and transferred to the former Football Field. Just before the Feast of St.Vincent, the road leading to the Santuario was asphalted.
Tiles. By the middle of September the tiles were being set up on the corridors and in the rooms. They are not very colorful but they are pleasing to the eyes: dirty white, maroon, light green, etc. the corridor tiles are generally off-white while the room tiles are varied. One very distinctive feature is the “court”which is rectangular and is surrounded by beautiful hand-railings (guard-railings). Therefore, one can actually run inside the court early in the morning or evening. There are some demo rooms that are being readied, notably a sample ICU with all the facilities.
915. Vincentian Charism Jamboree (September 9).The Vincentian Jamboree held at the Concordia College on September 9 was like a fiesta induced Euphoria. There were around one thousand six hundred Priests, Sisters, Seminarians and lay people who enjoyed the day long celebration. It was a Filipino Fiesta, a Boys scout Jamboree, a grand family reunion for the Vincentian Family at the history-laden college which used to be the Provincial House of the Daughters of Charity until they transferred to Paranaque in 1970. All in all, it was euphoric, enjoyable and inspiring for thousand Vincentians who spent the whole day together.
Banaga delivered the Keynote address and concelebrated the Mass with eight other priests. There were other speeches including the one by Fr.Encelan on “why I am a Vincentian” and some beautiful video presentations from various groups. All the major members of the Vincentian Family were given a chance to provide some insights and reasons why the Vincentian Charism is alive after 400 years. As the majority of those who attended were young students there were games and “trivia questions-“ which merited some small rewards. Hopefully, some young persons will be inspired to join one or the other member of the Vincentian family.
916. Vincentian "Charism A-live.” (September 16, Santuario de San Vicente de Paul). Vincentian Concert in Commemoration of the 400Years of Vincentian Charism. How do you form a family and living charism after 400 years? As mentioned in other parts of this newsletter, the Philippine Province has undertaken various projects to, in some way or other, approximate or make “a-live” what St.Vincent attempted to do.
Four young Vincentian Priests (Fr. John,Fr. Nelson, Fr. Rock Joseph, Fr.Lorenz) spent endless hours in honing their voices and in coordinating their musical talents for the entertainment of fellow Vincentian family members. With the wonder of technology, the whole concert was seen in many parts of the world, notably in the USA, Japan, Europe through Facebook, “ live.” Judging from the enthusiastic and lusty cheers and clapping of hands, the more than a thousand persons present at the Santuario de San Vicente de Paul, really enjoyed the artistic musical presentations.
The hodgepodge of Filipino, English and Visayan musical scores sounded a musically harmonic chords in the hearts of the audience. Many were familiar with some of the songs, notably the ones composed by Fr. Dino, Fr.Francis Cruz, etc. It was the presence and the time and effort spent by our four confreres: John Era, Rock Joseph, Lorenz and Nelson Bisco pulled down the roofs. It is surprising how people appreciate their pastors and parish priests their time and talent to share with the parishioners. “My Way” easily attracted lots of attention because of Fr.R.Tuazon, Fr. Joel, and Fr.Raut but also because of the beautiful message embedded therein.
917. Novena in Honor of St. Vincent de Paul (Santuario de San Vicente). There are dozen or more novena of Masses in honor of St.Vincent de Paul in various houses of the Philippines. The novena at the San Marcelino Church is the longest running---more than a hundred years, the Daughters of Charity have also some long lasting novena of St. Vincent de Paul. For this year, the Parish Ministry group decided to involve the various members of the Vincentian Family (Daughters of Charity, Ladies of Charity, SSVP, etc) and it is a very interesting experiment. At the end of the Mass, one member of the Vincentian Family gave a talk about their particular group which resulted in some very well-researched and inspiring notes. Here are some “data” that some of you may have missed but were readily available and mentioned during the novena of Masses at the Santuario:
1. The society of St. Vincent de Paul (SSVP) arrived in the Philippines before the Vincentians. They were brought to the Philippines by the Jesuits who also instituted the Ozanam Award, one of the most prestigious awards of the Ateneo de Manila University.
2. the Daughters of Charity had most of the hospitals schools and Asilo in the Philippines. Did you know that they were administering the UST Hospital, the Cardinal Santos Hospital, the Marian Hospital, etc.?
3. The Ladies of Charity (Damas de la Caridad; AIC) has more than a 1000 members in the Philippines and around 300,000 around the world.
4. St.Vincent School of Theology (SVST), the theology department of Adamson University, is promoting “Theology from the Margins” and some of the graduates, ordained and non-ordained, have become leaders in their field. A 27 minute talk about SVST was delivered during the September 23 novena Mass.
5. The Children of Mary (Juventudes Marianas, Vincentian Youth Group, etc) has around 300,000 members all around the world. Here in the Philippines they prefer to keep the name Children of Mary (COM).
6. The Legion of Mary was introduced in the Philippines by Fr.Manuel Gracia, CM and became widespread in south America and even in Spain.
7. The Bishop Emeritus of Tarlac, His Excellency Bishop Emilio Cinense, celebrated the Holy Eucharist on September 27 and delivered the best homily of the whole novena of Masses emphasizing “ang Puso ni San Vicente” which inspired Fr.Velasco to upload on the Internet St.Vincent with a big red heart. Thank you, Your Excellency!
918. Catalina Lapus Banaga, the mother of Fr. Gregorio Banaga, CM, passed away on the eve of the Feast of St.Vincent in Tarlac. Numerous Masses were offered by the confreres and she was inurned at the Columbary of the Santuario de San Vicente de Paul on October 1,2017. May she rest in peace.
919. Random News.
1. St.Vincent de Paul Mission and Formation Center, Burias, Masbate. Inaugurated on September 28. Congratulations to fr. Geowen Porcincula and the members of the Popular Mission Team for this important step in the Mission Ministry.
2. Banaga was in Japan on August 17-24 for the canonical visitation of the various houses in the Land of the Rising Sun. During these past few weeks, he has visited many of our houses, notably the Central House, the largest house in the Province.
3. Fr. Rene Ruelos turns 80. It is not very often that a confrere of the Phil Province turns 80. So, the community decided to celebrate in grand style and no less that a Senator joined and paid for the meal at the celebration. Congratulations and blessings to Fr.Rene for reaching an age ”when one is strong.”
4. Jamboree at Concordia. Sept 9. Around 1,500 priests , Sisters, Seminarians took part at the day long program at La Concordia college. (Please see no.915).
5. Fr. Tomaz Mavric, CM. In a letter date September 20, he repeated his request for a better vocation campaign. He mentioned before that we should have one new Vincentian as part of the 400th anniversary. As of now we have over 3,000, we should have around 6 thousand in the next few years.
6. VYOP at DePaul House (September 23). The Vincentian Youth held their recollection at the DPH and were not disappointed. The Pastoral Ministry did their best to give a nice recollection to the High School students who are receiving some subsidy for their studies. The presence of 47 students and some parents and younger children made the Seminary happier and livelier.
Fr. Tomaz Mavric, CM, the Superior General of the CM: “I urge you to work for the ministry of fostering vocations with new and renewed initiatives, approaches and ideas.” Letter on renewed culture of vocations, September 20,2017.
Pope Francis in a beautiful message to the Vincentian Family on September 27, ended with the famous quote of St. Vincent:”Love is inventive to infinity.”
Fr. Rolando S. DelaGoza, CM