News and Updates


Vincentian News

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