Saturday, December 7, 2013

Pope Francis to visit the Philippines in 2014 or 2015?

Fr. Francis Gustilo SDB is the sole current Filipino member of the International Theological Commission and the third-ever Filipino to have been appointed to that august body (the other two having been Fr. Catalino Arevalo SJ and Fr. Luis Antonio Tagle, who would later on become Bishop of Imus, then Archbishop of Manila and Cardinal.)

He posted the following status on his Facebook page in the morning of the 7th of December, Manila time. As it is now being widely shared on Facebook I believe that the news can be considered to be sufficiently public to be also posted on this and other blogs. 


Two hours ago, all the members of the International Theological Commission {ITC} went to the Apostolic Palace {palazzo apostolic} where the Holy Father has his office. 
Alas dose en punto, there he was with us, smiling, waving, feeling so relaxed. Now here are the real news! 

[1] During his short speech to us, he did not simply read the prepared text but became extemporaneous. {a} the theologian must be pioneer not a soldier staying in the military barracks; he must be at the frontlines! {b} the theologian cannot have beautiful theological lessons with a heart that is dry; theology is not merely the mind speaking but the heart burning; {c} the theologian must teach catechism to the children especially the poor; St Ignatius {"I am not promoting with this my Ignatian roots"} told the Jesuits that they ought to teach catechism to the youth

[2] Each one was given time to kiss his hand and say some word tete-a-tete. When I approached him, he told me: "Oh, the Filipino I met yesterday at Santa Marta!" I replied: "Holy Father, thank you so much for helping my suffering people and specially for praying for them and encouraging others to help our devastated country." And he immediately added: "I will visit your country, it is in my agenda. Only I am not sure whether next year or at the end of 2015. But don't worry I will be with you all". 

There you are. What better news can I send than meeting our highest spiritual leader, having a wonderful exchange of kind words and being assured that he has the Filipinos at heart!!!!

Friday, October 18, 2013

The full text of the Pope's address to the Philippine Congress on the New Evangelization, October 18, 2013

This speech also marks the first time that the Pope has delivered an English-language speech in public.
My dear brothers and sisters in the Lord Jesus Christ,
I greet all of you with the peace and joy of Our Lord. The first Philippine Conference on the New Evangelization is a worthy offering to the Year of Faith. For this I thank all of you, my brother Bishops, the priests, religious men and women, seminarians and the lay faithful who organized and are participating in the conference. I am happy to learn that you came to Manila from different parts of the Philippines and Asia. The Holy Spirit is actively at work in you. The Church of Christ is alive!
Through this conference, I hope you would experience again the loving presence of Jesus in your lives, that you would love the Church more and that you would share the Gospel to all people with humility and joy. Don’t get tired of bringing the mercy of the Father to the poor, the sick, the abandoned, the young people and families. Let Jesus be known in the world of politics, business, arts, science, technology and social media. Let the Holy Spirit renew the creation and bring forth justice and peace in the Philippines and in the great continent of Asia that is close to my heart.
Please pray for me, I need it. I promise to pray for you, especially to Our Mother the Blessed Virgin Mary, Star of the New Evangelization.
Mabúhay ang Pilipínas! Mabúhay ang Asia! Pagpaláin kayó ng Dios!
God bless you in the Name of the Father, of the Son, of the Holy Spirit.


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Three Philippine church organs (two from Bohol) in action

I originally posted this on October 5, 2012 as "Two Philippine church organs in action". In commemoration of the churches lost during the earthquake that devastated Bohol today, October 15, 2013, I am updating this article to include videos of Baclayon organ in action. I hope that the Loay and Baclayon organs were not totally destroyed. CAP. 


In the first video, a Belgian organist plays on the church organ of Espiritu Santo church in Tayuman, Sta. Cruz district, Manila, which was inaugurated in 1968 and restored from 2009 to 2011. The story of its restoration is chronicled in the Espiritu Santo Pipe Organ blog.

The restoration of this organ, and the ongoing restoration of the Sto. Domingo Church pipe organ is part of the gradual recovery of the importance of the pipe organ to Church music in the Philippines. Earlier pipe organ restorations in Metro Manila were that of the "Bamboo Organ" church (St. Joseph) in Las Pinas in the 1970's, that of San Agustin Church in Intramuros in the 1990's, and that of Manila Cathedral, restored as of 2006. 


The sounds of the 19th century church organ of the Holy Trinity parish church in Loay, Bohol:


And, finally, the organ of Baclayon, Bohol in action:

Thursday, September 5, 2013

For the record: Defensores Fidei Foundation's Ninth Annual Apologetics Seminar has begun

Since 2005, Defensores Fidei Foundation has held an annual Apologetics Seminar introducing Filipino Catholics to the whys and hows of Catholic apologetics. Broadly speaking, Catholic apologetics as it is now understood is the art of charitably but firmly defending the Catholic faith in the face of attacks against it. Hundreds of Filipino Catholics have learned the basics of Catholic apologetics through these seminars. It should be noted that H.E. Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales endorsed the work of Defensores Fidei while he was Archbishop of Manila. 

This year's Apologetics Seminar consists of 12 sessions, 3 of which will be held in Santuario de San Jose in coordination with the parish. 

Who are the speakers?

1. Rev. Msgr. Carlos Estrada, Ph.D -- Regional Vicar of the Prelature of the Holy Cross and Opus Dei. Msgr. Estrada has long been a friend of Defensores Fidei and it has been a 'tradition' for him to give the Christology lecture during the annual apologetics seminar. 

2. Rev. Fr. Abe Arganiosa -- One of Defensores Fidei's original lecturers and a passionate apologist and polemicist, he returns for this year's Apologetics Seminar to give the talk on Papacy. He was formerly College Chaplain of Aemilianum College in Sorsogon, and was the host of a religious TV show in that province.

3. Rev. Fr. Winston Cabading OP, Ph.D, ECS -- Secretary General of the University of Santo Tomas (UST) and Director of UST's Institute of Religion. He is one of the few Filipino priests with the faculty and ability to celebrate liturgical rites according to the Byzantine Rite.

4. Rev. Fr. Jose Quiolongquilong S.J., S.Th.D -- President of Loyola School of Theology (LST), Ateneo De Manila University (ADMU). He is also an Asst. Professor of Spirituality in the same school and an author on prayer. He completed his Licentiate and Doctorate in Spirituality at the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome while working as regional secretary for Asia-Pacific at the Jesuit General Curia in Rome.

5. Rev. Fr. Mark Emman Hao Sese -- A priest of the Diocese of Pasig (of which he is the Vice-Chancellor) ordained only in 2010 and the current Parish Priest of the Quasi-Parish of Our Mother of Perpetual Help, Tanyag, Taguig. He studied theology in the University of Navarre in Spain. 

6. Ed "Chief" De Vera -- A Founding Member of Defensores Fidei Foundation, author of two books (Catholic Soul and Mysteries of Salvation History – Promise and Fulfillment in the Holy Rosary) and columnist for Kerygma magazine.

7. Marwil Llasos-- An Associate Member of Defensores Fidei Foundation, lawyer (educated at UP College of Law) and one of the Philippines' leading lay Marian apologists. He was also one of Ang Kapatiran's three senatorial candidates in the 2013 senatorial elections. He is currently preparing a multivolume work on Mariology. 

8. Carlos Antonio Palad -- An Associate Member of Defensores Fidei Foundation, Vice-Chairman of Filipinos for Life and a member of the International Council of Foederatio Internationalis Una Voce. Some of his feature articles have appeared in magazines / papers such as Catholic World Report, Believe, CBCP Monitor and Life Today

The last session of the Seminar will be on November 23 while the "graduation" will take place on December 7, 2013. The "graduation" will be preceded by a talk by Mr. Ed de Vera on "How to do Apologetics", and will be followed by Mass. 

From 2007 to 2010 and again in 2012 the closing Mass of the Defensores Fidei Foundation Apologetics Seminar was in Latin, celebrated ad orientem; from 2007 to 2009 and in 2012 it was celebrated according to the Forma Ordinaria / Novus Ordo and in 2010 it was according to the Extraordinary Form / Traditional Latin Mass. The celebrants were:

2007 - Fr. Abe Arganiosa CRS

2008 - Bishop Angel Hobayan, Emeritus of Catarman, with Fr. Abe Arganiosa concelebrating and with Fr. Carlos Estrada as MC.

2009 - Fr. Abe Arganiosa CRS

2010 - Fr. Rodel Lopez OMI

2012 - Fr. Carlos Estrada

For this year, the plan is to conclude the seminar once more with a Latin Mass, although there is no word yet on which Missal will be used. After the Mass there will be lunch followed by an informal reunion of Filipino Catholic apologists. (UPDATE: On December 7, 2013, a Latin Mass was celebrated ad orientem by Fr. Carlos Estrada according to the 1970 Missal.)

It should be noted that the DFF seminar for this year will be the second to occur entirely within the Year of Faith (October 11, 2012 - November 24, 2013) proclaimed by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. The 2012 seminar ran from October 13 to December 15, 2012. Thus, Defensores Fidei will have marked the beginning and end of the Year of Faith with Apologetics Seminars. 

In its Note with Pastoral Recommendations for the Year of Faith (Jan. 6, 2012) the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith noted the need for apologetics:

It would be useful to arrange for the preparation of pamphlets and leaflets of an apologetic nature (cfr. 1 Pt 3:15), which should be done with the help of theologians and authors. Every member of the faithful would then be enabled to respond better to the questions which arise in difficult contexts – whether to do with sects, or the problems related to secularism and relativism, or to questions “arising from a changed mentality which, especially today, limits the field of rational certainties to that of scientific and technological discoveries,”[26] or to other specific issues. (Recommendations II.8)