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Burning Passion

19 February 2020

Launching of the Last 3 Advocacies of PPDO in Mindanao

Passionists Philanthropic Development Office launched the last 3 advocacies in the South last January 24, 2019. We continued the promotion of our Coffee Table Book and sale of painted T-shirts. The Advocacies launched are Catholic Mission to the Indigenous Peoples (CMIP) presented by the ambassador Fr. Joseph Alesna, CP; Social and Pastoral Services presented by Fr. Evan Esmade, CP; and Justice and Peace and Integrity of Creation (JPIC) presented by Fr. Rey Ondap, CP. Launching in Luzon will be on March 2, 2020 at Sto. Niño Parish, Bagong Silang, Caloocan City.

A New St. Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows Parish

The Diocesan Committee formed to evaluate the elevation of GKK St. Gabriel chapel to a Parish conducted their first consultation with the leaders of the St. Gabriel’s and the priests of Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage. After listening to the different reports of the ministries and GKK officers, they offered their comments, observations and recommendations to prepare for the second and final visit. The Council then commissioned Fr. Loc Anor, CP and Fr. Apolinario Plaza, CP to reside in the proposed parish next month and begin their function as pastors and closely worked with the ad hoc Parish Pastoral Council and Parish Economic Council. They will begin their own scheduling of masses, baptism, and seminars, formation program, etc.

Dangpanan Center

The Dangpanan Center Elected its Board Officers and members. The Provincial Council Members are ex-officio part of the Board with Fr. Edwin, the Provincial, as the President. The center is ready to be used for any counselling and formation seminars. The most Dangpanan Center can do now is to cater out-patient drug addicts identified by the Local government and its Drug Committee. Dr. Oco is in need of help on where to house the more than 400 Narcotic Anonymous in Gensan. Regular seminars, counselling, and spiritual inputs are required before these drug dependents will be cleared from Narco’s long list undergoing. As of this time we are securing permits from DOH so we can legally conduct counselling seminars for the drug dependents and other forms of addictions.

New Formation Center

In order to align our formation structure with the new Ratio Fundamentalis on Formation, the province, with the help of our formation commission added new stages of formation. One of the stages of formation added is the Propaedeutic Program where candidates are helped to prepare for their college formation. The Province have begun preparing St. Gemma’s Propaedeutic Formation Center. We already started our repair and renovations. Fr. Chris Akiatan, the newly appointed director of the program will report to his assignment next week to supervise the renovation and enhancement of the Center.

Formation Commission Meeting

The Formation Commission headed by Fr. Orven Gonzaga had their meeting last February 4-6, 2020 at Passionists Theologate House in Quezon City. The meeting discussed the Formation Program from the General Secretary for Formation of the Congregation that tackles religious life and sexuality. The PASS Formation Commission planned to spread out and integrate the themes to different stages of formation.

Update on Formation

St. Gabriel College Seminary - we have 10 seminarians. St. Vincent Mary Strambi Postulancy - we have two postulants. Mater Dolorosa Passionists Novitiate - we have three novices. St. Paul of the Cross Pastoral Center - we have one pastoral year student. St. Paul of the Cross Theologate - there are eight professed brothers.

Personnel and Mission Abroad Updates

Bethany House Update

Fr. Ramel Poquita, the local superior of our Bethany House informed the province that the renovation is more or less 30% completed. Probably, by first week of July the House is ready to accommodate pilgrims. There will be Mass and blessing on the last week of July, 2020 with Very Rev. Fr. Joachim Rego, C.P., our Superior General as the main celebrant.

Santa Martha Community, Bethany, East of Jerusalem

Our life and ministry in Sta Martha is close to the intention of St. Paul of the Cross to form an active-contemplative community. The balance of prayer life and apostolic life is very apparent. We are so blessed to experience the Lord in the solitude of the monastery and to encounter the Lord in the life of the caregivers (OFW), pilgrims, and the local people.

Sta Martha Community is indeed a place to rediscover the Lord. A place to renew our religious and priestly vocation. I recommend to take advantage of this place, especially to our brothers who are currently experiencing dryness in their Passionist Vocation. Ministry:

Our community is the priest-in-charge of San Lorenzo Ruiz Community. The mass is at 9:15am every Sunday. On March 1, 2020 I will assume as the priest in-charged.

We have daily masses with the sisters of Charity (7:30am), Combonni Sisters (6:30am), Brigettine Sisters (7:30am), and Notre Damian Sisters and Little Flower Sisters (Abudis) (9am).

On Friday and Saturday: We help in the masses of Pastoral Center in Tel Aviv and other Filipino communities.

Sometimes we accompany the pilgrims to holy sites as chaplain and tour guide. We also do pastoral visit and counselling to the OFW.

Greetings from the cold but pleasant Sweden! By Fr. Gabe Baldostamon, CP

All the brethren here, Frs., Roberto, Ronjo, Nelson and myself are enjoying good health. Thanks be to God.

Last November, I was requested to substitute for the parish priest of the Faroe Islands for three weeks. The Fa-roes is located between Norway and Iceland. It has a population of only 52,000 mostly Lutherans. The Catholics are only about 400 most of whom would be Filipinos. Unfortunately, they are scattered over the islands so that only a few could come for the Sunday mass. During my stay I tried to encourage them to be more active and make it their mission to help the catholic church grow in the islands.

Last January, Frs. Roberto, Nelson and myself joined the Diocesan retreat in Omberg together with Cardinal Arborelius. It was a wonderful quiet time.

Fr. Ronjo has begun the ministry with the youth. They organized themselves and adopted the name FUNKA which stands for Filippinska Unga Katoliker or Filipino young catholics. The members are more than fifty as of now. They held a Christmas concert last December which was very successful and much appreciated by the parents.

The Diocesan Youth ministry has taken notice of this and invited Fr. Ronjo to attend a diocesan youth meeting in Falun last month during which he emphasized the importance of the priest's presence in the activities of the youth.

Fr. Nelson is doing great in the Parish. His gentle ways are very much appreciated.

Fr. Roberto is in charge of preparing for the general assembly in July 24-25 in Luleå where Fr. Nelson was parish priest for 3 years. The theme of the assembly is "The Role of Mary in our Life.

Jamaica, New York City by Fr. Rogie Castellano, CP

It is almost the end of the winter season here in NYC. I still get excited when snow falls, yet this season seems to be less snowy. However, winter is winter. I still need to wear a thick jacket and coat to protect myself from the harsh cold when I go out.

Since last September 15, Fr. Jim O'Shea, St. Paul of the Cross Provincial, officially appointed me as one of the two vicars of Immaculate Conception Church. This multi-cultural parish is a Passionist-administered parish in the Diocese of Brooklyn. Also, ICC is attached to the monastery and the retreat house, so I live with the Passionist community. We do our regular prayers and meals with the community, most especially when parish schedules are not so busy.

Aside from the regular celebration of masses, confessions, and baptism, I also help sometimes at the Immaculate Conception Catholic Academy (ICCA). Sometimes, I celebrate the school mass and facilitate some activities with the students. This, among others, is the parish's effort to invite and encourage the 7th and 8th Graders to become part of the youth ministry of the parish.

Filipinos abound in the parish and the diocese. I participate in their Simbang Gabi, devotions, and fiesta celebration of Santo Nino, San Lorenzo Ruiz, Our Lady of Manaoag, Mother of Perpetual Help, Black Nazarene, and Pedro Calungsod. These occasions, plus the Filipino cuisine served after the masses, make me feel closer to home.

Currently, I am in my second semester in the Doctor of Ministry (DMin) in Spirituality program. This program is a combination of online and on-campus classes. The classes are more demanding and require a lot of readings and papers. My last day of classes this semester is May 7, 2020.


Notre Dame of Surala

Last January 24, 2019 the SPC Sisters hosted a ceremonial dinner to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of their presence in Notre Dame of Surala. During the program we had also a ceremonial turn-over of the key symbolizing the official turnover of the responsibility and management of the School to the Passionists.


Interest to mine Tampakan area is welling up again. Fr. Rey had already series of meetings with the Bishop of Marbel on how to stop the mining for good. Bishop Cerilo is very active, supportive and vocal in his stand against the Tampakan Mining. It is good and helpful for JPIC to furnish the brothers in the Congregation and our parishioners with the current updates on Tampakan mining as well as data on some relevant social issues. Well informed and equipped with mining realities we can integrate them to our talks, homilies, conversations and eventually join the future mobilization.

DXCP Radio Station

Fr. Angel Buenvides, the manager of DXCP, asked financial and moral support from the province. The provincial council decided to get a one hour-program every week and sup-port the DXCP with 7,500php a month. Fr. Orven is tasked to form a team and plan the program that pro-motes the charism of the Passionist.

The Way to Proceed

Fr. Willy will meet the stakeholders in our Apostolate (Parishes, Retreat Houses, CMIP, JPIC and the like) and see whether our char-ism as Passionists is being manifested in the different ministries of the Congregation. He will draft a pastoral plan that can be applied to our parishes and in harmony to the thrust of the Diocese without compromising the promotion of our charism.

The Province had initial plan of activities to commemorate the 300 years Passionist Anniversary Foundation. We are planning to support 300 scholars, plant 300 trees and organize 300 couples for wedding A culminating activity in each Region will also be done within the time of the visit of the Passionist Jubilee Icon to the Philippines between July- December 2021.

A New Missionary in Israel

Fr. Mark Reagan Tobias C.P. of the Pierced Heart of Jesus was given a send-off by our community through our Provincial Superior Fr. Edwin Flor, CP last February 14, 2020. He will be missionary to Israel and joins our Bethany Community. He left the country last Feb. 15.



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