It is with great sadness that we mourn the passing of our brother Josefino, Rev. Fr. Phil James Laquindanum of the Diocese of Iba, Zambales. Fr. James passed away last June 9, 2014 after battling terminal cancer in New York, USA. He is a graduate of San Jose Major Seminary batch 1987.
Please join the family and friends of Fr. James as they cherish their last moments with him during his wake on June 18-20 (Wed – Fri) at Bale Pari (Ding Pastul- Home of Shepherds Clergy Retirement), Barangay Maimpis, SACOP Compound, City of San Fernando, Pampanga. Funeral Mass will be at the Holy Rosary Parish Church, Angeles City on Saturday, June 21, 2014 at 10:00 a.m. Interment follows at Holy Mary Memorial Park, Angeles City.
Eternal rest grant unto Fr. James, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace. Amen.
Everyone is invited to join the Novena Masses in honor of Saint Joseph.
On January 12, 2014, Pope Francis announced during his Sunday Angelus message that Cotabato Archbishop Orlando Quevedo, OMI will be one of the 19 prelates who will be made cardinals on February 22, 2014. He will be the first-ever cardinal from the Church in Mindanao. Deo gratias!
The following text is the citation for the "Parangal ni San Jose" Award given to Archbishop Quevedo during the 84th San Jose Seminary Alumni Homecoming on November 14, 2013:
Archbishop Orlando Beltran Quevedo of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate (OMI) celebrates next year his 75th birthday, the 50th anniversary of his ordination to the presbyteral order and his 34th year as a bishop in the Catholic Church in the Philippines.
Orlando Quevedo was a Josefino seminarian student of philosophy from 1954 to 1960 (including a two-year stint in Saint Peter’s Novitiate in Texas) before he moved to Washington D.C., to complete his studies in theology.
Since his being ordained a priest in 1964, Archbishop Quevedo has been given a succession of assignments, charges, and responsibilities – each one increasingly more ‘highly-placed’ – first, in the OMI community and apostolate and later, in the ministry of the Church in the Philippines, in Asia, and even in Rome; each one more difficult and demanding; each one drawing more and more on the undeniably eminent intellectual and spiritual gifts the Lord has given to his person.
Since 1980, he has been a bishop: Bishop of Kidapawan, North Cotabato (1980-1986), Archbishop of Nueva Segovia, Ilocos Sur (1986-1998), and Archbishop of Cotabato (1998-to the present). He has also distinguished himself in the leadership tasks entrusted to him in the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) and in the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences (FABC).
In both these Conferences, many important official statements and documents, some of crucial value and significance, were written by him. More recently, he has also taken part in the work of the Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops in Rome.
In every post – academic, administrative, ecclesial – which he has occupied, in every local church he has headed as episcopal leader and ‘father’ of its faithful people, the service he has fruitfully rendered, with dedication and competence, has been outstanding: outstanding in its accomplishments; outstanding in its commitment, fidelity and self-giving; outstanding in its exercise of pastoral care and love, realizing Saint Augustine’s guideline, “Sit hoc amoris officium, dominicum pascere gregem.”
His evangelical concern for the common good in issues of justice and peace and in Church-State relations, for the due development of basic ecclesial communities (BECs) and the renewal of parish life, for the zealous fostering of priestly and religious Life – in these areas too his vision and labors have been constant and untiring.
Vatican II has called for “new priests and new bishops for new Church in a new world”. Orlando Quevedo is surely a “man of the Church” whose person, life and lifework have given us a true embodiment of a Christian, priest and bishop according to the mind and desire of that manifestly Spirit-guided ecumenical council of our time.
Hail San Jose!
Reverend Gilbert Kabigting of the Archdiocese of Manila was ordained to the order of presbyters on December 7, 2013.
The ordination rites held at the San Fernando de Dilao Parish in Paco, Manila were led by His Eminence Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle, DD, Archbishop of Manila.
Father Gilbert joined San Jose Seminary in May 2006 as a student of "special philosophy." He finished his theological studies in March 2013. He was a member of the Liyab and Hulma classes and the BEC of Sulugoon. Hail San Jose!
by John Glenn Claro
Editor's Note: This article is from a faith-sharing delivered by the author during the Eucharistic celebration on November 21, 2013 at San Jose Seminary.
And pointing to his disciples, he said, "Here are my mother and brothers! For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother." (Matthew 12:49-50)
October 15, 2013: After having breakfast here in the seminary, I discovered that my mobile phone logged a lot of missed calls; it was my mother and my sister. I returned the call of my sister, who was in Cebu. She answered the phone with a voice that was trembling and afraid. She and her husband were shaken by a 7.2 magnitude earthquake. I listened to her weep as she looked at their collapsing house; I froze and felt so helpless.
My sister and her husband just wedded last summer and they are facing the challenge of a calamity and loss of property very early in their married life. In such situation, I did not know what to tell my sister, not even a bit of encouragement and reassurance that God is with them, protecting them.
November 8, 2013: I learned from the weather forecast that a typhoon is coming and that it will make landfall in my hometown of Oras, Eastern Samar. I was not disturbed by that news; I know that our place is conditioned to typhoons. Sa amin po kasi, kahit signal number 2 na, may mga nabibilad pa ng palay sa kalsada. That afternoon, I called home; my mother answered the phone. She was crying while packing up things. She was rattling because forced evacuation was announced. She texted me, “Botoy, pag-ampo kay makusog it bagyo.” (Son, please pray for us, the typhoon would be very strong). I received no further communication from them until after the storm.
I kept myself updated about the weather until the day Yolanda made landfall. I became more afraid and restless as I watched live broadcasts about how strong winds, heavy rains, gushing floods, and high storm surges hammered Tacloban City. I could not help but worry about my parents. What if there were also floods and storm surges in our place? Where could they be staying? My questions could not have answers that time because cell signal was off; I could not contact them. Days passed and I still heard no news about my parents and my place.
Updates from internet and television revealed the devastation that the super-typhoon left. Images of wreckage, death, and starvation increased my anxiety. I could not cry then; but my heart was heavy, painful, and palpitating. My restlessness increased as more days passed without me hearing my parents’ voice. I received some news that our place was not totally ravaged and that my parents are okay, but I could not be convinced and appeased unless I hear these news told to me by my parents themselves.
During those difficult days, I found it hard to focus on my work of preparing for the imminent alumni homecoming. I could not eat well because I could not help but think about what my parents might be eating during those times, or if they even have something to eat. I also tried to weary myself just so that my body can be brought to sleep; yet it did not work. But what was hardest and heaviest was that I could not even bring all these to prayer.
From the earthquake in Cebu during which my sister and her husband lost their house and properties, to the storm that damaged our home town, lalo pa na hindi ko pa nakakausap ang mga magulang ko: wala akong magawa kundi ang tumunganga at magtanong kung anong nangyayari. God was so silent. Hindi ako makapagdasal; hinding hindi ako makapagdasal.
Nakikita ko sa TV kung anong nangyayari sa mga tao sa lugar namin. Iniisip ko kung anong nangyari sa mga kamag-anak ko, sa mga magulang ko. Nag-aalala ako kung anong kinakain nila, saan sila natutulog. Napakahirap hanapin ang Diyos noong mga panahong iyon. Napakaraming pagtatanong ang naglalaro sa isipan ko. God was silent.
My heart and mind were numb until the evening program during the alumni homecoming. It turns that our silent God has creative ways of expressing himself, his assurance, and his love. The Levites band of musician priests performed that night and one of their spiels struck me. They said, “Believe in the sun even if when it is not shining. Believe in God even when he is silent.”
God never leaves us. The muteness of a God who seems too absent when evil rears its ugly head is familiar to many of us. No matter how strong and resilient our faith is, the experience of calamities can make us stumble in our trust in the power of Providence. The devastation left by Yolanda in Leyte and Samar and other places, and the 7.2 magnitude earthquake can open the floodgates of questioning and doubt: “Why? Why? Why? Why do we suffer?”
But the silence of God in the face of evil and suffering does not mean his desertion. By his silence, God does not abandon us. Rather, his silence is a perfect sign of his companionship with us in our suffering. Christ knows our suffering. His is the most radical form of power there can be, for it does not explain away evil, but takes it up and transforms it in love. Human as we are, we cannot do away with suffering; but Christ taught us to bear the cross in love, faith, and obedience to the will of the Father.
A week after the super-typhoon hit and left total devastation in Eastern Visayas, I was finally able to contact my parents. They were safe but experiencing food shortage. I could not help but turn to God and ask, “Where are you?” What my parents told me was rather reassuring. Nagpunta daw sila sa Catbalogan para makasagap ng signal at matawagan kami at nagbakasakaling may makuhang pera; kaso sarado ang bangko at offline ang mga ATM. Dahil agawan na rin sa pagkain, wala silang nabili doon kundi mga kandila lang. Ngunit nagbilin sila sa akin na wag mag-alala dahil may Diyos na hindi napapabaya.
I was met by God in silence. God silently said, “Here I am with the suffering. I am in the dying. I am in those lost who lost home and family. I am with the hungry and thirsty. I am with your family.” Indeed, God never leaves the crucified people of Samar and Leyte.
“…Here are my brothers, my sisters, and my mother.” These words of Jesus give me the assurance that he will never leave my kababayans until we rise again. These words of Jesus instill in my heart a deep hope that God will never forsake and leave us.
Allow me to end with this short poem entitled “Waray Ako..." posted on Facebook by Marmus:
John Glenn Claro is a seminarian of the Diocese of Borongan. He is currently in second year theology. He belongs to the BEC of Sapiang Pukpok.