Month: June 2016

Who wants to be a Religious?


Spot the difference. A Salesian Brother in the midst of Salesian clerics. 


Follow these three tips when you feel you’re called to be a religious
By Br. Jomar Castillo, SDB

Many young people might be asking: “What to do when you feel you are called to be a religious?” Well, I remember a game show that gives you 3 points to verify your answer.

Maybe, we could try this here! Are you ready?

1. Call a Friend

Look for a person whom you think could help you in your journey. A priest, brother or sister could help. Open you heart to them. They have undergone the process of discernment and they are most willing to share the process which they underwent. It is always very good to look for some competent people whom you could discern with so that you can really validate whether God is calling you toward that path.

2. Fifty-Fifty

You need to give up some things. Prioritize! St. John of the Cross says: “You cannot say ‘no’ to others unless you have a burning ‘yes’ to God.” In this world of plurality, there are many choices. But if you feel you that you’re called to religious life, remember that it is one of the loftiest choices a person can make. It is putting into a higher level the promise to love during one’s baptism. Also, which gifts of yours fits the charism of the congregation you would like to join. Just like any app in your phone, check your compatibility.

3. Ask the Audience

You can ask people about qualities that you may have in order to fit yourself to the life you are seeking to embrace. Remember the three H’s? Head: the capacity to prepare yourself for the ministry. Are you able to cope with the demands of the life you are seeking to enter? Heart: the willingness to give yourself totally to God through this particular charism that God has given you. Are you ready to consume your life to work exclusively for the Kingdom of God? And, Health: does your health permit you to go through the rigors of formation and the future ministry?

So, who wants to be a religious? After undergoing the simple 1-2-3 steps, don’t forget to check the great joy within!

Like us on Facebook:


14 New Prenovices!


The Rite of Acceptance of 14 new prenovices was held in the Diocesan Shrine of Mary, Help of Christians, Canlubang, Laguna. Ten of them come from the Philippine North Province, while the other four come from the China province (CIN). They have chosen the quotation from the first letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians as their theme – “And the Greatest of These is Love (13:13).”

The newly accepted Prenovices are:

Prenov. Joshua Abel Ayson – Tarlac
Prenov. Janver Wylie Bondoc – Tarlac
Prenov. Bosco Pak Lam Chan – Hong Kong
Prenov. John Ricky Evangelista – Tarlac
Prenov. John Yan Ling – Hong Kong
Prenov. Augustine Ma
Prenov. Jerick Magsino – Batangas
Prenov. Wendell Malabanan – Laguna
Prenov. Daniel Drew Matias – Tarlac
Prenov. Nigeli Erno Mendoza – Sta. Rosa Laguna
Prenov. Paul Nealvin Rodriguez – Cavite
Prenov. Menilio Rosete, Jr. – Tarlac
Prenov. Romeo  Santos – Mandaluyong
Prenov. Joseph Wen

The ceremony took place within the Mass presided by Fr. Gerardo Martin, SDB, the Rector of the Prenovitiate. Fr. Jake Lopez, SDB, in-charge of the prenovices and Fr. Albert Kim, SDB, CIN Province representative, concelebrated. Two newly ordained deacons were also present: Rev. Marcwill Lim, SDB and Rev. Ramil Maranan, SDB. The parents and friends of the newly accepted prenovices made this event special by their attendance.

In the homily, Fr. Gerry talked about the struggle of the follower of Christ that is having a clash between the “me-first” and the “God-first.” The concept is extracted from the Gospel Reading. Also, the presider reminded them of three things: following Christ is not easy, the cross of daily living entails “metanoia” (change of heart) and lastly, following Jesus means being resolute.

Immediately after the homily, the rite followed. It began with the examination of the candidates’ intentions. Then, the Rector blessed the crosses that bear the image of the Good Shepherd, whom they want to follow. The cross is patterned after the very cross of Pope Francis. It symbolizes the prenovices’ aspirations to closely imitate Christ in radiating his light and love to others in the footsteps of St. John Bosco. After the blessing, the Rector received them with an embrace to accept them as his spiritual children who place themselves completely under his guidance.

Written by Cl. Paul Dungca, SDB


Io Scelgo Te (I choose you)

What follows is the gratitude speech of Rev. Marc Will Lim, SDB delivered in behalf of the newly ordained deacons. With him, 15 young men were ordained last 24 June at the National Shrine of Mary Help of Christians.


The newly ordained Rev. Marc Will Lim, SDB delivers the gratitude speech in behalf of the ordinands. Photo by Mr. Alexander Amora Juni. 

A blessed afternoon dear people of God!

I am humbled to speak in behalf of my batch. I can attest of the holiness and greatness of my batchmates and it is humbling to speak on behalf of them. We are gathered here today not only because we celebrate the ordination to the diaconate of the 16 of us—but because the Lord has proven once more that He is faithful.

I know that each of us 16 would only want to say one thing; thank you. In Urdu, “bohot shukriya”; in Korean “gansahamnida”; In Vietnamese “cam on”; in Tetum the dialect of Timor Leste “obrigado”; in Indonesia in their dialect Bahasa “terima kasih”; in Filipino “salamat po” and in Kishwahili the language in Kenya “ashante sana”.

Thank you very much for bringing the Lord today our beloved bishop!

Thank you our bringing the Lord today our beloved priest superiors and priest formators!

Thank you for bringing the Lord today our beloved family, our beloved friends, our beloved co-seminarians and all co-journeyers to the Lord. Thank you very much!

But more than a moment of thanksgiving. Today marks the commencement of a selfless service; a service of prayer, a service of work, a service to the poor and service to the earth!

A life given to the sheep would never be possible if there is no union with the One who is truly faithful. The Lord is indeed gracious. He deserves all our praise! Thank you Lord for being with us this afternoon!

And we also would like to thank everybody for accompanying us. If there will be instances that we will go out of the way bring us back, bring us back towards the direction towards the Lord. If necessary, admonish us, humble us that we should be the ones bearing the Lord. Accompany us more, sustain us by your prayers, sustain us by your corrections, sustain us by your support!

Finally, our batch would like to offer a service to all of you, a service through a song, a song where there is a love story, a love story between two loves, the one who calls and the one who responds. Thank you for joining us and I hope you would enjoy this song for all of you.

Thank you very much.

Sundan natin si Kristo!

Ika-13 Linggo sa Karaniwang Panahon—K
26 Hunyo 2016


Graphics by Asp. Paul Lopez, Don Bosco Seminary Canlubang

Last Friday, 14 young Salesians of Don Bosco and two Franciscans were ordained as deacons. This is such a great news especially since the number of vocations to the religious and priestly life has been on a steady decline over the past years.

With the ordination of her new ministers, this example of 16 young men is a beautiful proclamation that the Lord of the harvest continues to will the existence and flourishing of the Church, and in the same way, it shows that the commitment in the young people is not wanting.

Ipinakita ng mga bagong diakonong ito na sa kabila ng maraming taong nagsasabing ang tanghali na lang daw ang tapat, mayroon pa ring naninindigang hindi lang panandalian, o ‘di kaya naman ay nababago ng panahon, sapagkat ito’y panghabang-buhay.
Ganito rin ang tinutumbok ng ating liturhiya ngayong Linggo.

Sa unang pagbasa (1 Ha 19:16.19-21), naroon ang pambihirang halimbawa ni Prophet Elisha. Pinili siya ng Panginoon upang maging kahalili ni Prophet Elijah. Nasa kalagitnaan siya ng pag-aararo nang datnan siya ni Elijah. Tinanggap ni Elisha ang paanyaya ng Diyos at sumunod sa kanyang bagong Panginoon.

Nagsabi siya kay Elijah na magpapaalam lang siya sa kanyang mga magulang, at pagkatapos, susunod na ito sa kanya. Ngunit mayroon siyang isang bagay na ginawa na marahil ay ikagugulat ng marami: ipinakatay niya ang isang pares ng toro, at ginamit na panggatong sa pagluto dito ang mga pamatok dito at ang kanyang pang-araro.

Batid niya marahil na hindi lang pang part time job ang papasukin niya. And despite that there is no certainty in the step he’s about to take, he gave his everything. He had his oxen slaughtered and the farming implements, he had destroyed. There is no turning back, ‘ika nga.
Sadyang pambihira ang ginawa niyang ito!

Sa buhay niya masasalamin natin ang kahulugan ng tunay na kalayaang binabanggit ni San Pablo sa ikalawang pagbasa (Gal 5.1.13-18). Pinalaya na tayo ng Panginoon, kayat hindi na tayo dapat magpa-alipin pa sa mga puwersang maaaring maglayo sa atin sa piling ng Diyos.

Sa mabilis na pagtugon ni Elisha sa panawagan ng Panginoon, ipinakita niya na walang anuman o sinuman sa kanyang buhay ang maaaring pumigil sa kanya upang sundan ito. Sa pagtatapos ng Mabuting Balita ngayong Linggo (Lu 9:51-62), ganito rin ang hamon sa atin ng ating Panginoong Hesus, “Ang sinumang nag-aararo at palaging lumilingon ay hindi karapat-dapat sa paghahari ng Diyos.”

Sadyang napakahirap tupdin ang paanyaya Niyang ito dahil marami tayong nais gawin sa buhay. Kung kaya pa nating dagdagan ng isang araw ang isang Linggo, gagawin natin. Ngunit madalas, dahil na rin sa mga alalahaning ito, naisasantabi natin, o ‘di kaya naman ay napapabayaan natin ang ating relasyon sa Diyos. Kaya nga Katoliko lang tayo minsan sa isang linggo, ayun ay kung naaalala pa nating magsimba tuwing araw ng Linggo.

Ang hamon ng liturhiya sa atin ngayong Linggo ay siyasatin ang ating puso, at sikaping palayain ang mga aspeto ng ating buhay na hindi natin maisuko sa Kanya  dahil sa ating pagiging makasarili, masyadong bilib sa sarili, o katigasan ng ulo.

Hingin natin ang tulong ng Panginoon na maging determinado tayong sundan Siya sa kabila ng napakaraming alalahaning mayroon tayo. Hilingin natin ito sa Kanya, at pagsikapan nating tupdin sa pamamagitan ng palagiang pag-aalala sa napakaraming mabubuting bagay na ipinagkaloob Niya sa atin kahit na hindi man lang natin iniunat ang ating hinliliit upang mapangyari ito.

Don Bosco Seminary welcomes News Aspirants

The Don Bosco Pre-novitiate Formation House welcomed eight new aspirants last June 11, on the feast of St. Barnabas the Apostle, a day that fits the occasion.

The Junior Aspirants, as they are called, are Arman David and Mark Pablo – Don Bosco College, High School (Canlubang), Francis Galang – Camp Vicente Lim High School (Canlubang), Kermit De Jesus – Don Bosco Technical Institute (Tarlac), Angelo Caputolan – St. Dominic Savio Parish (Mandaluyong) and Ysrael Rosalito – San Ildefonso Parish (Makati). Two late-vocations are also included in this year’s lineup of new aspirants: Aaron Maguyon – Pila, Laguna and Joshua Giray– Don Bosco Tondo.

The new aspirants were received through a solemn “Spiritual Journey.” As the new aspirant entered the vicinity of Don Bosco Canlubang, they walked to Our Lady of Canlubang at the Rotunda, where they offered a candle to symbolize their reliance on a Salesian tradition – “It was Mary who brought you here. It is Mary who will stay with you here.” The journey continued with the new aspirant praying for the very first time as aspirants the  prayer of entrustment to Mary Help of Christians inside the Diocesan Shrine; then, the parents’ entrustment of their son to Mary followed.

The final destination of the “Spiritual Journey” was done by the welcoming rites of the Prefect of Discipline – Fr. Jake Lopez at the main gate of the Formation House. After which, they then proceeded to talk with the Vice Rector of the house, Fr. Joe Fernandez.

The eight new aspirants complete this formation year’s number of formands, which is 34.

News by Prenovice Romeo Santos. Photos courtesy of Don Bosco Seminary


St. Joseph Cafasso


St. Joseph Cafasso, Pray for us!

“Kaya’t ang bawa’t nakikinig ng Salita ng Diyos  at sinusunod ito ay matutulad sa isang taong matalino, na itinayo ang kaniyang bahay sa ibabaw ng bato.” Ang karunungang ito ay napakinggan natin sa Mabuting Balita.

Sa ating Unang Pagbasa, napakinggan natin ang naging kapalaran ng isang taong hindi nagbibigay ng pansin sa salita ng Diyos. Oo, naging hari si Haring Jehoiachin. Ngunit panandalian lamang ito, tatlong buwan lang siyang namuno bilang hari. Nalupig sila ng mga taga-Babilonya. At siyang kanilang hari ay naging isang kaawa-awang bihag.

Sadyang kahiya-kahiya.

Ngayong araw, ginugunita natin si St. Joseph Cafasso. Sa kanyang buhay natin masusumpungan ang isinasaad ng Mabuting Balita. Isa siyang paring umalalay kay Don Bosco nang ito’y bagong ordeng pari pa lang. Sa pamamagitan ni St. Cafasso, natuklasan ni Don Bosco ang kanyang misyon: bigyan ng pansin ang mga kaawa-awang kabataang hindi nabibigyan ng pansin ng lipunan, mga kabataang inagsasamantalahan ng mga malalakas at mga makapangyarihan, ang mga kabataang nanganganib na masayang ang hinaharap sa masisikip na kulungan.

Ang mga gawaing ito ay nagbigay ng daan para kay Don Bosco upang itatag ang isang kongregasyon ng mga pari at brothers na aagapay sa mga kabataang itong nasa laylayan ng lipunan—isang misyong nagpapatuloy hanggang ngayon dahil sa kalooban ito ng maykapal, at dahil na rin sa direksyong inilatag ni St. Cafasso.

Sa pagpapatuloy natin ng Santa Misang ito, ipanalangin natin ang ating mga sarili upang magkaroon tayo ng interes sa pakikinig ng Salita ng Diyos  at tapang upang maisabuhay natin ang hamong ito ng ebanghelyo.

Ipanalangin din natin ang mga Salesyanong pari at brothers, na sa pamamagitan ni St. Joseph Cafasso, maipagpatuloy nila ang misyon ni Don Bosco para sa mga kabataan, lalong higit para sa mga mas may matinding pangangailangan sa buhay.

For Christ Novices Stage an Academy

This piece is written by Novice John Paolo Romero 

The For Christ Novices of the Don Bosco Sacred Heart Novitiate, with the special participation of the Don Bosco Youth Center-Lawaan, staged an academy in honor of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Entitled “Bulong” or in English, “The word in the ear,” or simply “whisper,” it was staged last 17 June.

The academy highlighted the immensity of God’s mercy and forgiveness to those who desire it, in keeping with the Extraordinary Year of Mercy. Various Salesian communities in Cebu, likewise, young people from the different Salesian houses, benefactors, religious and seminarians came to watch the production.

The plot of the play revolved around the two thieves in the crucifixion scene. Most often, the words of repentance of Dimas, the repentant thief who was crucified with Jesus, are known to everyone. But no one knew about Gestas, the other thief who shouted at Jesus, “If you are the Messiah, save Yourself, and us!”

This story revolved around the fictional side story of Gestas – what happened before he became a thief and before he finally died on the Cross on Good Friday. The death of his loved ones one after the other pushed him, with the whisper of the devil, to live a wicked life. These unfortunate events in his life led him to question God, to be angry to God; and in order to revenge, which he was sure he can’t do to God, he was stealing and doing crimes against his neighbors.

He was angry at God until the time they were on the cross. But when the centurion pierced the side of Jesus, he saw the blood and water flowed out from His Heart; then he heard the Precious Heart of Jesus whispering to his own heart. This encounter led him to his last minute conversion singing the Act of Contrition.

Fr. Mel Racelis, SDB, the Rector of Don Bosco Formation Center-Lawaan, gave the traditional good night talk. He said that the word “Bulong” in Ilongo means ‘medicine.” With this, he challenged everyone to really listen to the bulong of Jesus’ Sacred Heart, and let Him heal our own hearts.