SEPTEMBER - NOVEMBER 2014 NEWSLETTER
by Miriam Batucan
In Touch with the Word The Our Father
Gospel of St Matthew Chapter 6 Verses 7 – 15 (Christian Community Bible) “When you pray, do not use a lot of words, as the pagans do, for they hold that the more they say, the more chance they have of being heard. Do not be like them. Your Father knows what you need even before you ask Him. This, then, is how you should pray: Our Father in heaven, holy be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as in heaven. Give us today the kind of bread we need. Forgive us our debts as we forgive those in debt to us. Do not bring us to the test but deliver us from the evil one. If you forgive others their wrongs, your Father in Heaven will also forgive yours. If you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive you either.” Reflections: “Prayer is the groaning of the Holy Spirit in us,” as Saint Paul Says. Yet, we need repetition for this groaning to open a path in our stony heart, just as the drop of water wastes away the hardest rock. When we have repeated the Our Father and the Hail
Mary with perseverance, one day we can pray them in a way which is in perfect harmony with God’s will. He himself was waiting for this groaning, the only one which can move Him since, in fact, it comes from His own heart.
Jesus gives the Our Father to His disciples as the perfect prayer coming from the heart of God’s children, expressing as it does, what they should ask for and the order in which the requests be made. The contemporaries of Jesus used the word Heaven to signify God, because they could not pronounce His Name. Jesus says likewise: Father in Heaven, meaning God the Father. In calling God our Father in Heaven, we do not mean that he is far or near, above or below or inside. We only intend to raise our spirits to
Him. We recognize that our words are not worthy, that our concerns can be selfish and limited, when we compare them with the breadth of His thought and the generosity of His love. The Father wants to pour out His holiness and happiness on the children He has chosen and loved. He wants to seal us with His Name, so that day and night, we will be united with Him, like the Father and the Son are united by the Holy Spirit. “Your kingdom come” – Whether we are good, bad or indifferent, the kingdom of God will come, because actually it is already here. “Your will be done” – May God’s will be our own will. “Give us this day our daily bread”We ask God for the bread He has promised to those who listen to His Word. Only by listening to the Word of God (Dt 8:3) will people have bread and be able to distribute it. The Our Father speaks of debts that we must forgive. “Do not bring us to the test” – thus speaks those who knows their weaknesses and little faith.
Umbra Patris by Chichi Abadingo In 2010, we made our way to Tyburn Monastery (a Benedictine sanctuary) hidden by farm lands in a place called Bombay, South Auckland. We attended the early morning Mass there; and as this was our first time to see this beautiful place of worship, I quickly scribbled a petition on a piece of paper that was made handy to visitors by the entrance door. I dreamt of owning my own house back then, so this was what came to mind at the top of my list. We then had lunch and few more activities before heading home. Exactly 3 days after our visit, I was surprised to receive a post from one of the nuns at Tyburn. She sent me a novena prayer to St. Joseph with a handwritten note to say, ‘We know so little of St. Joseph, he seems to
have been the strong, silent type, but his actions have much to say as a father. Do pray to St Joseph, he has helped a lot of families build a new life and homes.’ Since then, I started to pile up on readings about the man that was Joseph, the Umbra Patris, the Shadow of God the Father. Saint Joseph was first and foremost a devoted husband and father. He dedicated his life to taking care of his family and did whatever it took to protect them. St Joseph didn’t hesitate to move to Egypt when it was apparent that his family was in danger from the wrath of King Herod. He used his carpentry skill to provide for Mary and Jesus’ needs. He symbolized everything that a father and the head of a household should be. To this day, I thank the sisters of Tyburn for reintroducing me to St Joseph with a deeper understanding of his manhood. He was a man who obeyed God. He took Mary home as his wife following instructions from the angel of the Lord. Considering the culture in which Joseph lived in, he obeyed God, even if he will personally suffer for it as Mary was with child while she was betrothed to him. St Joseph responded to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. He was a man of God,
seeking and doing His Holy Will, despite the difficulties ahead. Joseph was a man of work. Nothing he said was recorded, but his life speaks eloquently enough. He is referred to as the Guardian of the Universal Church. He sacrificed everything to keep the child Jesus and Mary away from danger and harm. He did whatever it took to provide for them and guide them. He worked with wood and stone to provide the basic needs of his family. His life should be an inspiration for husbands and fathers most specifically for his faith and commitment. St Joseph was in a right relationship with God. He was a man who prayed, who was chaste, honest, and hard working. He remained as an average man. As such, his sainthood is an inspiration, showing that faith is not beyond the grasp of anyone. I have kept the novena prayer to St. Joseph in my wallet. Every so often, I pull it out and pray. “Dear St. Joseph, accept the offering I make to you. Be my father, protector, and guide in the way of salvation. Obtain for me purity of heart and a love for the spiritual life. After your example, let all my actions be directed to the greater glory of God, in union with the Divine Heart of Jesus, the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and your own paternal heart.” And to this day, St Joseph has never failed to provide our family needs just like a true father looks after his children. Happy Father’s day Papa Joseph. Amen.
Papa Can You Hear Me? by Cherry Thelmo-Fernandez
With an ageing father who’s hard of hearing and has been suffering short term memory loss of late, our phone conversations are suffused with repetitions, reminders, and raised volume of my voice as we progress. I recall once, years ago, he asked me why I was shouting at him. I told him that I wasn’t shouting, but
that I’ve repeated myself already three times and simply wanted to be heard. He laughed heartedly and apologised for not hearing me the first three times. Despite my father’s hearing loss, he listens to me – superficial, emotional, political, theological, and philosophical matters alike. He has always made me feel special, that whatever I had to say was important. So much so that from my late teens until right before I got married, we’d have lunch dates as often as our schedules would allow; with me often dropping in his office unannounced (There were no cellphones back then, after all.). Over a great meal we would discuss anything and everything under the sun; debate, then either agree with the other or agree to disagree. In this aspect, my dad follows the example of Our Heavenly Father, who listens to all our prayers. It is only we who dare to question, to think He does not hear us, simply because His reply was not what we desired or not as fast as we wanted him to. And yet, He is always there,
Wear My Design A Competition
It’s your creative skills’ time to shine! Wear My Design 2015 is the first ever Sinulog Festival Gown Design Contest. If you are a fashion designer ready to unleash your creative
magic on our Sinulog Festival Queens, this contest is definitely for you. To express your interest to join, simply email santonino@xtra. co.nz your contact details, or get in touch with France Martirez.
listening to all our woes, praises, pleas, confessions, dreams, contritions, thanksgiving, and yes, even our disgruntlements. How great is that, that we have such a wonderful and loving God? Sad to say, the same cannot be said of us. How many times had we tuned out at Mass during the readings, the Gospel, or the homily? Or hear them in one ear and go out the other? How often have we read the bible, actually understood what we read, and still went on with our old ways? How many times have we knowingly chosen not to do what the Church tells us to, because it “felt right” or some other justification? To top things off, all the noise (e.g., mp3 players, smartphones, car radio, idle chatter) in the world today make it more difficult for us to use our hearts to listen to what God has to say. With humble prayers, a true contrite heart, and vigilant listening, we woud surely be able to hear Him. Would it then be fitting to change the title of this article to ask, instead, “My child, can you hear me?”
Moment in Time: The Park by Estelle Moira T. Fernandez
A Father’s Prayer Saint Joseph, our Father and Lord: most chaste, most pure. You were found worthy to carry the Child Jesus in your arms, to wash him, to hug him. Teach us to get to know God, and to be pure, worthy of being other Christs. And help us to do and to teach, as Christ did. Help us to open up the divine paths of the earth, which are both hidden and bright; and help us to show them to mankind, telling our fellow men that their lives on earth can have an extraordinary and constant supernatural effectiveness. (St. Josemaria Escriva, The Forge, 553)
“Ha ha ha!” I squirm as I hear a loud booming laugh. I can feel the soft breeze brushing against me. I can hear the rustle of the leaves, swaying in the breeze. I’m at the park. I see two people sitting on a bench. Father and son. Then I hear a conversation going on. “Really, I mean it, since you have been practising your skills, you are getting better and better. Achieving goals, cheering your teammates on, you might be a captain.” I am intrigued in their conversation, so I listen for some more. “Really, you really think so dad?” I hear the boy say. The dad then says in an encouraging voice, “I know you can do it, really. You know when I was your age…” I am still confused about what they are talking about, but then I notice that the boy is holding a soccer ball. The bench was creaking as they moved uncomfortably on it. I look around and I am surprised to see that the other benches are deserted. As I stare at a particular bench, I realise that it has a lovely colour of lightish orange colour. The dad then says, “ When you are older, I bet that you will be in the
FIFA World Cup, and the star of your team.” I look at the boy, he is smiling, an unsure smile, but still glad that his dad said that. The white part of his shoe glisten in the sunlight. His orange t-shirt is flapping slightly in the breeze. And his light brown shorts would move a little bit then stop, and then it would move a little again. His dad is in a casual outfit, dark blue short sleeved T-shirt, and light blue jeans. The reflection of the sun on the ball caught my eye. I then wondered about the conversation that they had earlier. FIFA World Cup is happening and the boy’s dad’ goal/dream is for his son. Do all fathers really care for their child’s interests and goals? Or do they just tell their child what they want them to do? Sometimes fathers just force their children to do what they want. But what about children’s freedom? Our rights? Or do children have no rights? Estelle is a Year 6 student at Christ the King Catholic School. She maintains a blog http://ctkestellef.blogspot.co.nz/
The Reason Why We Went to Spain and Rome by Raina Marishka F. Ceniza The pilgrimage has been a great experience for me and my sister Blaise. We went on this trip with 7 other girls from Auckland and joined a group from Australia. We comprised a group of 30 girls in total. We not only made new friends, but we have deepened our love for the Catholic faith and Church. During this pilgrimage we visited many churches and cathedrals, including the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, the Pantheon in Rome, and the Vatican. One thing I noticed about the churches is how detailed and intricate they are. They are all spectacular and it would be very easy to simply remain there, admire their beauty, adore and pray to our Lord. The churches give such a great atmosphere for prayer, prompting us to contemplate God’s omnipotence and greatness. Words can’t describe how amazing they are. Aside from visiting our Lord in the different churches around Spain and Rome, the main reason why my sister and I travelled this distance
was to attend the Beatification of Bishop Alvaro del Portillo (former prelate of Opus Dei and successor of St Josemaria founder of Opus Dei). The Beatification took place in Madrid on the 27th of September. Upon arrival in Madrid, we stayed in a school that hosted us and many other groups from other countries, too, who went for the Beatification. We made friends with girls from Portugal, Spain, Ivory Coast, and many others who share the same love and appreciation for Bishop Alvaro. The Beatification was beautiful, with thousands of people from all over the world gathering for the same purpose; to honour Bishop Alvaro who was a great spiritual father. Alvaro lived a very holy life in the most ordinary way. He was a saint living in the middle of the world. In the Beatification ceremony was a sea of faithful witnesses. After the Mass, amidst the giant crowd, we were able to meet up with our brother, Baron, who had left Auckland a few days before us to also attend the beatification of Bishop Alvaro. Experiencing this and learning a lot about Bishop Alvaro has taught me that we, too, can be Saints in the middle of the world and that we can turn our daily work, our studies and our jobs into prayer;
living a holy life in the most ordinary things. Previous to the Beatification of Bishop Alvaro, who is now Blessed Alvaro Del Portillo, we often prayed to him, asking him to intercede for us. Through his intercession, many of our prayers were granted. It was amazing to be present at his beatification to express our gratitude towards him. We flew to Rome the following Monday to attend a Thanksgiving Mass for the Beatification of Blessed Don Alvaro, at the St. John Lateran Cathedral; and on that Wednesday, we were present at the general audience with the Pope at St Peters Square. We were so fortunate to have been standing very close to where the Holy Father, Pope Francis, on his pope mobile passed. He was just around an arm’s length away from us. It was very special to have seen in person (finally) the Holy Father’s most loving and caring smile, and experience his affection for everyone. It was an amazing experience, which brought such joy in knowing that a great multitude of people dearly love Blessed Alvaro, Pope Francis and the Church. Raina (18 years old) and Blaise (15 years) are both in Marist College, who worked hard to sell homebaked goods to be able to cover expenses for the pilgrimage.
Art Competition for Kids The very first Sinulog Art Contest is now open to young artists 8 to 17 years old. Participants should create a poster that answers the question: “What does Sinulog mean to you?” You are free to use any medium in making the poster. The poster should be placed on 15″x20″ sized illustration board. Slogan may be written in English or Filipino. All artworks will be numbered. No signatures, names or other identifying marks should appear
at either side of the material of the entry. Sinulog NZ has the right to use any or all of the design in displays and for the publication of any of its information materials such as brochures, leaflets, poster, etc. The name of the participant shall be duly acknowledged. All designs shall be considered as property of Sinulog NZ. Entries should be submitted on or before Monday, 5th of January 2015 12:00 noon
Posters will be displayed at the St Patrick’s Cathedral during the 9 days Novena Mass. Criteria for Judging: * Theme/Concept (Originality) — 30% * Relevance — 30% * Overall Visual Impact — 40% There wil be 2 categories: 8-12 years od and 13-17 years old. Prizes will be announced later. Online voting will be announced closer to the date. For more information, email santonino@xtra.
A Home for the Santo Niño Our beloved Senyor Santo Niño now finally has a home -- at the St. Benedict’s Church in Newton, Auckland. The installation of the Santo Niño Chapel was held on 18 July, with a Mass con-celebrated by Mons. Paul Farmer and Fr. Larry Rustia.
The Search for Sinulog Festival Queen 2015 is on.
ON GOING ACTIVITIES MONTHLY NOVENA-MASS 3rd Fridays of each month St. Benedict’s Church St Benedict St., Newton 6:45 Holy Rosary, followed by the Novena and the Holy Mass
The pageant is open to all Filipino young women from 16 to 25 years old and of good moral character. For details, please email santonino@xtra. co.nz
DAILY PRAYER CRUSADE
HOUSE-TO-HOUSE VISITS of pilgrim statues of the Senyor Santo Niño
A Festival of Dances Thank You, Dad Thank you for the laughter, For the good times that we share, Thanks for always listening, For trying to be fair. Thank you for your comfort, When things are going bad, Thank you for the shoulder, To cry on when I’m sad. This poem’s a reminder that All my life through, I’ll be thanking heaven For a special dad like you. -- Anonymous
NZ Sinulog 2015’s theme is Festival of Dances. For those interested to participate in the presentation, kindly contact the organisers through email@example.com or Diane Edmonds.
PROJECT FOR THE SHRINE AND PILGRIMAGE CENTE FOR SENYOR SANTO NIÑO
THANKSGIVING for answered prayers to Senyor Santo Niño
For more information, contact Miriam / Oscar 027 4875428 Chichi 09 5756343 or Cherry 0212170461 Newsletter Cover Design by Roland Abadingo Newsetter Design & Layout by Cherry Thelmo-Fernandez
Sinulog NZ Newsletter Fathers Day 2014