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The discernment retreat of the young ladies from May 11 to 13, 2012 was held in the Alberione Oasis, Antipolo City. Eight young ladies from Ormoc City, Manila, Marikina and Antipolo City joined in the retreat.

They began their two-full day journey with the Lord in the afternoon of May 11. Sr. M. Martha gave them the orientation at 6 o’clock in the evening to prepare them for their personal encounter with the Lord in silence, prayer and listening to the conferences of their retreat guide, Fr. Efren Reyes, a Missionary of Jesus (MJ).

For two days in the morning they had Lauds, conference and Eucharistic Celebration with Fr. Reyes. The conference of Fr. Reyes was focused on the theme: “Mary, Our Model In Discerning Our Heart’s Desires.” After the conference they used to have healthy break and be by themselves in the place most convenient for them to reflect on the talk of their retreat guide.

The afternoon was spent for adoring Jesus Master in the Eucharist with Sr. M. Martha and M. Geraldine. It was Sr. M. Martha who guided them during their moment of intimacy with The Eucharistic Master. Fr. Reyes availed himself to them either for confession or personal encounter with him during their free time. At five o’clock they celebrated Evening Prayer with Sr. M. Geraldine as the prayer leader. They all gathered together for the prayer activity in the evening after supper in the session hall and in the garden. On the last day of their retreat right after their adoration at two o’clock in the afternoon they had sharing of their joys, difficulties and consolations during their retreat.

All of them were more than happy and contented with the conferences of Fr. Reyes and their personal encounter with him, activities of the day, their communion with one another in prayer and at table when they partook of the meal in silence. The atmosphere was pervaded with silence that helped them a lot to be in touch with themselves and listen to their heart’s desires and God’s desire for them. They felt so much the presence of Mary, Our Lady of Silence and our Mother who is our sterling example in following the will of God. They came to the Oasis on May 11 and came out of it refreshed and invigorated physically and spiritually on May 13, the very day we celebrated Mother’s day.

As these young ladies ended their two day retreat which is not the end at all but a beginning of journeying hand in hand with the Lord and one another may they have the same courage of Mary to make a leap of faith and say, “Yes, Lord. I will follow you.”

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An INVITATION to interested Young Ladies!
(18-35 years)

What: SEARCH-IN RECOLLECTION FOR VOCATIONS
When: 3 June 2012, Sunday

Where: Divine Master Convent, Sen. Sumulong Memorial Circle
ANTIPOLO CITY
Time: 8:00am – 4:30pm
Contact: Sr. M. Martha, PDDM CP no: 09204878307

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Where: Alberione Center, 20 G. Araneta Ave., Brgy Dna Imelda
QUEZON CITY
Time: 8:00am – 4:30pm
Contact: Sr. M. Janice, PDDM CP no: 09204878307

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Where: Divine Master Convent, Alo Private Road (beside Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Parish)
CEBU CITY
Time: 10:00am – 4:30pm
Contact: Sr. M. Lilibeth, PDDM CP no: 09298480182

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Where: Divine Master Convent, 16 Park Avenue, Bajada
DAVAO CITY
Time: 10:00am – 4:30pm
Contact: Sr. Mercy Grace, PDDM    Tel. no: (082) 2262-592

COME and JOIN US!

Spend the day in prayer, sharing and friendship…

“I am the Good Shepherd. I know my own and my own know me…”
Social networking. Video sharing. Online gaming. The world has become a global village where people are hooked by a giant web, which created virtual relationships and unreal identities. What is what? and who is who? The rise of unconscious identity crises and confusions. This is one of the world’s realities today.
Jesus is asking, “Who do people say that I am?” Some see him as a mere historical figure – a Jew who lived in Nazareth with Mary and Joseph. For others, he is a sensational character who spoke parables; a healer; a miracle worker. While there are still many others in some parts of the globe who remained in these knowledge of Jesus, many of us today have known and acknowledged him as the Messiah, the Master…the Good Shepherd.
“But who do you say that I am?” For the youth of today, it’s so easy for them to declare the generic identities of Jesus – Lord, Son of God, Savior, etc. But the same question is being thrown to each of us today especially to the young: Who is really Jesus for me? Have I experienced Him in my life that proved Him to be Someone so relevant?
He has no ordinary profile as what we can find in any social network; neither a character on a video we tend to like and share; nor an avatar playing an identity in an on-line game. Though he is always on-line, he is never virtual but an actual and real person.
He is always within anyone’s reach. He never declares “access denied” when we come to him. Do the young people of today try to be constantly connected with him?
The youth hear stories about Jesus in the Holy Mass. He makes himself experienced by them through the sacraments. Scriptures too have a lot to unveil about his person when they take time to read and meditate on them. Every day, he actually makes himself known to them. Their parents, their brothers and sisters, friends, and others are daily manifestations of his presence and identity to them. Even events that happened to them also teach us lessons that make them grow in their knowledge of Jesus.
“…I know my own and my own know me…”
Much as the young people desire to increase their knowledge of Jesus, they need instruments to give and make Him known to them. The Church unceasingly finds ways to reach out to the young, and encourage them to discover the beauty of the seed of vocation planted in the core of their persons. She sends apostles—the priests and consecrated men and women who proclaim the splendor of the call they received. Witnessing awakens vocation. This is our call. This is our duty…to draw more young people to embrace the life of consecration and of service that God granted us to witness and live.
Our congregation within the Pauline Family received the mission to ‘draw all to the Beauty that saves’. That this Beauty, who is Jesus himself be known, loved and served by humanity. For every disciple, Jesus is the Beauty who unceasingly attracts her heart to come to him… listen and learn from him. And in knowing Jesus Master, she gradually grows in acquiring the same heart as his, imitating the life he lived. To every PDDM as well as to those whom he wished to make himself known as the Divine Master, Jesus constantly teaches the Way, the Truth and the Life that would unite us with Him, the Father and the Holy Spirit.
– by Sr. M. Janice, PDDM

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Give thanks to the Lord for he is good; his love is everlasting! ~Psalm 118:1

Such was and is the sentiment that pervaded from the recent meeting with the young ladies and visit to their families that we had in Ormoc City from April 11-13, 2012.

Vocation, the call to follow and serve God particularly through the priesthood and the religious life is, and continues to be, a gift offered to the one especially chosen to hear and generously heed the voice of Him who invites and calls.

It is marvellous at this present time, even warmly refreshing, to meet and see young women who would sincerely and with utter simplicity express that they do desire to become a nun, a Sister, a religious. Evenmore awesome is the full support and encouragement that the parents, their families, friends and Church community give them.

For the wonders the Lord unceasingly allows us to tangibly experience, our hearts gratefully sing out, in joy:  Give thanks to the Lord for he is good; his love is everlasting! (Psalm 118:1)

Lord of the Harvest, God and Author of Life and of our vocation, sustain with your grace all whom you especially call to the priesthood and the religious state. May the fire of love of you in their hearts, in our hearts, be kept ever burning through your Word and the sacraments; through the goodness, love and care we concretely manifest and share to one another, to all who walk the pilgrim way with us!

Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion, 1 April 2012

1st Reading

Isaiah 50:4-7

This is one of the ‘suffering servant’ motifs from the Prophet Isaiah. “… For my part, I made no resistance, neither did I turn away. …” Suffering becomes those who are authentic followers of God, real disciples of the Lord. Here the profound listening to the Lord that the disciple does, sits cheek by jowl with beating, taunting and insult. Listening to God’s Word is a dangerous business that brings us into conflict with those who unjustly hold power.

2nd Reading

Phil 2:6-11

The great ‘Christ-Hymn’. Scholars tell us that Paul may have adopted this text from some other source, possibly in aramaic. Like all hymns, it has a catechetical and credal quality that few other mediums have. Our contemporary hymns tell us a lot about what we really believe. As Christians we are to know Christ intimately. This ‘Christ-Hymn’ offers us an intimate insight into who Christ is. His self-emptying is the means of his exaltation. It is also the means of ours.

Gospel

Mark 14:1 – 15:47

There is a profound association between Passover, trickery, anointing with costly nard and betrayal for money. This Passover will be the Passion and the ‘preparations’ spoken about in the passage signify the preparation for the Passion that has been going on right throughout the gospel of Mark. This Passover, this Passion, is a New Covenant. Jesus’ blood is the sign of the New Covenant. Here he prefigures his own death by inviting his followers to do what he does: to take, to thank (eucharistēsas) and to give. There is a task to be carried out to recall what Jesus has done. The New Covenant must be remembered and lived out.

 

Homily Notes

 We look for Christ everywhere. We are taught that Christ is present in four ways during the liturgy: in the gathered assembly; in the proclaimed Word; in the Priest presiding; and in the Eucharist celebrated. Here, Christ is present in Sacrament, Word, action and in people.

For us Catholics, the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist is a core doctrine of our faith that we defend highly. We are less vigorous in our defence of the other ‘presences’ of Christ. Still less so are we defensive of the presence of Christ in the poor, in the voiceless and in the marginalised.

Christ is present in Daniel, in Joel and in Betty, most especially because of the violence, suffering, separation and aloneness that they have experienced. Their suffering, like all human suffering, unites them to Christ on the cross in a profound way.

Perhaps this is a good time to remember that much of the Church’s social teaching has the status of doctrine. This places it on an a similar footing to all the great doctrines of the Church.

By:

Fr John Coughlan, CC

Parish of the Sacred Heart, Roscommon Town.

 

Liturgy notes for the 5th Sunday of Lent, Year B

1st Reading:  Jeremiah 31:31-34

A new covenant – the sign of this covenant will be that the Law will be written not on tablets of stone but on the hearts of the House of Israel and the House of Judah. There will be no gap between God and his chosen people.

2nd Reading:  Hebrews 5:7-9

This short passage from the letter to the Hebrews is quite similar in style to Phil 2:6-11, which we will encounter in next Sunday’s second reading. They both have a hymnal quality about them, although Phil 2:6-11 is much more clearly in hymn form. There are subtle references both to the garden of Gethsemane: “… prayer and entreaty, aloud and in silent tears, …”, to the resurrection: “… his prayer was heard. …”, and finally to the cross: “… he learnt to obey through suffering; …”.

Gospel:  John 12:20-30

The kairos time of God for the Son “to be glorified” is at hand. This time appears to be instigated by the request of the Greeks to meet Jesus. The imagery is of a wheat grain falling to the earth. Jesus appears to be emotionally torn by the prospect of this ‘glorification’: “Now my soul is troubled.” The new covenant will come about through the crucifixion/resurrection/glorification/exaltation of Jesus.

Homily Notes

The story of Jesus is the story of his life, death and resurrection. All three are linked together closely. When we ponder gospel stories in prayer, we may focus on one part of this trio. Recently in the liturgy, we have been journeying with stories about Jesus’ life on earth. Now we are approaching Jesus’ death, and after that we will celebrate his resurrection. We split up these three, and yet, the trio are always present and always celebrated. There is not one without the other.

In the story of the transfiguration from three weeks ago we realised that even while Jesus was on this earth his resurrection and glorification was already in place. Today, we realise that Jesus’ journey to the cross is shot through with experiences of pain, suffering, deep emotion and prayer to the Father. At the same time, God is being glorified: “A voice came from heaven, ‘I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.”

We do not seek suffering. We do not condone the suffering of others. And more, we seek to alleviate the suffering of people we encounter on the road of life, just as they might seek to alleviate and assist us in coping with our suffering. In our own suffering and in the suffering of others we encounter Christ today.

By:

Fr. John Coughlan, CC

Roscommon Town, Roscommon