Thursday, October 27, 2011

Alive and Joyful! Thanks Be to God!

October 7
Rosary Crusade, Bioethics Conference and Procession
Patients from General Santos City and Sarangani and ACIM staff were among the sixty four delegates from General Santos who went to Davao City to attend the Rosary Crusade, Bioethics Conference and Procession from October 7 until October 9. 

The trip was filled with adventure.  The team gathered in St. James Chapel at 11:30AM but the three truckloads of participants could only start rolling towards Davao at 1:45PM, upon the arrival of 3 parties that were late.  After gassing up, the trucks roared off, to the obvious pleasure of the excited delegates. Then one truck died a sudden, unexplainable death.  Six ambitious mechanics from the delegation jumped to the rescue.  But one truck, which had already covered some kilometers, had to retrace its steps to help solve the mystery.  When the mystery was solved, the trucks again roared off.  On the hot, rough and dust-powdered road to Davao, the rain decided to refresh the team.  The blessing went through the roof to generously shower every body and every bag of clothes.  And then, as the wet passengers looked forward to arriving on time, the traffic slowed.  Mud-stuck tires and detours caused by the road construction made the team stay longer on the road.  Up ahead, a prime mover truck skidded, fell side-ward and jammed the road furthermore.  So more rosaries were finished before the team finally arrived in Davao. A grand welcome warmed up the team.  Free new t-shirts were given out!  The shirts were nicely printed with the SSPX logo and Rosary Crusade letters. Who could take away the smiles from the newly-arrived delegates?

Immediately after changing into dry shirts, the delegates attended the Holy Mass.  After the Mass there was a nice dinner which energized the team for the all-night vigil.  The Gensan-Sarangani team took three consecutive hours for the vigil.  The Apostles of Mary and the youth from the mission villages took the 3:00 AM schedule, followed by the Legion of Mary who took the 4:00 AM slot.  The last hour was taken by the children from Gensan and Sarangani mission areas.  They were led in the prayers by Wallace Hibanada and Cyrah Angela Andres.  The faithful in Davao said they were impressed to see 23 children kneeling in front of the Blessed Sacrament praying the Holy Rosary. 

 October 8
Eucharistic Crusade
At 11:00 AM, Frs. Timothy and Joseph Pfeiffer organized a Eucharistic Crusade in the German House attended by the Legion of Mary and the Apostles of Mary.  Fr. T. Pfeiffer explained the necessity and the system for establishing the Crusade among the children.  Afterwards, he asked them to organize the children for the Eucharistic Crusade.

Children’s Eucharistic Crusade:
At 2:00 PM, the Apostles of Mary gathered the children for the Eucharistic Crusade.  There were two divisions, one for the little children, and another for the bigger children.  The first group (for little children) was handled by Maricar Navales, Chrisma Jane Bravo, and Judith Dagatan.  Fr. Joseph Pfeiffer joined them to give stories of the Eucharistic Crusade to the children, especially how children loved and defended the Blessed Sacrament. He asked the children to join the Crusade to express their love for Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament.  The second group (for bigger children) was handled by Yolly Eileen Gamutan.  Fr. Tim Pfeiffer joined the group.  He called on participants to join in impromptu plays to demonstrate the goodness of the virtue of obedience.  He explained about the perfect obedience of Christ on the Cross by which He redeemed the world and asked the children to join the Crusade to help save souls.

Bioethics Conference
At 4:00PM, the group gathered at Our Lady of the Rosary Shrine for the Bioethics Conference which was organized by Jerome Babate.  ACIM staff printed the booklets used by Dr. Fidel Penamante in his talk on the “Deadly Deception:  International Planned Parenthood’s Assault on Children, Family and Nation”.  There were about 85 participants to the conference. The conference ended with a Sung Mass and community dinner.  Before bedtime, there were parlor games and contests for the children and teenagers.  Prizes were happily shared and enjoyed with new-found friends.  Fr. T. Pfeiffer led the evening prayers before the lights were turned off.

October 9
The Rosary and Eucharistic Crusade culminated with a Procession at 6:00 AM from Our Lady of the Rosary Shrine in Buhangin to the People’s Park in the heart of the city, a two-hour’s walk covering 8 kilometers.  

Two military trucks and 7 military men were placed at the disposal of the team through the kindness of a lieutenant who works with ACIM-Asia in delivering health services to the poor in war-ravaged communities in Southern Mindanao.  The trucks and the military men were helpful in the transport of the chairs, tables, altar and Mass supplies.  The military trucks took up the rear end of the procession and served to silence the hostile parish priest who had threatened to use all his power to stop the procession.  A police car took the lead.  So really, there was nothing that the parish priest could do.  He was probably amazed at our boldness as he stood at the door of his church and silently watched the procession pass by. 

 The procession ended at the park where an Altar was set for Holy Mass.  A couple of park maintenance personnel attended the Holy Mass.  After the Holy Mass, the community gathered for a thanksgiving lunch and then parted ways.  
The Gensan team, with the military, helped in transporting the materials used for the Holy Mass and then departed for Gensan. Upon arrival, the children were treated to an ice cream party, courtesy of Fr. Tim Pfeiffer. 

 October 17
His Excellency, Bishop Bernard Fellay in Conference in Davao
Patients and catechism pupils from the mission villages in Sarangani Province happily asked to be among the forty one delegates from General Santos who went to attend the conference of His Excellency, Bishop Bernard Fellay.  ACIM Staff served as choir, assisted by Ms. Alexandra Vonlanthen, a Swiss volunteer.  The patients were happy for the opportunity to be part of the delegation, and hoped fervently that they would receive special blessings.

October 18
Youth Conference at the German House
Before the departure of the Gensan team, Fr. T.Pfeiffer gave a special conference to the youth about the crisis in the Church and the need for vigilance and serious study for the defense of the Catholic Faith.

October 19
Confirmation in General Santos City
Fifty one candidates lined for Confirmation in St. James Chapel (Figure based on the number registered by Judith, who typed the confirmation cards).  Six members of patients' families were among those who received the Sacraments.  Te Deum laudamus!


 October 21
Emergency Patient Assisted
ACIM staff responded to an emergency call to assist a beggar who collapsed from a thyroid crisis.  Patient and family were assisted to prepare for death as medical assistance was being rendered.  With help from a local sponsor, the patient was brought to the hospital for admission, prayers were said at the bedside and family members were exhorted to pray.  Preparation for confession was done.  Fr. T. Pfeiffer heard the confession the next day, on his arrival from Davao.

October 22
Youth Formation in General Santos City
Fr. T.Pfeiffer gathered the youth who were actively assisting the apostolate to give a conference on the Holy Mass—the history and the protestant-inspired changes manifested in the Novus Ordo Mass.  Sixteen youth attended the conference.  He discussed also the charter of the Apostles of Mary league and asked the AoM members to observe the discipline of the league, particularly in the wearing of the badge and the training of the relief team.  The youth had been very helpful in the preparation of patients for Confession and Extreme Unction and Baptism.  He urged them to bring in more youth to love and serve God.

Confirmation candidates from Sarangani enjoyed their dish-washing service at the mission office last October 16. Hopefully, they will respond generously to grace and continue to give good help to the mission in the future.

Jane happily standing up on her own.  Her condition has helped bring her family to the sacraments.  Her parents received the sacraments of Confirmation and Matrimony on October 19. Her older siblings received the sacrament of Confirmation together with their parents.  Today, when her mother brought her along for the Assisi reparation vigil, she brought hope to the people when she sang the Gloria Patri on entering the chapel. Blessed be God! May she always find her delight in God.

October 27
Alive and joyful! Thanks be to God!
The patient who had collapsed from thyroid crisis joyfully prepared to go home.  Thanks be to God for His enduring mercy.  May the patient and her family grow in faith and love God with their whole hearts forevermore.  Fervent thanks to the local sponsor who is paying the hospital bill and to the volunteers who sat and prayed at her bedside and gave spiritual support to the patient and her family in the critical moments.  Special thanks also to Fr. Pfeiffer for his zeal.  May more joyful hearts sing the goodness of God!

Thanksgiving Ceremony in Lambayong, Sultan Kudarat
The municipality of Lambayong, Sultan Kudarat, wished to honor Dr. Jean-Pierre Dickes and ACIM for the generous health service extended to the poor.  Alexandra Vonlanthen received the honors on behalf of Dr. Dickes and ACIM.  She was assisted by Sheryl Ocampo, Maricar Navales and Patrick Intes.

Onward and Upward

September 3:
Happy Feast of St. Pius X!
Prayers were joyfully offered for the intentions of the SSPX Priests, whose constant support to the mission has made the mission go a long way.  

September 8:
Happy Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary!
On this special day, mission staff and volunteers offered fervent prayers for the mission benefactors and sponsors to the Patroness of the mission, the blessed Mother of God.  Noble Virgin, may our tribute win thy love and gain us grace.  Ora, ora pro nobis!

September 10:
Cemetery Visit and Catechism
Fr. Suelo, assisted by an ACIM staff, went to North Cemetery together with the family the patient with HIV infection, to bless his grave on the occasion of the 40th day of his death.  His family attended Holy Mass.  They had been coming to Our Lady of Victories Church to attend Holy Mass occasionally. After the blessing of the grave, the ACIM volunteer proceeded to the family residence to give catechism lessons to the family, relatives, and neighbors of the deceased who had gathered for the occasion.  The catechism lesson was lively because the listeners actively participated, raised questions and presented their arguments.  They asked for more lessons.

September 15, 2011:
RH and HR Conference
Three ACIM delegates attended the Reproductive Health Bill conference at the University of the Philippines and distributed pamphlets on the Catholic principle on Human Rights and Duties.  The conference featured Sen. Pia Cayetano and Sen. Miriam Santiago who were lobbying for the Reproductive Health as Human Rights.  The theme of the conference was:  “RH as HR”.  The conference venue was packed with about 280 pro-RH student leaders and representatives of government and non-government agencies.  The ACIM delegates deemed it impractical to participate in the open forum as the audience-speaker interaction indicated solidarity in the cause of RH Bill legislation.  ACIM delegates were able to distribute about 120 papers, nevertheless.  No positive reaction was perceived on the paper.  However, outside the conference venue, as ACIM delegates distributed papers upon their exit, one young man went after the team to inquire about the Catholic position on the RH Bill.  He introduced himself as the president of the student organization UP for Life and gave his contact number for future working alliance.

September 18:
Holy Mass in Fatima 39 Village
After Sunday Mass in St. James Chapel, Fr.T.Pfeiffer, assisted by Apostles of Mary and Legion of Mary went to Fatima 39 village to give catechism lessons and to offer Holy Mass.  Thirty children and eight adults attended the Holy Mass.  Fr. Pfeiffer organized games for the children.  Fr. Couture had already said Mass in this area during the mission in 2010.  Dr. Emeline de la Robertie had conducted a medical mission in the area on September 8, 2010.  The children of the village had been attending children’s camps conducted by the Apostles of Mary in the previous years.

September 25:
Fr. Laisney in Fatima 39 Village
After Sunday Mass in St. James Chapel, Fr. Francois Laisney, assisted by Apostles of Mary and Legion of Mary went to Fatima 39 Village to give catechism lesson.  More than fifty adult and children attended the lessons.  The AoM and the LoM served as interpreters.


A patient's mother came daily to the mission office for spiritual and psychological counseling.  Catechism lessons were given to help her find the answers to her confusions.  Twenty days of lessons led her to Confession after so many years of indifference and ignorance. 

Sursum corda!

August 1:
Demise of a special patient
The surviving family of the special patient with HIV sent a message to the mission staff to inform the team of the patient's death.  Prayers were offered for his repose. 

August 2, 2011
Prayers for the Dead
ACIM staff attended the wake and led the prayers for the repose of the patient's soul.  
Brief catechism on the necessity of prayers for the dead was given to the family and the friends and neighbors who were in the chapel.  Boxes of donated food items, left over from the mission, were given to the poor family. 

August 5, 2011
Blessing of the Corpse
Upon the request of the family, Fr. Edgardo Suelo blessed the body of the deceased patient.  The whole family was moved by the charity rendered to them and promised that they would continue to pray for his repose, and to prepare themselves for their own end.  No matter where the mission goes, spiritual kinship binds the mission staff to the patients and their families.  Birth, disease, death... Baptism, Extreme Unction and Requiem Masses lead patients and volunteers closer to God and to each other.  Truly, the more the mission continues, the bigger the mission family grows. 

August 6, 2011
Admission of Patient to Leprosarium
Fr. Suelo heard the Confession of a leprous patient and enrolled him to the Brown Scapular before he was accompanied by the mission staff to the leprosarium in Novaliches, Quezon City.  ACIM staff gave him a basic catechism lesson and assisted him in the examination of conscience before he went to Confession. He had stayed away from the sacraments for more than ten years.  He was given some food items, hygiene supplies and beddings before he was admitted to the hospital.  He went to the hospital hopeful, strengthened in faith by the Sacraments and by the moral support of the mission staff.

August 12, 2011
Visit to Our Lady of the Mystical Rose:
In thanksgiving for the grace of the mission, and to plead for special graces for the mission benefactors, patients and volunteers, three ACIM staff visited the statue of Our Lady of the Rose in Makati, in the church of Sts. Peter and Paul.  The statue was installed in the town of Makati and proclaimed as patron of the town in the year 1718.  The mission staff accidentally discovered of the existence of the statue in Makati on the early part of July, while preparing for a medical mission in the Catholic Cemetery which was under the jurisdiction of the Parish of Sts. Peter and Paul.  Ave Maria!

August 25, 2011

Free Clinic by Dr. Araneta at the Church Basement
To assist the sixty ophthalmic patients who were not accommodated at the mission venue on July, Dr. Araneta granted the request for an extension clinic in OLVC.  The patients were happy for the extended blessing given to them.  Fr. Suelo, Bro. Isidore, and two Bethanians gladly lined up for consultation too.  Fr. Suelo gave spiritual counsel to a pregnant teenager who came at the mission. 

August 27, 2011
Blessing of Patients' Homes
Fr. T Pfeiffer accompanied the ACIM staff to donate the near-expiry medicines to Quirino Memorial Medical Center.  Fr. Pfeiffer met the hospital director who was grateful for the donation and gave permission to ACIM to conduct spiritual apostolate among the sick in the hospital.  Due to lack of time, Fr. Pfeiffer decided to come back on another time for the spiritual work.  

After the hospital visit, the team proceeded to Damayang Lagi Village to bless the houses of mission patients.   There were 20 houses blessed, and there would have been so much more, if not for the time constraint.  The community gave a warm welcome to Fr. Pfeiffer and invited him to come back.  Fr. Pfeiffer gave a brief catechism to the people and invited them to Holy Mass.

In the evening the team went to Payatas, Quezon City to bless houses.  Payatas is the dumpsite of Metro Manila and the place had been prepared for a visit of a representative of the mission team, as requested by Dr. Dickes.  People in the community had been preparing for the visit of the priest during the medical mission.  However, due to flooding, Fr. Castel had not been able to come to this place.  Some contacts had been established in the village and a little wound treatment area was set up prior to the mission in July to establish rapport with the community.  ACIM Staff conducted some catechism lessons as he blessed houses.  Fr. Pfeiffer also gave a brief sermon on modesty to the family in the area who hanged framed pictures of the female members in beauty pageants and seemed ignorant  about the Blessed Virgin Mary's call for the virtue of modesty, although they also displayed her picture in their house.  The house blessings were done at night, after the evening Mass.  Fr. Pfeiffer could not come earlier so, despite the numerous requests for house blessing, he was only able to bless 8 houses.  More families are waiting for his return.  

August 28, 2011
Patients Enrolled to the Brown Scapular
Nineteen mission patients (adults and children) attended the Holy Mass at Our Lady of Victories Church and received scapulars from Fr. Suelo. Catechism lesson was given by ACIM staff.  

Two passersby inquired about the confession schedule in the Church.  They were assisted by ACIM staff who brought them to Fr. Suelo for Confession and who also gave them scapulars.

Raffle Draw in Honor of St. Pius X:

ACIM staff and patients participated in the raffle draw of good works and prayers for the intentions of the  SSPX priests in the Philippines and Asia, who contribute so much to the mission by their prayers and spiritual support.  Spiritual bouquet cards for the priests were submitted to Fr. Onoda.  With their constant care, mission volunteers and patients hope to succeed in lifting their hearts to God.