A Synopsis of Canonical Visit to the Philippines
Published by Sis. Lutgarda Dueñas, Sis. Ma. Brenda A. Gadiano, Bro. Armel Collantes, SMM in Philippines · 17 October 2022
Tags: NU, PHL, 914
Tags: NU, PHL, 914
QUEZON CITY, Philippines – In line with the Continental Mission Year of Montfort Missionaries in Asia and Oceania 2022 and with the aim to visit and see the present situation of the conferrers and collaborators of the Montfortians here in the Philippines, Rev. Fr. Luiz Augusto STEFANI, SMM, the Superior General of the Montfort Missionaries, scheduled his canonical visitation to all the SMM communities. In his absence due to some relevant reasons, this year’s canonical visit was graced by the presence of Fr. Arnold SUHARDI, SMM, and Fr. Felix Mabvuto Jonas PHIRI, SMM, assistants to the Superior General. It happened last March 29 – April 20, 2022.
The delegates arrived in the Philippines last March 29, 2022. They were warmly welcomed by the Filipino Montfortians in the Philippine Delegation Community. After a day of rest coming from a long trip, they had their city tour around the historic places in Manila. Preceding days were also a tour going to some places outside Metro Manila. They also had a chance to visit the community of the Daughters of Wisdom in Quezon City. Similarly, they also had a chance to talk and listen to the scholastics and their scholasticate master as they also did visit the scholasticate community.
On April 2, 2022, the first Saturday of April, the Reverend Fathers visited the Montfort Center of Spirituality in Sct. Madrinan, Quezon City where they joined in the celebration scheduled during the day and meet the AMQAH members.
On April 3- 8, 2022, Fr. Arnold and Fr. Felix together with the Philippine Delegation Council: Fr. Norwyn V. BAYDO, SMM, delegation superior, Fr. Sherwin Y. NUÑEZ, SMM, Fr. Federick B. YUMANG, SMM, also with the Delegation Bursar, Fr. Reynaldo BULLAS, Jr., SMM had their canonical visit to SMM Cebu Mission community. They arrived at the Montfort Mission house in Minglanilla, Cebu, on the evening of April 3. They were welcomed by the Cebu Mission Community members, Fr. Paul Arnel L. LUCERO, SMM, and Bro. Armel R. COLLANTES, SMM.
The next day, April 4, 2022, Fr. Arnold and Fr. Felix had a conference with the SMM Cebu Mission Community members, Fr. Paul Arnel and Bro. Armel in the morning. In the afternoon at 3:00 PM, the Association of Mary Queen of All Hearts (AMQAH) and the Totus Tuus Journey (TTJers) gathered at the Mission House to meet and greet the visitors. Fr. Arnold and Fr. Felix informed the group regarding the Continental Mission Year 2022 of Montfort Missionaries. The group was encouraged to ask questions, others made a request then an individual introduction of oneself. At 5 PM we had a Eucharistic Celebration and Fr. Felix was the main celebrant. After the Mass, a simple dinner was shared.
On April 5-7, 2022, Fr. Arnold and Fr. Felix visited one of the Montfortian mission areas called Kinatarcan Island in Sta. Fe, Bantayan, Cebu. It is around 120 kilometers to the northern part of Cebu from the town of Minglanilla which is reached after a travel of five hours by land and an hour by boat. They were accompanied by Fr. Norwyn, Fr. Sherwin, Fr. Federick, Fr. Reynaldo, and Bro. Armel and with around 31 AMQAH and TTJers. It was a timely visit to meet again supportive friends and to see the fruits of the Montfortian mission. We were happy to see familiar and new faces welcoming the group. After our lunch, seventeen of us were assigned to two foster families and the rest stayed at the Montfort site. On that day at 5 PM, the Montfort Fathers concelebrated a Fiesta Mass in honor of St. Vincent Ferrer at the nearby Chapel, and Fr. Norwyn Baydo was the main celebrant. After the Mass dinner was served.
On April 6, 2022, our second day on the island, we all went swimming at the white beach in barangay Hagdan, later we proceeded to D'Clam Cave Resort where we enjoyed the crystal-clear water inside the cave. Then on our way back to the site we had a chance to a ride and sight-seeing around the island. It was an enjoyable morning. The next afternoon’s activity was the blessing of the new chapel and the statue of Mary, Queen of All Hearts by Fr. Arnold. It was followed by a Eucharistic Celebration and Fr. Federick was the main celebrant, followed by Veneration of St. Louis Marie de Montfort relic. Fr. Felix later shared an inspiring message regarding five P's - People, Prayers, Places, Problems and Party. There were dancing & singing as well and ended the night with happy hearts.
April 7, 2022, our last day in the island. Breakfast was served at 7 in the morning since we had to leave at 9AM. Before 9 a.m. the departure time, we said our thanksgiving and goodbyes to our brothers and sisters in Kinatarcan. We commended the untiring collaborative efforts of our AMQAH and TTJers, our foster families for the very simple yet nice accommodation, to Barangay captain and an AMQAH member, Merlina Placencia for making our visit more comfortable by providing the Barangay service car, Sis. Gemma Oftana, Sis. Cecilia Montolo and to everyone assigned to do the cooking for the sumptuous meal shared to us. Above all, to our Almighty Father and through the intercession of our Blessed Mother and St. Louis Marie de Montfort that we reached the port of Daanbantayan safely. On our way home we dropped by in Kawit, Medellin, Cebu to visit another Mission area. Finally, we arrived home safe and sound.
On April 8, 2022 the last day of Canonical visit and we had a Pilgrimage to the Shrine of Archbishop Teofilo Camomot named "Domus Teofilo" at Valladolid, Car car City, around 25 kilometers to the Southern portion of the Cebu province. The place is managed by the Daughters of Saint Teresa "DST" a congregation founded by the late Archbishop Camomot, whose canonization is being processed at the Vatican. Our next destination was the San Pedro Calungsod Chapel in Seaside then had our lunch at a restaurant inside a mall called “SM Seaside”. After lunch some stayed for a while at the roof garden and others had their shopping. Then the group visited the Magellan's Cross, then to the Basilica del Sto. Niño and the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral. Lastly, we left for Mactan International Airport where our guests proceeded to Manila.
On the 9th of April 2022 Fathers Arnold and Felix accompanied by the confreres visited the Daughters of Wisdom community in Buting, Pasig City. After the visit to the Daughters of Wisdom, they proceeded to Sta. Teresita Parish, the parish that was administered by the Montfortians located in Makati City. They were warmly welcomed by the parish priest himself - Fr. Santiago CASING, SMM and the parishioners. The reverend Fathers were introduced to the Sta. Teresita Parish Community and the Parish Pastoral Council as well as the parish servers.
On the 10th and 11th of April, Father’s Arnold and Felix together with some Filipino Montfortians visited the Montfort House of Prayer Community in San Jose del Monte City, Bulacan. Like the previous communities they visited, they were also welcomed warmly by Father’s Francis and Arnel, members of the basic ecclesial community and servers. There was a short program wherein the delegates were offered dance and singing presentations. That memorable meet and greet was concluded with a sumptuous meal.
On the 12th to 15th of April, Fathers Arnold and Felix went to visit the Chaplaincy of St. Louis Marie Grignon de Montfort in Dagupan City, Pangasinan. In the afternoon of Holy Tuesday, a concelebrated Mass took place. The Mass was presided by Fr. Felix. After the celebration of the Holy Eucharist, the parishioners had a chance to meet them and took a photo with them. The following day, the reverend Fathers visited various places which are under the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the Chaplaincy. They had a chance to concelebrate in the Chrism Mass in St. John the Evangelist Cathedral in Dagupan City, Pangasinan. Aside from that, they also had a chance to share and listen to the programs and plans of the chaplaincy during the meeting. In like manner, they also witnessed the live dramatization of the passion of Jesus early morning of Good Friday. They traveled back to Manila on the afternoon of good Friday.
On the 16th and 17th of April, the Reverend Fathers joined the eucharistic celebration in Sta. Teresita Parish in Makati City. The Fathers joined the Easter celebration in the same parish as well. In the succeeding days, the fathers joined the Philippine Delegation Assembly and discussed things relevant not just to matters concerning the Continental Mission Year of Asia and Oceania 2022. April 19, 2022 was the end of the Philippine Delegation Assembly and after the 5 PM mass, there was a short Despedida program as a tribute to the two fathers.
On April 20, 2022, they traveled back to Rome bringing with them all the memories from their visit here in the Philippines. The canonical visit was indeed a grace-filled experience for all of us, most especially for us Lay Associates. We realized that everything is possible if the sole purpose is for God, through Our Blessed Mother Mary in the spirit of St. Louis Marie de Montfort.
Glory to God Alone!
Sis. Lutgarda Dueñas/ Sis. Ma. Brenda A. Gadiano
Bro. Armel Collantes, SMM