January - April 2015
ICST joins Apo Caridad Feast

The whole ICST family joined Ilocandia rejoiced as they celebrated the feast of their patroness under the title of Nuestra Señora de Caridad (Our Lady of Charity) last 12 January. The celebrations took place at the San Agustin Parish, Bantay, Ilocos Sur also known as the Shrine of the Our Lady of Charity. 

The Holy Mass started around 2:30 in the afternoon after which a procession followed. “Jesus gave Mary for us to become our mother just as Mary accepted us as her own sons and daughters like Jesus,” Nueva Segovia Archbishop Marlo Peralta, D.D. in his homily said. He also stressed in his homily the importance of Mary in the history of our salvation.

He did not fail to correct the wrong mentality prevalent among people. “When you pray, you should not ask whose prayer is more powerful, Jesus or Mary. Jesus is our Lord and savior. Mary is our bridge to Jesus. When we pray to her, there is the assurance that our prayers will be answered because Jesus in the first place listens to His mother,” he said.

T2 troop to San Juan for Pastoral Management Course

The Apit Class (T2) immersed in a different learning experience for five days at the St. John the Baptist Parish, San Juan, Ilocos Sur as part of their course on Pastoral Management last 30 January to 5 February.

Rev. Fr. Albert Rabe, the Parish Priest and the professor guided the seminarians in designing a blue print of pastoral roadmap anchored on the “Church of the Poor” as a new way of being Church and effective Pastoral Management.

Fr. Rabe challenged the seminarians to practice transparency and accountability as early as now. He exhorted them to welcome conflicts in their ministry as price of implementing radical pastoral management.

Rev. Fr. Tony Reclusado also shared his testimony on the pros as well as perils of implementing radical pastoral management.
The five days exposure was a start of learning basic skills in implementing programs for the benefit of the parish communities. 
The seminarians lived and learned with foster families in different barangays as part of their exposure on how to relate with people in the spirit of simplicity and communion.

Journ Sem-Workshop for T1 Held

The ILOG Class (T1) embarked on a Journalism Seminar-Workshop last 30-31 January with Prof. Wilberto Tabutol, a professor of Journalism and Creative Writing at the University of Northern Philippines and the consultant of the KNOW, as resource speaker and workshop facilitator.

The seminar-workshop is conducted annually to prepare the T1 Class in taking over the KNOW, the seminary’s official publication.
The Catholic brand of journalism vis-à-vis the Objectives and Editorial Policies of the KNOW was discussed to situate the T1 into the theoretical framework of the journalistic enterprise in the lens of Catholic teaching and in line with the thrusts of the KNOW Magazine. 
Workshops were conducted on the second day, where the T1 immediately put to test the skills and learnings acquired. These were followed by a clinic where their workshop outputs are put to the litmus test of sound journalism and effective writing principles. The seminar-workshop was made possible through the collaborative efforts of the T1 and T2 Classes with the sustained support of Fr. Loubert M. Agduyeng, KNOW moderator.

Apostolate Fest, Academic Pastoral Function focus on poor, perils of Social Networking

The Immaculate Conception School of Theology (ICST) celebrated the annual Apostolate festival last 21 February with the theme “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me because He has anointed me to bring the good news to the poor” (Lk 4,18).

The theme bespeaks of Christians’ role as anointed by God to become messengers of His Good News particularly to the powerless, weak, abandoned, to the needy, and to the poor. Students, teachers, and friends from the partner schools, delegates from parishes, and the SISA (BEC) areas where the seminarians have their regular apostolate were present during the festival.

The celebration began with a concelebrated Mass presided by Fr. Loubert M. Agduyeng, Our Lady of Piat Formation Community Director together with Fr. Rodel M. Molina, Apostolate Director and Nuestra Señora de Caridad Formation Community Director as homilist. Also joining them were the other ICST formators headed by Fr. Lain M. Mayo, rector.

The opening program was held at the Aula Magna. The doxology and flag ceremony were rendered by the ICST Choir followed by the warm and joyful welcome remarks of Sem. Eleazarico P. Macalling, Apostolate coordinator. An intermission number of selected students of Vigan National High School –West broke the ice as they rendered a song to the audience. This was followed by a roll call of all the delegates before snack break was held. 

Dr. Teresa Maguigad of the St. Paul University Philippines then shared her thoughts on the topic “The Impact of Media and Social Networking to the Filipino Morality.” She skillfully exposed the perils of the cyber-world to the audience which were of a wide age demographics.
Lunch ala potluck followed.

In the afternoon ball games basketball and volleyball were held played between the different schools and the seminarians. The Palarong Pinoy was also a much appreciated highlight of the afternoon events.  There was also a Catechetical Quiz Bee where the contestants from the Santa Lucia Parish bested the other five groups.
The day was capped by the closing program where awarding and giving of certificates to our delegates of the different apostolate areas was done. Fr. Molina expressed his words of gratitude to our apostolate partners after which we sung a Marian Hymn followed by Fr. Berlynden Dao- Anis’ blessing.

OLPFC, SAC join forces for Outreach

The Our Lady of Piat Formation Community in cooperation with the Social Action Commission conducted an outreach program last 1 March, after the regular community Sunday Mass presided over by Fr. Loubert M. Agduyeng, CAVISA Formation Director. Indigents from Barangay Pantay Daya were the recipients of the program.

Fr. Aduyeng welcomed and oriented the visitors of the activity. After which a simple breakfast was served followed by the distribution of the goods intended for them. Before goodbyes were bid, the CAVISA community rendered a song to them to show how we loved and welcomed them in our midst. 

The event was made possible through the collaborative efforts of the CAVISA under the guidance of Fr. Agduyeng, Formation Community Director and Fr. Andres Q. Semana, Jr., Spiritual Director, in cooperation with the ICST Social Action Commission under the leadership of Sem. Esteban H. Amor.

ICST troop to Lucena for Kapatiran, Community Outing

82 delegates comprising of the formators, seminarians, and staff and personnel of the Immaculate Conception School of Theology (ICST) participated in the Kapatiran 2015 last 7 February at the Saint Alphonsus Regional Seminary (SARS) in Lucena City, Quezon Province, making it one of the biggest groups to attend the event.

Kapatiran is an annual gathering of theology seminaries from the entire country. This year’s event bore the theme “Pauperes Evangelizantur” (Lk 7, 22) meaning “the poor have Good News brought to them” drawing inspiration from the ongoing observance of the Year of the Poor in the Philippine Church.

The ICST family onboard two buses left for Southern Luzon at nightfall on 5 February. They had their breakfast and a celebration of the Holy Mass at St. Polycarp Parish in Cabuyao, Laguna under the pastorship of Fr. Ireneo Oliver, the following day.

From Cabuyao, the group visited the Rizal Museum at Calamba, Laguna. Sadly, the Casa-Museo was closed for renovation lamented Ma’am Malou, curator. But we were still allowed to roam around the Rizal estate’s grounds where the young Jose Rizal, national patriot, played and grew up in.

The group proceeded to the Mount Makiling Botanical Gardens located in the University of the Philippines, Los Baños Campus Grounds. The seminarians were treated to fresh and cool mountain air as they immersed themselves in the lore of Maria Makiling, the legendary woman-protector of the mountain. The lush garden is a repository and research institute for the rich flora and fauna as well as wildlife from all over the archipelago. From Mt. Makiling, the group trooped to SM City San Pablo for lunch.

ICST delegation finally arrived at Lucena City in Quezon Province by nightfall where we were treated for a sumptuous dinner at the Diocesan Pastoral Center together with the other early-comers. The seminarians and staff and personnel were billeted at the Fresh Air Hotel, a short walk away from the Diocesan Pastoral Center while the formators stayed at the Bahay Pari in the Center compound.
The following day, the seminarians paraded in their cassocks from Lucena Cathedral to the Provincial Capitol through the main streets of Lucena City with the “higantes” and “moriones” after breakfast at the Cathedral Function Hall.

Opening Ceremonies were held at the Pastoral Center Compound clad in the official Kapatiran 2015 tshirt. Holy Mass was celebrated at 10:30 in the morning at the Seminary Chapel with His Excellency Emilio Marques, D.D., Bishop of Lucena presiding and His Excellency Gerardo Alminaza, D.D., Chairman of the CBCP Episcopal Commission on Seminaries as the homilist.

Lunch was held at the Kamayan sa Palaisdaan Resort in Pagbilao, Quezon. Conferences followed by Year Level. T1 at the Minor Seminary, T2 at the St. Joseph Pre-College Seminary, T3 at the College Seminary, and the T4, formators, and personnel at the Kamay ni Jesus Healing Center.

Solemn Vespers presided over by His Excellency Ramon Arguelles, D.D., Metropolitan Archbishop of Lipa were conducted back in the Seminary Chapel was done at nightfall.

On 8 February, a Sunday, the ICST community joined the community Sunday Mass at the SARS’ seminary Chapel before hearty goodbyes and sincere thanks were exchanged.

The group for the final leg of the journey visited the Missionary Catechists of the Sacred Heart which as founded by Bishop Alfredo Versoza in Lipa City where we were treated with a sumptous lunch then proceeded to visit the Carmel of Lipa Shrine, the alleged apparition site of Mary under her title Mediatrix of all Graces and where the miraculous shower of petals took place.

SM Mall of Asia in Pasay City as the final stop of the journey where the group treated themselves to food, shopping, and entertainment before they headed back home in Vigan City.

SFY back from 30-Day Retreat

After 30 days of prayer and meditation in the mountains, the seminarians from the St. Joseph Formation Community (SFY) finally came home to ICST. The long period of encountering Jesus through moments of silence started on 2 February and ended last 2 March this year.

The retreat took place at the Apostolic Vicariate of Bontoc-Lagawe’s Pastoral Center in Teng-ab, Bontoc, Mountain Province. 
This program of the SFY is part of developing the spiritual aspect of the seminarians who are undergoing long years of formation. 
“We do not have Christ all the time and this 30 day retreat is one opportunity given to us to listen to His voice through prayer and silence,” said one SFY brother.

The retreatants owe the success of the retreat to the guidance and support of their formation director Fr. Marlon Belmonte and Fr. Ian Kenneth Mamauag, spiritual director.

OLPFC, friends celebrates Pakésa; launches prayer manual

The Our Lady of Piat Formation Community (CAVISA) held their 8th Friends’ Day celebration with the theme “Pakésa” last 22 February. Pakésa is an Itawes term meaning “to gather as one.” Friends from different places as far as Rizal, Cagayan came to take part in this annual event whose primary purpose is to be united as one CAVISA family.

The celebration was filled with fun and excitement as the CAVISA seminarians showcased their talents in singing and dancing. A live band entertained the guests while they had their lunch. It was indeed a precious moment for both parties to reunite themselves once again to smile, to laugh, to share stories and experiences, and to feel the spirit of God through one another.

Fr. Loubert M. Agduyeng, CAVISA Formation Director also introduced and explained the meaning of Itubay an alternative name for CAVISA. The word is composed of the ecclesiastical names of the three dioceses comprising the community, ‘I’lagan, ‘Tu’guegarao, and ‘Bay’ombong.  The word also has a deeper meaning. Itubay is also an Ilocano word which means “to form.”  This reminds them of their identity as one who is undergoing seminary formation.

It was also during the said event that the CAVISA launched the prayer handbook entitled ‘Pray Without Ceasing.’ It includes the Order of the Holy Mass written in four languages, prayers of blessings, prayers to angels and saints, novenas and other Christian prayers..

Brotherly Love continues at Inniliw 2015: 159 come home

A total of 159 allumni from all over Northern Luzon came home to Immaculate Conception School of Theology for the 2015 Allumni Homecoming, Inniliw last 26-27 January with the theme, “Let Brotherly Love Continue” (Heb 13, 1). The event was sponsored by the Active Class of 1999 and Galileans Class of 2000.

Sporting and socialization activities were conducted on the first day. A Eucharistic Celebration was held in the afternoon after the vespers with His Excellency Marlo M. Peralta, D.D., Archbishop of Nueva Segovia presiding. The vespers were led by Fr. Aris Mina and serving as lector was Fr. Andrew Claver.
Dinner followed at the seminary patio. The first day was capped with the showing of the Damili musical play and socializations followed afterwards.

After breakfast on the second day, Fr. Antonio Pernia, SVD delivered a paper entitled “The Stranger and the Poor Two Challenges to the Missionary Church in Evangelii Gaudium” at the Aula Magna.
This was followed by the culminating Mass presided by His Excellency David William Antonio with His Excellency Camilo Gregorio, D.D., as homilist. Bishop Florentino Sinense gave the words of thanks at the conclusion of the Mass.

Alumni from classes 1989 and 1990 were honored during the event. His Excellency, Renato Mayugba, D.D. of Laoag Diocese was also present during the event. 

The event was hailed a success through the collaborative efforts of the ICST Community under the rectorship of Fr. Lain M. Mayo, remarks Fr. Randolph G. Romero, the Chairman of the Inniliw 2014 together with Sem. Richard Ganga, coordinator.