September - December 2014
Mary’s birthday observed, Marian quiz bee held

The ICST family celebrated with great devotion and joy the birthday of her Patroness, Mary Immaculate last September 8. The day began at 4:30 in the morning with the mañanita song breaking through the silence of the seminary grounds. A procession of Mary’s images under different titles followed afterwards accompanied by the praying of the Holy Rosary.

In the evening following the solemn vespers at 6:15 was the Holy Eucharist with Fr. Berlynden Dao-anis presiding and the rest of the formation team concelebrating. After the final blessing friends, benefactors, and BEC partners of the seminary offered roses to the image of Blessed Virgin Mary. A Marian Quiz Bee followed after dinner at the Aula Magna where seminarians bested each other in familiarity and knowledge of Mariology.

APIT Class learns BEC at San Juan

Composed of the second year theologians, the APIT class went to San Juan Parish, Ilocos Sur from September 12-16, 2014 to immerse themselves and learn about Basic Ecclesial Communities (BEC). San Juan Parish Priest Fr. Albert Rabe, expert about BEC’s, handled the said class. 

As part of their immersion, the seminarians were assigned in different barangays and experienced the life-situation of the people while learning the principles of organizing BEC’s.

Conducting surveys, they share what they discovered that despite the harsh reality of poverty and life difficulties the people still have strong faith in God and they feel His great presence with them. 
Basic Ecclesial Communities is one of the pastoral programs designed in address to the call of the Second Plenary Council of the Philippines that considers the Philippine Church as a community of disciples and a Church of the Poor. 

Learning the concepts of how the ‘new way of being Church’ operates, the second year class accepted the challenge on how would they apply these knowledge they have in their apostolate and in their future ministry.


Feast of St. Francis observed with tree planting

St. Francis of Assisi is well-known being a lover of nature. It was said that among the saints, he is the only one who could speak to plants and animals. The second year class whose patron is St. Francis planned to conduct a tree planting activity inside the seminary. 

On October 4, 2014, the whole community of ICST had a tree planting activity in honor of St. Francis. The activity started around 4:30 in the afternoon with a prayer and blessing of the tree seedlings by Rev Fr. Berlynden Dao-anis. The seedlings were planted beside the Mahogany garden near the Aula Magna. 

It was a wonderful experience for the seminarians and the priests to honor St. Francis with that simple act of showing their love and concern to Mother Nature. The tree planting activity was made possible through the initiative of Sem. Kenart Titiwa, head of the commission on conservation.


ICST joins Nueva Segovia La Naval procession

On October 7, 2014, the first and second year classes and the SFYers attended the Marian procession in celebration of the feast of La Naval. Beginning at around 7 o’clock in the evening at the Conversion of Saint Paul Cathedral and around the Vigan city proper, the procession of the images of the Blessed Mother under her different titles was preceded with the celebration of the Holy Eucharist with Msgr. Vicente Avila, cathedral parish priest, presiding. 

La Naval is a commemorative feast established by Pope St. Pius V. This was a celebration of the naval victory of Christian fleet at Lepanto. It was believed that this victory was possible through the intercession of the Holy Mother of God through the praying of the holy rosary.

The procession, set on the observance of the month of the Holy Rosary, is an invitation to the faithful to pray always the Rosary as a weapon to fight the power of evil. Catholics everywhere are encouraged to seek the intercession of the Holy Mother of God who hears and answers without fail.

ICST conducts Educational Tour, OLMFC wins in research contest

The seminarians of the ICST had their annual Educational Tour and Research in different places of Northern Luzon from August 2-5, 2014. The seminarians in their respective formation communities travelled to various places in their own regions and visited places and persons essential to their research study.

The Nuestra Señora de Caridad Formation Community went to the different parishes of La Union to have a study on the devotion of the faithful to the Blessed Mother on her titles as Nuestra Señora de la Caridad, Nuestra Señora Virjen del Mar Cautiva, and Nuestra Señora de Namacpacan.

Dwelling on the social and environmental issues that beset Benguet, the Immaculate Heart of Mary Formation Community travelled to places across the said province to study the causes of the ruin of agrarian farming and its effects to nature and its people.
Studying the rich culture and faith experiences of the Malaueg people of Rizal, Cagayan, the Our Lady of Piat Formation Community lived and experienced the Malaueg way of life and saw the richness of their faith experiences expressed in their history and in the very lives of the Malaueg. 

The Our Lady of Manaoag Formation community endeavored to explore the contributions of monastic life to the Church today and also dwelled on its relevance to seminary formation. They visited various monasteries in Northern Luzon among them were the Benedictine Sisters and Nuns of the Eucharistic King, Daughters of Mary Consolatrix, Carmel Monastery of the Most Holy Trinity, and Poor Clare Monastery of St. James the Apostle.

The research output of the Our Lady of Manaoag Formation Community, with the title “Understanding the Relevance of Monasteries: A Study on Some Contemplative Communities in Northern Luzon”, bagged first place in the research competition conducted on 9 October 2014 with Sem. Angelo Lopez as their presenter.

The Educational Tour and Research is an annual excursion activity of the seminarians with the aim of enriching their knowledge and appreciation of the different social, spiritual, environmental, and cultural issues of their respective regions and localities.


MANLIPUAG goes to Manila for labor immersion

The St. Joseph Formation Community, consisting of seminarians from the MANLIPAUAG class, are presently having their job exposure in Metro Manila from October 18, 2014 to January 2015 as part of the programs in the Spiritual Formation Year. 

Employed as office assistants, waiters, machine shop technicians and janitors, the seminarians immersed themselves witnessing to the faith in work communities from which they also gain insights that are beneficial to their deeper understanding of human realities in appreciation of their future priestly ministry. 

The labor immersion used to be done in the cities of Northern Luzon in two months but this year it is done in Manila in three months. The SFYers will return in January 2015 and prepare for their 30-day retreat in February.

Escaño is new General Beadle

The new student council of the Immaculate Conception School of Theology had their induction ceremony on November 19, 2014. Taking the responsibility as the new leaders of the community for the second semester, the newly inducted officers are expected to make good of their duties as student leaders of the seminary. They are not only to maintain the atmosphere of unity and order in spite of the many upcoming activities but leaders who would make the remaining months of the school year meaningful and productive.

The induction was integrated to the celebration of the Holy Mass which started around 6:30 in the evening presided over by Rev Fr. Andres Semana Jr.

Sem. Evedi Awidan the outgoing general beadle passed the key of responsibility to Sem. Escaño with an encouraging words of giving his all-out support to the new officers.

Sem. John Cristopher Escaño, the newly elected general beadle of ICST in his speech visions a community of trust and collaboration and a brotherhood with the sense of initiative and sympathy.

Bishop Andaya to new Acolytes and Lectors: “Bring Eucharistic experience to all, wherever, whenever!”

The APIT (T2) and ILOG (T1) classes were installed to the ministries of Acolyte and Lector at the ICST Chapel on November 10, 2014, by Tabuk Apostolic-Vicar Most Rev. Prudencio Andaya, CICM, D.D., with the theme “Come here at once and take your place at the table.” (Lk 17, 7).

In his homily, Bishop Andaya explained the significance of the ministries of Acolyte and Lector. He explained to them the importance of this ministry in their life as installed Acolytes and Lectors.   He emphasized the duty of a Lector to proclaim the Word of God and of the Acolyte to prepare the Eucharist, not only within the Eucharistic celebration but also in the witness of their lives. “Service is not limited to the Mass or the Table, but wherever, whenever, bring the Eucharistic experience to all,” he said.

The installation challenges the seminarian to imbibe a deeper commitment in their desire to serve God and the Church in their formation to be future presbyters.  It is a manifestation of God’s abiding love for his people in providing them pastors with hearts patterned after His heart.

NL Bishops’ meet at ICST

The Immaculate Conception School of Theology was host to this year’s Northern Luzon Bishops’ Meeting from November 10-11, 2014.
Seven bishops attended the meeting. They were Nueva Segovia Archbishop Most Rev. Marlo M. Peralta, D.D., Nueva Segovia Auxiliary Bishop Most Rev. David William Antonio, D.D., Baguio Bishop Most Rev. Carlito Cenzon ,D.D., Laoag Bishop Most Rev. Renato Mayugba, D.D., Urdaneta Bishop Most Rev. Jack Jose, D.D., Tuguegarao Auxiliary Bishop Most Rev. Ricardo Baccay, D.D, San Fernando Bishop Most Rev. Rodolfo Beltran, D.D., Ilagan Bishop Most Rev. Joseph Nacua, OFM, D.D. Diocesan administrators and some seminary formators in Northern Luzon including ICST formators were also present.

Bishops from the different dioceses of Northern Luzon gather every year to talk about the concerns of the Church in Northern Luzon. Among the concerns raised during the two-day meeting was about the formation of seminarians. 

It was indeed a blessing to the community of ICST for having been visited by their own respective bishops. It was a refreshing moment for the seminarians to see and listen to the words of their bishops and be inspired as they go on with their journey.

ICST meditates on renaissance art in Advent retreat

Retreat for the second semester gets a twist through Fr. Edmundo Castañeda, Jr of the Diocese of Ilagan and St. Ferdinand parish priest who led the seminarians into meditation focusing on a renaissance art.

With the theme: “Crossing the Threshold of Hope with Mary,” the retreat highlighted theological symbolisms of the Madonna del Cardellino, an artwork of the Italian painter Carlo Criveli. 
“Religious art, especially those produced during the medieval and renaissance periods are more than what meets the eye,” Fr. Castañeda contended. Madonna del Cardellino portrays the Blessed Virgin Mary holding the Baby Jesus with a background of vegetable gourds, fruits and a fly.

Using the painting as a launching pad, he brought the seminarians to reflect on the different faces and may levels of corruption that assail them in their formation as future pastors. Borrowing extensively the thoughts of Jorge Cardinal Bergoglio’s (now Pope Francis) in his book “Way of Humility,” Fr. Castaneda made a deep exposition of the idea of corruption and challenged the seminarians to “swat the flies that storm them,” lest they finally succumb to incorrigibility. 

Fr. Castañeda sincerely weaved his own experiences as a pastor with his admonition to watch against corruption.

ICST goes to Suyo for ‘Rambak Cristo Ari’

The ICST community participated in the Solemnity of Christ the King celebration on November 23, 2014 at St. Andrew the Apostle Parish in Suyo, Ilocos Sur. 

The annual ‘Rambak Cristo Ari’ in Nueva Segovia manifests the faith of the people as they honor our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, King of heaven and earth. Many priests, religious, and laity from all over the archdiocese came to participate in the said celebration. 

Nueva Segovia Archbishop Marlo M. Peralta, D.D. presided over the Holy Eucharist at around 3 o’clock in the afternoon. In his homily, he gave emphasis on the message of the Year of the Poor. He stressed the importance of looking at this year in a positive manner. “Even when we are poor, our dignity will not be lessened as children of God. Even when we are poor, we must not always be dependent to others because Jesus will forever be our source of our hope.” he said. 

ICST-OLPFC launches Year of the Poor

The Our Lady of Piat Formation Community in cooperation with the Social Action Commission of the Immaculate Conception School of Theology launched its observance of the Year of the Poor on 6 December 2014 at the CAVISA grounds. OLPCF Director Rev. Fr. Loubert M. Agduyeng, who also celebrated his sacerdotal anniversary, presided over the Holy Mass together with the other seminary formators.

The Year of the Poor is third of the CBCP’s 9-year preparation for the 500 Years of Christianity in the Philippines in 2021.  In ICST, this has been launched to be observed through conducting a year-long activities and programs for the poor. 

At the launching program, the Social Action Commission, headed by Sem. Esteban H. Amor, distributed some grocery items and kilos of rice to the indigents, laundrywomen, seminary personnel and some poor families from Pantay-Daya. A simple breakfast was shared by the whole seminary community together with the said beneficiaries.

ICST features savior of Vigan in theatrical play

From a community-building activity at the beginning of the first semester, theater arts has been finally revived in the seminary through its production, DAMILI that highlighted the life of a priest of the Society of the Divine Word and his role in the saving of Vigan from the bombings of World War II.

Fr. Josef Klekamp, SVD was the seminary procurator during the war years in Vigan. History accounts of his compassion to the Ilocano war victims and his friendliness both to the warring Americans and the Japanese. Convincing Japanese Captain Takahashi not to destroy Vigan with fire, Fr. Klekamp had actually caused the preservation of the original Hispanic structure and setting of the city. Last December 8, Vigan City was just declared one of the Seven Wonders Cities of the World because of its stunning antiquity. 

Excerpting concepts from the life of Fr. Klekamp, the seminary based its scenes and scripts from the book, ‘God, the Woman and the Priest’ written by Fr. Eugen Reinhart, SVD. DAMILI was performed in three-consecutive days, from December 7-9, at the Aula Magna.

ICST celebrates patroness’ feast, stages DAMILI at Benefactor’s Night

December 8 was a feast at the seminary in celebration of the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. 
Early in the morning, a Living Rosary was held through a procession of Marian images under her different titles around the seminary grounds. The Holy Eucharist followed with Fr. Lain M. Mayo, the seminary rector, presiding together with the formators. After the Mass, there was a floral offering to the Blessed Mother.

In the evening was the Benefactors’ Night attended by the generous benefactors and friends of the seminary. A merienda was shared by the community and the visitors after which they were entertained with the theatrical play dubbed as DAMILI, showcasing Fr. Josef Klekamp and his role in the saving of Vigan from the bombings of World War II.


2nd Theolympics 2014 is ‘Liwliwa’ for seminarians

Seminarians have always been fanatic to all kinds of sports. This semester, Theolympics, the official olympic games in ICST was conducted with the theme: ‘Liwliwa,’ connoting a rest and recreation, a comfort and support which the community gained from involving themselves to sports.

The opening program was held on December 10, 2014. Parlor games and some outdoor and indoor games were conducted. On the three-day sports competition, three teams competed for the championship namely ILOG (First Year Class), APIT (Second Year Class), and SANGA (Fourth Year Class). The OAIG (Third Year Class) and the formators were distributed evenly to the said teams. 
The APIT Class dominated in the indoor games and parlor games while the SANGA class swept most outdoor games giving them the highest points for their over-all championship. Sems. Jerry C. Indito and Lyndon Rey G. Depayso, sports coordinators, organized the Theolympics 2014.

Montañosa hosts Kapihan III

Kapihan III was the seminary’s Christmas party with the theme ‘Lang-ay’, an Ifontok term which means a socialization or a gathering. The Immaculate Heart of Mary Formation Community sponsored this quarterly celebration on December 13, 2014.

Commencing with a dinner, Kapihan included entertaining performances from the different formation communities and the personnel, giving of tokens to November, December and January birthday celebrators, and awarding of the winners in the different sports held during the Theolympics.

Recognizing the efforts and talents of the seminarians in all the seminary activities, Fr. Lain M. Mayo, rector, stressed in his closing remarks his appreciation to the successful stage play DAMILI.