When North Meets South... in the Novitiate!
Alah eh... dine na kami sa Lipa!
It was in the morning of
After two hours of travel, we
finally reached our destination. Fr. Ernie Garcia, C.Ss.R. greeted us. Before
lunch was served, everybody was there, including our novices, Dax and Roger,
and our very own Bishop I AM, C.Ss.R. It was a pleasant welcome for us. All
of the VP Manila communities were there for the celebration. The whole day
was spent in swimming, fun games, eating and chatting. We had a nice time
though everything around us was new— from the people’s faces to the people’s
dialect. Fortunately we still managed in getting along with them. In the
afternoon, after the merrymaking, we hit the road leading to
On April 13, 2004, Tuesday, we
started our novitiate canonical year with a celebration of the Holy Eucharist
officiated by acting Lipa community rector, Fr. Ernie Garcia, C.Ss.R. with
Frs. Tom Tancinco, C.Ss.R. and Vince Doherty, C.Ss.R. The senior novices were
also with us: Bros. Eugene, Dax, Roger and Jay. Also present was Bro. Epi
Bama, C.Ss.R. (who happens to be the younger brother of my uncle). All in
all, there are four new novices for the novitiate year 2004-2005, namely,
Hernando Perez of Sindangan, Zamboanga del Norte; Shaun Silagan of Maco,
Compostela Valley Province-Davao; Leomel Puerto of Kapalong, Davao del Norte—
Cebu Province, and Kristofferson Alea of Calapan, Oriental Mindoro — Manila
Vice Province. We are the second batch
of novices since the joint novitiate program of the
We recently had our orientation on
the Ratio Formationis and the Lipa
novitiate program, followed by our eight-day initial retreat last April 28,
After seeing our weekly timetable, we were overwhelmed by its structure. We said to each other, “Mao na jud ni!” (This is it!) with a smile on our faces and a slight anxiety in our hearts. Providentially, after a week or two, we were able to fine-tune the new structure of the novitiate program and place everything in God’s hands. As the prayer goes, “Lord give me the serenity to accept the things that I cannot change, the courage to change things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” We are all hopeful and optimistic in God’s grace in this novitiate year.
Lastly, we would like to earnestly
congratulate our new Redemptorist priests on their ordination — Frs. Bert
Cepe, C.Ss.R. and Bing Simacio, C.Ss.R. Good luck on your ministry. We also
extend our heartfelt congratulations to the newly professed Redemptorist
brothers, Bros. Eugene Espeña, C.Ss.R. and Samuel Joseph de Guzman, C.Ss.R.
Until next time. Hanggang dine na la-ang muna!
— Leomel “Jong” Puerto