Fr. Tom Cassidy writes about celebrating the Feast of the Sacred Heart in the Philippines, where he is currently assisting with the English program:
Our principal celebrant for the Mass was Fr. Ronald Basco, SCJ, who was ordained on May 19. The homilist was Fr. Donald Longo, SCJ, the out-going superior who will leave on Monday for Manila for further studies.
One of the highlights of the Mass was the reception of the new postulants; this was done by Fr. Frank Pupkowski, SCJ, in his role as regional superior, and was assisted by Fr. Patrick Gutib, SCJ, the new postulant director. There are 12 in this postulant class equally divided between Filipinos and Vietnamese.
Fr. Donald is not the only one leaving the local community. Fr. Arthur Guevara, SCJ, will leave in a couple of weeks to take up his duties as the pastor of our new parish on Leyte. He is also the regional treasurer and will continue in that capacity. That will require him from time to time to return to Cagayan de Oro. The Philippines being an island nation means either he flies or drives and takes a ferry boat between Leyte and Mindanao. Finally, Fr. Richie C. Gier, SCJ, who was the orientation year formator will also be going to Manila for his new assignment.
Following the Mass those present were given the opportunity to receive a blessing from the newly ordained priest. A custom here is to kiss the hands of the priest before he imparts his blessing. Naturally, with a large crowd of local community members, plus the guests, this took awhile and gave the caterers time to finish their set up.
Filipinos love a good party (fiesta). And no major fiesta would be complete without a roasted pig! These tend to be much smaller then pigs we would find in the States.
Pork was not the only meat served. We also had beef and salmon on a bed of pasta — a fish I enjoy. And, of course, what meal in this part of the world would be complete if it did not start off with rice!