3rd FIRST SATURDAY DEVOTION Meditation on the Resurrection, April 3, 2018

Excerpts from
St. Bridget of Sweden, Blessed Anne Emmerich,
St. Elizabeth of Schenau and Venerable Mother Mary of Agreda
Compiled by Raphael Brown

The sun had already set when the Blessed Virgin, St. John and the holy women returned to the Cenacle in Jerusalem late in the afternoon of Good Friday. Mary thanked John and her companions, for having remained with her throughout the Passion of her Son, and in His name, she promised them a special reward for having been so faithful. They acknowledged this favor by kissing her hands and asking for her blessing. Then they begged her to take some rest and food but Mary replied:

“My rest and consolation shall be to see my Son and Lord arisen from the dead. Yet you , my dear friends, must satisfy your needs, while I retire alone with my son John.”

The women, still filled with profound grief, discussed the terrible events, and withdrew to their rooms for the night.

At midnight, the Blessed Virgin and the holy women arose and prayed together for awhile under a lamp. At four in the morning of the Sabbath, St. John came to console Mary. She asked him to find Peter, speak to him kindly, and bring home to see her. John was also to offer friendly greetings to the other Apostles and to give them hope of pardon for having left their Master during His passion.

John met Peter coming to the Cenacle after having spent the night weeping and repenting in a cave near the Holy City. They found some of the Apostles and they all went to the Cenacle.

Peter alone went to see Mary first. Falling at her feet, he said with sobs of intense sorrow: ”I have sinned, dear Lady, I have sinned before my God and I have offended my Master and you!”

The Blessed Mother knelt beside him and said ”Let us ask pardon for your guilt from my Son and your Master.”

Next the other Apostles, weeping bitterly, presented themselves before Mary and asked her pardon for having forsaken her Son during His

sufferings. The very sight of her caused them to feel perfect contrition for their sins and renewed their love for their Master. Mary promised them that she will obtain pardon which they sought, and when they left her, they were inflamed with new fervor and strengthened by new grace.

The women continued throughout the Sabbath to pray and mourn with the Virgin Mary in the large hall of the Cenacle. The weak ones among them took a little nourishment, but the others fasted all day.

In the meantime, the Mother of God continued to witness in vision the actions of her divine Son after His death. She saw Him visit the Patriarchs and the souls of the Blessed in Limbo. And now she saw the Savior, in their company, hovering over the city while He showed them the various places where He had suffered. As they passed the Cenacle, Jesus directed their attention to the Blessed Virgin and said to them., “There is Mary, My Mother!’

Early on Easter morning at the very instant when the holy soul of Christ reentered and revived His sacred Body in the sepulcher, Mary experienced a mystical ecstasy in which her grief and sorrow were transmuted into ineffable joy and bliss. Just at that moment, after knocking, St. John stepped into her oratory and finding her in the midst of a heavenly splendor and utterly transfigured with supernatural exultation, he understood that His Lord had just then arisen from the tomb.

Meanwhile, the glorious body and soul of the Redeemer came forth from the Holy Sepluchre, standing with all the brilliance of His divinity, and the Risen Lord immediately showed Himself to His Blessed Mother, together with the saints and Patriarchs of the Old Testament. He was clothed in a long, white robe, with a mantle that waved gently in the breeze, as He advanced, reflecting all the colors of the rainbow, while His large wounds sparkled brightly.

Mary prostrated herself on the ground and humbly worshiped her Resurrected Son until He took her hand, raised her and drew her to Himself in a marvelous mystical embrace. Then, in an ecstasy of fervent joy and love, she heard a Voice saying to her “My beloved, ascend highter.” At this same instant, she was given a more profound and intimate vision of the Divinity than she had ever had before. Then He left to show Himself to Mary Magdalene.

(Scripture says Our Risen Lord appeared to Mary Magdalene and the other women, who went to the tomb to anoint His body. Mary Magdalene went and announced to the other disciple “I have seen the Lord.”)

Later Mary Magdalene and the others came to Mary and told her about Jesus’ appearing to them. She listened quietly and kindly (not telling them that He had appeared to her first) and strengthened their faith by quoting from the Scriptures about His Resurrection.

The other apostles came, too and to report to the Blessed Mother that they have seen the Lord but that Thomas refused to believe that the Master had risen. Mary assured them calmly that Thomas’ disbelief would, in the end, will be of great benefit to others and glorify God.

(Scripture says Our Lord appeared several more times to the Apostles and strengthened their faith and their love for him more and more.)


FEAST of the SACRED HEART by Peachy Maramba

One of the most popular devotions celebrated in the Church that is now part of our Catholic tradition is the FEAST of the Sacred Heart.

In the Old Testament (Jer 31:33; Ezek 11:19; 18:31) we read how God in his love and Mercy promised to make the hearts of His people now hearts of stone whose love of God had gone cold into hearts of flesh.

They needed a new Heart that would beat in resonance with the Heart of God.
This new Heart is now given to us through Jesus Christ, the beloved Son of God. It is to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus after whom the hearts of people should now be fashioned.

The devotion began when Jesus, hurt by the ingratitude of mankind for His loving kindness sought to arouse the Church into a realization of the love of God symbolized by his heart.

Apostle of the Sacred Heart
Chosen by Christ Himself for this task was ironically a young nondescript nun of the Order of the Visitation at Paray-le-Monial, France. Though humble, devout, simple obedient and good she was rather clumsy, sickly and not too bright.
On June 27, 1673 three years after becoming a nun, while Margaret was praying in the chapel, she heard Jesus inviting her to be His instrument in arousing the Church to a realization of the love of God, Symbolized by the Heart of Jesus. He told her, “Look at this Heart which has loved human beings so much and yet men do not want to love Me in return. Though you my divine Heart wishes to spread its love everywhere on earth.”

The Apparitions
One that day and for thirteen months thereafter, Jesus made numerous appearances and revelations to Margaret but four were especially remarkable.
1. During the first apparition on December 27, 1673
Jesus permitted Margaret to rest her head on His Heart and then disclosed to her the wonders of His Love.
He explained why He had chosen her – “an abyss of unworthiness and ignorance so that the accomplishment of this great work may rightfully be attributed to Him.”
Then taking the heart of Margaret from her breast (which she readily gave) He dipped it into His own Heart. When the Lord took it out it looked like a flame. He then placed it back in Margaret’s breast and gave her the title of “the blessed disciple of My Heart.”
2. In the second apparition (first half of 1674) the Lord revealed His Divine Heart as a dazzling throne of flames surrounded by a crown of thorns as a sign of His burning love for the souls He had ransomed with His sacrifice on the Cross.
He wished its image to be exposed for veneration. He then disclosed to Margaret His great desire to be loved by all men and women.
3. The third took place on July 2, 1674 while Margaret was praying before the Blessed Sacrament on the Feast of the Visitation.
The Lord opened His breast and disclosed His Heart from which came out fire. His human heart was to be the symbol of His Divine human love.
“I come into the Heart I have given you in order that through your fervor you may atone for the offenses I have received from lukewarm and slothful hearts that dishonor Me in the Blessed Sacrament.

Jesus then asked for a devotion of expiatory love through frequent loving communion on the First Friday of the month. To those who received Holy Communion on the first Friday for nine consecutive months, Jesus promised, “My Heart shall be their assured refuge at that last hour.”

Jesus also asked for the observance of the Holy Hour that is a prayerful one hour vigil before the Blessed Sacrament on Thursday night in memory of His agony and desertion in Gethsemane.

He asked her a feast of reparation on the Friday after the octave of the Corpus Christi (now the Feast of the Sacred Heart). This Feast was in reparation for human ingratitude towards His goodness and mercy by worship of the Heart of flesh of His Son.

Besides St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, she had now a powerful ally in her confessor, Jesuit Priest St. Claude de la Colmbiere. Not only did he believe in her mission but was also in part responsible for making her crusade known throughout in the world.
Another Saint – John Eudes helped to popularize the devotion through his writings. So these three are known as the saints of the Sacred Heart.
The devotion was brought to the Philippines by the Jesuits. Young Rizal carved a little statue of the Sacred Heart which is kept at the Ateneo de Manila University.

Let us, like St. Margaret Mary Alacoque on her deathbed say, “I need nothing but God and to lose myself in the Heart of Jesus.”

Hello SSAP!! Fr. Judee Mar Maquinad, OFM

Thank you for your warm welcome. Everyone knows fully well SSAP is a very special parish. It is such an honor and rare privilege for anyone to be part of SSAP Family. To be counted in as part of SSAP Family means to do one’s share, to meet the given demands and expectations. On my part, I can only think of my limited parish work experiences. I am a neophyte in terms of parish work. As a friar, this is my third time to live in a parish community. The first time is, when I was assigned in a parish community as a requirement for Ordination. This was my one-year pre-diaconal apprenticeship at Our Lady of the Abandoned Parish, Santa Ana, Manila. Second, is in a rural parish in Santo Tomas, Isabela and stayed there for less than a year as a newly ordained priest. I was ordained to priesthood on August 02, 2012.

I had my solemn vows in the Franciscan Order on May 31, 2007. Thereafter, I was given the opportunity to do formation work in two different stages of Formation Program of the Franciscan Philippine Province of San Pedro Bautista. Eight full years of journeying and accompanying our young candidates; that they may respond generously to their Franciscan religious calling. I have spent 4 years in Our Lady of the Angels Seminary Aspirancy Formation Program and 4 years in the Post-Novitiate Formation Program. I had also the opportunity to work in the OFM-JPIC Office as

As I have come to begin to journey with my new assignment and be part of SSAP Family. I can see myself as an eager-learner, willing to learn new things and ready to acquire new experiences. The life and ministry in a simple parish is not without demands and expectations. How much more here at SSAP?! Indeed, it is very special parish. There is a huge task awaiting and challenges are but inevitable. But I know, with the community of seasoned friars around and with the support and help from the PPC Officers and Members together with the entire parish community, I will be able to do my share in serving the parish community.

I hope and pray that my one-year of stay here at SSAP will be a meaningful and wonderful one. I will always try to strive to give my best!

May SSAP continuously becomes a parish community for all! May it be a real home for all! May Saint Anthony of Padua, our beloved Patron Saint intercede for us, always!

Breaking through on Canvas by: Letty Jacinto-Lopez


An art work has this intriguing effect of putting yourself in the shoes of the artist who created it. You are suddenly drawn to it while a multitude of questions dance on your head. Is the artist using this medium to express something he has lost and now wants to recapture desperately? Find the answers, and more, in an Art Exhibition of portraits and paintings that will dot the walls of SSAP from Saturday, May 27, 2017 until Tuesday, June 16, 2017. (Ribbon-cutting on opening night, after the 4:30 pm mass). Get some insight into what moved a company of artist inmates to pick up the brush. One described it as “skirting around some personal upheaval, mixed with bad choices, that pulled me down into a cycle of sustained drug abuse.” Another went further, “It may be the rapture of being on drugs or of deciding to leave them behind, that released and opened up a sense of drama with an absolute absence of glamour.” What they have captured on canvas will hopefully build up public awareness, enhance sustainability and ultimately be the key to unlock shackles of dependency. Own a piece of this world?

* Sale of artworks is under two exclusive categories: P4,000 and P6,000. Proceeds of sale will go to the penal facility holding drug-related offenders and to the improvement of the SSAP Sacristy.

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The best part in being volunteers in Church is that everyone works with a mission to serve as stewards and servants in the same value system and love for God and the Parish. The Council meets regularly with the Administrative Council to discuss budget requirements, employee concerns and performance, and facilities management. The desired and decided outcome is always for the good of the Parish through fairness, justice and kindness.

The Administrative Council works well as a team. Collaborative Leadership is practiced. No one assumes power over the other. Each one is given the chance to comment on an issue or bid. Assessing quotes and estimates is a standard procedure. Much respect is given to the options and recommendations given by the PPC. When there are differences of opinion, one is always ready to understand the other opinions before reaching a mutually agreeable course of action.

Providing services for parishioners, taking care of Parish facilities and assets are the focus. Manuals and Policies are reviewed to make sure that practice is still relevant and correct.

Continuous improvement evolves in Admin Council. We believe that better decisions are made when information is complete and communicated well. The synergy of people, ideas, processes, and opinions, allow us to work towards one goal. Employees continue to undergo values formation and trainings to improve their passion to serve.

There are a lot of challenges in putting order and discipline, most especially when decisions affect employees, parishioners, the PPC, pastoral team, ministries and the different mandated organizations.

The PPC, council members and employees work as a team for the glory of God. Given the diversified, vast and varied personalities, activities, functions, circumstances, services in the Parish, the Admin Council works best gathering information, reviewing and understanding the situation, listening with the eyes and ears of the heart, for the best interest of the Church.

With collective leadership and collegiality between the Admin and the PPC, the two are bound to work harmoniously.

From the Desk of the Parish Priest, Fr. Reu Jose C. Galoy, OFM

Fr. Reu Galoy
Dear Co-Pilgrims:

Peace and well-being!

The general theme of our Parish Bulletin (PB) for this month is COLLECTIVE LEADERSHIP. Our simple operational definition of leadership is: it’s a process by which an individual influences others in ways that help attain organizational goals. It involves the practice of decision-making, as well as communicating with, motivating, selecting and developing people. The word “collective” indicates cooperation, collaboration, inclusion, partnership, and participation. This understanding of leadership therefore promotes teamwork through active listening and “participatory” process. Another way to put it – this model of leadership illustrates that the process is as important as the product.

In the theological and pastoral point of view, collective leadership is essentially drawn from our identity as baptized members of our Catholic Christian community, endowed with the gifts of the Holy Spirit in order to cooperate and participate in God’s mission through humble and joyful service to people. Personal agenda and interest are contrary to the spirit of service and ministry to say the least. Authentic service frees one from seeking recognition or desiring any position – obedience to God’s will is always a process of kenosis (self-emptying or denying oneself). In the words of St. John the Baptist, “He must increase; I must decrease” (Jn. 3:30).

Taking the points mentioned above, our parish ministerial-stewardship structure attempts to bring these principles into our leadership practices as entrusted to collaborate in the pastoral care of the Church whose function is that of healing, guiding, sustaining and reconciling. We therefore have another way of understanding structure – that while it shows us the position of authority, areas of coordination and concerns, we take structure in this context to mean PRIORITY (focus), which is our LIFE-in-MINISTRY. Thus, every single entity in the Parish finds its reason of existence in service of the “other” and on behalf of the Church.

That being said, we promote the spirituality of stewardship in our leadership functions to indicate that we abide by the principles of non-ownership, servanthood, gratitude, trust and love. Our ministerial services in the Parish are both an oasis and locus for our ongoing conversion to become a better person and credible witness of the Gospel. Ministry is an opportunity to be of service, rather than a privilege to holding position. It is God Who qualifies us, than us having the qualifications. It is a gift by God to us individually, yet affirmed collectively through the community of the faithful.

The quality of our relationship as ministers and stewards is the best way to share the joy of the Gospel and gift to our own faith-community as well.

Fr. Reu Jose C. Galoy, OFM