In the afternoon of Thursday, 6 May 2020, the Montfortian novices, scholastics, auxiliary staff and some priests, including Fr. Norwyn Baydo, SMM, the Philippine Delegation Superior, prepared 300 food packs, drinks and desserts. These were to be distributed, within the Quezon City area, to the poor and destitute. There were four separate cars who each had its area for better organisation and more coverage.
Living out the call from the Gospel of Matthew 25:35, “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink,” is a manifestation of our own corporal work of mercy. As Montfortians, we continue to resonate the same work as that of our beloved founder and as followers of Jesus Christ, the Good Shepherd.
In days past, the Community has done the same outreach initiative as the Enhanced Community Quarantine was extended. The Novitiate had two episodes while the Scholastics community had four. Br. Hilton from Papua New Guinea and currently doing his Novitiate, highlighted his experience stating that “food distribution is a charitable gesture and a priceless moment of close personal encounter with Jesus through the poor and needy.” In the same theme, Br. Francois Ancheta, a 4th year Scholastic, said, “We are called to be Christ to other people especially during this pandemic, so that they may feel God’s love and compassion. This is a concrete and simple gesture, that we show our solidarity to those in need and able to share the blessings we received from God’s Providence.”
It is indeed a powerful realization, that we have simply become God’s channel of grace to our suffering brethren. Fr. Paul Arnel, SMM, our Novice Master, succinctly shared his personal experience of how he felt “true again” to his identity as a channel of God’s blessings, compassion and care in a tangible way. This insight was also equally shared by Br. Harold Montoya, a 2nd year Theology student, who emphatically shared that “being generous to those in need is like answering their very own prayer, by being used by God as his channel of grace.” In addition, Br. Armel Collantes, a 3rd year Theology student, said, “Although we pray for the suffering and the hungry, however it is important to let them feel that someone cares for them by our simple, yet full of love, food sharing.”
I have seen for myself the gratefulness of the recipients, our dear brethren, upon receipt of our simple gifts with their endless “thank you” and “God bless you” and with their genuine, beautiful smiles. A heartwarming scene for me was when the children exclaimed on the top of their voices, “May biyaya, may biyaya” (“there’s a blessing, there’s a blessing”). It actually felt like I was the one blessed by this profound experience. Simply being God’s channel of grace to the abandoned and needy in our society has been made possible through his Divine Providence. A special thank you to our generous benefactors most especially to Fr Roy Millano, SMM, our very own Filipino missionary to Papua New Guinea. Due to his inability to return to his mission area, this did not deter him in remaining true to the mission. We are grateful beyond words for his contribution in our food giving outreach in the International Novitiate Community! All Glory to God alone!
Personal Integration- Secret of Rosary (24 April 2020)
The Other Side of Corona
Gabriel’s revelation to Mary,
She will conceive, Jesus she’ll carry.
Brought her great hardship and disruption
Indeed, it led to our salvation.
In our time of dramatic action
closure of business and school cancellation
Suspension of Mass celebration
work from home or loss of employment
affected our lives, now our predicament.
The word “corona” invokes varying fears
Brings sickness, death and tears
It has also brought uncertainty
To poor and rich alike who live in vanity
For some, suffering regardless of territory.
Whether or not the disease has afflicted you
The widespread pandemic will continue
It has already disrupted us personally
affecting all of us locally and globally.
But please remember my dear friend
To look at Corona not on the same trend
As traditionally it means the crown of Mary
An early name for the Rosary.
Still used in many parts of the world
To honor Mary and lovingly her to behold
The Hail Mary’s were her crown of roses
Corona del Rosario, brings true happiness.
A call to pray the Rosary daily
as an individual, community or as a family.
Praying to contain the pandemic
In people of varying socioeconomic.
O dearest Lady, please obtain healing
For those afflicted and the suffering
May we who recite your Rosary devoutly
Brings us plenitude of God’s graces abundantly.
In uttering our supplications and entreating
Vanished the scourge we are experiencing
May our sincere prayer of Corona del Rosario
Eradicate corona virus in humanity’s scenario.
Personal Integration- Secret of the Rosary (24 April 2020)
Rarest and Fairest
Bro. Oliver Abasolo, SMM
21 April 2020
(on the occasion of the 77th birthday of Mama Teresita Abasolo)
Those who teach the Gospel to all nations
Excellence of this holy devotion
You are God’s instrument for his glory
Preach and make practice of the Rosary
taste its juicy fruit, a priceless treasure
wonderful conversions without measure
white rose for religious and ministers
There’s grace to convert the hardened sinners.
O crimson rose, which exudes sweet fragrance
With Jesus’s blood, for our second chance
This is for us sinners and poor disgraced
Cures illness of sin and left us amazed
Our Fathers, Hail Marys said devoutly
Like roses freshness remains perfectly
Pray Mary’s Rosary with eagerness
Experienced her kindness and tenderness.
O Mystical rose tended properly
Our guide in life, death and eternity
Devout souls and spiritually minded
Pleasures of flesh, worldly honors you’re dead
Sweet-smelling flowers of contemplation
Planted in soul’s garden this devotion
Rarest and fairest, with all its beauty
Jesus and Mary’s triumph and glory.
Dear little friends, this rosebud is for you
fervent Hail Mary’s, will for you accrue
Roses wreath to crown Jesus and Mary
Rosary prayed, beads you always carry
Will earn for you, right to go to heaven
Blessing upon blessings yours be given
Honoring Jesus & Mary each day
Great effects of the Rosary we say.
Let us remember the crown of flowers
Meditation, we can draw its powers
The crown of grace, in his Incarnation
The crown of thorns, in his bitter Passion
Crown of glory, in his Resurrection
Beautiful Angelic Salutation
Mary, guide to eternal salvation
She’ll turn affliction to consolation.
Entrust ourselves to her intercession
Trusting always without reservation
Obtained crown of merit during lifetime
At our death, the crown of peace anytime
Acquire the crown of glory in heaven
Pray the rosary and be enliven
Take heed to pray it with meditation
To experience the fruit of salvation.
Mysteries of the Holy Rosary
like mirrors to know Jesus and Mary,
Light the fire of their love in our hearts
Knowledge of Jesus and Mary impart
Guide every step like flaming torches
Like furnaces to consume and scorches
Heavenly flames, our impurities cleanse
Having Jesus and Mary as my friends.