Mar. 2013 - Filipino Catholic Chaplaincy in Vienna
The Newsletter of the Filipino Catholic Chaplaincy, Archdiocese of Vienna, Austria
Vol. 9, No. 1
Message from the Chaplain
The Lord Jesus is risen. He is
This is the Good News of Easter
that is told upon us. New life,
fresh hope and a happy day became ours when Christ rose triumphant from the dead. Jesus
ended up being the clear winner
over Satan. His victory shows that
sin and death are no match for
goodness and life, after all.
Thereupon Jesus’ resurrection
changes our past and shapes our
future. It opens heaven for us.
Eternal life is now in sight. For
this reason His resurrection
stands not only as the cornerstone of our faith but also becomes
the Feast of all feasts of our liturgical year and Good News for all
The Easter story is indeed a powerful statement of faith, hope and
love. In it also is a comforting
promise that, just as Jesus died
and rose again, we too will rise
from the dead and share God’s
glory. Easter is God’s way of assuring us that there is life after
death. Jesus himself has gone
before us in death to prepare for
us the way to eternal life. And
this new life through resurrection
should also be our goal. In fact, it
is this belief in resurrection with
Jesus that should give meaning
and purpose to our existence. We
are meant for much more than
this present life. There is something more in this life than what
meets the eye. We are destined
to share not only Jesus’ suffering
and death but in His resurrection
as well. Heaven, therefore, awaits
all of us and is freely ours for the
Easter is not a thing of the past.
Easter life is real even here and
now. As Christians, we are supposed to be Easter people carrying
the newness of life of the Risen
Christ. In a world that is full of
"woundedness" and apathy, Easter compels us once again to be
bringers of life and light of Christ,
and sowers of faith, hope and
charity for all. We need once
again to rediscover the face of
the Risen Lord in the bits and
pieces of our life and share Him in
everyone’s hearts. The same
Easter story urges us to believe
that in moments of despair, pain
and even death, the promise of
resurrection stays because no
defeat is forever and no life is
written off as hopeless.
This year, Easter adds a grace of
all of us.
That surprise is Jorge
Mario Bergoglio who became
Pope Francis, a humble Jesuit
Cardinal from Argentina and
friend of the poor. As we thank
Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, for
his brilliant service to our Mother
Church, we also welcome with
much joy and hope our new Holy
Father, Pope Francis. The latter’s
chosen name, Francis, exudes St.
Francis of Assisi’s poverty, simplicity and rebuilding prowess, and
probably such virtues would also
reflect his Pontificate. The said
virtues speak, too, of what we
hope and pray for, for our
Church, especially in these trying
times. Let us then accompany our
Holy Father with our fervent prayers and faith-witnessing as he
leads us to a life of simplicity,
humility and renewal.
Inside this issue:
Nagpakita sa akin
ang Mahal na
Birhen sa Lourdes
Über Papst Emeri- 3
tus Benedikt XVI.
Pizza with Ninong
FAITH Reflections: 4-7
Our readers share
on practicing and
living our faith
Maalaala mo kaya 7
From our calendar 12
A blessed and joyful
Easter Season to all!
As we prepare to celebrate Easter 2013, members of our community share their FAITH experiences.
Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI
Nagpakita sa akin ang Mahal na Birhen sa Lourdes
Naanyayahan ako na sumama sa Pilgrimage sa Lourdes ng
nangangasiwa ng Mary Mother of the Poor group. August
15, 2012 nag tipon-tipon kami sa Schwedenplatz dito sa
Vienna at sumakay kami ng Bus. Umalis kami ng mga a las
10:00 ng gabi, kasama ang anak ko at kaibigan. Pag andar
na ng sasakyan ay nagsimula kaming mag rosaryo, pagkatapos ng rosaryo ay kaunting paliwanag ang sinabi sa amin
tungkol sa pagdating sa Lourdes. Dalawa ang tsuper na
kasama namin na kung pause ay inihihinto ang sasakyan
doon sa may Gasolinahan na merong Restaurant na pwedeng kumain, may toilet at sa labas pwedeng
magpahangin. Huminto din kami sa park at doon ay masaya kaming kumain at nagbigayan ng pagkain.
Dumaan kami sa Italya, Nice, Monaco at pagdating kinabukasan maliwanag ang araw at magaganda ang tanawin kaya
mga kamera ay naglabasan at kanya-kanyang kuha ng larawan. August 16, 2012 na iyon at dumating kami ng
Lourdes ng mga a las 9:30 ng gabi sa mismong tapat ng
hotel, hindi na namin ibinaba ang aming bagahe dahil huli
na kami sa prosisyon.
Dali-dali kaming bumili ng kandila sa tabi-tabing tindahan
doon na may tindang religious articles and souvenirs. Mabilis kaming nakarating sa harapan ng Simbahan na puno
ng maraming-maraming tao na nanggaling sa ibat-ibang
bansa: ang tanging liwanag lamang ay mga kandila na may
sindi, may mga nag Ro-rosaryo na ibat-ibang salita, bawat
mesteryo ng rosaryo, habang ang karwahe ng rebolto ng
Mahal na Birhen na nasa loob ng salamin. Ang suot ay mahabang puting damit at may sinturong asul, may taklob sa
Ulo na puti, at may korona habang pino-prosisyon na siya
lang ang tanging maliwanag dahil ang ilaw ng karwahe ay di
-koryente. Napapaligiran ng mga lalaki ang karwahe ang
rebolto ng Mahal na Birhen.
niyang kapaligiran ay maputing-maputi din. Mabilis ang
pangyayari at bigla siyang nawala sa paningin ko. Nang namalayan ko, ang karwahe ng rebolto ng Mahal na Birhen ay
Ang pakiramdam ko noong mawala
ay parang hindi ako makagalaw sa kinatatayuan ko.
Nag sign of the cross na lang
ako nang mapansin ko na
talagang wala na. Noong
tinanong ko ang anak ko
kung nakita niya ang Mahal
na Birhen na ang suot ay
puting-puting damit, sabi
niya ay, "Hindi, po, Mama"
at ako daw ay nakatulala,
hindi naman daw ako kumuha ng larawan!
Nakatulog kami ng gabing
yoon at kinabukasan August
17, 2012 bumalik uli kami sa
“malaking simbahan ng
Lourdes”, naki-misa kami sa
harapan ng Grotto kasama ng maraming may mga kapansanan at mga nag se-serbisyo doon ng walang bayad. Naandoon din sa tabi ng Grotto ang dumadaloy na bendisyon na
tubig, may nabibili din doong lalagyan ng tubig. Mayroon
din doon na mga maliliit na pools na di-kurtina. Sa harapan
ng bawat pool ay ang Imahin ng Mahal na Birhen. Tatlong
(3) babae ang nasa loob ng bawat pool: isang taga-dasal at
taga bigay ng tuwalya at dalawang nasa loob ng pool na
nag ta-tapis at humahawak bago kami ilulubog sa malamig
na tubig. Mabilis at hindi makikitang hubad. Pagkatapos
pumunta na kami sa bundok. Sa katabi din yoon ng simbahan, at doon kami ay nag Way of the Cross.
Pitong (7) metro ang
layo sa amin ng anak ko
Yoong pag-papakita ay nanoong kinunan ko ng Ang buo niyang kapaligiran ay maputing-maputi ...
pakagandang inspirasyon sa
larawan ang rebolto ng
akin, lalo na akong nagMahal na Birhen. Sabi
karoon ng pagmamahal sa
ko sa anak ko, "Madilim ang kuha ko, uulitin ko uli pag nasa
Mahal na Ina. Tuloy-tuloy ang pag “RO-ROSARYO” ko at
-tapat na ng linya natin." Noong nasa tapat na namin ang
rebolto, sabi ko sa anak ko, "Pakihawak ng bag ko at kunan
ko uli ng larawan." Noong tinapat ko na ang kamera nasa
Basta napakasaya ko dahil nag-pakita ang Mahal na Birhen
gitna ng monitor ang Rebolto ng Mahal na Birhen, pero
sa akin. At lalo na ang paniwala ko sa Mahal na Birhen ay
hindi pa ako nasiyahan, kaya’t medyo binaba ko ng kaunti
walang kapantay na Ina ng ating Panginoong si Jesus. Alam
ang kamera para talagang gusto kong makita na maayos
ko na binindisyunan kami sa pamamagitan ng kanyang
ang pag-kuha ko.
anak na si Jesus noong oras na nandoon kami sa Lourdes,
Hindi ko na na click ang kamera, dahil nakita ko ang Mahal
na Birhen na naka-suot ng mahabang puting-puti na damit,
Maayos kaming nakabalik ng Vienna na ang lahat ay masaang takip sa ulo ay puting-puti, ang mukha niya ay putingya.
puti din. Mabait ang ganda niya, maganda ang mata at ang
hugis ng ilong ay maganda rin, medyo nakayuko, masaya
Myrna D. Krenovsky
siyang naka-ngiti sa akin at nagka-tinginan kami. Ang buo
PASTULAN Vol. 9, No. 1
Über Papst Emeritus Benedikt XVI.
(As a gesture of my deep gratitude to Pope Benedict
XVI, I have tried to write something in German, the
Pope’s original language. I would like to thank also
Ulrike Kruh, my German language tutor, for the invaluable assistance.)
Ich erinnere mich, dass mein Herz mit
Freude gefüllt war, als der deutsche Kardinal Joseph Ratzinger damals Papst geworden ist. Ich hatte den Eindruck, dass die
katholische Kirche in guten
Händen ist. Er ist ein demütiger und heiliger Mensch und
außerdem ein großer Intellektueller. Nach seiner Proklamation zum neuen Papst
mit dem Namen Benedikt
XVI. bezeichnete er sich als
"einfachen und bescheidenen Arbeiter im Weinberg
Nach Ansicht der Medien
war Papst Benedikt XVI.
unbeliebt, weil er keine Lösungen auf die
Fragen der zeitgenössischen Menschen
gehabt hätte. Aber dieser Papst war ein
Denker und großer Theologe, er hatte nur
wenige seelsorgerische Erfahrungen. Und
die Medien gingen noch weiter in ihrer
Kritik: sie behaupteten, dass er normale
Menschen nicht verstanden hätte. Außerdem hatten die liberalen Katholiken nach
seiner Wahl zum Papst Angst, weil er ein
Präfekt der Kongregation für die Glaubenslehre war, wo er als konservativer Kardinal
Nach acht Jahren bin ich zur Ansicht gekommen, dass diese anfängliche Reaktion
absolut irreführend war. Benedikt XVI.
scheint ein Mensch der Überraschungen zu
sein. Er veröffentlichte, zum Beispiel, am
25. Januar 2006 seine erste Enzyklika
"Deus Caritas est" (auf Deutsch: "Gott ist
Liebe"), wo man das
Wichtigste, der Kern der
lesen kann. Nicht nur war
Benedikt XVI. ein Papst
mit großem Verstand,
sondern er war auch ein
sanften Herzen. Michael
Novak, Professor der Ave
hat in einem Artikel geschrieben, dass Papst
Benedikt XVI. ein ruhiger, in sich eingekehrter Gelehrter war. Laut ihm sind die
Schriften dieses Papstes "Zeitbomben" für
noch mindestens zwei Generationen
(http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michaelnovak/pope-benedict-xviresignation_b_2712806.html). Der Theologe Paul Zulehner hat in einem Interview
gesagt, dass Benedikt XVI. "einer der größten Theologen auf dem Papstthron" war
(Kurier, Mittwoch, 13. Februar 2013). Ich
bin davon überzeugt, dass Benedikt XVI.
die Menschen näher zu Gott gebracht hat.
Benedikt XVI. ist ein wirklich demütiger Gelehrter. So schrieb er im Vorwort im ersten
Band seiner drei Bücher über Jesus von Nazareth, "Gewiss, brauche ich nicht eigens zu
sagen, dass dieses Buch in keiner Weise ein
lehramtlicher Akt ist, sondern einzig Ausdruck meines persönlichen Suchens 'nach
dem Angesicht des Herrn' (vgl. Psalm
27,8). Es steht daher jedermann frei, mir zu
widersprechen. Ich bitte die Leserinnen und
Leser nur um jenen Vorschuss an Sympathie,
ohne den es kein Verstehen gibt."
Sein Rücktritt hat die Welt überwältigt. In
seiner Ansprache vor dem Angelus am 24.
Februar 2013, sagte er: "Der Herr hat mich
gerufen, auf den Berg zu steigen, mich noch
tiefer dem Gebet und der Meditation zu
widmen. Doch das bedeutet nicht, dass ich
die Kirche alleine lasse; im Gegenteil, wenn
Gott diesen Schritt von mir verlangt, dann
gerade zu dem Zweck, damit ich ihr weiterhin mit derselben Hingabe und Liebe kann,
wie ich es bisher zu tun versucht habe, nur
auf eine Weise, die meinem Alter und meinen Kräften angemessener ist."
Gott segne Papst Emeritus Benedikt XVI.! Ich
möchte vom ganzen Herzen sagen, "Danke!"
Father Jose Conrado “Dongdong” Estafia
Pizza with Ninong
With all the news about the conclave, it makes you wonder what
really goes on behind the scenes in the Vatican during such times.
When Cardinal Rosales was installed as a Cardinal in 2006, I was
lucky enough to be there - not only to attend celebrations, but to
really be a part of it.
priests, bishops, archbishops and cardinals from the airport, my
mom was to check the menu for the weekend and go shopping if
needed, and I was made runner of the nuns and ended up relaying
messages, arranging flowers, washing dishes and reporting what
was going on in the rest of the Collegio.
Cardinal Rosales has been close to our family since my mom herself was just a kid. When my sister and I were still very young, and
he was still a Bishop, he would stay with us in our very small
apartment and sometimes even get stuck sharing a room with the
two of us. When he later became Archbishop of Lipa, he was the
one who officiated my Confirmation. When he asked who I had
chosen to be my Ninong his reply was "huwag na lang ‘yon, ako na
lang!" And so, I am one of his proud ina-anaks and have called him
Ninong ever since.
The day of the consistory came, my mom and uncle were lucky
enough to have seats during the mass at the very front with siblings of Ninong Cardinal. My dad and I joined the priests from the
Collegio and stood amongst the sea of people who gathered to be
a part of the historical moment. This part of the celebrations is
often televised, so I don't need to tell you how amazing it was!
What followed next is the experience that has stayed with me the
News reached us that he was to be appointed Cardinal of Manila
and we immediately booked our flights to Rome. I was expecting a
weekend of attending masses, prayers and listening to speeches
by the Pope. Little did I know, it would be much more than that.
As frequent visitors of the Collegio Filipino and being close to
Ninong Cardinal, we were assigned with tasks for the weekend as
soon as we landed. My dad and uncle were to pick up attending
After lunch at the Collegio with the Filipino community of Rome,
family members of the Cardinal, clergy and visitors from the Philippines, Ninong Cardinal was to return to the Vatican. There all
the newly appointed Cardinals were allocated a spot in the Vatican to meet and greet the people. Ninong Cardinal, his two secretaries, my parents, my uncle and myself all piled into the white
van of the Collegio, driven by no less than the Rector of the Colle(Continued on page 4)
"You’re too young to understand what the world wants you to
know." Well, that is not a concern of mine anymore. I’m fed-up
with things that pertain to the world. I’m sure you have heard a
lot about drugs, illicit sexual liaisons, alcoholism, food obsessions,
and the pleasurable lifestyle. And none of them can ever guarantee our path to pre-destined sainthood— it is plain sinful. As an
adopted child of God, I am actually concerned about what my
faith can teach me and how I can apply it according to God’s will.
Everyone's soul has an eternal crown waiting for him/her after
death and that can be attained if you are already purified before
death, assumingly. But if someone dies without even struggling to
purify himself whilst he is still alive, then purgatory is the place.
Souls with mortal sin are an exception though. Surely, having that
seat in heaven comes with a great price. It takes spiritual maturity
to overcome trials.
Spiritual maturity - as opposed to emotional and physical maturity
- is definitely metaphysical. You connect and you live in a spiritual
plane. Physical maturity is something you can observe with the
five senses, as the natural sciences obviously teach. That goes as
well with emotional maturity. You can evaluate it in a temporal
level. But spiritual maturity is something hidden, unseen, and
unique to every individual. It does not involve the five senses, but
instead you use your soul and spirit. And it is the exact opposite. It
is what our Lord Jesus addressed to St. Maria Faustina as "spiritual
childhood." You become spiritually mature by becoming child-like
and simple in spirit and soul. It involves a total surrender to our
heavenly Father's providential care — total abandonment of our
own plans, opinions, and self-will that are instead replaced by
radical trust in God.
As far as being childlike is concerned, I consider Catholic life right
now as a simple Tetris game. I know I just started with level one
with that mark from my Baptism, and now here I am still struggling to clear off all the levels that I stumble upon. It’s a neverending adrenaline rush.
tiles that don’t fit at all. And that makes one cranky and panicky.
Similarly, God is a God of amazing surprises. He knows what you
need and want, and then He blesses you in the most unbelievable
way. Be ready since blessings come in unexpected packages: many
times you perceive those blessings as curses, but in fact, they are
really meant for your spiritual progress. And you just realize it a
little too late.
Thirdly, being faced with different tile sequences, you think quicker and wiser. You then know what tiles will necessarily fill your
space. Hence, you put the tiles in the right place, where they
should really be. In a similar fashion, God wants us to practice
simplicity through His holy counsel and wisdom. Simplicity, as a
requirement for spiritual childhood, does not only apply to physical terms. You need to rid your mind of irrelevant things and instead fill it with His words. Your soul is the only reservoir that
holds God’s wisdom.
In Tetris, you also need to know that your goals are simply to fill
yourself up with tiles and use those tiles wisely so that you can
clear yourself and be, at least, empty at the end of every level.
And by emptying your block, you eventually win that stressinducing stage. Well, this is awfully remindful of acceptance, love
and generosity. This is exactly what we Catholics really need to do:
empty or give of ourselves in order to receive. It’s a definite cycle
of sharing, emptying, and receiving God’s grace.
For the most part, the case of Tetris and spiritual childhood is an
analogy that simply tells us that quitting is never an option in the
journey of faith; that being a spiritual child is certainly more advantageous than being wise with the world; and that submission
to His Holy Will is, by far, the most pleasing to the eyes of God
than any other form of sacrifice and offering. In whatever situation you are in right now, smile because God gave you a game
worthwhile finishing. Enjoy it like a child.
Christine Marie M. Sia
In this game, you always try to avoid erroneous moves as you
encounter each level of difficulty. Likewise, you also learn from
your past mistakes and try not to commit blunders in your life
since you know they can damage you badly. Secondly, you don’t
know what tile will exactly come out. And sometimes, there are
Pizza with Ninong, continued ...
(Continued from page 3)
gio, now Bishop Stud, and headed back to the Vatican. When we
arrived, limousines were pulling up to the entrance, and there we
were cramped into the van which was not the newest. This is typical for Ninong Cardinal - low key, no fuss and easy going. We were
welcomed by one of the Vatican officials who led us to the place
where Ninong Cardinal was to stand and meet the people for the
next couple of hours. We walked through the Sistine Chapel which
was closed to the public at this time, and past the Swiss Guards
who were all saluting at us. We walked through rooms that are
normally not open to the public and were given a little tour of the
Vatican. Usually packed with tourists, the Sistine Chapel was silent
and peaceful, probably how it is during the conclave.
Apart from us and the other Cardinals being led to their spots, it
was empty and purely breathtaking. We reached the spot assigned to Ninong Cardinal, it was exactly in front of the balcony from
where the newly appointed Pope appears! No words can describe
the feeling that overcame me standing there. For the next four
hours we stood beside Ninong Cardinal while he greeted wellwishers and gave statements to the press. When the crowd thinned out, it was time to retrace our footsteps back through the
rooms of the Vatican and back into the van. The night would have
not been complete without pizza and again - typical of Ninong
Cardinal - we did not go to a fancy restaurant but instead stood on
the busy streets of Rome each enjoying a slice of pizza, a portare.
(Author‘s name withheld on request)
PASTULAN Vol. 9, No. 1
It worked ...
Some of you may have experienced the love
of God, in one way or another. With me, He
used people and situations to manifest His
great love for me. I am so blessed. Here’s my
3 December 2012 is a date that will forever
have a most special meaning to me. It was on
this day that I underwent angioplasty, the
narrowed or obstructed arteries of the heart.
A stent may or may not be inserted to ensure
the vessel remains open. In my case, a stent
was inserted. But that is the end of the story,
so let me start from the very beginning.
Last year I discovered that I had cataracts in
both eyes when I went to an optician to have
my eyeglasses checked because I was having
difficulty in reading, especially the tiny print
of my bible. I planned to consult an ophthalmologist here in Vienna, but a family
emergency brought my wife and me to the
Philippines unexpectedly. While in Manila I
saw two more opticians who both confirmed
the findings of the Vienna optician. As a
result of this I felt that I just had to see an
ophthalmologist who, in the end, advised me
to have the cataracts removed from both
eyes as soon as possible.
Upon our return to Vienna, a sister in our
Couples for Christ community referred me to
a good eye doctor. After just a couple of
visits, a schedule was made for my operation.
He ordered that I go through the usual
clearances before an operation: several lab
tests and ECG. My wife and I thought that we
might as well do a routine general medical
examination, and so we did. When the results
of the tests came out, our General Practitioner advised me to see a cardiologist. I didn’t
put any meaning to it because I thought that
it was just part of the routine.
I decided that I will go to my wife’s cardiologist, Dr. Gunther Kornfeld. He is a very good
and competent internist, so much so, that
when my wife tried to fix an appointment
with his secretary, the earliest time that was
given to me was 31 January 2013, or more
than 2 months later. That was, of course,
unacceptable to me as my eye operation,
which was originally scheduled for 27 November 2012, would now have to take place at a
much later date because of the pending
clearance from the cardiologist. I therefore
looked on-line for another heart doctor and
found one, Dr. Michael Lanik.
It was at this point that I started to clearly see
God’s Hand orchestrating the big surprises,
which were starting to unfold. On 29 November 2012, while having dinner, the phone
rang. And guess who was on the line? It was
none other than Dr. Kornfeld, himself, telling
me that our GP called him to check if I had
already gone to see him. He apologized because his secretary had turned me down
when my wife tried to get me an appointment with him. He said that he didn’t realize
that my case was urgent. He thought I just
needed a simple clearance for my eye operation. He told me to see him the next day at
the Donauspital. Still my wife and I didn’t see
anything extraordinary about the whole
thing, but we were pleasantly surprised and
grateful that he took the time to call me.
So, the following day came — Friday, 30 November 2012 — and I went to the Donauspital Ambulanz with my wife. After another
round of tests, Dr. Kornfeld called me into his
office to discuss the results. He told me that
if I wanted to, I could call my wife to join me
so that we both could hear what he had to
say. We couldn’t believe it when he said that
my heart was sick and it was so sick that I
should immediately be admitted to the hospital. My wife and I were stunned, and refused
to agree with his suggestion of an immediate
admittance. We said we needed more time to
absorb all that he was telling us because after
all I didn’t feel any symptoms of a serious
heart ailment. But he was very firm about it –
away, no ifs or buts.
On Monday morning, 3 December
2012, I was wheeled
into the operating
room, holding in my
hand the cross that
my wife had given
me to hold. There in
the operating room
I met Dr. Lanik for
the first time, the
same Dr. Lanik who
had only been my
I was nervous, of course, and anxious about
what will be done to me and what will happen to me if something went wrong. I prayed
silently while holding the cross in my right
hand. While praying, I saw blood squirt from
my wrist where the catheter was inserted.
Dye was injected into my vein, which made
me feel warm. In the middle of the procedure, the doctor stopped and informed me
that the blockage was situated in an artery
which was not straight and had three bends.
To place the stent there would be extremely
difficult because while maneuvering through
the bends he had to make sure not to hit and
damage the wall of the artery. In that case
there was a very high risk that I will bleed,
and clotting can occur as I am diabetic. At the
time of the operation, my blood sugar level
was over 300. The ideal level was 110 maximum. Understandably, he was very concerned. So he asked me the toughest QUES-
TION that was ever posed to me, "Would you
like me to go ahead or stop now?" If he stopped, the procedure would have to be postponed until my blood sugar went down. But
he also told me that if I wanted, he can still
proceed despite the danger. He asked me to
think about it and after 2 minutes he will
come back to get my answer. I got more
nervous and didn’t know what to think. My
wife at this moment was not with me and I
had no one to talk to, nor consult with, for
the right response to the doctor’s question.
Eventually, a thought came into my mind – I
am not alone in this. There is someone with
me, someone who has always been with me,
someone who has never left my side.
There was no other way to deal with it but to
pray to Him. The realization was so vivid and
clear – God held my life in the palm of His
hand. So, in all humility I told Him, "God I
surrender myself to You. " I also asked Him to
please guide and help my doctor. After that
short but serious conversation with Him, I felt
confident, so I told the doctor to proceed.
Those were the most intense moments of my
describe what I felt when I heard those two
words. At that, point tears started to flow
from my eyes, and I just praised and thanked
God for saving me from possible death.
At that moment, it was clear to me that God
had manifested yet again His love for me. I,
unworthy and sinful, could not imagine that I
deserve this kind of love. So, when He
presented to me the extension of my "life
contract" I immediately signed it.
This experience made me realize that I am a
recipient of real love and that the least I can
do to repay the Giver is to serve Him more. I
love you, Lord, and while in this world, I will
always defend and proclaim my faith. Amen.
My angel in heaven
January 2, 2013 has been the saddest day of our lives. It
was when our own son, Jeffrey, left us to be in a better
place with God.
Death is the final point in life that is very difficult to confront. One is never prepared for the loss of a loved one,
especially if it is your own son. Whilst our lives are transformed by such loss, it does not necessarily need to be for the
worse in the long term.
My faith in God has
given me the strength
to deal effectively and With Jesus at my side, it is
positively with the loss
of Jeffrey. We grieve in
a way that is our very own. When the fact is understood
and accepted we begin to find a little security and happiness along the way. When there is faith, you feel secured. I
believe that God will take care of Jeffrey. A great source of
my strength in this difficult time has been my family. The
support and prayers from relatives and friends, and also
from the community, were a huge factor too. They shared
advice, gave encouraging words and cared eminently.
I had a dream on the 4th day of the padasal for Jeffrey. He
was hugging me tight and I was crying a lot. My husband
woke me up as he became worried about my actions. The
moment I woke up, I saw a very bright light in the
surroundings. I then believed that Jeffrey is already in
The next day, my 4-year old granddaughter told her mother
that she also dreamt about Jeffrey. She saw him: he is
healthy and was hugging and smiling at her. The same goes
for my daughter-in-law, and in her dream Jeffrey was com-
forting her. He was dressed in white and his face was shining.
It is heartbreaking to know that I am now without my son.
During the time Jeffrey was in the hospital, hope wasn't on
our side to save him, but the best way to think is to manage
things as best as we can. Death forces us to look deeper
into the purpose of our life. This generates a number of
questions. What is the reason? His purpose? And so much
more. Answering these
questions might motivate
us to change our lifestyle,
easier to accept things ...
live a more meaningful
existence, improve our
character and love more.
We may also discover that life is more meaningful when we
value others and their needs.
With Jesus at my side, it is easier to accept things that happened to my son. God has a reason and no one can answer
that ... in due time maybe we will all understand why. For a
mother, it is difficult indeed to see your child die. We instinctively say, "Take me instead!" You will do anything for
your child to keep him alive. Now I felt what God experienced when Jesus died on the cross.
I feel how lucky I am to
already have one Angel
in heaven, and for that I
will keep praising and
thanking Jesus, our God.
I dreamt about Lolo on Friday that I was in Starbucks and waiting for Ninong Noel. After my dad
ordered Melange my Lola called me to go down
with her to get a Cola. After some minutes of
waiting my Lola told me Lolo was waiting outside. I went to see if was Lolo and it was him, my
sister and I ran to him. He was wearing a
“gentleman’s” outfit and he said to me “I miss
you, I am up in heaven now, I will send you more
dreams of me” I said “Wait what this is just a
dream?” he replied “Yes” and that was my
On Sunday I was with my Lola “darling” I looked
out her window and saw Lolo. I told ate Bernie
to look but then he was gone … this was not a
(Editor‘s note: Carmella is 9 years old, and she wrote this
letter three days after the funeral on 22 March 2013 of her
Lolo Jess Ramos. The letter is reproduced here, just as Carmella wrote it.)
PASTULAN Vol. 9, No. 1
Maalaala mo kaya?
Firstly, with joy in my heart and together with the entire family, we thank Yahweh El Shaddai for all the blessings He had
bestowed upon us.
Secondly, I would like to thank Yahweh El Shaddai`s vineyard Vienna Chapter - with Yahweh`s help, through the intercession
of Blessed Mother.
For the past eight years, my family and I longed to join the
Gawain, but due to an expected chaos that befell the members, we were not allowed to serve God and were prohibited
from attending the Gawain here in Vienna. The said situation
saddened me so much because I felt that my life was meaningless during that long period of persecution, nevertheless, I
respected the decision of the group. I remained silent, never
seeking compassion and solidarity from anyone. I just entrusted all the perils and persecution I`ve been through to Yahweh
because I believed that He is all-knowing. In addition, I prayed
incessantly that, in His time He would lift me up again and
bring me back to serve in His vineyard with my strong belief or
faith. I kept in mind John 8:32 "The truth will set you free" for I
was certain that I never hurt nor persecuted anyone, nor did I
do anything wrong against the foundation, but rather, with all
humility I can say that I did my very best to remain loyal and
obedient to the foundation.
Words cannot describe my overwhelming joy when I was able
to bring back not only my family, but also some other members who had become spiritually lukewarm not only for the
Gawain, but even to the church. The joy and happiness of
singing, dancing, leaping and worshipping Him is indeed a great feeling.
Ang sabi sa Songs (Awit) 37:4 "Sa Diyos mo hanapin ang kaligayahan at ang ang pangarap mo’y iyong makakamtan. " This
is what gives me strength to go on, further serving Yahweh`s
very cause. Indeed, I offer the assurance of my continued
Faith, Love, Loyalty and Obedience.
Tuwing daratal ang kwaresma’y laging nasok sa gunita
Mga tinamong paghihirap ng ating Dios na lumikha
Ibinato ang paratang na S’ya raw ay nagkasala
Kahit alam ng balana na malinis ang puso N’ya
Ito’y silbing paalala sa kahinaan ng tao
Na kahit na hanggang ngayo’y ginagawa natin ito
Hindi pa man nababatid kung ano ang punot-dulo
Hahatulan na kaagad lalo pa nga’t kagalit mo
Meron namang akala mo siya ay banal na tutuo
Ang katulad naman nila’y itong mga pareseo
Sa oras ng kagipita’y hingan mo ng tulong ito
At doon mo malalaman kung siya nga ay kapatid mo
Meron namang palasimba at mahilig mag-ayuno
Lalo pa nga at kwaresma, ang tingin mo siya ay santo
Ngunit kapag nagkamali sa kanya ang kapwa-tao
Agad niyang mumurahin mula paa hanggang ulo
Ang mensahe ng kwaresma’y atin kayang himaymayin
Ito ba ang gusto ng Dios na marapat natin gawin
Ito ba ang siyang dahilan, pagkamatay para sa ’tin
Sigurado akong hindi, pagkat iba ang layunin
Pag-ibig ang siyang dahilan, ng pagbaba N’ya sa lupa
Sala ni Eva at ni Adan ibig din N’ya na mawala
Pag-ibig ng Diyos Ama sa tao na kanyang likha
Kaya bugtong Niyang Anak, ang hirap ay tinamasa
Pan-tao man o pang-anghel na salita ay bigkasin
Kahit ako’y magpropesya at Biblia ay alamin
Kahit ilipat ko ang bundok, ipamigay ang sa akin
Lahat ito’y walang silbi, kung pag-ibig ay wala rin
Sana‘y huwag masasaktan ang sinumang tatamaan
Pagkat ito’y isa lamang paalala kanino man
Wala akong tinutukoy, kahit ako’y kasama diyan
Mahalaga lamang sana, isipin at pagmunian.
Girlie A. Cadacio
Bro. Jun Rico
Annual Lenten recollection
Msgr. Marnito Bansig from the Diocese of Maasin in Southern Leyte
was our facilitator at the annual
Lenten recollection held on 22
March 2013. Citing Genesis 1:26-27,
he reminded us that we are made in
the "image" of God and that God‘s
challenge to us is to bring that
image to perfection, i.e., to His
"likeness". He touched on the dimensions of "love" according to
Pope John Paul II, and invited reflection on the story of the prodigal son
in Luke 15:11-32.
A benefit concert in Ottobrunn (Germany)
The St. Otto Parish, in Ottobrunn
(Germany) held a benefit concert on
11 November 2012 for the Institute of
Mary Queen of Heaven Missionaries
(MQHM) in Cebu. The concert was
organized by Christoph Koscielny, who
was formerly the organist of the Maria
vom Berge Karmel parish and who
now resides in Ottobrunn. The main
choir guest performer was the Filipino
Choir (FCCC), under
the baton of Father
MQHM has three
1. Home of Love
(MQHM Rehabilitation and Livelihood Training
Center for Women and Children
Victims of Prostitution),
2. Feeding Program
- the mission is to uplift the dignity
of human lives through the provision of basic necessities - particularly to the poor - through feeding,
educational, livelihood, medical
assistance, and spiritual formation
in order to live a decent life; and
3. Educational Assistance Program – in
particular, the High School Assistance Program was chosen to be
the recipient of the proceeds of the
benefit concert in Ottobrunn.
The High School assistance program
was started in 2007 to help the poor
from the rural areas. The pilot project
operated in Oslob (Cebu) and has
more than 200 high school students
since 2007. In 2011, the sisters extended the high school assistance program
to the towns of Boljoon, Santander
and Tuburan with 50 students from
each town. The students are provided
with school supplies, transportation
allowance, uniforms, shoes and bags.
Spiritual formation is also provided.
There are yearly retreats, leadership
trainings and team building to help the
students develop their personality and
moral values. The sisters, together
with lay volunteers and tertiary members or “Mission Partners” as they are
called, monitor the grades of the students.
The concert was truly a memorable
experience for the FCCC for several
reasons. Firstly, we were able to perform for such an appreciative audience, who even gave us a standing
ovation at the end of the concert. Secondly, we were able to make new
friends in the persons of our gracious
host families, who very eagerly made
all efforts to make our short stay with
them comfortable. Thirdly, and more
importantly, we were able to contribute actively to raising funds to help
send needy children in the Philippines
How very heartwarming
it was, to experience our
sharing their treasures to
help our less fortunate
brothers and sisters in
the Philippines, particularly the children in Cebu. Their donations will,
indeed, go a long way
toward shaping the children’s future. It is a fact
that illiteracy and poverty go hand in hand,
and providing education
is the only solution to breaking the
vicious cycle. Education brings about
change in the family and the community. We thank God for generous and
kind-hearted people who continue to
share and to reach out to the less fortunate. It is in this outpouring of love
and support that the Christian values
of giving, and of loving one's neighbor
as oneself make this world a much
better place to live in.
(The MQHM Website is: www.mqhm.org)
Our energetic Youth Ministry
Maintaining their momentum, our Youth Ministry continues
to be very active in Community life:
They support the formation of this year’s 23 Confirmands, acting as Ate’s and Kuya’s
They organized their own Valentines’s day party, which
was attended by more than 100 youths
They lead the praying of
the Holy Rosary before our
Community Masses, and
have taken responsibility
for reading the Prayers of the Faithful , and helping with
the collection. Allelulia!!
PASTULAN Vol. 9, No. 1
The process of "Jesus of Nazareth — The Light of Life"
The play “Jesus of Nazareth – The Light of Life“ (Ed. note:
presented by the Youth Ministry in December 2012) was
written by Sister Claire Marie, and was the continuation of
the play “Jesus of Nazareth” of the year 2011. Because of
the successful accomplishment in that year, we had decided to produce another play, directed this time by Adel,
as Sister Claire had meanwhile returned to Texas.
The production started during the summer break. At the
beginning, we had a few workshops to train ourselves for
the play. The workshops were amusing and a great experience. The actual practice for the play began in August. We
started that early because it was clear that, starting in September the youth would again need more time for their
studies. The production went quite slowly but we were able
to finish on time. Many youths were willing to help us out,
and also they enjoyed themselves. It was not just youth
who lent a hand, but also several singers, choirs, young
children and their parents, and, of course, our titas, who
provided us with food during our practices and also managed our costumes and props that we needed for the play.
However, this theatre piece is divided into two acts: the
birth, the miracles, and the crucifixion of Christ on the one
hand, and the opposition between good and evil, on the
The first theme was “Bring me to life” that shows adolescents choosing the wrong path in their lives, by drinking
alcohol, taking drugs, smoking, stealing and committing
other sins. Jesus is helping the youth to stay on the right
path. The young adults should have faith in Him and trust
Him, because He guides us to the right direction. This play
demonstrates the pain, which Jesus has taken for us, but
also the joy of life. We should appreciate little things more
in our lives.
This theater piece should make us realize what Jesus/God
has done for us. Because of Him we live a great life. He
shows us the right way. We should be thankful to have Him
in our lives, although we cannot see, smell or touch Him; He
is always by our side.
Through the play we want to express our love for God. We
would like our impressions to reach the audience to make
them see the true meaning of the Advent time/Christmas.
During Advent we excitedly are waiting for the birth of
Christ. With this time of the year the church calendar
begins from the start again. This time of the year should be
a joyous occasion.
From the Legion of Mary
Remember me … I’m Linda B from
Legion of Mary. I wanted to share with
you our apostolate work and some of
our activities as Legionaries.
Präsidium I – headed by President
Dina Godts – focuses on the motivation and prayer with kababayans in
Burgenland, Wiener Neustadt and
Präsidium II – with President Evangeline Wolf – assisting the old and sick
patients in Fortuna Seniorenheim to
attend the gospel reading and on the
last Friday of every month to hear
mass with our Chaplaincy priest.
Präsidium III – with President Charito
Mina – concentrating on the shopping
mall and street apostolate by distributing miraculous medals, rosaries and
some religious articles.
We have additional apostolate work
such as bringing the two statues of Mama Mary to Filipino families, arranging
the floral decorations in the church,
recruitment and encouragement to
attend the Legion of Mary and to hear
mass every Sunday.
wag daw diyan ay "fasting." Halos lahat ng matatanda ay nagpapassion.
Tulad ng ina namin, halos mabingi
kaming magkakapatid, umpisa sa umaga hanggang gabi passion ng passion,
makatulugan na naming at magisnan
sa umaga kanta pa rin.
We participate actively in services and
activities in the Chaplaincy including
Simbang Gabi, Feast of the Sto . Niño,
and the recent Valentine’s Day celebration.
Ngayon, matanda na ako, hinahanaphanap ko ang nakaraan pero mahirap
ng maibalik lalo pa’t nasa Vienna na
May kuwento ako …
Noong bata pa ako sa amin sa Batangas
City, pagsapit ng kurisma, tahimik ang
lahat, sa labas man o sa tahanan. Hapon
pa lang, ang mga bata ay nasa loob na
ng bahay, wala nang nag-lalaro sa kalsada. Pagsapit ng Biernes santo, maraming
bawal, bawal kumain ng karne, hangga’t
maaari huwag ka nang kakain, ang ta-
Kaya, heto ang munti kong mensahe
Lahat ng bawal sa mahal na araw ay
dapat natin sundin. Walang masama
kung susundin natin ang matandang
kaugalian. Pilipino pa rin tayo.
Mary Immaculate … pray for us!
Thank you for €2500 donation to victims of Typhoon Pablo
Many months have passed since we received
news of the devastation in northern Mindanao
caused by Typhoon Pablo. Our Community reacted quickly, and raised funds to send to our kababayans through the Catholic Bishops Conference
of the Philippines. Here is the text of a letter
dated 18 February 2013 and addressed to Father
possible, and with the support of generous benefactors like you, we are now embarking on a
project "Balik-Bahay" and "Balik-Kapilya" program. This is providing low-cost but modest shelters — duplex houses — and Chapels to typhoonravaged families and communities. With your
help, we hope to rebuild the lives of our people
in great difficulty at this time.
"This is to acknowledge receipt of your generous
donations in the amount of PHILIPPINE PESOS:
ONE HUNDRED THIRTY FOUR THOUSAND SEVEN
HUNDRED FIFTY and 0/100 (PhP134,750.00) (CR
No. 17791) for the typhoon-Pablo-ravaged families and communities in the Diocese of Tagum.
Again, I thank you for your financial assistance
and for your concern and solidarity with our people in great need at this point in time.
Attached, please find the acknowledgement receipt and other information which you may find
Please know that aside from giving relief goods
and medicines to as many calamity victims as
Cordially in the Lord,
+Wilfredo D. Manlapaz, DD, SThD
Bishop of Tagum"
THANK YOU TO EVERYONE for the generous support for this initiative of our Community.
German language courses for our Community?
During his recent visit with our Community, State Secretary for Integration Sebastian Kurz raised the idea
of having a Deutschsprachkurs program to be held at
the Chaplaincy and funded by his office.
He was impressed by the big attendance in the mass,
and acknowledged the vital contribution of Pinoys in
the workforce of Austria and for the fidelity to Christi-
He invited young Filipinos — especially those who
have a passion for integration and can speak not only
Deutsch but also English and other languages — to
apply for a job in his office.
He plans to visit us again.
10 years at Pfarre Maria vom Berge Karmel
How time flies!
Without our realizing it, ten years have passed since
Cardinal Christoph Schönborn gave our Community
our spiritual home at Pfarre Maria vom Berge Karmel! This calls for a celebration, and discussions
have, indeed, started to plan the nature and extent
of activities in this connection.
Cardinal Tagle has agreed to include in his
calendar a visit to Vienna to join our festivities, and we now await the signal from his
office for his availability.
Get ready to mark your calendars ....
PASTULAN Vol. 9, No. 1
Our recent visitors
On the third Sunday in January 2013, we celebrated the Feast of the Sto. Niño
with Holy Mass officiated by Father Bong Alejo. Her Excellency Amb. Lourdes
Yparraguirre and Cultural Attaché Antonia Bosa attended the Holy Mass with
procession of the images of the Sto. Niño, and the colouful Sinulog programme.
Thank you to the Sinulog Committee of the Kapunongan ng mga Bisaya sa Austria for once again organizing all the logistical details for this annual Community
2 January 2013 marked a very special occasion: the very first time that Holy
Mass was celebrated (in Tagalog and English) for our kababayans living in Wiener Neustadt and environs. About 40 families attended the service. The Capuchin monks at the St. Jacob‘s church have welcomed the idea of this regular
liturgical service, which will henceforth be held on the 4th Sunday of every
The initiative arose from the apostolate work of the Legion of Mary: the Legionaries bring the image of Mama Mary to households where there is a Filipina/no member, and teach them how to pray the rosary.
For the next year or so, our Lay Ministers and choirs will provide support to
Mara Seger and her team, until they themselves can fully handle the service
requirements for the liturgy. Needless to say, agape logistics work well!
Auxilliary Bishop Dr. Franz Scharl
celebrated our Community Mass
on 23 February 2013. In the
homily he asked the sacristans
some questions about their
faith, and he confirmed the importance of our Community in
the life of the Archdiocese of
State Secretary for Integration
Sebastian Kurz attended our
Community Mass on 10 March
2013. He was grateful for the
joyful welcome extended to
him, and stayed for agape.
YOU, your family, and your friends are cordially invited to our Community services and activities!
From our calendar
facilitated by Msgr. M. Bansig
Retreat of Confirmands,
Palm Sunday service
Jesus’ Time at Community Mass
Holy Mass for kababayans in Wr. Neustadt
Buses will leave MvBK for Way of the Cross at
Last Supper Mass
Buses will leave MvBK for Way of the Cross at
The procession will start at 10:00h from Petrineum.
The closest (bus) station is "Gussriegelstrasse" and can be
reached by taking:
Bus 65A from U1 "Reumannplatz", or
Bus 15A from U4 "Meidling Hauptstrasse" or U3
Or, take tram no. 1 to "Stefan Fadinger Platz"
Adoration of the Cross
Easter Sunday service followed by Community Day celebration
!! NO MASS AT DONAUCITY CHURCH !!
Community Mass at Donaucity Church
(Donaucitystr. 2, A-1220 Vienna
Take U1 to "Kaisermühlen/VIC")
Feast of St. Pedro Calungsod
Retreat facilitated by Father Cecil Lobrigas,
organized by the Divine Mercy Devotees
Feast of the Divine Mercy
Jesus’ Time at Community Mass
Please note that unless otherwise indicated, the venue for
all our services and activities is:
Maria vom Berge Karmel Church
Stefan Fadinger Platz 1, A-1100 Vienna.
Mass and Novena to Our Lady of Perpetual
Help at Donaucity Church
Mass and Novena to Our Lady of Perpetual
Help at Mariahilf Church
(Barnabitengasse 14, A-1060 Vienna
Take U3 to "Neubaugasse")
First Friday, Mass and Holy Hour
Holy Mass for kababayans in Linz
Jesus’ Time at Community Mass
Last Friday, Mass and Novena to Our Lady of
Holy Mass for kababayans in Wr. Neustadt
Jesus’ Time at Community Mass
Flores de Mayo, Linz Community
Santacruzan, followed by Community Mass
Holy Mass for kababayans in Wr. Neustadt
Corpus Christi procession,
with Austrian community
Anticipated Mass at St. Stephen's Cathedral
(Stephansplatz 1, A-1010 Vienna
Take U1 or U3 to "Stephansplatz")
Your articles are welcome!
Please provide them to any of our priests
for the next issue.
Thank you! Salamat po! Danke!
PASTULAN—The Official Newsletter of the Filipino Catholic Chaplaincy
(African, Asian and Latin American Catholic Communities, Archdiocese of Vienna, Austria)
Pfarre Maria vom Berge Karmel, Stefan Fadinger Platz 1, A-1100 Vienna
Tel.: +43 676 5075322
+43 676 5064820
+43 676 6074410
Fr. Ely C. Dalanon (Chaplain)
STAFF: Marizel Aguirre, MT Brittinger, Angie Castor-Estrada, Rhona Rectra
Fr. Bong Alejo (Asst. Chaplain)
PHOTOGRAPHERS: George Florendo, Volet Gerstl, Lito Ramos
Fr. Dongdong Estafia (Asst. Chaplain)
CONTRIBUTORS: Ever Caraan (El Shaddai), Boboy Clutario (FGS), Dina Olasa Godts (Legion of Mary), Nel Santayana (CFC),
Mila Sitthiprom (Divine Mercy), Charito Mina (Legion of Mary)
PASTULAN Vol. 9, No. 1