We devote ourselves especially to preaching the Word of God, sharper than any two-edged sword (Heb 4:12) in all forms- from studying and teaching it (Scripture, Theology, Liturgy) in the Christian formation of the youth following the model of the Oratory of St. John Bosco, up to preaching it in various places and occasions: Popular Missions (intensive pastoral missions) and the Spiritual Exercises (retreats), We also carry out works of charity with those most in need (abandoned children, the disabled, the sick, the elderly), working in houses for the physically and mentally disabled. To widely disseminate the Word to the world, we turn to the media: publications, journal. We also work for the Christian formation of the youth, carry out works of charity with those most in need (abandoned children, the disabled, the sick and the elderly).
Here in the Philippines, our Institute has organised different oratory groups for the children in different parishes, especially in our parish in Caloocan City. For them, we organize pilgrimages, trips, ‘Youth Days’, ‘Days of Formation’ and ‘Family Days’. Our priests also preach the Spiritual Exercises according to the Method of St. Ignatius of Loyola, which for hundreds of years has been praised by different popes and saints. Currently, we are working in four different children oratories and youth formation groups in different parishes near the seminary, online ministry, etc.
Every year, the priests of our Institute preach the Spiritual Exercises according to the Method of Saint Ignatius of Loyola.
What are the Spiritual Exercises? It is a retreat which follows an ordered sequence of meditations and contemplation, which leads the participants to a profound spiritual experience that Saint Ignatius lived during his conversion. It is called the ‘Spiritual Exercises’ by St. Ignatius, comparing it to our physical bodies which needs physical exercise to stay healthy. The same is true for our souls.
Why should I join the Spiritual Exercises? The goal of the Spiritual Exercises is to help the participants, after disposing their souls to free itself of all inordinate attachments, discover and discern the will of God for their lives. Through this, they are helped to make their resolutions and take important decisions in accordance with the will of God. This will also lead the participant to know the will of God in respect to his vocation.
How long does it take? Our priests preach the Spiritual Exercises from 3 to 5 days, to different participants (retreats to groups of men and women).
What shall I bring? Those who wish to participate need to bring a Bible, a notebook, their personal necessities and toiletries and most importantly a firm resolve to love God more concretely, fighting one’s self in order to be free to serve Him.
For more information about the Spiritual Exercises preached by our Institute in the Philippines, you may contact us.
Since January 2013, our Institute in the Philippines organizes the annual IVE Youth Day. The IVE Youth Day offers sacraments, formation and Christian joy to the young people. The Youth Day gives the youth the opportunity to share with other young people their experiences, encouraging each other along the way of faith and life, learning more about their faith and culture. These are done through different activities: Some of our priests and various guest speakers give talks which are centralized on important themes for the human and Christian formation of the participants. Various workshops are also offered to the youth. We then gather for a great feast, decorated with various cultural and musical performances, ending with a comedy skit which is meticulously prepared by the members of our Religious Family.
At the end of the day, we proceed in procession with the Blessed Virgin Mary to the chapel for a Holy Hour, and the whole day concludes with the Holy Mass.
We pray that through this activity, the young people may realize that they are bearers of hope, protagonists of the future, artisans of the future, as Pope Francis would say, through them, Christ is preparing a new springtime all over the world.
Each May, our Religious Family in the Philippines gather together in the Our Lady of Lujan Quasi-Parish, Bagong Barrio, Kalookan City, to join in the parochial activity of the Holy Mission. It is a one week intensive mission within the parochial territories , with each day divided into various themes. In the morning, we conduct house visits, bringing the Good News to every family, inquiring of their needs, especially with the sacraments. In recent years, we have been discovering more and more the need for the old people to receive the Anointing of the Sick. In the afternoon, the children and the youth are gathered for festive oratories and in the evening, talks on controversial topics and doctrines are given right before the celebration of Holy Mass. After Holy Mass, people are gathered in front of the parish for the performances prepared by the members of our Institute: cultural presentations and of course, comedy skits. The Holy Mission concludes with the feast of Our Lady of Lujan, which is celebrated in the parish every Second Sunday of May.
We must not complain about how the youth are behaving nowadays, if we have not been able to give them a beautiful Catholic experience when they were little infants and children. In line with this objective, we organize the Children’s Summer Camp. For some days, the children are gathered and are provided with integral training in all aspects of the child’s personality: emotion, will, intelligence, physical health and spirit. This is done through wholesome competitions, family and sporting games, arts, sciences, and work while proposing to them the highest Christian ideals.
Joy is our key, which comes from Mercy-especially through the sacraments of Eucharist and Confession, and Christian charity. Here, St. John Bosco is our model. For him, to love the children supernaturally is his system of educating the children. In the children’s camp, the little kids are provided time to do religious activities. This ensures a pious and familiar atmosphere, which will make them persevere in doing good.
Every summer, while the schools are on their break, our Institute organizes Youth Summer Camp. As Fr. Buela said, these camps our ‘school of life’, as we want to teach and entertain the youth with wholesome recreation, competitions, games while giving them good religious education through the daily Mass, prayers, and talks. Through these, the youth are led to know Jesus Christ.
We are convinced with the importance of these activities for the total human and spiritual formation of those whom we call the ‘future of the land’, and the ‘hope of the Church. The youth learn how to explore adventure: climbing the mountain peaks, swim across the lakes and cross the wild rivers. This will not only help them appreciate nature, but also their will and endurance will be formed.
Through these activities, the youth are taught to practice the virtue of charity, of camaraderie and fortitude. We want to each the youth, little by little, to act with principles and not with momentary vanities.
The principal part of the activity is the Holy Mass, from which springs all the activities of the camp. They are organized by the members of our Institute, and we ourselves share these activities with the young people.
Every Saturday, our seminarians go to various places in Lipa City where we have organized children and youth oratories. These oratories are designed to provide children a place and time to learn the Catholic faith according to the spirit of Saint Philip Neri and Saint John Bosco. Integrated with learning the Catechism of the Catholic Church are those times for various activities that are fitting with the children and youth: games, excursions, pilgrimages, etc.