Continual Praise for God’s Providence

Last January 14, 2024, Sunday, marked the 20th Anniversary of the Arrival of the Institute of the Incarnate Word in the Philippines.

The IVE Fathers, Salvador Curutchet and Fr. Luis Zapata arrived in the Philippines on January 14, 2004. After a series of seemingly “unfortunate events” the fathers decided to contact Fr. Buela for the permission to go back in Argentina. Fr. Buela, responded on the contrary and told the missionaries that God’s Providence sent the IVE Community in the Philippines so they must stay and continue the mission.

On May 2004, the missionaries met the Bishop of Kalookan, who received them in his diocese. The following year, 2005, the good prelate gave to the fathers a small chapel dedicated to Santa Lutgarda in Bagong Barrio, Caloocan. His Excellency wanted to build a parish on that place and he even insisted that it be dedicated to Our Lady of Lujan, the patroness of the Institute so that the parish church may also mark the first mission of the IVE Fathers in the Philippines. After long years of tireless efforts and toils it was formally erected as a parish on December 12, 2016. It became the first Church in Asia dedicated to Our Lady of Lujan.

After this foundation, subsequent foundations followed: on March 31, 2008 the Institute established the House “Blessed Ceferino Namuncura” for the education of youth, currently located in Magdalena, Laguna.

In 2009, the IVE Fathers erected the Saint Joseph Freinademetz Novitiate House and Our Lady of Sheshan Seminary in Lipa City, Batangas in order to accommodate the Filipino and Asian vocations of the Institute. Since its establishment it gave to the Catholic Church almost 20 priests.

At present, the seminary serves a home for vocations coming from different countries aside from the Philippines like Sri Lanka, India, Papua New Guinea Hong Kong, Nigeria and Tanzania.

A Sacrifice of Praise and Thanksgiving: The Holy Mass

To celebrate this big milestone, The Religious Family of the Incarnate Word gathered in the vicinities of the the Blessed Ceferino Namuncura Youth Center for the Eucharistic celebration. The Holy Mass of Thanksgiving was presided by Rev. Fr. Miguel Soler, IVE, Provincial Superior of Our Lady of Sheshan Province.

The Eucharistic Celebration was attended by the brothers and Fathers from the House of Formation, SSVM sisters, family members, friends and benefactors of the Institute in the Philippines.

Guardian of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus

The IVE Chapter Fathers of 2016 unanimously decided to consecrate the whole Institute to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus; the enthronement was done on the same year at the closing Mass of the said chapter. It was advised that whenever a new community is established, the enthronement of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus has to solemnly take place. The Chapter Fathers firmly believed that it is most effective way to preserve the primitive fervor of the institute, to achieve its end, to foster unity among members and to be preserved from division and external attacks all these as promised to the great saint of the Sacred Heart, Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque.

After the post- communion prayer and a solemn procession, Fr. Miguel Soler, led the prayer of Consecration to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus of the IVE-Blessed Ceferino Namuncura Community. The image was beautifully enthroned, in a house-like altar situated at the front yard of the place as if welcoming anyone who visits the community with a big embrace.

A great family-spirit

After the Holy Mass, the attendees enjoyed a great feast. The religious in attendance performed songs during the traditional fogon. In one moment, Fr. Luis Zapata took the opportunity to deliver a message narrating all the first-hand experiences in the establishment of the IVE Mission in the Philippines. He recalled all the hardships and yet the timeless advices of Father Buela. He emphasized that God’s Providence really moves in the way that surpasses our expectation that with great crosses comes great blessings if we just learn how not to obstruct God’s plans, this, by always being generous to His call.

With hearts full of gratitude and love, once again IVE Philippines affectionately addresses the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus: Sagrado Corazon, en ti confio!