LECTIO DIVINA: XVII Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle A

1

Translated by Fray Hubert Dunstan Decena, OAR

Mt. 13:44-52.

A. Invoking the Holy Spirit.

We invoke the Holy Spirit using the words of St. Augustine.

Come, Holy Spirit, by whom every devout soul, who believes in Christ is sanctified to become a citizen of the City of God! (en. Ps. 45:8) Come, Holy Spirit, grant that we receive the motions of God, put in us your flame, enlighten us and raise us up to God. (s. 128,4) Amen.

B. Lectio.

With hearts well disposed, with serenity, read slowly the following words savoring them and allowing yourself to be touched by them.

The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure buried in a field, which a person finds and hides again, and out of joy goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. Again the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant searching for fine pearls. When he finds a pearl of great price, he goes and sells all that he has and buys it. Again the kingdom of heaven is like a net thrown into the sea, which collects fish of every kind. When it is full they haul it ashore and sit down to put what is good into buckets. What is bad they throw away. Thus it will be at the end of the age. The angels will go out and separate the wicked from the righteous and throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.  Do you understand all these things?” They answered, “Yes.”  And he replied, “Then every scribe who has been instructed in the kingdom of heaven is like the head of a household who brings from his storeroom both the new and the old.”

C. Meditatio.

Let us now meditate with the commentary of St. Augustine on these words of the Gospel according to St. Matthew.

St. Augustine comments on this text in the De Disciplina Christiana in the following manner: “The Sacred Scriptures are an immense treasure that contains in itself many marvelous precepts, like many gems and precious necklaces and fine vases of good metal. But who is capable to examine such immense treasure, to make use of it and come to discover everything it contains? When the Lord placed this parable in his Gospel and said: The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure found in the field, so that no one may believe himself incapable to discover it, he immediately added another comparison saying: The kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, and when he found one of great price, he sold all he had and bought it, so that if you are lazy to search for the treasure, you will not be the one to carry a pearl under your tongue, and then walk securely wherever you wish” (disc. chr. 2).

On the parable of the treasure hidden in the field, St. Augustine comments in the new Erfurt sermons: “Therefore, while there is time, buy the field with the treasure, buy the incorruptible pearl, of perpetual splendor: what I speak of is the kingdom of heaven, preached, according to the Gospel, by the mouth of the Lord. Our fathers bought it and still they left us something also to buy. The buyer conserves it whole for whoever buys it; alternately every one buys it, and each one possesses it whole. Let not the worry on the price torture you, since it is not arranged in such a way that the richer can obtain it easily while the poor cannot grab it; as much as one has, that much will it cost. He received the half of the superrich Zacchaeus’ fortune, he did not exclude the nets of the fisherman, he also accepted the coins of a certain wretched widow and on weighing them in the balance of charity, he found them heavier than the many gifts of many rich persons. Neither must you separate from this barter the cup of cold water, where the love of the buyer boils. Even if perhaps the means fail, do not despair; love and you will buy it. The pious desires are certainly the great resources of the indigent. Consequently, what is the more valuable peace and destination, than the eternal peace toward which we tend through all forms of fatigue?” (s. 350E, 5= s. Erfurt 3, 5).

On the parable of the pearl of great price, St. Augustine comments: The Kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls. Upon finding one of great value, he went off to sell all that he had and bought it. The question asked is why does the story pass from the plural to the singular; the merchant was in search for fine pearls, and he found one of great value, and he sells all he possessed to buy it. It can be that someone is looking for good men with whom he can spend life in a laudable form and he finds someone who surpasses all of them, one who is sinless, mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus. Or it could also be that someone goes in search of commandments, to observe them and maintain good conduct  with fellowmen, and he finds that love of neighbor, which in the words of the Apostle, by itself sums up all the commandments. Because “You shall not kill, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not bear false witness and any other commandment” are like pearls that are all contained in this one phrase: Love your neighbor as yourself. Or perhaps someone is in search of good concepts and finds one that contains them all: the Word that existed from the beginning, who was with God and was God; the Word brilliant with the splendor of truth, solid with eternal strength, in everything like itself with the beauty of  the divinity; that Word who is God for those who achieved to penetrate beyond the leather covering of the flesh. The man of the parable had already obtained the pearl, which for some time was hidden under the covering of mortality, as under the shield of hard shells, in the depths of this earth, and hidden among the hard rock of the Jews. This man, I say, had already obtained the possession of the pearl, when he says: And even though before we had known Christ according to the flesh, now we no longer know him as such. Because no concept absolutely merits the name pearl, if it does not achieve to eliminate from it all the worldly wrappings that is covering it, either by the human word or by the similar things that enwrap it” (qu. Mt. 12).

D. Oratio.

With the text, let us now pray from the depths of our heart. I suggest the following phrases and questions that can awaken in you dialogue with God, and at the same time can give rise to affections and sentiments in your dialogue with God. Do not move to the next phrase or question if you can still continue dialoguing with God in one of them. It is not a matter of exhausting the list, but of helping you to pray with some points that better fit your personal experience.

a. “The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in a field” (Mt. 13:44).

  • What for you is the hidden treasure?
  • From your point of view, what must be done with the hidden treasure?

b. “The kingdom of heaven is also like a merchant of fine pearls who, on finding one of great value, goes to sell all he has and buys it” (Mt 13:46).

  • What is it that you search for in life?
  • What are you disposed to leave behind and give to obtain Christ?

c. Pray with this phrase: “Lord, you are the hidden treasure.”

E. Contemplatio.

I propose to you some points for affective interior contemplation. Once again, you need not follow all of it, rather you can choose what fits your personal experience.

a. Contemplate the man who found the treasure in the field. Contemplate his surprise and happiness. See how he again hides the treasure, and full of joy, goes to sell what he owns to buy the field. Contemplate how his neighbors, who do not know of the treasure in the field, admire him while he is full of happiness.

b. Contemplate the merchant of fine pearls and how he was greatly surprised and greatly satisfied upon finding one of great price. Contemplate how he gives all his possessions to own it. Above all contemplate his joy, and observe that Christ is the pearl for whom it is necessary to leave behind everything in order to possess him.

F. Communicatio.  

Think of everything that you can share with those around you about the experience you had with God, especially about leaving behind everything to obtain the hidden treasure or the precious pearl who is Christ. The following points can help you to share with your community the experience of the lectio divina on this text.

  • What have I discovered about God and about myself in this moment of prayer?
  • How can I apply this text of Scripture at this moment of my life? What light does it give me? What challenges does it put before me?
  • What concrete commitment does this text of Scripture ask of me in my spiritual life, in my community life?
  • What has been my dominant sentiment during this moment of prayer?

Final Prayer of St. Augustine.

Turning towards the Lord: Lord God, Father Almighty, with pure heart, as far as our littleness permits, allow us to give you our most devoted and sincere thanks, begging with all our strength from your particular goodness, that you deign to hear our petitions according to your good will, that by your power you will drive away the enemy from all our thoughts and actions; that you increase our faith, govern our mind and give us spiritual thoughts and bring us to your happiness through your Son Jesus Christ, our Lord, who with you lives and reigns in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen (en. Ps. 150:8).

“The treasure hidden in the field are the two Testaments of the Law in the Church; whoever attentively observes them will realize that there are great teachings hidden there” (cons. eu. 1, 13).

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Fray Dunstan Huberto Decena, OAR

Fray Hubert Dunstan Decena, OAR

Priest/Religious/Bible Professor of the Order of Augustinian Recollects in the Province of St. Ezekiel Moreno.

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< 2021 >
June
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  1
  • All day
    June 1, 2021

    MEETING OF THE PRE-CAPITULAR COMMISSION

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Raul Buhay Fray Russell Lapidez
    Sis. Susana Batin, SAR (Manila Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sis. Estella Buelo, SAR (Manila Chapter)

2
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    June 2, 2021

    150th SACERDOTAL ANNIVERSARY
    (1871-2021) OF ST. EZEKIEL MORENO
    [Ordaining prelate: Manila Archbp. Gregorio Melitón Martínez]

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Constantino Real
    Sis. Consuelo de Castro, SAR (Cavite Chapter) Carl Veloso (RAY-Cavite)

3
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    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Roy Baluarte
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4
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    June 4, 2021

    PRAYER INTENTION: FOR VOCATIONS (cf. LAMP 5c)

    RENEWAL VISIT 2021
    RECOLETOS DE BAGUIO / June 4-6

    BIRTHDAY
    Sis. Milagros Lagan, SAR (Brooke’s Point Chapter)

5
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    June 5, 2021

    400th ANNIVERSARY OF POPE GREGORY XVs MILITANTIS ECCLESIAE
    (which elevated the Recoletos Province to the rank of Congregation)

    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION
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    Fray Francisco Antonio
    Fray Amadeo Lucero

    BIRTHDAY
    Sis. Purita Crom, SAR (Tondo Chapter)
    Sis. Herminigilda Claver, SAR (Talisay Chapter)
    Sis. Estelita Divinagracia, SAR (Miranila Chapter)

6
  • All day
    June 6, 2021-June 7, 2021

    SOLEMNITY OF CORPUS CHRISTI

    CARES, BAGUIO: TRANSITIO ET FORMATIO / GRADUATION

    BIRTHDAY
    Sis. Ma. Asuncion Zorilla, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)
    Christine Joy Euraba (RAY-Talisay)

    ANNIVERSARY OF PRESBYTERAL ORDINATION
    Most Rev. Agustinus Agus (Archdiocese of Pontianak, West Kalimantan, Indonesia)

7
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    June 7, 2021

    RENEWAL VISIT 2021
    RECOLETOS DE URBIZTONDO / June 7

     

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Ma. Teresita Aurigue, AR
    Sis. Josefina Mangulabnan, SAR (Provincialate Chapter)
    Sis. Roberta Legaspi, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

    ANNIVERSARY OF PRESBYTERAL & EPISCOPAL ORDINATIONS
    Most Rev. Raul Dael (Diocese of Tandag

8
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    June 8, 2021

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Mary Joy Dula, AR
    Sis. Cristina Crosland, SAR (Provincialate Chapter)
    Sis. Yolanda Apacible, SAR (Manila Chapter)
    Sis. Corazon Layumas, SAR (San Carlos Chapter)

    ANNIVERSARY OF PRESBYTERAL ORDINATION
    Most Rev. Ryan Jimenez, D.D. (Diocese of Chalan Kanoa)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sr. Amparo del Sgdo. Corazon de Jesus, AR

9
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    June 9, 2021

    RENEWAL VISIT 2021
    RECOLETOS DE ANTIPOLO / June 9-10

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Purificacion Glimada, AR
    Sr. Ma. Lea Eseo, AR
    Sr. Evangeline Pejano, AR

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sis. Porferia Georpe, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

10
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    June 10, 2021

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Joel Villaruel
    Bro. Arturo Catindig, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)

    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION
    (1984-2021)

    Fray Raul Buhay
    Fray Manuel Lipardo
    Fray Domingo Saladaga, Jr.
    Fray William Emilito Villaflor

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sr. Carmela Garcia, AR
    +Sr. Soledad Cañete, AR
    +Sis. Estela Taburada, SAR (Manila Chapter)
    +Sis. Daisy Soguilon, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)

11
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    June 11, 2021

    SOLEMNITY OF THE MOST SACRED HEART OF JESUS

    RENEWAL VISIT 2021
    RECOLETOS DE MIRANILA / June 11-13

    BIRTHDAY

    Most Rev. Francisco de Leon
    (Diocese of Antipolo) Fray Bernabe Dosdos

    Sr. Ma. Divina Caabay, AR
    Sis. Rosalinda Rios, SAR (Talisay Chapter)

    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION
    (1983-2021)

    Fray Bernard Amparado
    Fray Joseph Granada
    Fray Cristituto Palomar
    Fray Jorge Peligro

     

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Bro. Abraham Caballes, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

12
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    June 12, 2021

    IMMACULATE HEART OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

    [Philippine’s 123rd Independence Day]

    BIRTHDAY

    Sis. Lucita Anareta, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)
    Sis. Adelaida Tanchico, SAR (Miranila Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Micaela de la Virgen del Carmen, AR

13
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    June 13, 2021

    11TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

    BIRTHDAY

    Mo. Lucena Antipala, AR (General Superior of the CARS)
    Sr. Antonia Pono, AR
    Sis. Herminia Ishii, SAR (Baguio Chapter)
    Sis. Lorna Cepe, SAR (Valencia Chapter)

    ANNIVERSARY OF SOLEMN PROFESSION (Religious Brother)
    (1998-2021)

    Fray Jaazeal Jakosalem

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Fe de la Sgda. Familia, AR
    +Sr. Ma. Amparo Serra, AR
    +Sis. Victoria Caturay, SAR (San Carlos Chapter)

14
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    June 14, 2021

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Jose Teodulfo Jadulco

    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION
    (1972-2021)

    Fray Federico Gregorio
    Fray Lauro Larlar
    Fray Ceferino Añez

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Michaela de la Virgen del Carmen, AR
    +Mo. Maria Josefa Borces, AR
    +Sis. Angelina Yap, SAR (San Carlos Chapter)

15
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    June 15, 2021

    50th Inauguration Anniversary of CSNT-R
    Talisay City, Negros Occidental)

    RENEWAL VISIT 2021
    RECOLETOS DE TONDO/ June 15

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Nelson Plohimon
    Sr. Ma. Clotilde Edora, AR
    Sr. Adoracion Pagsisihan, AR Sr. Isis Vita Villagonzalo, AR
    Sis. Hilda Socrates, SAR (Inagawan Chapter)
    Sis. Rosario Mamon, SAR (Talisay Chapter)
    Bro. Leo Calimutan, SAR (Tondo Chapter)
    Ma. Sophia Navarro (RAY-Miranila)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Manuela de San Agustin, AR
    +Sis. Amalia Gatuslao, SAR (San Carlos Chapter)

16
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    June 16, 2021

    RENEWAL VISIT 2021
    RECOLETOS DE MANILA / June 16-17

    BIRTHDAY

    Sr. Aurelia Pastidio, AR
    Sis. Miriam Ruiz, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)
    Sis. Rosalina Mangaoil, SAR (Tondo Chapter)
    Sis. Mary Jane Eranista, SAR (Bacolod Chapter)
    Sis. Salvacion Rubia, SAR (Laray Chapter)

    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION
    (1974-2021)

    Fray Eric Peter Silab

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sr. Encarnacion Hynson, AR

1718
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    June 18, 2021

    BIRTHDAY

    Sr. Ma. Corazon Barroca, AR
    Sis. Lourdes Florendo, SAR (Manila Chapter)

    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION
    (1978-2021)

    Fray Joseph Philip Trayvilla

    ANNIVERSARY OF EPISCOPAL ORDINATION
    Most Rev. Honesto Ongtioco, DD (Diocese of Cubao)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Fray Victor Jose Lluch (2004-2021)
    +Sis. Erlinda Dacalos, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    +Sis. Ma. Celia Setias, SAR (Brooke’s Point Chapter)

19
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    June 19, 2021

    PRAYER INTENTION: FOR THE SICK (cf. LAMP 5c)

    BIRTHDAY

    Sis. Rizalina Salera, SAR (Cavite Chapter)

    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION
    (1977-2021)

    Fray René Paglinawan
    Fray Leonardo Pauligue
    Fray Samson Silloriquez

    ANNIVERSARY OF PRESBYTERAL ORDINATION
    Most Rev. Reynaldo Evangelista, DD (Diocese of Imus)

    (2010-2021)
    Fray Leo Alaras
    Fray Michael Catama
    Fray Kenneth Joseph Onda
    Fray James Dexter Tanquis

    ANNIVERSARY OF EPISCOPAL ORDINATION
    Most Rev. Buenaventura Famadico, DD (Diocese of San Pablo)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sr. Rosa de Padua, AR

20
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    June 20, 2021

    12TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Renier Alviola
    Fray Enrico Nacorda
    Sis. Fe Enilog, SAR (Cavite Chapter)
    Reyson Valerio (RAY-Urbiztondo)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sis. Leilani Alejandro, SAR (Bacolod Chapter)

21
  • All day
    June 21, 2021

    PRAYER INTENTION: FOR THE SICK (cf. LAMP 5c)

    BIRTHDAY
    Luis Antonio Card. Tagle (Prefect, Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples)

    Sr. Ma. Luisa Borces, AR
    Sis. Angelita de Guzman, SAR (Miranila Chapter) Sis. Edna Genete, SAR (San Carlos Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    (2005-2021)
    +Jaime Cardinal Sin (Brother General of the Order)

22
  • All day
    June 22, 2021

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Paulino Dacanay

23
  • All day
    June 23, 2021

    RENEWAL VISIT 2021
    RECOLETOS DE CAVITE / June 23-24

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Joan Marie Ubag, AR
    Sis. Elenora Tubiona, SAR (Valencia Chapter)

24
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    June 24, 2021

    NATIVITY OF ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Jesusa Pedrez, AR Sr. Juanita Payawal, AR
    Sis. Juanita Payawal, SAR (Tondo Chapter)
    Sis. Lourdes Calderon, SAR (San Carlos Chapter)
    Sis. Marilyn Semense, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    Baby Rich Pajares (RAY-Caidiocan)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sr. Ma. Presentacion Ramirez, AR

25
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    June 25, 2021

    RENEWAL VISIT 2021
    RECOLETOS DE PROVINCIALATE / June 25-26

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray William Emilito Villaflor
    Sis. Asuncion Magalona, SAR (Manila Chapter)
    Sis. Prospera Jabagat, SAR (Laray Chapter)
    Sean Feauna Narvasa (RAY-Balamban)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sr. Ma. Luisa Padilla, AR

26
  • All day
    June 26, 2021

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Julius Marcos
    Fray Virgilio Calalang, Jr. (deacon)
    Fray Mark Joseph Quirante (simply prof.)
    Sis. Melinda Camero, SAR (Baguio Chapter)
    Sis. Whagie Saronillo, SAR (Bacolod Chapter)
    Sis. Winifreda Pahilanga, SAR (Talisay Chapter)
    Jamaicha Lapinid (RAY-Miranila)

    ANNIVERSARY OF EPISCOPAL ORDINATION
    Most Rev. Vicente Navarra, DD (Bishop-emeritus of Bacolod)

27
  • All day
    June 27, 2021

    13TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

    BIRTHDAY

    Sr. Elvira Vergara, AR
    Bro. Manuel Martinez, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)
    Bro. David de la Torre, SAR (Puerto Princesa Chapter)
    Sis. Lucita Dimaano, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)

    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION
    (2020-2021)

    Fray Joseph Neil Baygan
    Fray James Esplanada
    Fray Judd Galinato
    Fray Mc Ariel Capinpin
    Fray Mark Joseph Quirante

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Ma. Catalina del Amor Misericordioso, AR
    +Sr. Crisanta Lerio, AR

28
  • All day
    June 28, 2021

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Enrico Silab
    Fray Samson Silloriquez
    Sis. Sonia Ramos, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)

    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION
    (1990-2021)

    Fray Bernabe Dosdos

    ANNIVERSARY OF EPISCOPAL ORDINATION
    Most Rev. Francisco de Leon (Diocese of Antipolo)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sr. Margarita de Lumbania, AR

29
  • All day
    June 29, 2021

    SOLEMNITY OF STS. PETER & PAUL, APOSTLES

    BIRTHDAY
    Sis. Pablicita Palatino, SAR (Inagawan Chapter)

    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION
    (1967-2021)

    Most Rev. Patricio Buzon, SDB, D.D. (Diocese of Bacolod)

    (2019-2021)
    Fray Neil Robert Alilain

    (2018-2021)
    Fray Helfrid D. Palmis
    Fray Jose Enrico V. Gallego
    Fray Rey Jay Y. Quevedo
    Fray Jhoben M. Rodriguez
    Fray Renz Calex C. Soriano

    GOLDEN ANNIVERSARY OF PRESBYTERAL ORDINATION

    Fray Rafael Cabarles (1971-2021)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sis. Neriza Hernandez, SAR (Provincialate Chapter)
    +Sis. Aleja Abellar, SAR (Cavite Chapter)

30
  • All day
    June 30, 2021

    BIRTHDAY

    Bro. Aquilino Carino, SAR (Puerto Princesa Chapter)
    Sis. Leticia Tayao, SAR (Miranila Chapter)
    Sis. Ma. Teresita Bilbao, SAR (Manila Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sis. Adelina Sacapano, SAR (Brooke’s Point Chapter)
    +Sis. Laureana Quijano, SAR (Talisay Chapter)

   

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