03 June 2024
03 Jun 2024

35 Years of Serving the Philippines: A Legacy of Love

Dehonians in the Philippines celebrate 35 years of presence serving church and people

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This year marks a remarkable milestone for the Priests of the Sacred Heart (SCJs) in the Philippines: 35 years of dedicated service to the Filipino people. Their story is one of vision, unwavering commitment, and a deep love for God and His children.

A Decade of Planning, a Lifetime of Service

Although the SCJs officially set foot in the Philippines on May 17, 1989, their journey began a decade earlier at their headquarters in Rome. Through careful planning and discernment, the general administration, amidst various options, selected the Philippines.

The first eight SCJ priests, representing seven nationalities, arrived in 1989. They deliberately chose the challenging but rewarding mission field of Mindanao, with its remote villages and diverse communities, over the comforts of Manila. Their focus was on serving the local Church, particularly the poor and marginalized. Early challenges included traversing difficult terrain on foot, living simply, and even facing the kidnapping of a missionary in 2001.

Community: A Foundation of Strength

From the beginning, fostering a strong community life was a core principle for the SCJ missionaries. They committed to living and working together, sharing resources, and maintaining a spirit of unity. Regular meetings and a shared financial system ensured collaboration and transparency.

Social Outreach: Leaving No One Behind

Following their founder’s vision, the SCJs have tirelessly brought Christ’s love to those most in need. Their social projects have empowered countless individuals and communities. From fishermen and farmers to students, the sick, indigenous peoples, and victims of abuse and natural disasters, they have provided scholarships, built houses, and established a foundation to heal victims of sexual abuse.

Growth and Flourishing

The SCJ Philippine Mission has blossomed from its humble beginnings. In 1999, it became a District, and by 2012, it was elevated to the rank of a Region. Today, they manage 8 parishes and 3 formation houses, with a majority (30 out of 37) of their members being Filipino.

A Celebration of Gratitude

As the SCJ community in the Philippines celebrates 35 years of service, their hearts overflow with gratitude to God, the Filipino people, and their benefactors. They look forward to continuing their mission of building the Kingdom of God in the Philippines and beyond.

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