"Gugma'g Panaghiusa Uban sa Balaang Bata" is the theme of this year's feast day of the Sto. Niño. Triduum prayers were done by the Grade School after their flag ceremony. A Holy Mass was officiated by Fr. Francisco Estepa with Fr. Ramilo Mapaye as the homilist with Fr. Florante Camacho and Fr. Fernando Poe as concelebrants. It was held at the JH Gym at 7:30 A.M. on January 16. A two-hour musical show was presented by all grade school pupils with the faculty and staff of the Grade School Department at 5:30 P.M. Lunch fellowship was held at the Audio Visual Hall on January 17.
This same year is also the commemoration of the 101st Death Anniversary of St. Joseph Freinademetz. Triduum Masses were held at the Lesage Chapel (Main at 12NN) and at the SVD Residence Chapel (Dampas at 12:15NN). A brief biography of St. Joseph with his maxims was displayed at the main lobby. Holy Masses in his honor were held on Thursday, January 29 at 4:30 P.M. (Lesage Gym) and at 5:00 P.M. (JH Gym). The Nigh High School Department sponsored the program and dinner fellowship. It captured the theme, St. Joseph Freinademetz: A Zealous Missionary in a Frontier Society.
Another annual practice of the Basic Education Departments is the Candle Mass Celebration, 8:00 A.M. (High School) and 9:30 A.M. (Grade School). Blessing of the throat with the intercession of St. Blase followed. It was done last February 6.
To begin the season of Lent was the Blessing of Ashes on February 24. Simultaneous Eucharistic Celebrations and Imposition of Ashes to the forehead of the faithful in all Departments held last February 25 at the Janssen Heights and Lesage Gymnasiums respectively.
College: There were 1,018 college students who received their diplomas. They were divided into three graduation rite batches. On March 14 was for the Business and Accountancy, March 15 for the Engineering, Education, Arts and Sciences, Computer Science, Law, and Graduate School, while March 21 was for the College of Nursing. The college unified theme was: "Valuing Success and Upholding Excellence". The Grade School had their graduation last March 24 and the High School had it on March 28, 2009. All were done at the University Main Gym with the University President as main celebrant and homilist of the Eucharistic Celebration.
The Grade School Knights of the Altar (KOA) together with the Children of Mary (COM) spent an hour every Thursday with the Grade V pupils of San Isidro Elementary School. Members of the said organization accompanied by their club moderator - Sr. Jacqueline Clemencio, OSF goes regularly for the Faith Sharing of the kids.
The Children of Mary (COM) finally realized their planned visit to the prisoners at the City of Tagbilaran Rehabilitation Center (CTRC), Cabawan District, Tagbilaran City last January 25. There were a total of 140 prisoners (120 males and 20 females). A short orientation was done with a GTKY (Getting To Know You). Gifts given were: Rosaries with guides, toothpastes, detergent and body soaps, and snacks. As observed, our visit gave them inspiration and hope. Also, our volunteers learned from their personal sharing of experiences, especially about their realizations and actual situation in jail.
The University President called a joint meeting with the Campus Ministry Staff, ReEd faculty, and Ms. Michelle Rellita. His purpose was to answer the strategic direction of our school on Christian Witnessing dimension as stated in the VMG. He also emphasized the aim of the Divine Word Educational Association (DWEA) on how to concretize and operationalize the 'tatak SVD' in our institution thereby becoming a community Witness to the Word. WITNESS TO THE WORD is defined as ONE WHO IS COMMITTED TO KNOW, LIVE-OUT AND PROCLAIM GOD'S WORD FOR THE TRANSFORMATION OF THE WORLD.
Ms. Conie Pagsiat, a 22 years old college student who is a working scholar at the Grade School Clinic received her Baptism to the Catholic Faith after she accomplished all the requirements and finished the Catechetical instructions. The Sacrament was solemnized on January 8 at 2:30 in the afternoon. It was held at St. Arnold Janssen Chapel with Fr. Ramilo V. Mapaye, SVD as the solemnizing officer. Meanwhile, an adult catechism is now going on with one of our CBA student, a Swiss national who willingly approached the CM Office requesting that she be baptized.
The Children of Mary Immaculate of the Grade School Department had their Investiture last February 3 with Fr. Milo Mapaye, SVD (Chaplain) and Sr. Jacqueline Clemencio, OSF (Adviser). Within the Mass was the Induction of their new set of officers of the Club.
With the intense desire to help attain the SVD identity as 'Witness to the Word', other batches of participants were given the Arnold Janssen (AJ) Spirituality. The 8th batch was a reflection seminar given to the Campus Ministry Student Volunteers (CMSV) held last February 7-8 at the Janssen Hilltop, Divine Word Centrum. The 9th (Natural Sciences, Math and Criminology of the CAS Dept.) and 10th (Guidance Staff) batches were in the context of a Retreat held at the St. Augustine Monastery (Tabalong, Dauis), and Galilea Center (Looc, Panglao) respectively.
After the experience, the participants are expected: 1.) to keep in touch and be rooted with their Personal Experience of God and their present lived spirituality; 2.) to gain knowledge and appreciation of the Spirituality of Arnold Janssen grounded in the life of Jesus; 3.) to deepen their participation/involvement in the mission of the Church in general and the Arnoldus family in particular; and 4.) to integrate their discoveries and learnings in their daily life as WITNESS TO THE WORD.
To enhance their talents in singing, the group underwent series of workshops for updating. After the Trainer's Training last November, the assistant director - Fr. Milo Mapaye, SVD gave them the Techniques in Choral Singing. On the 18th of January, another workshop was facilitated by Fr. Milo on Liturgical Music.
Ongoing Formation facilitated by one of the group alumni (Mr. Ruel Renoblas), 16 aspiring members had their Acceptance Ceremony. It was integrated in the Eucharistic Celebration by Fr. Ruel S. Gado, SVD, held at the Casa del Verbo, Libaong, Panglao. Soon after, was the Evaluation of the year 2008 activities done with Sr. Lucy P. Sabas, OSF - their adviser.
A total of 105 recollection and retreat schedules to our students were accomplished this school-year by the CM Office. The Grade School had 10 sections from Grades III to VI. The High School gave 22 recollections from 1st Year to 3rd Year and 7 PYRE to the 4th year which included the Night department. The college finished the 2nd semester's schedules for 49 recollections of Religious Education students (ReEd 1-4). Retreats for the graduating students were done with 15 semi-guided and 2 guided retreats.