Tuesday, September 27, 2016

St. Vincent de Paul

September 27 is the feastday of St. Vincent de Paul.  That church at San Marcelino called Paules Church will be celebrating the day with Archbishop Socrates Villegas celebrating holy mass in the afternoon.Paules Church has been referred to with so many names due to ignorance. 

Some refer to it as the San Marcelino Church because it is located at San Marcelino Street in Ermita, Manila. Then there  is the reference to Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal because the Miraculous Medal apostolate is promoted by the Vincentians who also runs the parish of San Vicente de Paul.  And then there are those who refer to it as the church at Adamson University even if the university is a separate entity altogether.  Really, the proper name is San Vicente de Paul Church, a parish manned  by the Congregation of the Missions,  a.k.a.  Vincentian Fathers.  

I prefer to call it  the Paules Church as it brings back the time when the area was quiet and the neighborhood of genteel folks. It was one of the favorite wedding venues but most important was the presence of this aging Vincentian who heard confessions. To my surprise my children liked going to confession to Fr. Jesus Cavanna, C.M. Perhaps because he was patient, or he gave good advice,  but definitely not because of the long penance he gave.

Fr. Cavanna speaks Spanish, English, Tagalog and Latin fluently.  He wrote "Rizal's Unfading Glory" and  "Basic Christian Doctrine." 

During the debate on the bill that passed R.A. No. 1425, known as the Rizal Law, Fr. Cavanna speaker to many a symposium reacting against the mandatory reading of Rizal.  He argued that the novels belonged to the past and that teaching them would misrepresent current conditions in the country.

He spent his last years as formation and spiritual director to Vincentian Seminarians.  Fr. Cavanna died in San Juan De Dios Hospital in 1994.

Saints Philip Neri, John Mary Vianney, Padre Pio,  Leopold Mandic., and John Francis Regis are some of the saints that spent long hours in the confessional.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Marcos and Sheen

The much awaited burial of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos shares centerstage with another distinguished personality, Archbishop Fulton J Sheen. The Archbishop's remains have long been interred at St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York while  President Marcos remains in an air-condtioned glass for public display in a mausoleum in his hometown of Batac,  Ilocos Norte..

Sheen died on December 9,1979 and Marcos on September 28, 1989.

Ferdinand E. Marcos died in Hawaii, three years after he fled the Philippines. He was forced to leave in the face of "people power" which set the end of his regime.  His return to the Philippines was at first denied by President Corazon Aquino but when Fidel Ramos became president, Mrs. Imelda Marcos was allowed to bring back her husband but the demand for a hero's burial was denied.  The family stood pat and therein lies the rub.

Sheen rose to prominence in the United States during 1950’s as host of a television program.  He was ordained as a priest at the Diocese of Peoria in 1919 and later Auxiliary Bishop of New York in 1951. Sheen died of heart disease and was interred in the crypt of St. Patrick's Cathedral.  His cause for canonization as a saint was opened in 2002.  After ten years, the Congregation for the Causes 
of Saints declared that Sheen lived a life of "heroic virtues", a major step towards beatification.  But the cause was suspended because of a dispute between the Diocese or Peoria and the Archdiocese of New York.

When President Rodrigo Duterte gave the go-ahead for the burial of Marcos at a Libingan ng mga Bayani as a former soldier and president,  Akbayan's Ibarra Gutierrez and Commission on Human Rights Chair Chito Gascon petitioned the Supreme Court to block the order of President Duterte.

To whom does the body of Fulton Sheen belong? That’s a question that is now before the Supreme Court of the state of New York, as the niece of the late Archbishop Sheen, Joan Sheen Cunningham, has petitioned to have the body transferred to St. Mary’s Cathedral in Peoria, Ill.

The mortal remains of President Marcos and Archbishop Sheen lie in the hands of the Supreme Courts, long after they have left this world.

Requiēscant In Pāce

Friday, September 23, 2016

Dick & Jane

Dick and Jane, sang by Bobby Vinton and written by Dewayne Blackwell speaks of unrequited love and the eternal love triangle. A love story spawned at the early stages of childhood, from innocence to social awareness.  The song opens with the chorus:

Look, Dick look, look at Jane
See Jane laugh and play
Look, Dick look, see pretty Jane
I'm gonna marry her someday

The phrases bring back familiar phrases: look, look at jane, see pretty Jane.  Indeed, Dick and Jane are the main characters of books used to teach children in the United Stateshow to  read using the "look say" method.  The next lines confirms this connection of the song:

I've loved her since we were children
Back in grammar school
Loved her then and I always wiIll
Though I know I'm just a fool

Was the songwriter admonishing the basal reading method? In the 50s Rudolf Flesch wrote the book "Why Johnny Can't Read" blaming "look say" and urging a return to teaching phonics instead.

The story of unrequited love follows with:

Then one day I kissed her
But it was all in vain
Cause I was at their reception
To have fun with Dick and Jane

Time has turned some pages
Since they moved away
I think back in stage
Of the way she'd laugh and play

Today I received a letter
That she has passed away
So one last time I kissed her
By the flowers where she'll lay

But Why did Blackwell turn the love story to a tragic ending

The basal reading pedagogy started losing favor in the 70s.  

Bobby Vinton recorded Dick and Jane in 1975.