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Posts Tagged ‘Heart’

Rev. Fr. Leo E. Schmitt was given the 29th Blessed Teresa of Calcutta Award held at the Yuchengco Museum, RCBC, Makati Ciity, September 26, 2016

 

Manila, Philippines — Saint Teresa’s life is “an epitome of grace, compassion and love”.
Blessed Teresa of Calcutta Award (BTCA) is an annual award given to selfless individuals who have served the poorest of the poor as inspired by the life of the late Mother Teresa of Calcutta.
The 29th Blessed Teresa of Calcutta Award (BTCA) recognizes German-Filipino priest Rev. Fr. Leo Schmitt, SVD, as this year’s winner for dedicating his life to helping the marginalized poor communities and informal settlers in the Philippines for the past 40 years.

 

Rev. Fr. Leo Schmitt, SVD

Fr. Leo started his advocacy in the 1970s when the worsening economic and political situation in the country has pushed the Catholic Church to respond to the needs of the people.

He founded ‘Action Leaven,’ a non-profit organization that seeks to serve the underprivileged communities in the country, which was adopted by the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) with Fr. Leo serving as Executive Director for two years, until it was turned over to the Archdiocese of Manila.

 

“Though restricted by old age, Fr. Schmitt remains a vibrant and enthusiastic inspiration for all the clergy, both diocesan and religious. His life of simplicity, faithfulness, humility and pastoral service is his best contribution to the mission,”Antipolo Diocesan Bishop Gabriel Reyes describes Fr. Leo.

 

“Through the generosity of various organizations, Fr. Leo receive a trophy and a cash prize of Php500,000. Fr. Leo’s chosen charity will also receive a cash prize of Pho500,000, and an additional Php500,000 worth of goods and services. We believe that these gifts will go a long way in helping Fr. Leo’s chosen advocacy,” says Gio Valencia, 2016 BTCA Chairman.

Mel Aguinaldo, creative artist, designed the 2016 “Saint Teresa of Calcutta” award given to German-Filipino priest Rev. Fr. Leo E. Schmitt

This year is monumental for the BTCA organization as Mother Teresa has been declared a Saint by Pope Francis on Sunday at a canonization ceremony held in Vatican City. The canonization on September 4 comes on the eve of her 19th death anniversary.

BTCA is a joint project of the AY Foundation and the JCI Philippines-Manila, which aims to refocus the public’s attention to those who have dedicated their lives to the service of others.

 

 

 

 

Rev. Fr. LEO E. SCHMITT, SVD

 

Fr. Leo, the disciplinarian formator turned social worker…super energetic founder of communities and housing for the poor… with a huge heart for the poor!

 

He was born in Grunebach, Diocese of Trier in West Germany on May 9, 1928. He studied and was ordained in Germany in 1954. He is now 88 years old, and 62 years as a priest. He still at work, and refuses to be included among the retirees at the Villa Cristo Rey. He has indeed, done incredibly great corporal works of mercy!

 

After ordination, he went to England and for several years, he stayed at the St. Richard’s College for Foreign Missions before coming to the Philippines. (1958-60).

 

He was assigned for formation work, first at the Mary Help of Christians Diocesan Seminary in Binmaley, Pangasinan as prefect of the seminarians (1961-62).

 

Next, Christ the King Mission Seminary became his home for 35 years. (1962- 1997).

 

He was professor and prefect of the College seminarians (1962-70)

 

In 1970, his life changed dramatically, as he became more aware of the need to get involved in social work, a post Vatican II development. In the Philippine context, the need was more urgent because of the worsening economic and political situation. This was the time of violent activism, with the onset of the First Quarter Storm. The Church had to respond, and Fr. Leo proposed to start a project called ‘Action Leaven’, a movement for church people, to penetrate society and find out what the Church can do for the poor. The pioneer group of Leaveners was composed of 70 priests, nuns, seminarians, community organizers, engineers and agriculturist among others. It was adopted by CBCP as an experiment for the Archdiocese of Manila. Fr. Leo was its executive Director for 2 years, before it was turned over to the Archdiocese. The timing was unfortunate, because when Martial Law was declared by Marcos in 1972, social work was greatly hampered by government policies. Fr. Leo, however, had been magnetized to work with the poor.

 

Shortly after leaving the Action Leaven, some 800 families sought his help after being forced to leave the depressed community of Pleasant Hills, Mandaluyong. He was thrown into the herculean task of looking for a relocation site for the squatter community. Together with 2 SVD confreres, 2 sisters and 5 laymen, Fr. Leo created a foundation possessing a legal personality that would address the problem of informal settlers. On September 28, 1971, the SAMAHANG BAGONG BUHAY FOUNDATION INCORPORATION (SBBFI) was formally registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission as a non-stock and non-profit corporation.

 

From the time of the foundation’s birth, many housing projects were built: San Antonio Village in Antipolo; San Jose Freinademetz Subdivision in Cogeo, Antipolo; Janssenville Subdivision in Cainta, Rizal; San Agustin Village in Antipolo; San Lorenzo Ruiz in Bulacan and Antipolo; St. Francis Square, Payong, which is also in Antipolo.

 

Originally, Janssenville was part of the St. Anthony of Padua Parish. When the canonization of the then Blessed Arnold became certain in 2002, Fr. Leo approached the bishop about the plan of making Janssenville the seat of a new parish to be named after the SVD founder. It was eventually approved that a new parish should be erected “to thank St. Arnold for the services of his congregations to the Church, in particular to the Diocese of Antipolo and to promote his virtues.” On 30th of November, 2003 the St. Arnold Janssen Parish was canonically erected. It was the first and only permanent religious parish in the Diocese of Antipolo. On January 15, 2004, Fr. Leo was installed as its first parish priest.

 

The diocesan bishop of Antipolo, Gabriel Reyes, says, “though restricted by old age, Fr. Schmitt remains a vibrant and enthusiastic inspiration for all the clergy…both diocesan and religious. His life of simplicity, faithfulness, humility and pastoral service is his best contribution for mission.”

 

Fr. Schmitt renounced his German citizenship and embraced Filipino citizenship to show his commitment in alleviating the pangs of poverty and homelessness among the poor Filipinos. Truly, he is an SVD who not only shared the vision of St. Arnold Janssen, he has also lived a life in mission.

 

The Society of the Divine Word Philippine Central Province gave the ST. ARNOLD JANSSEN MISSION AWARD to Fr. Leo in 2014, in recognition of his exemplary efforts in integrating and concretizing Mission as vision and action.

 

Today, Fr. Leo asserts that, “You cannot go wrong if you work on the premise of a Christian value and the development of the total person.” Indeed, Janssenville and the other communities founded by Fr. Leo and the Samahang Bagong Buhay Foundation remains a strong source of hope and inspiration in their community building and the upliftment of every person’s dignity.

 

 

(Source: SVD Mission Phlippines, Inc. – Steve Villarosa)

 

 

 

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About A.Y. Foundation, Inc.

The AY Foundation Inc. is a YGC member, tracing back its roots to the Bayanihan Foundation set up in 1970 by Amb. Alfonso T. Yuchengco to administer an educational fund for the children of Grepalife employees and sales associates. It has then evolved to support health related projects, inspire youth to exemplify the virtues of discipline, integrity, self-sacrifice, and courage and instills social responsibility involvement among them. For more information, please visit http://www.ayfoundation.com.ph or call (+632) 894.9000 or drop by 48F Yuchengco Tower RCBC Plaza 6819 Ayala Avenue, Makati City

 

 

About JCI Philippines

JCI Philippines is part of a leading global network that of young active citizens that aims to provide development opportunities that empower young people to create positive change in their communities to build as one. For more information, please visit http://www.jci.org.ph or call (+632) 374.4138, email at info@jci.org.ph or drop by 14 Don A. Roces Avenue, 1103 Quezon City

 

 

About JCI Philippines-Manila

JCI Manila is the first and premier leadership organization established not only in the Philippines but also in Asia, where young men join to become better leaders. The organization believes that it is through reaching out to others that you learn more about yourself. 

 

For more information, please visit http://www.jcimanila.org or call (+632) 525.6791 or email clubhouse@jcimanila.org

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Pope-Francis-easter-3-250x300

Pope Francis

PHOTO / ALBERTO PIZZOLI / AFP / ALBERTO PIZZOLI

 

VATICAN CITY – Pope Francis urged the world in his Easter message on Sunday to use the “weapons of love” to combat the evil of “blind and brutal violence”, following the attacks in Brussels.

After a week of sombre religious events commemorating Jesus’ death, Francis said an Easter Sunday Mass under tight security for tens of thousands of people in a sun-drenched St. Peter’s Square.

Afterwards, in his traditional, twice-yearly “Urbi et Orbi” (to the city and the world) message, he spoke of violence, injustice and threats to peace in many parts of the world.

“May he (the risen Jesus) draw us closer on this Easter feast to the victims of terrorism, that blind and brutal form of violence which continues to shed blood in different parts of the world,” he said, speaking from the central balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica.

He mentioned recent attacks in Belgium, where at least 31 people were killed by Islamist militants, as well as those in Turkey, Nigeria, Chad, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, and Iraq.

“With the weapons of love, God has defeated selfishness and death,” the leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Roman Catholic said from the same balcony from where he first appeared to the world on the night of his election on March 13, 2013.

The 79-year-old Argentine pontiff urged people to channel the hope of Easter in order to defeat “the evil that seems to have the upper hand in the life of so many people”.

The pope condemned the Brussels attacks several times during the past week, including at a Good Friday service where he said followers of religions who carried out acts of fundamentalism or terrorism were profaning God’s name..

The former king and queen of Belgium, Albert II and Paola, who is Italian, attended the Mass and the pope greeted them afterwards.

In other parts of his address, Francis expressed the hope that recent talks could resolve the conflict in Syria in order to end the “sad wake of destruction, death, contempt for humanitarian law and the breakdown of civil concord”.

He urged Europe “not to forget those men and women seeking a better future, an ever more numerous throng of migrants and refugees – including many children – fleeing from war, hunger, poverty and social injustice.”

The European Union and Turkey have agreed to stop the flow of migrants to Europe in return for political and financial concessions for Ankara. Turkey and The Aegean islands have been the main route for migrants and refugees pouring into Europe in the past year.

Francis called for dialogue between Israelis and Palestinians, and resolutions to conflicts and political tensions in Yemen, Iraq, Libya, Burundi, Mozambique, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Sudan, and Ukraine.

Security was very tight around the square, which was bedecked with more than 35,000 flowers and plants donated by the Netherlands.

Police checked people several times at various points along the approach the square and subjected those with entry tickets to body and bag searches even before they passed through metal detectors. Security sources said police reinforcements had arrived in Rome from other Italian cities.

Islamic State militants have made threats against Catholic targets in Rome. Last year, a website used by militants ran a photo montage showing the movement’s black flag flying from the obelisk at the centre of St Peter’s Square.

 

This handout picture released by the Vatican press office shows Pope Francis waving to the crowd from the central loggia of St Peters' basilica during the "Urbi et Orbi" blessing for Rome and the world following the Easter Sunday mass on March 27, 2016 at St Peter's square in Vatican. Christians around the world are marking the Holy Week, commemorating the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, leading up to his resurrection on Easter.      AFP PHOTO / OSSERVATORE ROMANO/HO  RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT "AFP PHOTO / OSSERVATORE ROMANO" - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS / AFP / OSSERVATORE ROMANO / HO

 

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Comfort on difficult days

smiles when sadness intrudes

rainbows to follow the clouds

laughter to kiss your lips

sunsets to warm your heart

hugs when spirits sag

beauty for your eyes to see

friendships to brighten your being

faith so that you can believe

confidence for when you doubt

courage to know yourself

patience to accept the truth

Love to complete your life.


– Author Unknown

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Sometimes it is better to be kind than to be right.

We do not need an intelligent mind that speaks,

. . . but a patient heart that listens.

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What if I never knew?

What if I never found you?

I never had this feeling in my heart

How did this come to be?

I don’t know how you found me

But from the moment I saw you

Deep inside my heart I knew

Baby you’re my destiny

You and I were meant to be

With all my heart and soul

I’ll give my love to have and hold

And as far as I can see

You were always meant to be

My destiny

I wanted someone like you

Someone that I could hold on to

And give my love until the end of time

But forever was just a word (just a word)

Something I’d only heard about

But now you’re always there for me

When you say forever I believe

Maybe all we need

Is just a little faith

‘Coz baby I believe

That love will find a way

You’re my destiny

 

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Let us remember that the Christmas heart is a giving wide open heart that thinks of others first.

The birth of the baby Jesus stands as the most significant event in all history.

It give us meaning , the pouring into a sick world of the healing medicine of love which has transformed all manner of hearts for almost two thousand years.

Let the spirit of love gently fill our hearts and homes.

In this loveliest of seasons we have many reasons for happiness.

Let us honor Christmas in our hearts , we have the gift of faith, the blessing of hope

and the peace of His love and try to keep it all the years.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all!

✿◕‿◕✿

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Dear God of Compassion,

There is such a hole in our hearts.  Today should be a day of joy, but we feel emptiness and loss.

While the world celebrates around , I remember Christmas celebrations of the past and people long to have we loved We bring our sorrows to You, Lord, like some odd gift of the magi and dump them at Your feet. In our blind tears we wonder if anyone can possibly understand the depth of our sadness.

 

We know, You can. You sent Your son to be with us in our deepest sorrows and we know that even though we might not feel it now, You are here with us, grieving with us, caring for us in our sadness.

Dearest Lord, help us to turn to the one we miss so much today and speak. Help us heal the loss of our parting and help us not to regret the things we didn’t say. Sorrow tears at our hearts, but today we ask that our  loss soften our hearts and make us more compassionate with everyone we meet, so that our loss may become a gift to others.

Amen.

 


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