A Day Dedicated to the Father Founder
Written by antonio nocellado   
Friday, 07 September 2012 05:38

September 3, 2012- The priests and brothers of the Rogationist Theologate dedicated the whole day for the community celebration of the Father Founder’s Day with the liturgical celebrations of lauds, the Holy Mass, and vespers in honor of St. Hannibal Mary Di Francia. In the evening, the third year theology students delivered a conference on their proposed topic: “Rogate: Gift from the Spirit to St. Hannibal, for the Church.”

Below is the transcribed text of their conference delivered to the community:

 

Father Founder’s Day

“Rogate: Gift from the Spirit to St. Hannibal, for the Church”

Presented by Bros. Rogie Quinga,Tommy Latina, Kristian Taok, Michael Leynes,RG Cagbabanua, Carlo Balaguer & Antonio Nocellado Jr. to the FDFCS Community

September 9, 2012 

Outline:

Part I: The Spirit as Source of every Charism

Part II: Rogate as the Original Inspiration received by Fr. Hannibal

Part III: Rogate as a Work of the Church, for the Church, and by the Church  

Part IV: Rogate: Newness of the Gift of the Holy Spirit in the New Evangelization

 

Content:

Part I: The Spirit as the Source of every Charism (by Bro. Tommy)

What are the charisms?

"A charism is a special gift, a perceptible and freely bestowed manifestation of the Holy Spirit, a particular grace of God which is given for the benefit of the whole Body of the Church."

                                                                           According to:  Leon-Joseph Cardinal Suenens

It is said that the principal agent of the whole of the Church's mission is the Holy Spirit. Let us start our discussion then from the Constitution Lumen Gentium as we read: "The Spirit dwells in the Church and in the hearts of the faithful, as in a temple ( 1 Cor 3:16; 6:19). In them he prays on their behalf and bears witness to the fact that they are adopted sons ( Gal 4:6; Rom 8:15-16, 26). The Church, which the Spirit guides in the way of all truth (Jn 16:13) and which he unified in communion and in works of ministry, he both equips and directs with hierarchical and charismatic gifts and adorns with his fruits (Eph 4:11-12; 1 Cor 12:4; Gal 5:22)" (LG 4).

After listening to the Lumen Gentium let us now listen to St. Paul in regards to this topic of discussion. "There are different gifts but the same Spirit; there are different ministries but the same Lord; there are different works but the same God who accomplishes all of them in everyone" (1 Cor 12:4-6). In the words of St. Paul we read that the many forms of charisms or gifts and the variety of  ministries and works are placed together.  With this verse it suggests that the Holy Spirit is the one who gives the many forms of gifts which are manifested in the many different ministries, in the many different communities that we find now a days collaborating in the building up of the Body of Christ, and it is even safe to say, that even during the time of the early church. Each member of the Church is gifted with these charisms, which are very effective in meeting the needs within the Church and in empowering her missions.  The Spirit as the principal agent of mission, of evangelization, is the one who builds the Kingdom of God.

Part II: Rogate as the Original Inspiration received by Fr. Hannibal  (Bro. Rogie & Bro. Michael)

A. The Inspiration

The Founder’s concept of the Holy Spirit

“We pray to the adorable third person of the most holy Trinity, the holy and divine Paraclete, on whom any sanctification depends. We must pray to him fervently, especially in his novena and feast, asking for his seven gifts as well as for the achievement of the 12 fruits. When a person receives the gifts of the Holy Spirit, she becomes holy and perfect.” 

The Holy Spirit in the Prayer of St. Hannibal

Upon praying in front on the Blessed Sacrament, St. Hannibal’s attention was captured by the Gospel passage of St. Matthew...

He felt that there must be an appropriate thing concerning the saving of souls and for more good and holy workers in the Church. “He searched for appropriate prayer in books but he did not succeed in finding any that expressed his sentiments. From that time on, he always kept in mind that the Church needed such prayer. Later, when he came across the following gospel, he heard a voice inside him telling him to make himself an apostle and propagator of this prayer: Rogate ergo…” (life and works 24-25). Enamored by the precious pearl he discovered, he devoted much of his time for spiritual reading material and he studied the bible. It nurtured the spirit of the saintly founder that urged him to accept and embrace the gift (charism of the congregation) of the Holy Spirit given to him.

Furthermore, the Founder himself admitted that the same passage he encountered for several times in his life but only at that moment he was able to discover and moved by the beauty and message that calls him to do something. It is said that, “this idea was a child of a great word of the Gospel, a child of a greater, sublime idea, that the Spirit, who blows wherever he wishes, instilled into the soul of Spiritual youth many years before the pious institute’s birth” (RA 227). This means that everything is not just a product of human endeavor but through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit that moved the founder to pay special attention to this divine command. As the Holy Spirit inspired the founder, it is also the same spirit that journeys with the founder to make the prayer effective, alive and life giving to the congregation and Church.

The Holy Spirit as the guide of the Founder to see the Signs of Times.

To fulfil his mission, God endows his instrument/ priest with a particular power and grace. The life of the founder exhibits his faithfulness and the ability to listen attentively to the groaning of the Holy Spirit that abled to reflect significant actions on how to give glory to God. It is the same Spirit that sustains the burning zeal in his heart that formed the character and identity of the congregation. It is the Holy Spirit that leads him to hear the cry of the poor, to beg for more good and holy workers in God’s vineyard, and the need for the salvation of souls.

B. Expression of the Original Inspiration in St. Hannibal

Fr. Hannibal describes his experience of receiving the inspiration of the Rogate with these words: “There was a person who paid specific attention to this divine command before he read it in the Gospel, and began his career with this attention… A great sublime idea that the spirit of God, who blows wherever he wishes it to, inspired to a young man in the beginning of his spiritual youth, many years before he started the pious institution…” From these words we can realize that Fr. Hannibal recognized that indeed it was the Spirit’s dynamic presence that inspired him with this sublime gift for the Church for the salvation of souls. With this inspiration Fr. Hannibal did not left any stone unturned so as to make this special gift, charism from the Spirit, be buried in the ground, but rather put into a produce of a hundredfold. Thus whatever his sons and daughters do as mission in the Church at this present times are but just coming from that original inspiration of Fr. Hannibal. In a unique way Fr. Hannibal in his life and works responded to the gift of the Rogate. This could be summarized and be mirrored in the Rogate’s threefold expression of praying, propagating and being.

The presence of the Spirit may be recognized in his fruits present in the individuals who are open and docile to his dynamism and life. In Fr. Hannibal the presence of the Spirit is made visible by his life and deeds, inspired, rooted and founded in to the Divine Command Rogate and its threefold expression.

To pray for more Holy vocations in the Church

It is the Spirit who teaches us to pray,  (Rom. 8:26) and it is indeed the same Spirit who gave inspiration and enlightenment to Fr. Hannibal to be an ardent pray-er of good laborers in the harvest of the Master, imploring him and adoring him in contemplation in the Holy Eucharist. His prayerful confidence in the Lord shows his faith and piety, signs and realization of the Spirit’s presence in His life. In the Lord’s promise that whomever implore in His Name whenever he ask shall be answered, seek and shall find, and knock and the door will be opened for him (Mt. 7:7), Fr. Hannibal’s filial trust founded. When he prayed for more Holy Vocations it was a prayer not only said by his lips but it was a trusting prayer of the every beating of his heart. It was through his being open and docile to the Spirit that he was able to penetrate the longing and desire of Jesus when he saw the abandoned crowds like seep without a shepherd (Mt 9:35-38). And thus he obeyed and ardently prayed, Rogate, Send O, Lord Holy Apostles into Your Church.

To propagate this “Prayer”

The spirit teaches what to say (Mt. 10:20) and it is through the same Holy Spirit that one is empowered to speak the words of the Lord with courage. (Acts 4: 31) Because of the Spirit’s power Fr. Hannibal possessed the Zeal to propagate this great means of saving souls, Rogate. He propagated this prayer through his words and preachings, writings and publications, prayers and exhortations, acts and deeds of charity, establishment of organization and congregations (FDZ and RCJ) and spiritual alliances to priests and bishops. He was so anxious that this prayer become universal that he even implored the Popes to consider and give importance to such prayer and make it part of the Church’s main intention. His fortitude and courage to face all difficulties just to make this prayer be known and be practiced by the whole world was a visible sign of the Spirit’s dynamic stirring in his person.

Becoming a Good Laborer in the Harvest

The Spirit sanctifies lives and gives charism for a particular service in the Church and the people of God. (2 Thes. 2:13)  Like those who is open to the Spirit, they inwardly grow in holinesss and sanctification and conformity to God for the spirit is dynamic and alive. (Rom. 8:23) Fr. Hannibal had been exemplar in the life in the Spirit, a life of holiness and sanctity. In his concern and care, benevolence and unconquerable goodwill for the highest good of the other especially the poor and the little ones he shows the Spirit’s fruit of love. In his jovial service and life as priest, he manifested the Spirit’s fruit of joy. In his contentment, trust in divine providence and continuous seeking of the Kingdom of God he manifested the Spirit’s fruit of peace. By his endurance of sufferings and rejections in his work for the poor and the propagation of the rogate and perseverance in life of holiness, he shows the Spirit’s fruit of patience. In his gentleness, friendliness and affability with dealing with the orphans and the poor; his helping without seeking something in return he showed the Spirit’s fruit of kindness. In his consistent manifestation of virtue, of moral excellence and righteousness he manifests the Spirit’s fruit of goodness. In his undying fidelity to his vocation, faith and particular charism he manifested the Spirit’s fruit of faithfulness. In his chastity, mortification, penances and constant custody of the senses he shows the Spirit’s fruit of self-control and continence. Fr. Hannibal has been a master and model of following Christ on the path to holiness. He had been answer to his ardent prayer and became a good labourer in the harvest of the Lord and a shining example for all men in the quest for holiness and a genuine relationship with God.

What makes Fr. Hannibal live such a life of holiness is because of his burning zeal for the Rogate and the little ones and the poor. It was rooted in that gift and inspiration which he received from the Spirit, which is the Lord’s gift not only for him but for the whole Church and the salvation of souls.

Part III: The Gift the Rogate: For the Church and by the Church (by Bro. Kristian & Bro. RG)

The Saints are persons uniquely “called to give a concrete evangelical answers to the needs of men and society in which they live, their testimony becomes in history an original way of sanctity for people of every time.”[1] The Rogate is the new way of sanctity traced by St. Hannibal in the Church, a true school of sanctity for all…The Charism of the Rogate, is therefore for every baptized, every one is called to live it according to the gift of the spirit.[2]Charisms are not intended as exclusive property of an institute, but as a gift of the Spirit to the Church through the Mediation of a Founder.[3] 

According to Father Hannibal, the passages from the Holy Gospel make a great revelation: 1.) Through those symbolical words Jesus represented the Holy Church, the whole world and each social organization as a harvest which should be cultivated by good workers to fill the mystical barns with copious crops… 2.)…there is no doubt that obedience to this divine command is the secret key that saves the Church and society. Such a prayer is the holy church’s greatest means to expand the Kingdom of God and to reach all goods in time and eternity.[4] The Rogate is therefore a work for the Church and by the Church. Pope Benedict XVI explains:

“According to the explicit command of the Lord, we must implore the gift of vocations, in the first place by praying untiringly and together to the “Lord of the harvest”.  The invitation is in the plural: “Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into his harvest” (Mt 9: 38). This invitation of the Lord corresponds well with the style of the “Our Father” (Mt 6: 9), the prayer that he taught us and that constitutes a “synthesis of  the whole Gospel” according to the well-known expression of Tertullian (cf. De Oratione, 1,6: CCL I, 258). In this perspective, yet another expression of Jesus  is instructive: “If two of you  agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven (Mt 18: 19). The Good Shepherd, therefore, invites us to pray to the heavenly Father, to pray unitedly and insistently, that he may send vocations for the service of the Church as communion.”[5]

In the understanding and zeal of St. Hannibal, the Evangelical Rogation had to become a universal prayer. St. Hannibal undertook innumerable initiatives. He wanted all to pray the Master of the Harvest for the gift of the good workers.[6] Our first duty, therefore, is to keep alive in families and in parishes, in movements and in apostolic associations, in religious communities and in all the sectors of diocesan life this appeal to the divine initiative with unceasing prayer. We must pray that the whole Christian people grows in its trust in God, convinced that the “Lord of the harvest” does not cease to ask some to place their entire existence freely at his service so as to work with him more closely in the mission of salvation.[7] The teaching of Father Hannibal and the value of the Rogate is very much needed and relevant in our present time; never as today the Church discovers and experiences the urgency of pastoral care for vocations based on the prayer to the Master of the Harvest.

Part IV: Rogate: Newness of the Gift of the Holy Spirit in the New Evangelization  (Bro. Antonio & Bro. Carlo)

In the previous section, we reflected on the proper role of the Holy Spirit as the source of every charism. It was first uniquely revealed as a foundational inspiration to St. Hannibal which proved to be a sure way to one’s sanctity and glorification of God. With that, St. Hannibal was called‘the Apostle of Prayer for Vocations’. This same charism has been passed on and manifested in the building up of the Church through the apostolate and witnessing of the Rogationists. As his sons, we are now the living extensions of St. Hannibal in his work for the realization of the kingdom through the special charism of the Rogate.

How do we then transmit this charism, as a gift of the Holy Spirit to St. Hannibal and the RCJ for the building up of the kingdom in this era of New Evangelization in the Church?

We are now in the new era of new-evangelization situated in the multi-faceted and rapidly changing post-modern world. We are in a world that is extremely fluid, liberal and relative but at the same to open for new insights and challenges. I think we are just at the right time to bring out our charism and be in dialogue, in order to bring light and hope to our post-modern society.

The Rogate in our era of new evangelization finds its expression in the post-modern society. The charism of the Rogate is like a fine wine that in as much as it was good and effective during the time of St. Hannibal, it is made even better now because of its ‘newness’ as a precious gift Holy Spirit.In the ‘newness” of the charism, we mean that this gift of the Holy Spirit, finds its new expressions as it answers to the emerging concerns of the church and the society at present.

We can be ingenious in our expressions of the charism so as to make it as effective “new method, approach, and means in transmitting the Good News.” Truly, we can put our charism at the service of the new evangelization in the Church.

As gifts of the Holy Spirit in the Church, how will these new evangelization and newness of the charism of the Rogate dialogue with our post-modern world?

First, in a world wherein man’s search for truth is coloured by excessive relativism, the charism of the Rogate tells us that in order to be guided with the knowledge of truth we need to sincerely ask the Lord in prayer to send us morally upright leaders. These leaders, religious or civil must have the heart patterned after God’s own compassionate heart. Thus, our prayers imploring from the Lord for good workers is the answer for the ultimate redemption of humanity.  (In Bros. Mike & Rogie’s research, we realized that the work of the Spirit gave inspiration and enlightenment to Fr. Hannibal to be an ardent pray-er of good laborers in the harvest of the Master- he himself a good worker, teaching the people of the people of Messina rich and poor esp. the people of the Avignone the morally upright thing to do, thus, the charism became effective, alive and life-giving & while Bros. Kris & RG’s stressed on the Rogate as the new way of sanctity traced by St. Hannibal in the Church, a true school of sanctity for all)

Second, as our society is leading us to the post-modern utilitarianism, which undermine and considers the marginalized and poor as liabilities, the charism of the Rogate challenges us to be bearers of the good news of God’s compassion to the poor and the weak. Through our charism, the Holy Spirit urges us to look at the poor as the favourites of God. That is why we give preference to the poor and help them as much as we can in their plight. (In Bro. Mike & Rogie’s research, we saw Father Hannibal’s concern and care, benevolence and unconquerable goodwill for the highest good of the other especially the poor and the little ones he shows the Spirit’s fruit of love.­....by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Fr. Hannibal heard the cry of the poor. While Bros. Kris and RG stressed that Rogate inspires the Rogationist to work for the realization of the kingdom-justice to the poor)

Third, as the world tells man to desire for power, wealth and fame for a total control of everything, the Spirit of the Rogate inspires us to be humble but zealous workers in the vineyard of the Lord. In their personal witnessing as zealous workers, others see Christ in them and give glory to God. Thus in humility, we become agents of reawakening others in their Christian faith by our way of life. (Bros. Mike & Rogie explained this when they related to us that Fr. Hannibal live such a life of holiness because of his burning zeal for the Rogate and the little ones and the poor. - endurance of sufferings and rejections, mortification, penance) & In Bro. Kris’ research, he spoke of the call to obedience rather that total control: “Obedience to this divine command “the Rogate” is the secret key that saves the Church and society. Such a prayer is the holy church’s greatest means to expand the Kingdom of God and to reach all goods in time and eternity.”)

Fourth, as the post-modern mentality stresses on individualism for man’s pursuit of satisfaction and happiness, the Holy Spirit as the source of unity gives us the gift of the Rogate to bind us together as a community for a common perspective and mission in life. Thus, with the ideals of the Rogate we are challenged to give witness to the fraternal life in our community as we all work together in the church for the building up of the kingdom. (In Bro. Kris & RG’s research, they explained that the Rogate is the new way of sanctity traced in St. Hannibal for the Church, a true school of sanctity for all…The Charism of the Rogate, is therefore for every baptized, everyone is called to live it according to the gift of the spirit. Charisms are not intended as exclusive property of an institute, but as a gift of the Spirit to the Church through the Mediation of a Founder.  ---its realization is in a collective work and not in a crocodile or buwaya attitude of individualism & The Rogate is a work OF THE Church, for the Church and by the Church—that why it is in plural form “Rogate”….. Another...Our first duty, therefore, is to keep alive in families and in parishes, in movements and in apostolic associations, in religious communities and in all the sectors of diocesan life this appeal to the divine initiative with unceasing prayer.)

Conclusion:

In our reflection regarding this era of new evangelization, we are made aware of the ‘newness’ of the charism of the Rogate though we are situated in a post-modern world. It is because both of them, the movement of the new evangelization and the charism of the Rogate are gifts of the same Spirit. The proper role of the Spirit brings about the gift of the Rogate to the Church through the instrumentality of St. Hannibal with his foundational inspiration.

With the Church journeying to the realization of the Kingdom, the Rogationists share their charism as expression of the fullness of the Spirit in the Church through the presence of each member. Thus, every Rogationist in this new era of evangelization is challenged to be sincere implorers of good workers, bearers of the good news of God’s compassion to the poor, agents of reawakening the Christian faith and lastly, as witnesses of fraternal life in their communities. 

----The End----

 


[1] In the Footsteps of Fr. Hannibal, article 31

[2] Ibid., article 39

[3] Starting Afresh from Avignone

[4] The Priesthood: Circular Letter of Fr. Tusino

[5] 43th World Day of Prayer for Vocations

[6] In the Footsteps of Fr. Hannibal

[7] 46th World Day of Prayer for Vocations

Last Updated on Friday, 07 September 2012 06:09
 
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