The presence of the Religious of the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament in the Philippines came through the remarkable initiative of His Eminence Rufino Cardinal Santos, then Archbishop of Manila, whose motivation in inviting the Sacramentinos in his diocese was to establish the parish of Sta. Cruz Manila as a National Shrine of the Eucharist. This invitation was inclined to recognizing the main charism of the Blessed Sacrament Fathers which is the propagation of Eucharistic devotion.
- Thus, the administration of the church of Sta. Cruz officially began on 15th of August 1957. American Sacramentinos were the pioneering religious to form the first community of SSS in the Philippines, who were altogether housed in the Rectory of the Sta. Cruz Parish in Manila.
- Until 1993, the SSS Mission in the Philippines was directly administered by the Blessed Sacrament Religious of the American Province of Saint Ann. Then came the establishment of the Philippines as an independent Province under the Marian titular: Province of Our Lady of the Assumption (POLA) in 1993. In general principle, the presence of the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament in the parishes is to cooperate with the Parish Pastoral Council, placing their consecrated life at the service of the parish community. Through their presence, their life of prayer and pastoral commitment, they reinforce the apostolic thrust of the parish in the measure of their capabilities.
- As the SSS Religious immerse their charism and spirituality in the parish, they also introduce lay organizations attached to the ideals of the Congregation, that is, to make the Eucharist become the center of their Christian piety and devotion. To name some of the remarkably SSS-organized group of lay men and women involved in the parish program, they are the: Life in the Eucharist Seminar (LITES), Men’s Eucharistic League (MEL), Women’s Eucharistic League (WEL), Eucharistic Fraternity (EF), Apostles of the Eucharist (AOE), Blessed Sacrament Vocation Club (BSVC), Servitium Christi and other organizations related to the promotion of evangelization through the Eucharist.
- On August 15 2022, the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament marked its sixty-five (65) years of Eucharistic mission in the Philippines. It is blessed with the flourishing of religious vocation and its collaboration to the Dioceses has extended beyond borders of the Philippine shores. To date, the Filipino Sacramentinos are present in twelve (12) different Dioceses/Archdioceses in the Philippines including Hawaii and Uganda. There are Filipino Sacramentinos at present as well who are in collaboration with the Arch/Dioceses of Canberra and Goulburn in Australia, Pueblo-Colorado and Cleveland-Ohio in USA, and Madrid in Spain. These are all blessings that come with the great responsibility of the Filipino Sacramentinos to strengthen and deepen the love of the faithful to Christ in the Eucharist.
- This year 2022, there are eighty-four (84) Perpetually Professed Sacramentinos under Philippine Province. Seventy-seven (77) of which are Ordained Priests, while six (6) of them are Brothers and one (1) Deacon. They are into the many different forms of ministry through which the service of the Congregation for the Church is expressed. Aside from parish administrations, the Sacramentinos also involved in the ministry of chaplains in the universities and colleges, professorial ministry in the seminary schools, ministry to diocesan tribunals, vocation apostolate, ministry on religious formation, and mandated ministries for the direct governance of the SSS Religious in the Philippine province. At present, POLA has eighteen (18) scholastics (temporary professed) and eight (8) Novices and six (6) postulants under formation.
At the center of all Filipino Sacramentinos’ aspiration is to make their presence become an opportunity of bringing the face of Christ into the life of their ministry through the Church for whom they all vowed to serve and to love. Their ministry above all is to draw everyone close to the Real Presence of Christ celebrated and adored in the Eucharist.
Provincial Update n° 21 - September 2022
Our Lady of the Assumption