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Sun, Jun

Fr. Ruben Cornelio Cabe Areño, Fr. Nestor Thomas Zaragoza Candado, and Fr. Celso Celeste Godilano celebrated the 40th anniversary of Pauline priesthood in the morning of December 2, 2023. Fr. Ruben and Fr Celso were ordained on March 29, 1983 by Msgr. Protacio Gungon, Bishop of Antipolo while Fr Nestor on December 10, 1983 by Most Rev. Bishop Perkins, DD Auxiliary Bishop of Melbourne. The date was set so they could celebrate together in Makati.

Joining the concelebrated Mass at the Sanctuary of St. Paul in Makati were SSP priests from various communities. There was also a large attendance from their family members, the Pauline Family, and friends and benefactors of the SSP.

The main presider was Fr. Ruben Areño. The homilist was Provincial Superior Fr. Mario Sobrejuanite who was their companion in formation. Fr. Mario expressed the appreciation of SSP community, of the Pauline Family, and persons who felt graced by their friendship and office. Fr. Areño had a long service in formation, was Provincial Superior, and had a mission stint in Australia. Fr. Candado went to Australia as temporary professed and spent his years of priesthood in that country. He continues to be a member of the Australian Delegation. Fr. Godilano served as Provincial Superior for two terms, was a missionary to United Kingdom, and then spent 12 years in Rome as member of the General Council and served the unfinished term of the late Fr. Silvio Sassi as Superior General. Now back to the Philippines, he takes the office of Vicar Provincial and Delegate to the Aggregated Institutes: Our Lady of the Annunciation, St. Gabriel the Archangel, and Holy Family.

The fourth member of the group, Fr. Nicomedes Reforeal, was once a missionary to Venezuela. He passed away on September 1, 2019.

In his message to the Jubilarians, Superior General Don Domenico Soliman thanked them for the 40 years during which they have given everything of themselves for the good of the Pauline mission. He wished them to continue their journey as Pauline priests with joy, with more years on their shoulders. Their long experience of spiritual and apostolic life pushes them to be a wise and presence among others, a model of communion with God and their brothers.

In his words of thanks, Fr. Celso Godilano, expressed their gratitude to members of their family, their mentors and teachers, their companions in their journey, and their collaborators and partners in their common mission in Macau, Australia, United Kingdom, Ireland, and Italy. He added, “Thank you for loving and bearing with us. We feel your presence, not only in the best of times, like this, but most especially in moments of great difficulties. Your prayers and support serve as the wind beneath our wings.”

After the Eucharistic celebration, the whole community gathered at the Alberione Hall to partake of the agapē, to congratulate the Jubilarians, and enjoy each other’s presence.


Australia: Jubilee of ordination of Fr. Nestor Candado, SSP

The Pauline Family in Sydney, Australia. gathered in the Chapel of the Society of St Paul on Sunday, 10 December, to celebrate the fortieth anniversary of the priestly ordination of Fr Nestor Candado SSP.

While still a Junior professed, Fr Nestor was assigned to Australia from the Philippines in 1981 and was ordained to the priesthood in St Jude’s Church Scoresby (Melbourne) in 1983. He has served his entire priestly life in Australia, in our houses in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, including three terms as the Regional Superior.

In his homily, Fr Nestor spoke of his life as a journey firstly from his hometown in Iloilo to the Society of St Paul in Makati, then from the Philippines to Australia, and now into the future. Every stage of the journey has been with the Lord, and with many people, beginning with his parents and family. He is grateful to the Lord and all his companions along the way. He said his ‘yes’ to the Lord has always been in the context of his Pauline vocation. His priesthood is a Pauline priesthood.

At the end of the Mass, Fr Michael Goonan, thanked Fr Nestor for accepting to journey with the Pauline Family in Australia, and in a special way with the Society of St Paul, for these past forty years. Certainly, there have been blessings for Fr Nestor along the way, interspersed with many challenges that he has courageously accepted. The Sydney community remains very grateful for his continual ‘yes’ in the varying circumstances of our life.

On the previous Saturday, Fr Nestor was in the Philippines to join his companions, Fr Celso Godilano and Fr Ruben Areño, in celebrating forty years of priesthood. Fr Celso and Fr Ruben, along with Fr Mario Sobrejuanite, the Provincial Superior of the Philippines-Macau Province, travelled together on the same boat from Iloilo to Makati many years ago to begin their Pauline adventure. It was a special joy to celebrate this milestone with them. (Fr. Michael Goonan, SSP)