St. Hannibal Empowerment Centre

St. Hannibal Empowerment Center (SHEC) is a religious organization of the Rogationists of the Heart of Jesus. It is a community of Spirit-led persons which aims to follow Jesus Christ in his union with his Father and in his proclamation of the kingdom of God. It is an inserted community among the squatters. The goal of SHEC is to empower the poor people of Metro Manila, Philippines, through housing, livelihood, education, health, waste management, youth and values formation.

Location: Pasay City, Metro Manila

Mission: Its mission is to empower the poorest of the poor and catalyze an integral Christian transformation of urban poor communities in collaboration with the local Church by a holistic process that addresses concerns on housing, livelihood, education, health, environment and sanitation, justice and peace, youth formation and values formation. The goals of SHEC consist of assisting in alleviating poverty among urban poor communities in Pasay and other cities in Metro Manila; and building the foundation of community transformation through intensive values formation. Its objectives are, specifically, to facilitate the organization and formation of people’s organization that are self-sufficient and empowered, facilitate the values and spiritual formation and capability building of urban poor leaders, to assist the urban poor / informal settlers of Pasay and other cities in Metro Manila in realizing their dreams of achieving security of tenure through in-city relocation, to facilitate the implementation of economic programs and basic social services in urban poor communities, and to facilitate access to formal education in favor of the poor and deserving students.

Friday, March 16, 2012

February 2012 Highlights

Rogate: Feeling the love of God that sweetens every pain. February is the month of love. In the being of a butterfly, the very young Hannibal perceived the perfect blend between love and suffering. Consider these two stanzas of his poem, To a Little Butterfly:

            My little butterfly, among the flowers
            Slowly, slowly move your wings
            In the brightness of your sincerity
            May I delight eyes and heart

            My pain sweetens in you
            Charming pearl of my flowers
            Always beautiful, always sweet,
            Like a breath of love

Indeed, in God, every pain sweetens. This is the kind of God’s love shown by Jesus. In his painful cross, Jesus won for us the sweetness of eternal life. But this is only one side of the story. Before the cross, Jesus manifested the love of God by empowering people to work for total salvation in ongoing history, penetrating all strata of society (seeEvangeliiNuntiandi #18). Jesus preached that the Kingdom of God is about good news to the poor or justice and liberation, as well as health to the sick (see Lk 4:16-21). And following the tradition of the prophets, Jesus taught that love and justice can never be separated. Love or compassion is essentially about food for the hungry, land to the landless and other works of social justice. 

The love of God, understood holistically, is about social transformation. Following this insight inspired by Jesus and continued by St. Hannibal in his spirituality, SHEC moves on to proclaim Jesus’ and Hannibal’s love that does justice. 

Rogate Youth Ministry and ShaCCch. 12 enjoy Valentine’s Ball. The Kingdom of God, the Kingdom of Love, is about rejoicing. Amidst all sort of pain in this world, the Kingdom promises eternal happiness, something we strongly hope for. In a sense, the joy of the Kingdom has been enacted and experienced by the members of the Rogate Youth Ministry and SHaCC Chapter 12 when they conducted a valentine’s ball last February 14, 2012. Also, the event was an occasion for them to strengthen their bond, and to treat the members who will celebrate their 18th birthday this year. The joyous event was held at the St. Hannibal Training Center. It was organized by Fr. Orville Cajigal, RCJ together with some leaders and members of the Rogate Youth Ministry, SHEC Chapter (RYMSC).

Training on Data Management.  Empowerment essentially constitutes being organized, for empowerment is also about the awakening of the creative intellect and consciousness that puts order in a chaotic world of social injustice. Accordingly, an empowered love is that which sweetens the pain caused by greed. This is the background of the training on data management conducted among the Health Committee members of SHEC last February 14-16, 2012.  The leaders who attended the training were NelynBalbalosa, DeniaLisay, Evangeline Agonos, ErlindaSuperable, Gemma Gaceta and Nelia Reyna, and was facilitated by Dr. Ezra Valido.

Swedish students get oriented on SHEC housing project. God’s work is like a light that shines and illumines far and wide. God’s work at SHEC, indeed, could spread as far as Sweden, especially that students of Lund Univerity, Sweden conducted their field trip in order to be acquainted with SHEC’s housing project last February 22, 2012. It is hoped that their rubbing of elbows with flesh-and-blood realities at SHEC will awaken their heart for social concerns. The students were oriented by George Espin.

Free Eye Check Up and Bone Scanning. Health is happiness. Unhealthiness is pain. Often, poor people get sick because of inhumane living conditions. The Kingdom’s program of total salvation addresses not only poverty, but the effects of poverty like sickness. Guided by this conviction, Fr. Orville Cajigal, RCJ organized a free eye check up and bone scanning last February 25, 2012. Among those who availed of the medical service were Nelyn Balbalosa, Racquel Santos, Corazon Trinidad, Mary Ann Merelos, Imelda Gerbano, Evangeline Agonos, Luzviminda Benjamin, Jelie Jagonoy, Erlinda Superable, Nelia Reyna, Cecile Tan, Marilou Tatardillo, Juana Sarmiento, Michelle Dagatan, Edita Baluyot, Anabel Lagaran, Ma. Lanie Atarejos, Irene Borongan, Sharon Banzuela, Judith Tendoy and Josephina Velasco.

Bon Voyage, Fr. Angelo Mezzari and company. Love is indeed a mixture of pain and happiness. Meeting the Father General, Fr. Angelo Mezzari, RCJ brought overwhelming joy to the communities served by SHEC. Accordingly, the pain of parting filled the atmosphere as SHEC staff and representatives bid goodbye to Father Angelo in his despedida party held at Fr. Di FranciaCenter of Studies, Don Jose GreencourtSubd., San Dionisio, Merville Park, Paranaque City last February 23, 2012. The event was attended by Fr. Dexter Prudenciano, RCJ, Fr. Orville R. Cajigal, RCJ, Fr. Arlene Gumangan, RCJ, Ramon Espin, Joyce Dalay, AmelieTegio, AbegailApolong, EmerzonZuzon, Jessa Mae Hagosojos, Elmer Bergonia, Jr., Richie Ordonez, Irene Bedonia, EstrellaBuenaflor and Alma Borongan, RY SHEC Chapter, Pabanal and ShaCC

Saturday, March 03, 2012

January 2012 Highlights

Rogate: Emulating the Innocent and Pure Heart of the Child Jesus. January is the month of the Sto. Nino. This celebration reminds us that we have to be like children in order to enter the Kingdom of God. How is it to be like children? St. Hannibal offers excellent ways of being so. One time, he saw a little girl crying because of mosquitoes. He immediately ordered that the mosquito net reserved for him be given to the girl. He saw to it that the orphans ate nutritious food, and had to be treated well because, as orphans, they needed utmost care and understanding. Being like a child is to know how it is to be one. A child is pure and innocent but weak, vulnerable to maltreatment. Only an equally pure, innocent and compassionate heart can understand and is willing to work for the welfare of a powerless child.
            The poor and oppressed are like children. They are weak and are in need of society’s care and affection. To treat them well and to work for their wellbeing may not be that appealing. But to do so is the mission of Jesus (Lk 4:16-21). It is our mission too (Mk 10:11-17). It is one way of being like a child as exemplified by St. Hannibal. It is a way of the Rogate which continues to inspire and empower SHEC as it strives to serve the poor this January, 2012.

Happy Birthday and Priestly Anniversary Father Dex. Blessings of the Kingdom for the poor may come in many ways, one of which is the gift of a Kingdom apostle who is willing to dedicate his whole life for the wellbeing of the least. January is indeed a blessed month. On the 6th of this month, a Kingdom worker was born. On the 11th of this month, same Kingdom worker was consecrated as a priest of the poor. Yes, Father Dexter was given as a gift of God to the poor on the 6th and 11th of January respectively. To celebrate these wonderful events, the leaders of the SHaCC, PABaNAL and ROGATE Youth Ministry organized programs last January 6 and January 11. The event of January 11 was also dedicated to the members of the Fathers' Committee of St. Hannibal Homeowners' Association Phase 2.

Happy Priestly Anniversary, Father Jigs. January is indeed a blessed month for SHEC, for on this month, one of SHEC’s passionate and zealous Kingdom worker has also offered his perpetual commitment to live for deathless love for the poor and the oppressed. Yes, on the 21st of January, Father Orville “Jigs” Cajigal, RCJ remembers the time when he was consecrated as priest of God, priest for the marginalized. The community joyfully celebrated with Father Jigs this joyful event of his life.

January 24 Double Treat. For on this day, the Father General of the Rogationists, Fr. Angelo Mezzari, RCJ made his canonical visit during the foundation day celebration of SHEC, SHaCC and PABaNAL. He was accompanied by Fr. Jessie Martirizar, RCJ and Fr. MatteoSanavio, RCJ. They were pleased to see the growth of the Kingdom mission at Pasay and Baseco.

January 25 Another Double Treat. For on this day, SHEC’s dynamic Kingdom mission has taken a step farther. First, concerned persons, namely: Engr. Bing Natino, Ms. Josephine Resurreccion, Ms. Amy San Juan of NHA, George Espin of SHEC, Ms. Elsie Aradanas of PCUP, HOA 3 (Jean Sarmiento, Lita Lopez, Susan Andaya, Merly Baluyot, among others of HOA3, Joy Mosot and LiezelVillaluz of MIAA and the office of the Congresswoman met to discuss the work plan for the Phase 3 project. Truly, this event, it is hoped, will result in the construction of decent homes for the poor. Second, Ms. Lilet and Amy San Juan of NHA, Mr. Oliver Natividad of the LGU and Ms. Leanne CalixtoRubiano of the office of the congresswoman, together with George Espin and Benchu Zabala of SHEC conducted a training on how to conduct verification/validation of data among HOA 3 officers, SHHOA 4 officers , SHHOA 17 officers. Indeed, this activity can enhance the empowerment of said leaders in guiding their respective communities.

Grand Supplication! To be one in prayer with the Rogate family and to strengthen their bond,  the SHEC family represented by Fr. Dexter Prudenciano, RCJ, Fr. Orville R. Cajigal, RCJ, Fr. Arlene  Gumangan, RCJ, EmerzonZuzon, Joyce Dalay, AmelieTegio, Irene Bedonia, Jessa Mae Hagosojos, AbegailApolong, Felipe Gerandio, some leaders of SHaCC and some leaders of RYM PABaNAL Chapter joined in the celebration of the grand supplication held at Navotas, Laoag City last January 31, 2012.