DWCU In Another Triple Celebration

The Feast of

St. Arnold Janssen (Jan.15)

President’s Day (Jan.18)

St. Josef Freinademetz (Jan.29)


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St. Arnold & St. Josef

The DWCU Family celebrated last January 18 the Feast of St. Arnold Janssen the Founder of the Society of the Divine Word, the Natal Day of the DWCU President and the Feast of St. Josef Freinademetz in a solemn mass at the St. Michael’s Gymnasium. The thanksgiving mass was prepared and sponsored by the College Department headed by Dean Leonida Javillo with the assistance of the Campus Minister Fr. Servasius Tethun, SVD.

Fr. President gave emphasis on the Power of the Word that inspired St. Arnold to begin a worldwide mission by founding the Society of the Divine Word (SVD), the Sisters Servants of the Holy Spirit (SSpS) and the Sisters Servants of the Holy Spirit of Perpetual Adoration (SSpSAP). The Word is Life-giving, creative, dynamic and powerful. The driving force of the whole creation as everything was created because of Him. The Word was made flesh, the Divine Word. The prologue of St. John, the favorite passage of St. Arnold was the moving force of the celebration. St. Josef is a faithful believer of the Word, a lover of the Word and herald of the Word as the first SVD Missionary to China. 

We are privileged to be called Divinians…Witness to the Word. “May the darkness of sin and the night of unbelief vanish before the light of the Word and the spirit of grace, and may the heart of Jesus live in the hearts of all.   

Mr. Rey Mamasig

After the mass a tribute to Fr. President was rendered by the whole community. Mr. Reynald Mamasig moved by the spirit with the words DRIVING FORCE boldly printed in his shirt masterfully motivated the presentations from the Elementary Department with their dance rendition, a song from the nightingales of the High School Department, the intertaining ballroom dance of the Collegians, a mini concert of the Seminarians and the Hit-Back Medley of the members of the Campus Pastoral Council. Fr. President expressed his heartfelt gratitude to the whole community for the display of their thoughtfulness and expression of love inspiring him to reciprocate in many ways. He then officially declaired the day a “holiday” for the DWCU. A simple meal prepared by Fr. Finance Officer and shared by everyone made the day complete.










Heart of a Teacher

by Paula Fox

He was in the first third grade class I taught at Saint Mary’s School in Morris, Minnesota. All 34 of my students were dear to me, but Mark Eklund was one in a million. Very neat in appearance, he had that happy-to-be-alive attitude that made even his occasional mischievousness delightful.

Mark talked incessantly. I had to remind him again and again that talking without permission was not acceptable. What impressed me so much, though, was his sincere response every time I had to correct him for misbehaving. “Thank you for correcting me, Sister!” I didn’t know what to make of it at first, but before long I became accustomed to hearing it many times a day.

One morning my patience was growing thin when Mark talked once too often, and then I made a novice teacher’s mistake. I looked at Mark and said, “If you say one more word, I am going to tape your mouth shut!” It wasn’t ten seconds later when Chuck blurted out, “Mark is talking again.” I hadn’t asked any of the students to help me watch Mark, but since I had stated the punishment in front of the class, I had to act on it. I remember the scene as if it had occurred this morning. I walked to my desk, very deliberately opened my drawer and took out a roll of masking tape. Without saying a word, I proceeded to Mark’s desk, tore off two pieces of tape and made a big X with them over his mouth. I then returned to the front of the room. As I glanced at Mark to see how he was doing, he winked at me. That did it! I started laughing. The class cheered as I walked back to Mark’s desk, removed the tape, and shrugged my shoulders. His first words were, “Thank you for correcting me, Sister.”

At the end of the year, I was asked to teach junior-high math. The years flew by, and before I knew it Mark was in my classroom again. He was more handsome than ever and just as polite. Since he had to listen carefully to my instruction in the “new math,” he did not talk as much in ninth grade as he had in third. One Friday, things just didn’t feel right. We had worked hard on a new concept all week, and I sensed that the students were frowning, frustrated with themselves and edgy with one another. I had to stop this crankiness before it got out of hand. So I asked them to list the names of the other students in the room on two sheets of paper, leaving a space between each name. Then I told them to think of the nicest thing they could say about each of their classmates and write it down. It took the remainder of the class period to finish their assignment, and as the students left the room, each one handed me the papers. Charlie smiled. Mark said, “Thank you for teaching me, Sister. Have a good weekend.” That Saturday, I wrote down the name of each student on a separate sheet of paper, and I listed what everyone else had said about that individual.

On Monday I gave each student his or her list. Before long, the entire class was smiling. “Really?” I heard whispered. “I never knew that meant anything to anyone! I didn’t know others liked me so much.” No one ever mentioned those papers in class again. I never knew if they discussed them after class or with their parents, but it didn’t matter. The exercise had accomplished its purpose. The students were happy with themselves and one another again.

That group of students moved on. Several years later, after I returned from vacation, my parents met me at the airport. As we were driving home, Mother asked me the usual questions about the trip, the weather, my experiences in general. There was a lull in the conversation. Mother gave Dad a sideways glance and simply said, “Dad?” My father cleared his throat as he usually did before something important. “The Eklunds called last night,” he began. “Really?” I said. “I haven’t heard from them in years. I wonder how Mark is.” Dad responded quietly. “Mark was killed in Vietnam,” he said. “The funeral is tomorrow, and his parents would like it if you could attend.” To this day I can still point to the exact spot on I-494 where Dad told me about Mark.

I had never seen a serviceman in a military coffin before. Mark looked so handsome, so mature. All I could think at that moment was, “Mark, I would give all the masking tape in the world if only you would talk to me.” The church was packed with Mark’s friends. Chuck’s sister sang “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.” Why did it have to rain on the day of the funeral? It was difficult enough at the graveside. The pastor said the usual prayers, and the bugler played taps. One by one those who loved Mark took a last walk by the coffin and sprinkled it with holy water. I was the last one to bless the coffin. As I stood there, one of the soldiers who acted as pallbearer came up to me. “Were you Mark’s math teacher?” he asked. I nodded as I continued to stare at the coffin. “Mark talked about you a lot,” he said.

After the funeral, most of Mark’s former classmates headed to Chuck’s farmhouse for lunch. Mark’s mother and father were there, obviously waiting for me. “We want to show you something,” his father said, taking a wallet out of his pocket. “They found this on Mark when he was killed. We thought you might recognize it.” Opening the billfold, he carefully removed two worn pieces of notebook paper that had obviously been taped, folded and refolded many times. I knew without looking that the papers were the ones on which I had listed all the good things each of Mark’s classmates had said about him. “Thank you so much for doing that,” Mark’s mother said. “As you can see, Mark treasured it.” Mark’s classmates started to gather around us. Charlie smiled rather sheepishly and said, “I still have my list. I keep it in the top drawer of my desk at home.” Chuck’s wife said, “Chuck asked me to put his in our wedding album.” “I have mine too,” Marilyn said. “It’s in my diary.” Then Vicki, another classmate, reached into her pocketbook, took out her wallet and showed her worn and frazzled list to the group. “I carry this with me at all times,” Vicki said without batting an eyelash. “I think we all saved our lists.” That’s when I finally sat down and cried. I cried for Mark and for all his friends who would never see him again.

The density of people in society is so thick that we forget that life will end one day. And we don’t know when that one day will be. So please, tell the people you love and care for that they are special and important. Tell them, before it is too late.

The Pilgrim Image of Fatima Visits the Diocese of Urdaneta


The Divine Word College of Urdaneta academic community warmly welcomed the Pilgrim Image of our Lady of Fatima last July 27, 2010 in a vigil for an hour and the celebration of the Word and the Eucharist with Most. Rev. Jacinto A. Jose, DD the bishop of the diocese of Urdaneta as the main celebrant together with the clergy and the SVD Fathers.
The Bishop and the clergy lauded the “full force”, magnanimous support and presence of the Divinians with all the departments of this Marian Lovers institution. Our beloved Lady is the mother of the Divine Word, Mary is our mother. We pray for her intercession that every Divinian will be placed under the mantle of her maternal protection.
The image is one of the original statues blessed by Pope Paul VI and was later brought to the Philippines and crowned as the National Pilgrim Image during the launching of the National Marian Year in December 1984. It was subsequently entrusted to Bahay Maria for care and protection until it was permanently handed to the National Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima on October 17, 1999. The Pilgrim Image was the forefront of the “EDSA People Power Revolution” in 1986 where Our Lady, through the image, showed her maternal protection to our people. This is the reason why the image of Our Lady of Fatima is considered as the universal image of peace. During the solemn rites of her turn-over to the National Shrine, the signing of an “Agreement for Acceptance of Responsibility for Care and Protection” was also made. Since then, the image has been a witness of numerous note-worthy events which shaped the history of the Church and the society.


A Tribute to Mr. Sixto Lopez – Teacher for Life





The “Red Mass” that bears the thanksgiving intention of Mr. Sixto Lopez provided an impetus in the sharing of God’s bounty in a table prepared by those who cared much for him: the whole faculty of the High School Department whom he regarded through the years as his family. This whole family invited everybody in the rank and file of this only Catholic college in the Diocese of Urdaneta.  It was like a biblical experience on the multiplication of the bread. What little everyone contributed from the heart was blessed and was multiplied of which surplus was remained untold to date. The table was indeed overflowing, a manifestation of the overflowing love of this community to the honoree Mr. Sixto Lopez a teacher for life.


The simple but meaningful AGAPE flowed towards the St. Michael’s Gymnasium where  all of the guests, students, seminarians, teachers, professors, non-academic personnel, administrators and SVDs were gleefully gathered for a Farewell Program in honor of the equally most beloved “Tito Lits” of the whole campus. Thunderous clapping of hands filled the whole gymnasium for sometime when the master of ceremonies Ms.  Analyn G. Cruz announced over the microphone that the program was about to begin. The whole program followed this sequence:

I. Dances  – Students

  • Telephone – First Year
  • Mambo 5 – Second Year
  • Rico Mambo – Third Year
  • Body Body Dance – Fourth Year


The students rendered their part dancing the favorite beats and movements of Mr. Lopez refreshing his youthful days of teaching. It was that summer of 1982 the year before the assassination of Sen. Benigno Aquino when Mr. Lopez applied for a teaching position at then Divine Word Academy of Urdaneta. His teaching mission witnessed the administration of five Philippine Presidents: President Ferdinand Marcos, President Corazon Aquino, President Joseph Estrada, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and now in his retirement the proclamation of the President Elect Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III.

II. Song Number – Administration/Faculty/Staff

  • Ocean Deep
  • First of May

While the students reviewed the dances, the Administration, Faculty and Staff rendered a “hit back” of the favorite sounds, songs and music of the honoree that started with the “Ocean Deep”. Remembering those happy memories with Mr. Lopez  refreshed by the song, one by one slowly felt misty eyed. Some copies of the song went wet brought about by those crystal liquid that fell witnessing how they love and care their beloved “Tito”.

III. Skit – High School Faculty

The favorite skit-drama was performed by selected faculty members depicting the humor and light attitude of Mr. Lopez in the classrooms, faculty room and around the campus.

IV. Testimonies

  • Mrs. Emma Tabobo
  • Mr. Louise Lorian
  • Mr. Reynald Mamasig
  • Mr. John Ramos
  • Mrs. Myra Alver

Colleagues closest to the heart of the honoree rendered their testimonies on how they treasured their beautiful experiences with him. Saying goodbye to a good friend is not easy, much more saying “adeu” to a teacher – a molder of character, wisdom, soul and ones future.

V. Message – Fr. Dominador O. Ramos, SVD

The President of DWCU expressed his heartfelt gratitude in behalf of the Board of Trustees, the Members of the DWCU Corporation, the Divine Word Missionaries of the Northern Philippine Province, the Administrators, Faculty members, Non-academic personnel, parents and students  of the Divine Word College of Urdaneta for the highly commendable 28 years of faithful service of Mr. Sixto Lopez to this institution.

VI. Response – Mr. Sixto Lopez

The honoree coming up the stage for his response did not stay long at the podium. Words were not enough to express how he felt and how grateful he was being at the Divine Word College of Urdaneta. He summed up everything when he said: “You are all nearest to my heart.” “Thank you very much”.

VII. Farewell Song / Flower Offering / Gift Offering

  • Farewell to You My Friend
  • For He is a Jolly Good Fellow

For the last time, the Administrators, Faculty and Staff went up to the stage to render the final homage to the honoree singing together out of their hearts: “Farewell to You My Friend” offering flowers and gifts as an expression of deep feelings of love and gratitude to “Tito Lits”. Indeed the last song provided the synthesis of our coming together for our beloved teacher-retiree…”For He is A Jolly Good Fellow”.