Apostleship of Prayers
Apostleship of Prayer San Sebastian Parish was founded on April 1979. Fr. German Chicote, OAR was the first A.P. Spiritual Director.
The Apostleship of Prayer is a holy union of the Faithful. By their daily self-offering, they unite themselves with the Eucharistic sacrifice and, by this vital union with Christ, cooperate in the salvation of the world.
Conscious of their obligation as members of Christ’s mystical body to spread the Kingdom of God, they join prayers and sacrifice, so that they may contribute to the building up of Christ.
This union with Christ the High Priest by Prayers and sacrifice requires an intimate bond through mutual love. Hence, devotion to the Heart of Jesus is intimately associated with the Apostleship of Prayer. Through it, the faithful enter deeply into the ministry of Jesus and share profoundly in the Pascal Mystery of Christ.
The purpose of A.P. is to unite the faithful in a common bond of prayers and Christian living. Its goal is the development of the true Christian spirit in its members so that they can live the spirit of the Gospel is the spirit of the Heart of Christ which is the love of God and our neighbor.
Important Activities: Prison apostolate, dial a prayer or prayer request, enthronement of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, seminar and recollections.
- Sunday mass collectors
- Holy Hour every 1st Friday on the month
- Meeting every first Sunday of the month
- Sick visitation
- Marriage validation
- Bible enthronement
Block Rosary Federation
The Block Rosary Federation was founded in 1985 during the time of Father Nicolas Salvatierra, OAR as parish priest.
The San Sebastian Parish Block Rosary Federation has under its jurisdiction 21 blocks or areas of responsibilities. Each area has different leaders. THeir main concern is to encourage the different families in the parish to pray daily the holy rosary, inspiring them with an assurance: THE FAMILY THAT PRAYS TOGETHER STAYS TOGETHER. They take care of the weekly transfer of the image of our Blessed Mother form one house to another. As a common activity, the group takes care of Sunday mass collection during the 5:00 afternoon mass.
The main yearly activity if this organization is the living rosary being held on October 15 or another date agreed upon. During Lenten season and Good Friday, with the help of different parish organisations, all the officers and members of the Block Rosary lead the Station of the Cross in the different areas of the parish.
THe members of this group dedicate themselves to the apostolate of visiting the sick in the area. They also help preparing candidates for mass wedding, baptism and confirmation.
As early as 1979, there were professional cathechists hired to teach at Avancena and Aguinaldo High Schools. They were products form Lumen Christi Cathetical Formation Center and Stella Maris. During weekdays, they were regularly teaching religions among high school students and were serving sat the parish during the weekends. After a seminar on evangelization, a part of their work was to conduct bible sharing among block leaders. Sr. Maria Paz Bawagan was one of the first AR Coordinators
In April 1985, the parish organized a catechetical seminar for volunteer catechists. The main purpose was to catechist street children. It took effect during the month of May. After the May flower festival, the catechists made house visitation in order to encourage the parents to allow their children to come for catechism every Sunday. That was the beginning of Sunday afternoon catechism being held up to present. From their religious instructions, the children are led to attend mass; the children mass at 4:00 PM. A snack is served after the mass. It was in 1988 when some volunteer catechists were sent to the Mother of Life Formation Center for their training.
Every year, the parish celebrates the achievements of the children who attended religious instructions. They are awarded with certificates and being provided with school supplies. During Christmas, they are being entertained with parties and gifts. At present, there are around 70 to 100 children who come every Sunday with 16 active volunteer catechists. They have an Augustinian Recollect Sister Coordinator and some AR Aspirants who also give them
Other than imparting religious instructions to the children, the catechists also take charge of the choir every 8:00 AM mass on Sundays. Afterwards, they have their In Service-Training and meeting. THey also take care of preparing the children for the first communion and confirmation. As for their personal preparation, every now and then, a seminar is being conducted where resource persons are being invited. Once a year, they go for annual retreat which is usually followed by an excursion.
Holy Name Society
During the dark history of the church, there was a moment that heresy became rampant and almost destroyed its very foundation. But God the Almighty take a hand in choosing the right person to defend the church in the person of Saint Dominic who taught the people to respect the name of God. In the year 1274, during the council of Lyon His Holiness Pope Gregory X ordered the devotion to the holy Name of Jesus. John de Vercelli spearheaded the confraternity wherever necessary. From then on, the Holy Name Society rapidly grew from diocese until it crossed the ocean and landed in the different shores including the Philiippines. Because of the importance of the movement, the Holy Name Society of the Philippines was recognized and given mandate by the Episcopal Commission on Catholic Action on APril 21 19 51. There followed the establishment of the Archdiocesan Union of the Holy Name Society of Manila with all the units being under its umbrella. The San Sebastian Parish Unit Holy Name Society was canonically erected on August 12, 1986 during the incumbency of Fr. Nicolas Salvatierra as parish priest.
Beginning 1986, the San Sebastian Holy Namers regularly joined the confraternity in the “Walk for Peace” in going to Antipolo City during Independence Day and attend a regular monthly meeting of the society. Through the help of the Parish Pastoral Church, the San Sebastian Unit hosted this monthly meeting twice: one in 1992 and the other was in 1997. It also participated on bowling tournament and captured the Championship trophy. When there were some special activities, the society also sent representatives, for example, the Christmas Party usually held in some prestigious places like the Army and Navy Club, Philippine Club, and the recent Golden Anniversary held in Manila Hotel.
For its spiritual nourishment, the members attend the regular annual retreat and recollection, the Bennial and National Conventions conducted but the Archdiocesan Union Holy Name Society of Manila. They participate at Sto. Nino yearly parade in Roxas Boulivard.
As a parish mandated organization, the Holy Name Society is assigned to take care of decorating the Carroza of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel during the 1st Saturday dawn procession every month, in-charge of doing marshals during the parish religious processions and serve as collectors every Sunday during the 8:00 PM Mass. The members have a house to house visit with the Image of Sto. Nino every Monday. They hold meeting every Sunday and make themselves always available to assist the parish priest whenever called for.
Confraternity of Augustinian Recollect Altar Servers
They are young boys who assist the priest in the celebration of the sacraments particularly the Eucharist. Sometimes, they are referred to as Mass Servers, Sacristans, Aco-lytes.
It is easy to presume that there were already sacristans here in San Sebastian ever since the early part of its existence, if not right at the very beginning. It could be recalled that in the old times, there were religious brothers assigned to attend to the needs of the church. Moreover, as part of apostolate of the community, there were convent boys who were interns and were sent to school. Their duty was to take care of of the cleanliness of the church and assist in the mass.
When San Sebastian Parish was created, the sacristans were organized better. Their formation was attended to by an Augustunian Recollect Sister. With his background in liturgy, Fr. Sammy Silloriquez gave them the necessary training as to the proper way of serving, especially during solemn liturgical celebrations. With the number of sacristans increasing, another priest in the person of Fr. Emil Quilatan who organized their formation program and their investiture assisted by their respective family. Part of their program are sportfests with their fellow sacristans form other Recollect Churches and out of town excursions.
At present, there are 20 senior sacristans and 30 junior mostly active in the parish. They take turns in serving in all masses on Sundays and weekdays. The seniors are the ones assigned duringsolemn masses on special occasions and during the parish mass every Sunday at 6:00 PM. They hold bible sharing every Thursday. Many of them are parish scholars whose tuition is handled by the parish.
Extraordinary Minister of the Holy Communion
It was in 1987 when Father Nicolas Salvatierra, OAR, the incumbent parish priest, realizing that the number of priests is quite small to distribute holy communion during the mass, invented some lay people to attend a seminar for Extraordinary Ministers of the Holy Communion. Seven lay parishioners who were active in church activities responded to the invitation. They were sent to Pope Pius XII for their formal training. Thus marked the beginning of the existence of Lay Ministers for Holy Communion in this parish of San Sebastian. In the course of all these years, the Lay Ministers dedicate themselves to the following apostolates:
- Assist the priest in giving the Holy Communion of the faithful.
- Accompany them during visitation of the sick.
- Bring Holy Communion outside the church, to the disabled and bed ridden.
- Help in the imposition of the ashes on Ash Wednesday.
The Ministry of Lectors and Commentators
The San Sebastian Lectors and Commentators Group was organized by then Father Nicolas Salvatierra, OAR, followed by Father Hermenegildo Cerniza, OAR in the year 1991.
The main objective of Lectors and Commentators is to render meaningful readings for each Eucharistic celebration and involve the faithful by leading them to respond while participating during Holy Mass. In this Ministry, the members strive to grow in holiness through prayer and meditation on the Word of God. Year round, they are encouraged to participate in various activities that will enliven their spiritual needs.
Other spiritual activities of the guild are: Hour HOur in honor of the Sacred Heart of Jesus every First Friday of the month and weekly novenas to Our Mother of Perpetual Help. They are the ones directly responsible for planning the liturgical celebrations on special occasions as feast days of Mt. Carmel, St. Augustine, St. Ezekiel Moreno and St. Sebastian, also Christmas and Holy Week.
To be attuned with the policies of the Archdiocese, the members are required to attend the Formation and Renewal Programs for Lectors and Commentators organized once a year by the Archdiocese. There are also seminars conducted for new members. The workshops are held in order to teach them to make liturgical celebrations, especially the Holy Eucharist, more meaningful, attractive, and part of the lives of the people.