Philippine-Australia–Saipan Province

Pauline Family Novices’ Big Day


The Pauline Family Novices’ Big Day was held last May 21, 2009 at Fr. Felino Quitalig’s, SSP, family farm in Tarlac. We started the day with lauds followed by the Eucharistic Celebration presided by Fr. Joe Aripio, SSP, at their Novitiate Chapel in San Fernando, Pampanga.


Twelve (12) novices were able to enjoy this beautiful day of encounter: three novices from the SSP, four from the PDDM and five from the SJBP with their respective formators, Fr. Jose Aripio, SSP, Sr. Bernadette Martinez, PDDM and Sr. Revelina Santiago, SJBP. The formators were likewise very delighted with this opportunity of gathering together as a Pauline Family.  Unfortunately, we were not complete since the FSP and the IOLA were not able to make it this time.



After breakfast and bonding at table, we immediately proceeded to Tarlac where we were warmly welcomed by Fr. Quitalig and his relatives. Fr. Quitalig has been a Novice Formator of the SSP for many years and although he is still recuperating and undergoing therapy after a stroke, he was obviously very happy and excited to have us in their place. Not only that, after few minutes of settling down, we soon gathered at the conference hall to have time with him for sharing. It was so edifying to have met and known a brother in his person who really loves the Pauline Family.



We had an early lunch after the sharing and  enjoyed the rest of the afternoon relaxing.  It was a good opportunity to know each other better while playing, bathing under the rain, singing on videoke, roaming around, listening to each other’s stories and exchanging jokes.  It was good break for the formators too who had the chance playing scrabbles, taking pictures, singing, swimming and even playing under the rain. To top them all, there was abundance of food offered, quite  typical of the Quitalig Family whenever they welcome guests.


As I recalled this warm experience while writing this reflection, I remembered the question Fr. Quits asked us during the sharing:  “Why did they call it a Big Day?”  Before we were able to answer, his immediate response was: “It means you have to “make your day, a big, big day”! Create good memories to cherish!” Those words became significant to me which brought back some fond experiences of the past Pauline Postulants’ Big Day when I started to get to know my co-journeyers in the Pauline Family.



Now, if I will be asked the same question again: “Why call it a Big Day?”, I would now agree with Fr. Quits--because it is truly a “big day” for a “big family”, a rare opportunity for us to establish friendships among the Pauline Family in the spirit of unity, bonding, sharing and relaxation. It truly energizes and encourages us, young people, to know more members of the Family and to have the privilege to know their concerns and needs which inspires us to offer more prayers for one another. There are of course a lot of benefits we can gain from such an encounter aside from the support we extend to each other and the improvement in the way we relate with one another.


I thought this year’s Big Day would not materialize anymore since we were almost at the end of the apostolic year.  Thank God, He made it possible through the kindness of  Fr. Joe and his community, together with Fr. Tim Meliza, their community animator, who efficiently organized everything for us.


I want to end this sharing with the thought left to us by Fr. Quits: “Have a big heart! Share a smile and nurture the friendship within the Family.”


If Blessed James Alberione were alive today, I’m sure he will be happy looking at us united in God’s Spirit. May this Pauline encounter be preserved as a beautiful legacy for the young ones of the Pauline Family.


Truly it is the Lord!


                                       By: Novice Junlyn Maragañas