The Collegio’s aim is to provide ongoing priestly formation as a service for our dioceses back home. Supporting the Collegio is not merely supporting an institution, and supporting a priest is not simply supporting a person. Rather, any assistance you extend to the Collegio’s operations or for the priests’ scholarships is really a help for the Philippine Church.
The reason for this is that after their few years in Rome, our priests will go home to serve their dioceses of origin. Most are assigned to specialized ministries such as the seminary or diocesan curia, or to any other place where they are most needed. They will train our priests present and future, the religious and our lay. They will provide support to the Bishop especially in his difficult tasks.
Being an entity of the Catholic Bishop’s Conference, the Collegio is at the service of the whole Church in the Philippines, including our Filipinos in diaspora all over the world. And being under the Vatican’s Congregation for the Clergy, the Collegio is at the service of other countries as well, accommodating priests from countries who do not have their own Collegios, and having alumni serving abroad, including in the Vatican itself.
The Collegio priests, Sisters and lay personnel sincerely thank and pray for your our dear benefactors. Your prayers and financial support will go a long way. You are truly collaborators in our mission to bring the Gospel to the whole world…
In lieu of gifts: on your birthday, anniversary, Christmas, New Year, Chinese New Year, Easter, Thanksgiving Day, Graduation, some other special occasion, or when you simply meet for dinner, ask friends to donate to Friends of the Collegio via this website (or perhaps by creating a Facebook Fundraiser).
Facebook fundraising: create a normal post, then “Support Nonprofit” button below, and look for “Friends of the Collegio” as your non-profit. (Visit our Facebook Page.)
Shop Amazon for your personal items: log on to Smile.amazon.com, and indicate “Friends of the Collegio” as charitable organization of your choice (please be sure to select us, rather than other Friends organizations that also appear). As you shop for your needs, AmazonSmile Foundation will donate to us 0.5% of the purchase price of eligible products.
Shop in Italy online: this special Amazon Italia link includes a bit of Italian touch, as to Italian products, Euro prices, and basic Italian descriptions. This is a wish list for easier and enjoyable shopping experience: just select from among the items we really need. There’s a bit of mailing cost (as your Amazon Prime in the US or other countries will not work in Italy) but it would turn out much cheaper as items will be shipped directly from within Italy to the Collegio Filippino in Rome.
whenever possible avoid using the elevator (enclosed space, no distancing when with others, handle and buttons frequently touched, no exercise, less eco-friendly)
sneeze into your handkerchief or upper arm rather into your hands
whenever possible, use your wrist sleeve or elbows to open or close doors or for switches
avoid staying in another’s room for more than 10 minutes; use common areas for meetings or conversations
the usual cleaning procedures of rooms and other spaces greatly help lessen bacterial and viral infections, including Covid
measure your temperature using the thermometer at the lobby
eat healthy, sleep, rest and pray well
be familiar with and follow the guidelines issued by the Italian Government and your university
Access and Collegio Spaces
when coming from outside Collegio, please go direct to the lobby restroom to wash your hands.
while cases are high in Italy, we may receive guests outside the building, or if weather is bad, at the lobby near the main entrance; in such cases visitors should show their Green Pass; please wear mask and maintain social distance
even if not required, those returning from outside Italy are requested to do some quarantine for at least three days, and do a swab test if not yet done
always wear mask and maintain distancing
for ventilation after activities in the Main Chapel, please leave the main door open; the Sisters will open a window and a doors to the sacristy and close everything after 30 minutes or so
in the Multi-Purpose Hall leave one window on each side open for 15 minutes, and close them after to conserve heat (during winter) and for security
in smaller rooms, leave the door and window open for five minutes, then close them after to conserve heat (during winter) and for security
In other rooms without group activities
please ventilate by opening a window for at least 5 minutes, then close it again
you might also wish to ventilate before using
during winter, opening the windows for 5 or 10 minutes will change the air inside the room, and the room will quickly become warm again because the walls, floor, ceiling and furniture still maintain the heat; on the other hand, leaving windows open for long periods will just unnecessarily cool down these surfaces as well, and will require more energy to heat the room up again
Meals in the refectory
wash hands with soap and water before serving oneself
continue to wear mask until we have taken food and sat down; avoid speaking without masks when in front of the serving table and utensils
we may use our fresh utensils (instead of the serving spoons) when taking our first serving
for ventilation after meals, those seated nearest the middle windows of each side may kindly open them; our refectorian will close them afterwards
Kitchen during and outside the pandemic
we maintain the kitchen off limits (except for the Administration, Sisters and Personnel) for hygiene considerations, and also out of consideration for the work load and pacing of those in charge
volunteers (whether residents or outsiders) may be allowed on a case to case basis outside serious pandemic situations
requests may be made through the Administration rather than through the Sisters or Personnel
Confirmed Cases, Close Contacts and Covid tests
“Isolation” refers to the Covid-positive, while “Quarantine” refers to a close contact. In both cases they do not mingle with the community.
“Close contact” with a Covid positive: * face to face (with or without mask) * within 2 meters * for 15 minutes * starting 2 days before the symptoms of the patient (who tested positive) appeared
any pharmacy (setting an appointment is recommended)
Residents take turns in bringing food for those in isolation or quarantine
plastic plates are used
priest is given a set of utensils and glasses for use during isolation or quarantine
preparation is done at the refectory rather than at the kitchen (to minimize entry to the kitchen for hygienic reasons, and to lessen work for the Sisters and personnel; also because priests are more in touch with each other and know their preferences including skipping meals)
Thank you very much for all our efforts in promoting a healthy home in Rome, and in helping those in need!
Letter to Priests on the 160th Anniversary of the death of the Holy Curé of Ars, St. John Vianney (Aug. 4, 2019)
Brothers, let us indeed acknowledge our weaknesses, but also let Jesus transform them and send us forth anew to the mission. Let us never lose the joy of knowing that we are “the sheep of his flock” and that he is our Lord and Shepherd.
For our hearts to be encouraged, we should not neglect the dialectic that determines our identity. First, our relationship with Jesus. Whenever we turn away from Jesus or neglect our relationship with him, slowly but surely our commitment begins to fade and our lamps lose the oil needed to light up our lives (cf. Mt 25:1-13): “Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me… because apart from me you can do nothing” (Jn 15:4-5). In this regard, I would encourage you not to neglect spiritual direction. Look for a brother with whom you can speak, reflect, discuss and discern, sharing with complete trust and openness your journey. A wise brother with whom to share the experience of discipleship. Find him, meet with him and enjoy his guidance, accompaniment and counsel. This is an indispensable aid to carrying out your ministry in obedience to the will of the Father (cf. Heb 10:9) and letting your heart beat with “the mind that was in Christ Jesus” (Phil 2:5). We can profit from the words of Ecclesiastes: “Two are better than one… One will lift up the other; but woe to the one who is alone and falls, and does not have another to help!” (4:9-10).
Nature of Spiritual Direction
Priests are used to accompany lay people, but priests also need to be accompanied by someone who lives the same vocation. SD is a very personal means of accompaniment, tailor fitted to a Priest’s needs.
With an SD, we are assured of someone who can understand us, to whom we can express our inmost thoughts.
Even without any crisis present or looming, Spiritual Direction is needed by the Priest to respond better to his vocation to holiness in the ministry. Hence, Spiritual Direction is much different from crisis management or crisis prevention, which at times may require special interventions beyond Spiritual Direction; though of course, crisis management may at times also be included in Spiritual Direction.
Having an SD can be compared to a tennis player having a coach. If he only plays in a local club on weekends, he can just learn on his own. But if he wants to play in national or international tournaments, he needs a coach to guide him – not only because he might be playing against the rules of tennis, but for him to bring out the best of himself.
The idea of having an SD could also be compared to a medical student learning anatomy: he can try to dissect a cadaver on his own, but it would be best if he is guided by a professor.
In a way, having an SD is like having a mirror. Without a mirror it would be difficult to know whether we have groomed ourselves well enough.
St. John Crysostom: “One immediately understands the faults of others, but recognizes his own with difficulty; a man is impartial in the causes of others, but is perturbed in his own” (Catena Aurea, vol III, p. 132).
Look for a Priest SD whom you know is prayerful, whom you could truly trust, who goes to SD himself, and who commits to be available to receive you for some 15 minutes at least twice a month.
Suggestions on Receiving Spiritual Direction
SD is a conversation between two brother Priests. It does not require ceremonies or formalities whatsoever, and may be done anywhere at all, even walking down the street. If done regularly, SD could normally last less than 15 minutes.
It is the directee who makes sure that he actually meets his SD. In case one of them has to suddenly cancel their meeting, it is the directee who takes the initiative to set another appointment, rather than waiting for the SD to do so.
The directee also takes the initiative to open up his thoughts and his soul, and proposes courses of action. He does not wait for his SD to always tell him what to do, much less wait for his SD to guess what is going on in his life. The SD would often simply confirm the directee’s ideas and proposed courses of action seen in prayer, or suggest on how to improve or focus on some point brought about by the directee.
Topics for discussion basically include those matters that one thinks about often during the day, whether positive or negative, joys or sorrows, successes or failure, lights or shadows. This is because problems may cause us to worry, successes might make us proud or compare ourselves with others. We also present to our SD how we deal with them.
Success or failure in key points of our spiritual life should also be opened up, especially the following: prayer life, faith, vocation, holy purity, spirit of sacrifice, apostolic zeal and poverty. As priests, we also discuss in a special way our fidelity to the daily Mass (celebrating or concelebrating, not just attending) and the Breviary (as we have promised in Ordination, and as needed by the Church), as well as our spirit of filial obedience to our Bishop, and fraternity and service towards our brother Priests.
More serious concerns should be mentioned first. This is like carrying several loads from one place to another: as soon as you reach the place, you put down the heaviest load first. SD should be done with humility and a “savage sincerity”, without hiding or sugarcoating any point, but also without exaggerating (which could unknowingly be an attempt to gain the SD’s pity or admiration, a sign of pride).
In SD, we talk about things that we have done or wanted to have done, or things going on in our life. We talk about the state of our soul, emotional situation, attitude towards certain matters, and also, our physical health if there are some concerns.
With an SD, we are assured of someone who has the grace of God, the grace of office, able to listen to, understand, guide and accompany us. This would also help us lessen the temptation to loneliness, complain unnecessarily due to our lack of spirit of sacrifice, talk ill about others, or, due to our need to be consoled, understood or listened to, open up to just any person or persons who happen to be interested in listening to us. Such persons who are not our SD’s might not even understand our vocation, wonder why we do not open up to a fellow Priest, or even relay those delicate matters to others; we cannot be naive regarding these matters, as they have happened and can happen to any Priest.
Prepare for SD by presenting the points first to God in front of the Tabernacle.
Suggestions for Spiritual Directors
The Spiritual Director guides the directee not according to his own spirit, but according to God’s Spirit. Hence, rather than forming the directee according to one’s personal preferences, spirituality, theological approaches, pastoral methods, etc., the SD forms the directee in accordance with the Scriptures and the Church’s teachings. If the directee lives a certain spirituality (in an association for Priests, or personal devotions), the director should encourage him along those lines, rather than make him conform to his own spirituality.
The directee has complete freedom to confess with the director or not. He may also change his spiritual director anytime, which should not cause any hurt feelings between them. But for the directee to make this move, he should pray over it well, and if appropriate, consult with the SD himself. This is because the reasons for a planned change of SD might simply be because of a misunderstanding between the two, or perhaps an objectively wrong move, that if explained by the SD, might help clarify some points to the directee.
Give little goals for the directee to struggle in, as going up on an inclined plane: prayer life, vocation, spirit of sacrifice, studies, use of time, diligence, etc. Even little things express one’s love for God and consideration for others: time of preparation before celebrating the Eucharist, punctuality in daily activities and not only in special appointments, cheering up those who might be sad or discouraged, etc.
The SD is above all not only to keep the directee from harm’s way, but to prompt him to do greater things for the Lord and for others. There might be times when professional help might be needed (psychologist, psychiatrist, programs to treat addictions, etc.); in these cases, the SD should not hesitate to consult professionals (taking care to maintain confidentiality), and facilitate the directee’s actually getting help. This might need a lot of convincing, or even pressure, but if the SD prays about it and, especially when the crisis is manifest to others, consults with the Bishop, then such pressure for the good of the directee would be in order.
If outside an SD session, the SD has thought of some points for his directee, but which are not that urgent, it would be better to discuss those points during the next SD session, rather than outside, and much less when others are around. The directee may approach his SD anytime if he has some urgent concerns.
Journeying with a brother Priest is the greatest apostolate for us Priests, as we help our fellow apostles. It is the greatest pastoral work, as what can be more pastoral than assisting a fellow pastor in his growth? Helping a brother Priest continuously grow in his vocation means helping the thousands of persons he serves also grow in their own vocation as Christians.
The best way for a Priest to be a good Spiritual Director is by going to spiritual direction himself. A good Confessor is a good penitent. A good director is a good directee. This is the only way one can appreciate how it means to be guided, and therefore know how to guide – based on actual personal experience, rather than from books or sessions (which, of course, may also help, but only as an addition).
Dioceses in the Philippines and around the world continuously intensify their priestly on-going formation. As an option, they may integrate it with our “Sabbatical sa Vatican” Program (Filipino for “Sabbatical at the Vatican”). The Collegio becomes the Priests’ “Home in Rome” as they join seminars or courses at the Vatican, Rome, and the rest of Italy and Europe. They may do so individually or in groups (batchmates, Vicariate, age brackets, anniversaries, etc.). At the same time, they learn about the realities of our overseas workers. Meanwhile, our Spiritual Director and other priests can guide them accordingly.
The programs listed below are given in English, unless specified as given only in Italian, or with simultaneous translation to English. Note that you may attend more than one program as long as they do not overlap too much. Please double check with the corresponding websites for current information, and contact them directly as needed.
1. Pontifical Atheneum Regina Apostolorum (Ateneo Pontificio Regina Apostolorum)
3. Pontifical University of the Holy Cross (Pontificia Università della Santa Croce).
Program on Church Management, offered by the Markets, Culture and Ethics Research Centre: two-week intensive programs each February and September; focus on how to serve the poor effectively, and use the material assets of the Church honestly and according to Canon Law and good managerial practices in conformity with the principles of Catholic Social Teaching; see http://www.pusc.it/pcm
Renewal Course of Marriage Law and Canonical Procedure, offered by the Faculty of Canon Law; one week every September; with simultaneous translations to English; see http://en.pusc.it/prossime-attivita
Every Priest deserves to visit Rome, the center of Catholicism, especially for some on-going formation. For those needing subsidy, kindly ask your Bishop permission to request for help from friends originally from your diocese and who are now successful professionals in the US. They may donate through Friends of the Collegio, a IRS 501c3 tax-deductible organization. The website explains how this way they would be helping not only a specific Priest, but the whole Diocese and the Church back home. It also contains draft letters for this purpose, that you may simply edit and show to your Bishop, possibly for his signature.
Please contact usfor more information, weekly or monthly board and lodging, miscellaneous expenses such as bus pass, medical insurance requirements, and to suggest other programs that may possibly be added here. Thank you!
As Christians, all are called to holiness wherever one might be. In our case, we happen to be ordained ministers sent to Rome for further studies (immediately or some years after our Bachelor’s in Philosophy and Master’s in Theology, and perhaps some other academic degrees). For this reason, Priests come to the Collegio not simply to earn another degree, but to be holy by trying to live their priestly vocation while carrying out the ministry of scientific reflection on our faith.
In conformity with present universal and particular legislations, the government of the Pontificio Collegio Filippino depends first, on the Roman Curia’s Congregation for the Clergy, and second, on the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines. The latter has an Episcopal Commission for the Pontificio Collegio Filippino, whose concrete functions, inclusive of its competence regarding the composition of Vigilance Commissions for Discipline and for Administration, are specified in the By-Laws of the Catholic Bishops” Conference of the Philippines (Art. VII, Sec 9).