Tuesday, April 17, 2007


Toward the end of 2001, the appointment of Monsignor Jose Clemente F. Ignacio as the Shrine's fifth and current rector is the most timely and relevant to the growth of the Parish; as it made the National Shrine of the Sacred Heart Church reach out to be closer to the nearby depressed Parish Community.

Prior to his appointment, Msgr. Jose Clemente F. Ignacio or Msgr. Clem as he is fondly referred to, was the Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Manila and had come from a 6-year stint as the first Diocesan Parish Priest of St. Anthony Parish and Director of St. Anthony School in Manila. He replaced Bishop Crisostomo Yalung, D.D. who became the Bishop of Antipolo.

The installation of Msgr. Clem by the late Archbishop Jaime Cardinal Sin, D.D. on February 14, 2002 was an auspicious beginning as the Shrine was closing the celebration of its 25th Jubilee Year and was marking the start of its 26th year.

Having a newly renovated Church had taken off the pressures for the need of fund raising concerns, so this enabled him the opportunity to discern what God wanted for this community he was leading into the new Millennium.

Msgr. Clem has always made discernment part of the decision making process in the Community, always stressing that God is present in our everyday lives here and now; today in the people He sends us to help in ministerial work.

Under his guidance, a new vision and mission for the Shrine evolved after an unusual planning meeting where much consultations among the parish leaders took place.



It was then that the Shrine had moved one step further; from a purely promotion of the devotion to the larger community to active assistance to poor parishes and dioceses which was discerned as an added mission called for by the Sacred Heart of Jesus in difficult times.

Monsignor Clem saw in his mission, the imperative need to imbue the Community with this thrust and mission which he discerned was what God wanted him to do.

After a prayerful planning and discernment process with him, the parish leaders came up with an initial list of concerns and needs of the Community which were: programs for the poor, reach out programs for the poor dioceses and parishes, catechism and formation programs, more active youth participation and increased devotion to the Sacred Heart.

In pursuit of this vision, we have an active Apostolate in place that lives up to what Jesuit theologian Fr. Catalino Arevalo says is the new and authentic message of the Sacred Heart in these times; a compassionate Heart to help heal the wounds and pains of the poor.

Evident in the current programs implemented in the Shrine is the coordinated thrust of dedicated service with preferential option for the poor. Under our Pastor's leadership, the Vision of a Caring, Loving and Responsive Church started to take more flesh with ongoing programs that form part of the Ministries' Work:

A) Assistance to Poor Parishes and Dioceses.

B) Expanded Evangelization Programs in the depressed areas to foster Christian Homes, Families and Communities.

C) A Micro Finance Lending Program for Livelihood for qualified borrowers and livelihood seminars.

D) Wider coverage for the educational assistance program, tutorial and counseling programs for public school children.

E) More Medical and Dental Services.

F) Social Services such as Job Referrals, Balik-Probinsiya Assistance, Jail Apostolate, and Feeding Programs.

G) Housing Assistance for the Poor.

H) An Active Youth Ministry.

I) Children's Ministry.

J) Catechetical Programs for Street Children and Public School Children.

K) Free Legal Counseling Services.

L) Formation Programs.

M) Family Life Ministry

N) Ministry to the Elderly

Truly the Vision and Mission of Msgr. Clem which are already implemented for the Shrine is that which is most closest to the Compassionate Mercy of the Sacred Heart of Jesus; who said, "Whatsoever you do to the least of My brethren, you have done it to Me."

We congratulate our dearly beloved Rector Monsignor Jose Clemente F. Ignacio, who recently celebrated his 17th Sacerdotal Anniversary on March 24, 2007.

Stella P. Denoga
Ministry of Prayers and Devotions
Shrine Promotions