Monday, October 19, 2015

For the Boys Only: A riff of James Bond's song for Matt Fradd's talk


For Your Eyes Only is a James Bond movie in 1981 starring Roger Moore. The theme song for the movie was sung by Sheana Easton, who was until now the only the theme song artist to appear in James Bond movies. To promote Matt Fradd's "Man Talk: For The Boys Only" on November 6, 2015 at St. Mary's College Auditorium at Quezon City, I changed the title of the song to "For the Boys Only" and changed the lyrics accordingly to fit the talk's theme of chastity vs. pornography. 


FOR THE BOYS ONLY

by Monk's Hobbit


For the boys only: this talk is all about
For the boys only: you girls should now go out
Boys have seen so much of porn, so much of porn--that's true
You've never known this when they looked at you?

For the boys only, only for boys
They'll try to do what few can see: From porn they can break free
For the boys only, only for boys
The love I know you need from them is not the fantasy you've freed in them
Only for you. Only for you.

For the boys only, the nights can still be cold
You really love them--that's all they'll need to know
You can be an open book, yet clothe what you must hide
So they would need to read between the lines

For the boys only, only for boys
You won't believe when you shall see: the man is breaking free
For the boys only, only for boys
The passions that collide in them will be tamed deep inside of them
Only for you. Only for you.


Matt Fradd's “For Boys Only: The Man Talk” is on November 6, 2015 from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. at St. Mary’s College Auditorium, #37 Mother Ignacia Avenue, Barangay Paligsahan, Quezon City. Tickets are now available and are priced at P300.00 each. For inquiries, reservations, and purchases, please contact us at 0922-827-6662 or e-mail us at all4life.life4all@gmail.com. Read more at Filipinos for Life


For Your Eyes Only
For Your Eyes Only
Set: James Bond 007, For Your Eyes Only Postcard (6x4 inches) and 1x 1art1® surprise Sticker
Set: James Bond 007, For Your Eyes Only Postcard (6x4 inches) and 1x 1art1® surprise Sticker
Your Brain on Porn: Internet Pornography and the Emerging Science of Addiction
Your Brain on Porn: Internet Pornography and the Emerging Science of Addiction
Wired for Intimacy: How Pornography Hijacks the Male Brain
Wired for Intimacy: How Pornography Hijacks the Male Brain

Friday, October 2, 2015

How I learned about Fr. Michael McGivney and the Knights of Columbus from my father

The family of Quirino Sugon Sr. Seated from left to right at the back are Leah, Josephine, Cynthia, and Elena, while that at the front are Dictarino, Quirino Sr., and Quirino Jr (author). Not present in the picture are the deceased members of our family: Benedicta (our mother), Iver, and Agustin. The photo was taken at the Convent of the Hermanas Guadalupanas de La Salle at Bacolod City, Philippines.


My father used to be an active member of Knights of Columbus for several decades, serving as the board secretary in the council in Villamonte, Bacolod City. He's 84 years old now, half-blind, and can't recognize faces. But he can recognize you by your voice, especially if he knows you frequent a particular spot when he takes his long walks around our village. He also has a strong associative memory and can remember the names of his students in St. Joseph's School-La Salle way back several decades.

I don't really know much about Fr. Michael McGivney, except that he is the founder of the Knights of Columbus, the organization of men my father belonged to. I always saw Fr. McGivney's picture at the back cover of Columbia Magazine that we regularly received before from the headquarters of Knights of Columbus in New Haven, Connecticut. The pictures in the magazine were of exceptional quality that I would sometimes cut them out to serve as covers for my notebooks in elementary and high school. The articles were several paragraphs long--many of them I didn't read, because they were meant not for kids or teenagers but for adults. I was just content on gazing at the pictures, reading the headlines, such as how the Knights of Columbus supported the vocations of men and women who enter into religious life or how the Knights of Columbus volunteered hundreds of man-hours for community service. The impression I got was that Columbia Magazine is a Catholic magazine who speaks about Christ, Mary, and the Church for a man geared for action in the community.

My father does not have the fancy ceremonial uniform of the Knights of Columbus--the feathered hat and the sword. Perhaps those things are only meant for top-ranking officers. And even if my father used to hold position as secretary of their council for many long years, he would not still be able to afford these uniforms: raising eight children and sending them all to Catholic schools of the Dominican Sisters and the La Salle brothers already took a toll on his and my mother's salary as high school teachers. Catholic education was my parent's priority then more than clothes and food. "God will provide. God will provide." they would always say, even if the tuition fees are paid late, the electricity is cut, the house is foreclosed by SSS, and there is no food in the table. But we all finished our elementary and high schools, and somehow God blessed many of us with scholarships in college.  Even then, life was still difficult. But we survived.

Our Lady of the Barangays
My father may not have a feathered hat and a sword, but he has the white barong with Knights of Columbus logo. And for a sword he clutches the black rosary of the Knights of Columbus. As an officer of the Barangay sg Virgen (Village of the Virgin), he would visit suburbs, squatters, and difficult to reach places during Sundays accompanied by my mother; she died a few years after she retired from teaching due diabetes: her kidney failed and her body bloated with water, drowning her in her sleep. I accompanied my father a few times when I was still teaching in University of St. La Salle in Bacolod City sometime in the year 2000. Upon seeing my father, someone will ring a bell in a makeshift chapel and about 20-30 people would gather. We would pray the rosary, read the liturgical readings for the day, and form into small groups for discussion on our reflections. In his prime, my father would preach about certain topics on Catholic doctrine.  He never took formal theology courses, but he told me that when he begun teaching in St. Joseph's High School (now St. Joseph's School-La Salle), he found some Catholic readings with questions to be answered. He answered them and mailed it to the stated address, and then a new set of readings and questions were sent to him. It was actually a distance-learning course on the Bible and Catechism. This continued for some time until he became sufficiently well-versed on the Catholic faith enough to preach it.

The Barangay sg Virgen waxed in strength in the 1980s. Groups called Trinities were formed in many villages not only in Bacolod City, but even in neighboring cities. These groups transfer a statue of Our Lady of the Barangays to each member's home and there to stay for one night after the group gathered there to pray the rosary. On several occasions, the statue of our Lady was in our home and my father and my mother would gather us all to pray the rosary. I remembered myself kneeling while fingering the beads, yawning with my eyelids slowly closing in, and then nodding while trying to control sleep. Years ago, when we were discussing about the Barangay sg Virgen, my father told me that if not for the Barangay sg Virgen, Bacolod City would have become a bastion of Communism as left-leaning Catholic groups tried to wrest the Barangays from the devotion of the rosary and lure them to Communist armed struggle. Those were terrible times as the faithful found themselves divided in two opposing camps which pitted priests against priests and bishops against bishops.

My father is old now, and his body is becoming weaker. He still goes to mass everyday and used to serve as Extraordinary Minister of the Communion for several years until his eyesight dimmed and his feet faltered in the altar steps. He still goes for coffee with his friends and takes his usual long walks before eating his breakfast. I bought him once a magnifying glass; it helped him to read the headlines of newspapers that he read in the school library. He watches TV or listens to the radio until he finds himself snoring. He only sleeps for a few hours. And when he awakes, he would light up the candle in the altar and pray the rosary.

I still don't know much about Fr. Michael McGivney, except for a few articles I found on the web. But this I am sure: he was a man who inspired a multitude of Catholic men like my father not only to live as good husbands, fathers, and members of the community, but also as a company of knights who shall conquer the New World for Christ.
Knights of Columbus Pin 1"
Knights of Columbus Pin 1"
Parish Priest: Father Michael McGivney and American Catholicism
Parish Priest: Father Michael McGivney and American Catholicism
Knights of Columbus, Columbia, May 2014
Knights of Columbus, Columbia, May 2014
The Four Voyages: Being His Own Log-Book, Letters and Dispatches with Connecting Narratives.. (Penguin Classics)
The Four Voyages: Being His Own Log-Book, Letters and Dispatches with Connecting Narratives.. (Penguin Classics)
Real Men Pray the Rosary: A Practical Guide to a Powerful Prayer
Real Men Pray the Rosary: A Practical Guide to a Powerful Prayer

Launch of Patron Comics: Message of Archdiocese of Manila Exorcist Msgr. Winston Cabading, O.P.


Fr. Winston Cabading, OP, Secretary General of the University of Sto. Tomas and Exorcist of the Archdiocese of Manila

Patron Comics, a Catholic comic book series merging exorcism, pro-life, and teen superhero genres, was launched last 19 September 2015, 2:00-4:00 pm, at Bosco Hall, Don Bosco Technical Insitute, Makati City. Patron Comics is published by Regina Caeli Publishing owned by Anthony James Perez who is also the author of the series. Present with him at the launch and comic book signing are penciller Gilmond Monsanto and inker Raymond Ferrer. The launch was attended by family and friends of the writers and artists, the funders of the comic book startup, and members of the Filipinos for Life, and students from UST's Varsitarian press. Msgr. Winston Cabading, OP, Secretary General of the University of Sto. Tomas and Exorcist of the Archdiocese of Manila, gave the inspirational message. Below is an edited transcript of his message.

Inspirational Message of Msgr. Winston Cabading, OP

Congratulations, AJ and your team!

When AJ gave us the storyline, we in the office were thrilled. We looked at each other: we understood what this would mean. We did not yet tell him at that time that he must prepare himself, because what he is doing is not something nice to the ears of someone. I suppose, AJ, you have experienced that already. If the Lord wants this, then this can happen but not without lots of difficulty. This is always the experience of many saints: a kind of break in consolation from the Lord. We can't prevent this experience from happening, especially since Patron Comics deals with the devil and how the priests and his team bring Christ to many young people through spiritual liberation and exorcism. You will all be tested. I wonder if the person who is drawing or writing the story experienced these desolations we mentioned a while ago.

Spiritual warfare. This is very true in many ways, even if you are not aware of it. If you wish to be a good Christian, temptations are hurled along your way. You are already being attacked. Unless you are in a state of grace and you have closed all the psychic openings, it will be on these openings that you will be attacked. It is not really something that is easy to face.

But we did smile about AJ's project. It is not a horror comics: we initially thought otherwise when when it was given to Fr. Jojo Zerrudo, an exorcist of the Diocese of Cubao. So we thought that maybe we can help the author to strategize, e.g. AJ must show less of the devil and concentrate more on the power of God. In this way, we would be able to have a strong catechetical medium that the Archdiocese of Manila can support.

When my brother priests ask me if I am afraid of the devil, I tell them that our Lord has triumphed over death and the devil. The exorcism is terrifying because of the horror part, but that is only part of the story. In the seminary, we don't give much importance to how the demons look like, but rather on how they act. The devil is an over-rated creature. People either don't talk about him or are afraid of him. But once you passed that stage, you are not afraid to fight, because it is not you who is fighting but Jesus.

As the Director of the Institute of Religion in Sto. Tomas, we teach compulsory religious theology to civil law faculty members. If we make Patron comics a supplementary reading for our students in Christian Ethics subject, just imagine how many students we can reach per year level.

This is the wonderful thing about Patron comics: it is not all about demons. It is more about how you and I can protect ourselves from their actions and see how powerful our God is when He works through ordinary means, i.e. the Sacraments. Prayer life and liturgy are powerful means to protect oneself. You must go to Church with the intention of growing in your spiritual life. And only then you can fight. In this spiritual battle, you don't only do spiritual defense but also spiritual offense. You attack. When you humble yourself by putting your trust in the power of God, wonderful things happen. The launch of Patron Comics is a sign of how grace is able to work amidst many adversaries.

Congratulations, AJ and your team! God really loves you.
Cover of Patron Comics
Cover of Patron Comics

Sample page of Patron Comics
Sample page of Patron Comics

Hostage to the Devil: The Possession and Exorcism of Five Contemporary Americans
Hostage to the Devil: The Possession and Exorcism of Five Contemporary Americans
Ecclesiae Militantis: A Course in Spiritual Warfare and Exorcism
Ecclesiae Militantis: A Course in Spiritual Warfare and Exorcism