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ALA_5415

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Written by Cl. Paul Miguel Calderon, SDB

Photos by Cl. Jonas Paulo Lacson, SDB


Canlubang, Laguna, the Philippines, 5 July 2020 --The Philippine North Province rejoices at the first religious profession of its newest member in the person of Cl Antonio Josef Rodriguez, SDB.


Cl. “Anthony,” as he is fondly called, made his First Profession this morning at the Diocesan Shrine of Mary Help of Christians.


Following the protocols set by the government to limit mass gatherings, a small handful of his family members came, joined by Salesians from various communities of the Province.


The event was livestreamed thru the Facebook page of the FIN Province.


This was the first time a provincial gathering was held more than three months after the state issued nationwide quarantine measures in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19.


The Mass was presided by FIN Provincial Superior, Rev. Fr. Gerardo N. Martin, SDB, concelebrated with some Salesian priests.


Cl. Anthony hails from Makati City, Philippines, and is an alumnus of Don Bosco Technical Institute Makati. He entered the aspirantate in 2014 after a year of College Studies at the University of Sto. Tomas. Consequently, he was accepted for Prenovitiate in 2018 and Novitiate in 2019. He is the only son of Mr. Arnold. and Mrs. Josephine Rodriguez.


In his gratitude speech, he thanked his parents for being generous to God. In return, the Congregation gifted the family with a statue of Don Bosco with Mamma Margarette.


A portion of his vocation story is posted in the FIN website



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  • vaclav 2020.07.17 01:07

    Vocation Story of Cl. Anthony Rodriguez, SDB

    My childhood dream was to be a soldier and enter the Philippine Military Academy (PMA), but when I found out that they had a minimum height requirement of 5’6’’ for male applicants, I banked on being a pilot. Knowing that my eyes were far from being 20-20, I then thought of being a doctor instead, owing inspiration from a close uncle of mine.

    I kind of stuck around with the thought of being a doctor and resigned myself to it, but when I reached third year high school, I was faced with these questions, “What do I want to do with my life? How would I give meaning to it?”

    I joined the Boscorale (resident all-male choir of Don Bosco Technical Institute–Makati) and one of my fellow choir members teasingly called me “pads,” and this stuck with me. And so, this sort of piqued my interest. I thought, “Perhaps being a priest would answer those million-dollar questions for me.” Thus, began my asking around about the priestly life, and I approached my religion teacher for this, a former seminarian himself, Mr. Roman Torres. He helped me with some queries and directed me to Fr. Renato ‘Fr. Degz’ De Guzman, SDB who would eventually help me solidify my decision, and would be my door towards Salesian life.

    At the middle of my fourth-year high school, after making our retreat in Don Bosco Batulao, and having talked to another Salesian, Fr. Noel Sumagui, I was determined to enter the Formation House in Canlubang.

    Since I was an only child, understandably, I wasn’t allowed by my parents to enter. And so, I made a decision instead of pursuing a prospective medical career, enrolling as a Biology major in University of Santo Tomas. But, throughout the year, the Lord was incessant in bugging me. I knew deep down inside that He was calling me not to España, but to Yulo Blvd in Canlubang where Don Bosco Prenovitiate is located.

    At around the feast of St. Thomas Aquinas, I manifested the deepest yearnings of my heart to my parents. I knew for certain that I had to fight for this vocation, and so I told them that I still wanted to enter the seminary, that I feel I will be happier following God’s call for me. I wrote this all down in letter form, according to the advice of Fr. Degz, whom I was still seeing for monthly spiritual direction. And so, by the grace of God, my mother and my father, amidst tears, gave their consent.

    The five years I’ve spent in Canlubang have truly been a life-changing experience, not just because I’ve become a better person, but more so because I’ve grown closer to the God Who has been there all along. My formators, my community, and everyone I’ve met and encountered, especially the young people, have helped me see God’s call in a clearer light.

    As I finish this novitiate year, the same Lord Who has consecrated me to Himself on the day of my baptism, by His grace, made my relationship with Him deeper. In the process, I was able to know myself better, to know Don Bosco ever more closely, and to cherish the Salesian vocation God has placed within my heart. But all of these would be for naught if my relationship with the Lord does not take precedence.

    I also owe my vocation to the Blessed Mother who has always been its mother. When I was in first year high school, my family began to pray the rosary together on a daily basis thanks to the influence of a devout aunt of mine from the States. Ever since then, I’ve seen the role of the Blessed Mother more clearly, both in my family’s life, and in my growth in this vocation.

    In following God’s call to be a Salesian of Don Bosco, I am filled with gratefulness for Him Who has done marvelous things in me. This is His project, and my vocation is hinged on the truth that it is a portrait of God’s love for me, a love that pushes me to be a sign and bearer of God’s love to all, especially to young people.

  • vaclav 2020.07.17 01:07

    Vocation Story of Cl. Anthony Rodriguez, SDB

    My childhood dream was to be a soldier and enter the Philippine Military Academy (PMA), but when I found out that they had a minimum height requirement of 5’6’’ for male applicants, I banked on being a pilot. Knowing that my eyes were far from being 20-20, I then thought of being a doctor instead, owing inspiration from a close uncle of mine.

    I kind of stuck around with the thought of being a doctor and resigned myself to it, but when I reached third year high school, I was faced with these questions, “What do I want to do with my life? How would I give meaning to it?”

    I joined the Boscorale (resident all-male choir of Don Bosco Technical Institute–Makati) and one of my fellow choir members teasingly called me “pads,” and this stuck with me. And so, this sort of piqued my interest. I thought, “Perhaps being a priest would answer those million-dollar questions for me.” Thus, began my asking around about the priestly life, and I approached my religion teacher for this, a former seminarian himself, Mr. Roman Torres. He helped me with some queries and directed me to Fr. Renato ‘Fr. Degz’ De Guzman, SDB who would eventually help me solidify my decision, and would be my door towards Salesian life.

    At the middle of my fourth-year high school, after making our retreat in Don Bosco Batulao, and having talked to another Salesian, Fr. Noel Sumagui, I was determined to enter the Formation House in Canlubang.

    Since I was an only child, understandably, I wasn’t allowed by my parents to enter. And so, I made a decision instead of pursuing a prospective medical career, enrolling as a Biology major in University of Santo Tomas. But, throughout the year, the Lord was incessant in bugging me. I knew deep down inside that He was calling me not to España, but to Yulo Blvd in Canlubang where Don Bosco Prenovitiate is located.

    At around the feast of St. Thomas Aquinas, I manifested the deepest yearnings of my heart to my parents. I knew for certain that I had to fight for this vocation, and so I told them that I still wanted to enter the seminary, that I feel I will be happier following God’s call for me. I wrote this all down in letter form, according to the advice of Fr. Degz, whom I was still seeing for monthly spiritual direction. And so, by the grace of God, my mother and my father, amidst tears, gave their consent.

    The five years I’ve spent in Canlubang have truly been a life-changing experience, not just because I’ve become a better person, but more so because I’ve grown closer to the God Who has been there all along. My formators, my community, and everyone I’ve met and encountered, especially the young people, have helped me see God’s call in a clearer light.

    As I finish this novitiate year, the same Lord Who has consecrated me to Himself on the day of my baptism, by His grace, made my relationship with Him deeper. In the process, I was able to know myself better, to know Don Bosco ever more closely, and to cherish the Salesian vocation God has placed within my heart. But all of these would be for naught if my relationship with the Lord does not take precedence.

    I also owe my vocation to the Blessed Mother who has always been its mother. When I was in first year high school, my family began to pray the rosary together on a daily basis thanks to the influence of a devout aunt of mine from the States. Ever since then, I’ve seen the role of the Blessed Mother more clearly, both in my family’s life, and in my growth in this vocation.

    In following God’s call to be a Salesian of Don Bosco, I am filled with gratefulness for Him Who has done marvelous things in me. This is His project, and my vocation is hinged on the truth that it is a portrait of God’s love for me, a love that pushes me to be a sign and bearer of God’s love to all, especially to young people.

  • vaclav 2020.07.17 01:09

    Dear Antonio

    no more call you 'a foreigner'.... 

    you mates are gone...

    wish you a daily growth 

    in response to the call of God

    to be another Don Bosco

    for the young people of the Philippines

    and beyond!

    fr. vaclav


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