• Wartakanlah Injil kepada segala makhluk.
    Mrk 16:15

  • 你们往普天下去, 向一切受造物宣传福音
    谷 16:15

  • Everything is possible by the power of the Holy Spirit’s Grace.
    St Arnold Janssen

  • Segala sesuatu menjadi mungkin dalam kekuatan karunia Roh Kudus.
    St. Arnold Janssen

  • 我当传教士不是为主牺牲,而是上主给我的最大恩赐

  • Với sức mạnh Ân Huệ của Chúa Thánh Thần, Mọi việc đều có thể được.
    St Arnoldus Janssen

  • Preach the Gospel to the whole creation./Anh em hãy đi khắp tứ phương thiên hạ, loan báo Tin Mừng cho mọi loài thọ tạo
    Mk 16:15

  • There are many different gifts, but it is always the same Spirit.
    1 Cor 12:4

  • And the Word became flesh and lived among us.
    Jn 1:14

  • Let the word of Christ, in all its richness, find a home with you.
    Col 3:16

  • To proclaim the Good News is the first and greatest act of love of neighbour.
    St Arnold Janssen

  • 传扬天国福音是第一且最大的爱近人行动

  • Có nhiều đặc sủng khác nhau, nhưng chỉ có một Thần Khí/
    1 Cor. 14:4

  • 圣言成了血肉,寄居在我们中间
    若 1:14

  • Ada rupa-rupa karunia, tetapi Roh satu
    1 Kor 12:4

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Thursday, 25 February 2021 11:02

SVD brother and medic answers new vocational call


Br Ruel Bancoro SVD in Africa sewing 550After years serving the sick and the poor through his vocation as a nurse, a doctor and an SVD brother, Br Ruel Bancoro SVD is about to begin a new chapter as he takes up Theology studies for the priesthood.

Br Ruel will undertake his studies through the University of Divinity in Melbourne – although due to COVID border closures, he will begin the first semester online from the Philippines.

Born in Lucena City, Br Ruel was raised in Lipa City, Batangas Province, the Philippines.

His call to the vocation of religious life was a gradual one, although his response to the vocation of caring for others through medicine began earlier.

“My older brother went to a minor seminary but I gradually entertained the ‘calling’ after I worked in the US for 12 years as a nurse, and then while working in the Philippines as a physician,” he says.

“A big part of my vocation story was giving tangible service to people in need, which is reflected in my choice of career in the medical field.

“I always wanted to be of service to others as a nurse and eventually as a physician but I was happiest when I got to offer service to sick people for free. That was the main reason why I was not comfortable in treading the conventional path that most nurses and doctors take.

“I felt that I needed to finally heed the call that I was hearing then so I entered the seminary.”

Br Ruel entered the Divine Word Missionaries through the Associates’ Program of Christ the King Mission Seminary in Manila in 2013. He took his first vows in Tagaytay City in April 2016 and is now in his fifth year of temporary vows.

Br Ruel Bancoro SVD in church 340Along the way, in his formation, Br Ruel heard about the various ministries for the sick and the poor that the SVD brothers were doing in Cebu, spearheaded by Fr Heinz Kuluke and Br Paul Bongcaras.

“I was inspired then and I felt that God was actually calling me to be a religious brother,” he says.

“We have been giving free medical service to the marginalised people of Cebu. We give an outreach clinic and free medicines to the street-dwellers, dumpsites and relocation dwellings, people with HIV/AIDS, displaced indigenous people and other marginalised groups.”

From 2018 to 2020, Br Ruel took part in the SVD’s Overseas Training Program in Kenya-Tanzania, where he was exposed to the medical conditions of people in urban slums and bush missions for two years. His work was focused on HIV/AIDS ministries.

Now, he is back in the Philippines as a frontline medical officer, giving medical aid to the poor under Fr Heinz’s ministry. He also takes care of SVD confreres who have contracted COVID-19.

But he says his time in Africa, helped him to discern a call towards the priesthood.

“I realised the importance of sacramental ministry when I was in the bush mission,” he says.

“I felt that God is calling me now to tread in a different path without limiting my ability to give medical service to others.”

Br Ruel Bancoro SVD with patients 550bestBr Ruel says he is looking forward to his studies with the University of Divinity, but is also anxious about the online learning environment.

“I feel anxious because this is new territory for me, in terms of academic learning,” he says.

“I am basically an ‘old-school’, books and pens kind of a student. I will be doing the first semester online and will wait for restrictions to be lifted so I can hopefully attend face-to-face classes soon.”

Br Ruel says he is taking one step at a time in living out his vocation.

“About ordination, I haven’t looked that far yet. I do not treat it as something like graduation from nursing or medical school. It will not be an accomplishment after my academic years, rather it will be a gift as I try to personally respond to God’s calling.”


TOP RIGHT: Br Ruel during his OTP experience in Africa.

MIDDLE LEFT:  Br Ruel at Mass.

BOTTOM RIGHT: Br Ruel working as a doctor in the Philippines.

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