Thursday, August 21, 2014



The people of Brgy. Bagong Sirang, San Andres, Catanduanes joined by people from nearby barangays jubilantly rejoiced as they held a two-day fiesta celebration (August 20-21, 2014) of their patron saint, St. Pius X. The St. Pius X Mission Church was established through the effort of the Franciscans in response to the invitation of Bishop Manolo A. De los Santos, DD, Bishop of the Diocese of Virac.

The fiesta activities begun on August 20, 2014, with the celebration of the Holy Mass at around 10:00 a.m. The mass was presided by Bishop Manolo A. De los Santos, DD. In his homily, the bishop mentioned that the Franciscans were the first missionaries to arrive in the island of Catanduanes in the 17th Century. He also narrated how the friars went from one village to another until they were able to evangelize the majority of the people in the island. The bishop also highlighted in his homily the life of St. Pius X who was pope from 1903-1914,  and on how the humble pope-saint dedicated his life for the poor and how he managed to live his motto “Restore all things in Christ”.

After the celebration of the Holy Mass, Fr. John Muscat, OFM, the priest-in-charge of the mission church, together with Bro. Emerson Bumagat, OFM, led the crowd for the blessing of St. Francis Pastoral Center. It is a newly built covered space beside the church intended for conducting seminars, gatherings and other church related events.

Shortly after the blessing, Fr. John expressed his gratitude to all those who helped in the creation of the multi-purpose hall which is now called the St. Francis Pastoral Center. Also present during this event were Fr. Lino Gregorio Redoblado, OFM, the Minister Provincial of the OFM Province of San Pedro Bautista in the Philippines, Fr. Armando Obal, OFM and Bro. Temoteo Gulay, OFM.

On the big day of the feast, August 21, 2014, the people gathered once more at around 8:00 a.m. to join the procession in honor of St. Pius X. After the procession the Fiesta Mass was celebrated presided by Fr. Lino Gregorio Redoblado, OFM. In his homily Fr. Gregorio encouraged the people to conduct their lives according to the example of St. Pius X, which is a life dedicated to helping the poor, the needy and specially the children.

The joyful fiesta celebration ended with a simple lunch prepared for everybody who came for the fiesta celebration. 

Contributed by:
Jess Barrozo III
Media Office Asst. - OFM Franciscan Province of San Pedro Bautista - Philippines

Monday, June 16, 2014




These four words motivated me to write this article to share my impressions and experiences on the events that happened in our parish last May 31, 2014. No regrets! No doubts! No failures! No more explanations! The two events were truly a success by the power of God working in each one of us.

The first-ever Parish Got Talent Grand Finals was the outcome of a series of activities which
began with the auditions and eliminations that took place last March before we celebrated our parish fiesta. Then on the day of the fiesta, the Semi-Finals was held for those who passed the elimination rounds from the different barrio chapels within the parish. And finally, after many days of preparation, meetings and practices, the Grand Finals was at hand.

While busy with the talents competition, since it was the month of May, the Parish also organized and prepared the community for the Santacruzan, another gigantic activity that demanded much of our time, effort and parish finances.

Whew! Two big energy-draining events undertaken back-to-back. Still I can say “It’s all worth it.”

May 31, 2014 was the date when everyone was wide awake! All were excited of the events that were taking place on this day, which were the gifts of the parish for all its parishioners after their hard work in the farms and before the start of classes. I felt so blessed sharing the joys of the people as they engaged with the many tasks during this summer. I was touched by their dedication and hard work for the success of our activities motivated by the good examples of our priests and guided by the grace of the Lord and the help of Mama Mary.

Every year Filipinos turn each of the 31 days of May into some kind of beautiful bouquets of flowers for the Blessed Virgin by praying the rosary, by offering flowers to Mama Mary and by teaching catechism to children. The days of May are, therefore, called "Flores de Mayo" (Flowers of May) for the Virgin Mary. The Santacruzan, considered to be the "Queen of Filipino Festivals", is the culminating activity of the Flores de Mayo.

In our parish many of our folks gathered and waited along the road where the procession of the Santacruzan was to pass. The Sagala was composed of 27 beautiful ladies who marched with their different titles. It was amazing to see them with their most beautiful smiles waving their hands to the people along the way. I missed joining the parade and procession because we were busy preparing the stage and the final touch for the Grand Finals with Ate Machiel and other youth. Yet we were still lucky because the procession passed close to just where we were working and we had a good view of the lovely ladies. At the same time we heard over the sound system somebody introducing each lady in the Sagala and the titles they represented. It was truly informative.

After the procession, a Mass was offered presided by our parish priest who delivered and inspiring homily about the significance of popular devotions and piety giving stress of the value of Santa Cruzan.

The most awaited event that everyone was excited about was the Parish Got Talent Grand Finals, the showcase of the talents of the parishioners of St. Joseph the Spouse Parish. It was the first ever of such event to happen in our parish. Hundreds of people flocked to the community center to watch the most awaited grand Finals. There was indescribable feeling of happiness and excitement painted on the beautiful faces of the people who came to support their friends, relatives and instant idols in the competition. The pretty ladies who composed the Sagala were also there adding colors and beauty for the night. Our Parish Priest presented the video clips of each contestant. The clips were produced by some of our fellow youth.

I was not involved with the many tasks to do during the competition because we were manning the little store selling barbecue and juice to raise funds for the youth. But I was able to watch the grand finalists show their singing and dancing prowess. I even felt like one of the contestants because from the beginning of the program till the end I sang and moved in sync with the contestants. Aira Shane Macalinao bagged the FIRST EVER GRAND CHAMPION of the Parish Got Talent because of her most wonderful and soulful rendition the song "Let it Go" from the animated movie sound track Frozen.

As I prepared for home after the program, my heart was smiling in joy for having accomplished another mission for the parish. “Thank you, Lord, for this wonderful night and event. May you be glorified.” Likewise I thanked the Lord for the gift of beauty and talents He gave our parish, for the generosity of time and effort of the people especially my fellow youth who cooperated and actively participated in this event. The tasks were difficult and demanding. But it was worth all the sacrifices. For the effort, the happiness, the success and the faith, thank you, God!

Contributed by:
Ryan M. Sumalde, 
Member of Youth Ministry, St. Joseph the Spouse Parish, Sto. Tomas, Isabela.

Thursday, May 15, 2014


As a follow up of their successful Formation Conference held in Baguio City last April the Parish Pastoral Council of St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Rizal, Santiago, Isabela again gathered together to formulate the Vision, Mission and Goal (VMG) of the parish. The meeting was held last May 13-15,2014 at the Villa Sylvia Resort in Nagcarlan, Laguna.

The formulation of the VMG was facilitated by Fr. Chris Tibong, OFM who challenged the parish leaders in reflecting about the very existence of the church: Why is there a Church and to where Holy Spirit leading the newly erected parish of St. Francis of Assisi?

In the workshop the participants were divided into four groups. The first three groups reflected on the three-fold character of Jesus as a Prophet, King and Priest relating them to the ministry of Worship, Service and Evangelization. The fourth group reflected on the ministry and mission of the parish administration as a whole. After a thorough reflection the group finally came up with a clear Vision of the parish: "Ang St. Francis of Assisi Parish ay isang Sambayanang Sama-Samang Sumasamba, Tapat na Naglilingkod at Nagsasabuhay ng Salita ng Diyos ayon sa Buhay ni San Francisko ng Assisi."

After accomplishing their difficult task of setting the vision of the parish the participants celebrated Franciscan Joy at the pool side of the resort. Then before leaving for home the following day the group made a pilgrimage to the old Franciscan churches in Nagcarlan and Liliw and visited the Underground Cemetery in Nagcarlan. They also went Tsinelas shopping in Liliw. The group also visited the Franciscan Novitiate where they had lunch and the chance to visit the Hermitage Huts. Back in Manila they visited Santuario de San Antonio, Forbes Park, Makati City and was welcomed with a dinner by the guardian, Fr. Baltasar Obico, OFM.

The parish priest of St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Santiago, Isabela and the parish leaders wish to thank all who have helped in the Formation Conference of the PPC and their Pilgrimage to some Franciscan Churches. They are asking for prayers as they begin task of spreading the Gospel in the small community of St. Francis of Assisi Parish, Rizal, Santiago City.

Thursday, April 10, 2014


Last April 8-10, 2014 the Parish Pastoral Council of the newly erected St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Rizal, Santiago City, Isabela went to the Franciscan San Damiano Integration House, Baguio City for a 3-day Formation Conference. The said formation conference aimed to strengthen the leadership and commitment of all the parish leaders.

The first part of the conference was facilitated by Fr. Vonci Del Mundo, OFM, the parish priest. He gave an input concerning the effects of the Transition: from being a Quasi-Parish to a Parish; from being administered by the La Salette Missionaries, then by the Diocesan Priests and now by the Franciscan Friars. Fr. Vonci invited the leaders to undergo a spiritual reflection by looking into the ministry of Jesus as he challenged the ways the Pharisees and Scribes or the Religious leaders lead the flock during his time.

The theme of the conference was: "Transition: Boon or Bane? and The New Wineskin, The New Cloth and the New Wine". The Second part of the Conference focused on the Strategic Planning and the Formation of the Minister. It was facilitated by Fr. Chris Tibong, OFM.

The group also watched the film "Brother Sun and Sister Moon" to introduce to the leaders the life of St. Francis of Assisi. After watching the film, most of them cried and were inspired about the life of St. Francis of Assisi.

After the formation conference the group toured around Baguio City and had their lunch at the Little Flower Convent of the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate Concepcion.

Contributed by Fr. Vonci Del Mundo, OFM