Faith that flourished
To be a faithful of the Roman Catholic Church is one exhilarating experience. Other than the privilege of getting to know God in the person of God himself, Christ and the Holy Spirit through the Holy Scripture and the teachings of the church, a faithful is benefits from growing in his personal relations with God and brethren. The experience goes beyond personal conviction because it is in personally knowing God and learning more about Him not only through the teachings but traditions as well that he flourishes in faith. Teachings, precepts and traditions make the Catholic faith a unique religious denomination that vividly explains why more are turning to it, especially in the Philippines.
Similarly, the Archdiocese of Palo flourished to such eminence by the growth in the number of members within the Palo local church. The local church which was then under the Diocese of Calbayog, that was at that time within the jurisdiction of the Archdiocese of Cebu, bloomed to be the highest in the local church hierarchy. From being the Diocese of Palo on November 28, 1937 to an Archdiocese on November 15, 1982, the transformation of the local church is an indicia of the growth in faith of the people not only towards the church as an institution but to the God that the Church worships.
Rev. Fr. Amadeo Alvero, the Archdiocese of Palo social communications commission director and media coordinator, imparted this thought to the local newsmen in a press conference held recently at the Sto. Niño Parish Rectory’s conference room. In answer to a query of one journalist regarding the minutiae of this development of the Palo church into a diocese then an archdiocese, Fr. Alvero explained that the location, Leyte, was reflective of the strength in the number of those who joined the Roman Catholic church at that time. Palo was a center of government and trade, because at that time, Tacloban was yet within the jurisdiction of the church in Buscada, Basey, Samar. It was proof of faith that flourished.
The Metropolitan Cathedral of Palo (in Our Lord of Transfiguration Parish) is described by Fr. Alvero as the mother church, an icon of faith in the Archdiocese of Palo. It is now undergoing major repair that is now worth a little more than P40 million pesos. This facelift is the first substantial renovation that the cathedral underwent from the time it was built, although there were repainting and little repairs made in the recent past. The significance of the cathedral also justifies the need for parishes within the different vicariates under the Archdiocese to help raise fund for such major repair, by way of second collection during Sunday and anticipated masses.
This is not an issue, though, according to Fr. Alvero. It is like any family where the child has grown to be a better person – in career and otherwise, much better than his parents. Any parent would not feel bad about his child being able to surpass his feat. Conversely, this is a wholesome development in a civilized society. Hence, even the Diocese of Calbayog joins in this momentous jubilee.
This time much focus is drawn towards preparing the people in the celebration of the Diamond Anniversary of the creation of the Diocese of Palo. To lend full meaning to this, the months following the anniversary day, that is from December 2012 to October 2013, various sectors will take turn in staging their respective fetes. The jubilee year is meant to underpin the success of the church in deepening the people’s worship of God and intensifying their faith in Him amidst trials and tribulations and the success of the local church amidst the up and downturns in her history.
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I wish to take this chance to greet my beloved mother Alta who celebrated her birthday yesterday the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross. She is a woman of faith, that kind of faith that flourished through her summers and made her stronger and closer to God amidst all the trials she is going through in life. In spite of these tests, she finds solace in Him, in Our Lady of Perpetual Help and the Black Nazarene with St. Jude as her other intercessor.
“Belated Happy Birthday, Mama. You are so much loved and blessed by the Holy Trinity and the Our Lady of Perpetual Help. May all you pray for come true, in His time. Thank you, Ma, for continually being God’s instrument in reaching out to others, especially the needy. You really deserve all the awards you have received. God bless you!”
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I also wish to congratulate my cousins, lawyers Redentor, Marino Jr and Josephine and Salvador who is now based at the ASEAN in Jakarta, Indonesia for a successful sponsorship of the Feast of Our Lady of Peñafrancia in Tacloban last Saturday. Their dad, retired Judge Marino Saavedra Buban, a brother of my mom’s, is an active officer of the Bicol Association of Leyte (BAOL). His wife, my Auntie Lina (nee Macabingkel) is cured of her life-threatening sickness, by the family’s faith in the Holy Trinity and Our Lady of Peñafrancia. To God be the glory forever!
By: Eileen Nazareno-Ballesteros
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