By Sr. Emelina A. Villegas,ICM
The Bishop’s birthday celebration was an occasion for SHARING, the first part of which was the sharing of the Eucharistic meal with the priests, lay leaders, family and friends. Then it was followed by Sharing a Home in the near-future with the priests in the groundbreaking ceremonies.
The Mass was concelebrated with the priests of the diocese at 7:30 am on June 13, 2015 at the Visitation of our Lady Parish, Sacred Heart Village, Lagro, QC
In his homily, Bishop spoke of the influence of his patron saint, St. Anthony of Padua, on him, and he presented his major projects for the diocese the coming year. He invited all those present to participate in these endeavours.
After the Mass, the groundbreaking ceremonies followed at the left side of the church, after which a hearty breakfast was awaiting the guests. Tents were set up in front of the church where tables and chairs were arranged. Everyone had a chance to greet our celebrant who was beaming with joy at 74!
The second part was Sharing a meal with the poor and the religious women and men assisted by the chancery staff.
At 10 o’clock in the morning the 420 invited poor people and the religious women and men of the diocese gathered at St. Peter’s Church in Commonwealth Ave., QC to celebrate with the Bishop.
A mid-day prayer was prepared by the religious followed by a talk from Bishop. He thanked all for coming and celebrating with him and assured the poor of the role of the church in caring for them. Afterwards it was “kainan na”. Bishop went around to the different tables to greet the people. Fr. Aris de Leon and Art Octubre were the emcees for the short program which consisted of a 71 year old Augustinian sister and her scholar who sang The Prayer, lay servants from the Holy Spirit Parish and Caritas Novaliches who also sang and then games participated in by both the lay and consecrated men and women . Finally the most awaited part of the program followed – the giving of pails filled with groceries to the 420 plus poorest of the poor who were chosen from different parishes. You could see the happiness in the faces of the people who received and they were profuse in their thanks.
Both events were spearheaded by Msgr. Rañada and judging by the attendance specially the second part, it was a success but more than that the Bishop was able to make a lot of individuals happy on his birthday.