“Pagkakaisa at pag-uugnayan. Ang focus natin ngayon ay ang ating sambayanan, remember communion o pakikipag-isa ng parokya at ng simbahan at magkakasamang parte ng buong mundo na nag-uugnayan,” the Most Rev. Antonio R. Tobias, D.D. said, emphasizing unity and connectivity as he launched the Year of the Parish as a Communion of Communities in the Diocese of Novaliches during the annual Three-In-One Celebration held at the Mary the Queen Parish, Teresa Heights, Q.C. last December 9, 2016.
According to the Bishop, this new focus of the Church does not mean the previous year’s thrusts–Mercy, Eucharist, and Family–will be set aside. Accomplishments made should not be taken for granted, he said, and the lessons learned should not be forgotten.
Msgr. Romy Rañada, parish priest of the Mary Queen of Peace Parish and Vicar General for Administration of the Diocese, welcomed everyone to the event and highlighted the night’s harmonious gathering as one that signifies the reality of the coming year’s theme.
“Ito pong ating pagtitipon ngayon ay isang tanda ng ating pagdiriwang na ng katotohanang ito, hindi lamang ng parish kundi yung Diocese natin is a communion of parishes and various communities,” Msgr. Rañada added.
He also took the opportunity to remind the parish priests about the salient points discussed during the Diocesan Theological Pastoral Congress on 2017’s theme, stating, “Sana yung diwa ng taong ito ay maiparating sa ating mga parishioners.”
Making an assessment of the Church’s 2016 themes, the Monsignor, in an interview during the event, shared his observation that it has been a challenging year due to the effects of the government’s campaign against drugs.
“I think the Church for the most part has responded to it in a merciful way, focusing on rehabilitation, and our Diocese, for instance, has done a lot in this area,” he remarked optimistically.
Meanwhile, the Diocesan Christmas celebration held in nearby Teresa Heights Covered Court was a happy combination of good food; genuine community bonding; hearty singing led by the Bishop himself and the population of priests; funny games; and exciting raffle prizes.
Emcees for the night were Fr. Aristeo de Leon of Saint Joseph the Worker Parish and Fr. Reynaldo Percival Flores of the Ascension of Our Lord Parish. Helping them out during the raffle was Fr. Marlou V. Lemaire of the St. Peter Parish, Shrine of Leaders.
In conclusion, Bishop Tobias thanked everyone for coming, saying “sana sa inyong mga parokya ay madama ang ating pagiging isang Diocese, isang pamilya.”
The Three-In-One Celebration commemorated the Official Closing of the Jubilee Year of Mercy and the Year of the Eucharist and the Family cum Official Opening of the Year of the Parish As Communion of Communities; alongside the 14th Anniversary of the establishment of the Diocese on December 7th; and the 51st Sacerdotal Anniversary of Bishop Tobias this coming December 21st through a Eucharistic Celebration concelebrated by the Bishop and his Clergy at the Mary The Queen Parish.
This, as per tradition, is immediately followed by the Diocesan Christmas Party. Members of the Parish Pastoral Council Executive Committee (PPC Execom) of each of the 69 Parishes of the Diocese and of the different Commissions and Ministries, as well as members of the Clergy and Religious Men and Women of Novaliches were the attendees of the event. (~Lulu Reclusado-Nario)