Diocese of Novaliches

Laity’s role in Diocesan Synodality underscored

The active participation of the Laity is imperative to the success of the Diocesan Pre-Synodal Consultation to be done in preparation for the Synod in 2023 to be held in Rome.

          This was underscored by Most Rev. Roberto O. Gaa, D.D., Bishop of Novaliches, as he led ceremonies to officially start the consultation — Diyosesisang Yugto ng Landasing Sinodal — highlighted by a Eucharistic celebration that he officiated.

          “In this Synodality, marami po’ng pagko-konsulta na gagawin,” said Bishop Gaa in his Homily.”This pre-Synod consultation on the diocesan level will be a tedious process and we need everybody’s prayer so that this can really be successful.”

          He added that “when we say a prayer, it’s a time of silence, a time of listening, a time of hearing what God wants to tell us, not just in prayer, but also in consultation.”

          Personally addressing the Laity, he asked, “how will you speak, what will you say?then advised everyone to call on the Holy Spirit, so that the Holy Spirit may touch their hearts, and speak not what they want to say but what the Holy Spirit wants them to say.

          “May paggabay, pagliliwanag, at paggalaw ng Espiritu Santo,” he stressed.

          In an earlier invitation, he described the process that will entail a series of consultations in all sectors of society, including the poor and the marginalized; and encouraged everyone’s participation.

               “Sana’y tayong lahat ay makilahok at tayong lahat ay makinabang,” he said, adding that we may only benefit if we participate. “Kung kayo ay kokonsultahin, buong puso niyo ibigay ang inyong saloobin, masama man, masakit man, ang lahat ay makakatulong sa pagbuo ng isang simbahan na nakikinig at isang simbahan na nagninilay at nakikipaglakbay.   

 

The Bishop thanked Msgr. Jesus Romulo “Romy” C. Rañada for leading and guiding the Synodal Path Coordinating Team to do the long and challenging consultations that aim at arriving at the true face of the church in the Diocese of Novaliches. “That can be our starting point sa pagkilala at pakikipaglakbay sa Diocese so that we can really walk together as a Diocese,” Bishop Gaa said. “Pray with me, journey with me so that together we can listen to the Holy Spirit through one another.” On the same occasion, members of the Synodal Path Coordinating Team were officially introduced and blessed. They are composed of the Clergy, Laity, and the Religious.

         

Among them are Rev. Fr. Antonio E. Labiao, Jr., Vicar General for Pastoral Affairs; Rev. Fr. Jaime Z. Lara, Bishop’s Delegate to the Council of the Laity of Novaliches (CLaN); Rev. Fr. Luciano A. Felloni, Priest Director, Special Commission on Social Communications and Media (SocComM); Fatima Estacio, CLaN president; and Sr. Zenaida Cabrera, coordinator of the Association of Consecrated Lives in Novaliches Diocese (ACLIND).

          In an AVP shared by the Saint Francis Xavier Parish shown before the ceremonies, synod and a synodal church were defined. This is a time, it said when the Church is called together “to communion, participation, and mission.”

          It is likewise “a call for the involvement of all who belong to the people of God … to pray, listen, analyze, dialogue, discern, advice.” [Lulu Reclusado-Nario]

(Photo contributor: Jun Magtagnob | SoccommNova)

Celebrating Fr. JB’s Colorful Life

CELEBRATING FR. JB'S COLORFUL LIFE​

“Natokhang ako ni Fr. JB.”

 

This is a famous line uttered by people whose lives were touched by Rev. Fr. Juan Bosco “JB” Abellana, Parochial Vicar of the Holy Cross Parish in Caloocan City, who joined His Maker too soon on the first day of July. He was 62 years old.

 

These people weren’t touched in a bad way as the word is associated with violence. It simply means they were shown Fr. JB’s special kind of tough love that teaches and nurtures one to be a good observant of the Holy Mass as well as a humble and obedient Church servant.

 

Pag na-tokhang ka, malamang dapat may natutunan ka after ma-experience mo ‘yan,” revealed Shirly Benedictos, Holy Cross Parish’s SocComm lay coordinator, during a Eulogy held in honor of Fr. JB. 

 

She went on share a story on how Fr. JB would not let go of a chance to instruct a Mass attendee on how to properly receive the Holy Communion, never mind if the communion line would stall. A reprimand is always in order for church servants who do not take their tasks seriously.

INTIMIDATING


She also admitted being intimidated, at first, by the priest.  “Kasi talagang pagsasabihan o pagagalitan ka as a server pag may palpak ka during the Mass, asahan mo na may sermon so medyo kinatatakutan siya sa parish,” she narrated. “Pero nung nakausap ko na siya ng personal, doon ko nalaman yung kanyang pagmamahal kay Jesus, sa Misa.”


Ate Shirly said that Fr. JB put emphasis on one’s readiness when serving during Mass. “Sabi pa niya, bakit ka matatakot mag-serve kung handa ka naman or kung alam mo naman ang mga dapat mong gawin?” she added.


But this penchant for the strict observance of the Holy Mass and proper behavior  by both parishioners and church servants is just a part of Fr. JB’s colorful character.


GOOD SHEPHERD


Rev. Fr. Abe Argoniosa said that Fr. JB never said anything bad towards anybody.


“He was always very charitable, kind, benevolent in mind and in heart in his attitude towards another person,” he said. “Layunin niya na tayo ay maging faithful and on time pag naglilingkod sa Panginoon, hindi maaring magpabaya sa ating tungkulin.”

 

Fr. Abe added that his “pag-tokhang” to people is only part of his being a good father and a good shepherd.

FIGHTER, TRUE FRIEND

 

Michael Acosta of Pagkabuhay Parish considers him a loving father and a fighter. “Para siyang ama na mahigpit ngunit may dahilan,” he said. “Fighter siya kasi basta merong service, hindi mo makikita na nahihirapan, at mahal niya ang taong simbahan.”

 

Au Roque of San Bartolome de Novaliches and the Parish’s former PPC [Parish Pastoral Council] chair, describes him as “a gentle breeze, very unassuming.”

 

Katulad ng sinasabi ng lahat ,when it comes to worship, gusto niya lahat na gumagampan ng tungkulin sa Liturgy ay alam ang ginagawa,” she added. “To the highest level ang pagdiriwang ng Banal na Misa.”

 

Cecille de la Cruz, also of San Bartolome and former coordinator of the Parish’s Social Services and Development Ministry [SSDM], is touched by the fact that Fr. JB treated her as a friend. She was also witness to Fr. JB’s genuine love and concern for the poor.

 

“In-encourage niya kaming magsikap para maging matagumpay ang aming ginagawa sa livelihood program na itinayo namin,” she said.

 

WELL-LOVED

 

 

The Bishops Emeritus of Novaliches, namely Most Rev. Teodoro Bacani and Most Rev Antonio Tobias came to pay their respects to Fr. JB and expressed their deep love for him; while Most Rev. Roberto O. Gaa, D.D., current Bishop of Novaliches, celebrated the Funeral Mass on the 5th day of July, according to the Rites of the Roman Catholic Church at the Pagkabuhay Parish.

 

His resting place is at the clergy plot of the Diocese of Novaliches at the Holy Cross Memorial Park in Novaliches, Quezon City.

 

 

Fr. JB was born in Cortes, Bohol on the 20th of January 1959. He was ordained to the Sacred Order of Presbyters at the age of 25.

 

 

Coming to Manila after serving in various churches in Bohol and Tagbilaran City, his first assignments were at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish [Project 6, QC, 1992-1997], and Saint Paul the Apostle Parish [Timog, QC, 1997-1999].

 

 

He was still assigned as Parish Priest of Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage Parish in Camarin, North Caloocan City [1999-2006] and the Priest Coordinator for Mandated Organizations, when he was assigned by Most Rev. Antonio R. Tobias, D.D., the Bishop of Novaliches at that time, here at Pagkabuhay Parish [Bagbag] where he lied in state, in fulfillment of his last wish or request.

 

 

During the Second General Reshuffling of Parish Assignments in 2013, he was assigned as Parish Priest of San Lorenzo Ruiz Parish [Tierra Verde Homes, J. Culiat], which would be cut short on June 2016 because he was asked by Bishop Tony to prepare for his renal transplant that will be done on his failing kidneys that year. He was transferred to Our Lady of Visitation Parish [Sacred Heart Village], serving as Parochial Vicar under the close watch of Bishop Tony, for several months while waiting for his kidney transplant that did not happen due to his donor’s previous drug addiction history.

 

 

In 2017, Fr. JB was assigned as Parochial Vicar of Fr. Roger S. Positar at San Bartolome Parish to help him in his medical needs and condition. During the Third General Reshuffling of Assignments in 2019, he was asked by Bishop Tony where he would like to stay and he said he wanted to join Fr. Roger in his new assignment at Holy Cross Parish [Amparo Village, Caloocan City] where he served until his last hospital confinement at Cardinal Santos Memorial and Medical Center, and his untimely demise.

Image Source: Jun Magtagnob, Social Communications and Media Ministry