Purely Personal

Immaculate Conception church in Tayuman, Tondo, turns 60

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It is heartening to note that the Immaculate Conception Parish in Tayuman, Tondo has turned 60. Msgr. Claro Matt Garcia, parish priest, led the celebration last Aug. 26.

Established on Aug. 26, 1951 by the late Msgr. Gabriel M. Reyes, the first Filipino archbishop of Manila, the church is now the second biggest parish in Tondo, consisting of 44 barangays.

With the theme, “Pasasalamat! Pagdiriwang! Pag-aalay!”, a Thanksgiving Mass was officiated by Antipolo Bishop Gabriel Reyes, nephew of the late Archbishop Reyes.

Bishop Gabby, who was parochial vicar of this parish in 1970, blessed the newly renovated parish church, spearheaded by construction committee head Johnson Tan.

Gracing the occasion were Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim and some city councilors.

A “Gold & Diamond Dinner-Dance” was also held last Aug. 27 at the Century Seafood Restaurant to raise funds for the continued construction of a multi-purpose center. It also honored Msgr. Garcia on his golden birthday, who thanked those who came and asked them to continue supporting this blessed project that will house the Medical Dental-Pharmacy-Livelihood-Coop Center, formation rooms and the Blessed Sacrament Chapel—all due for completion by Dec. 8.

Santiago de Compostela

I will always remember my first trip to Santiago de Compostela in Spain when Sally Maddatu of World’s Wonders travel agency then brought me in July 1997 for the feast day of St. James the Greater on July 25.

Since then, I always recommend Santiago de Compostela as part of the itinerary when going on a pilgrimage trip.

I remember going behind the statue of the saint and embracing him from behind. I asked for healing which I got later. The great Cathedral was built on the place where St. James was buried. The remains were found by the hermit Pelayo who guided by a “star” led him to where the body of St. James was. Pelayo dug the body, put it in a cart pulled by an ox and brought the body to the Bishop. Faith-awakening journey

Come Nov. 3, a group of Filipino pilgrims led by Fr. Blaise Garcia, a much-sought homilist, will embark on a faith-awakening journey to Santiago de Compostela (James of the Star). Included are stops at Lourdes, Fatima, Covadonga and Montserrat, nestled among the awesome mountains. Call 521-1651/98.

Another group will leave on Oct. 9 to Eastern Europe following the footsteps of Blessed Pope John Paul II.

Led by Fr. Nolan Que and Msgr. Nolly Que, the itinerary will cover the greatest places in Europe such as Neuschwanstein Castle, Lake Bled, Schonbrunn Palace and St. Basil’s Cathedral, including the Russia extension. Call Adams Express Travel at 5223876 or text Anna at 0908-5919908.

Our Lady of La Salette

The National Shrine of Our Lady of La Salette in Biga, Silang, Cavite is currently holding Novena Masses until Sept. 18 at 5 p.m.

Except for today when the Novena Mass would be held at 9 a.m. with Fr. Del Ronquillo, MS as celebrant and Fr. Efren Musngi at 5 p.m., the other Novena Masses until Sept. 18 are at 5 p.m.

Mass celebrants and their days are Sept. 12—Fr. Eugene Andaya, MS; Sept. 13—Fr. Marty Dimaranan; Sept. 14—Fr. Noel Cruz, MS; Sept. 15—Fr. Salvador Pico, MS; Sept. 16—Fr. Stevanus Suharna, MS; Sept. 17—Fr. Eugene Flores and Fr. Elmer Galiza; Sept. 18 (Sunday, 9 a.m.)—Fr. Efren Musngi, MS and (Sunday, 5 p.m.) Fr. Jasper Tiongquico, MS.

Imus Bishop Luis Antonio Tagle will officiate the Concelebrated Fiesta Mass on Sept. 19 at 9 a.m. while Fr. Noel Cruz, MS will say Mass at 5:30 p.m. The shrine is run by the Missionaries of Our Lady of La Salette.

The Apparition

On Saturday, Sept. 19, 1846, on a beautiful clear autumn day, the Virgin Mary appeared to Maximin Giraud, age 11, and Melanie Mathieu, age 14, on a mountain near the town of La Salette, some 6,000 feet high in the French Alps.

The two children had first met the day before while tending cows on the slopes. After their meager lunch at midday, they fell into a deep sleep because of fatigue.

Returning to pick up their knapsacks after their nap, the two children stopped in their tracks when they saw a very bright light blazing over the stones where they had sat for lunch. The radiance parted and revealed a woman seated on the stones, her elbows on her knees and her face buried in her hands. They realized at once that she was weeping.

In speaking to them, she said that people have to be converted. She said “If people are converted, rocks and stones will turn into heaps of wheat and potatoes will be self-sown in the fields.”

Feast of the Holy Cross

The Monasterio de Tarlac celebrates the feast of the Holy Cross on Sept. 14, Wednesday. Pilgrims will go up the mountain of San Jose, Tarlac to attend Mass at the Chapel of the Relic of the True Cross which were put up the Sons of the Risen Christ (SRC) headed by Fr. Archie Cortez, SRC.

‘Straight from the Heart’

The new Filipino edition of the prayer book “Straight from the Heart” will be launched on Sept. 16, 5:30 P.M. at the SMX Convention during the 32nd Manila International Book Fair. Available at St. Paul’s and National Book Store nationwide.

By the way, instead of gathering at the Quirino Grandstand today at 4 p.m., the motorcade bringing Our Lady of Peñafrancia will proceed to Agrifina Circle in Luneta and go in a procession to the Manila Cathedral for the 6 p.m. Mass.

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