Fr. Larry turns 50 last Oct 20, 2015 with a blast!(For an enlarged view, click the collage)
A GLIMPSE OF THE PARISH ACTIVITIES DURING
THE 2013 ADVENT AND CHRISTMAS SEASONS
A. 9-DAY MISA DE GALLO
The parish held its traditional 9-day novena in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary in preparation for the birth of Jesus Christ through 4:00am dawn masses and 8:30pm evening novena masses from Dec. 15 to 24. The first dawn mass was made meaningful with the re-enactment by the Parish Youth Ministry (PYM) of the “Panunuluyan” showing the struggle of Joseph and Mary to find a suitable birthplace for Jesus. The huge attendance during each dawn mass and evening novena mass was a tangible proof that for us OLMC parishioners the Misa de Gallo is more than a tradition, but a significant devotion because it is a time when the relationship of family members is strengthened, a special time when our faith is intensified because it is the spiritual preparation for Christ’s “coming.
B. CHRISTMAS EVE MASS
Prior to the 11:00pm Eucharistic celebration on December 24, parishioners witnessed PYM’s re-enactment of the “Panunuluyan,” depicting the angel Gabriel’s visitation of the Blessed Mother, the search for a decent place for Jesus’ birth, and the event of His birth in a manger. The turnout during the concelebrated Christmas Eve mass was unprecedented – the church literally teemed with people, young and old, inside and outside. The parish was bustling with expectant joy; everyone awaited that moment when the image of the child Jesus was placed in the manger and blessed by Fr. Gudz. Likewise, parishioners rejoiced when 12:00 midnight came to herald Christ’s symbolic “coming” and the onset of Christmas.
In his homily, Fr. Larry, emphasized that while Christmas is a season of giving – giving of gifts to our loved ones, relatives and friends, the real essence of Christmas is in receiving — in receiving Christ in our hearts, in welcoming Christ into our lives and letting Him transform us to be more like Him.
Instead of the “Merry Christmas” greeting that we have been all used to, Fr. Larry exhorted all parishioners to greet one another with “A Holy Christmas!”
Fr. Rey and Fr. Gudz, who were on hand as concelebrants, were evidently touched by the warm Christmas spirit amid the huge turnout of parishioners that midnight.
C. “PASKO NA . . . IPADAMA”
“Pasko Na… Ipadama” is a yearly Christmas gift-giving activity for the children of the parish. On December 26, Thursday, from 1:00pm to 4:00pm, more than 300 children coming from the different zones were treated to food and refreshments, “palaro,” magic show,puppet show and other forms of entertainment by the lead ministries: Parish Youth Ministry, SSDM and BEC. The activity began at the Hardin ng Karmelo (church patio). When rain fell at around 2:00 pm, the celebration was transferred to the basketball covered court in the community plaza. The rain did not dampen the children’s festive spirit, and they were utterly delighted to receive colorful toys as Christmas gifts. The surprise arrival of Fr. Larry and Fr. Rey was an added treat; Fr. Rey even stayed behind to mingle with the children and share in the merriment. We thank the Deyto, Guerrero and Aquino families, Party Links, and everyone who helped make the event a successful reality.
D. PPC CHRISTMAS PARTY
On December 26, Thursday, 7:00pm, the parish held its PPC Christmas Party at the Gintong Bulagan. Members of the different ministries, organizations and BEC zones were present, though not in the numbers expected probably because of the short notice. The event was graced by the presence of Fr. Larry, Fr. Rey and much later, by Fr. Gudz. Everyone partook of a “potluck” dinner which also included two “lechon” which came from Davao.
After the dinner, to everyone’s surprise and amusement, Fr. Larry began collecting the used plates and cups, much like a waiter cleaning up the mess for his customers, and even served juice to some. Meanwhile, Fr. Rey himself got busy fixing the buffet table and preparing a mahiwagang basket.
Fr. Larry and the parish youth caroling group serenaded the crowd with lively Christmas carols and our dear parish priest, who was undeniably in a very good mood that night, gamely did a choreographed dance together with some of the youth, to the delight of the crowd. It was at this point that Fr. Rey began to go around with his mahiwagang basket, cajoling everyone to put their money in it, saying that it was only proper because after all Fr. Larry acted as the party’s waiter. Fr. Rey jokingly threatened that there would be a second and third collection until everyone has put his last cent in the basket. Everyone obliged and took it all in the spirit of fun. The game portion which Fr. Rey initiated was just as hilarious, baiting the gullible ones to participate in his weird but funny “money-draining” scheme.
Before the party ended, Fr. Rey reported that his mahiwagang basket collected more than Php 11,000.00, and cheerfully thanked and assured everyone that the amount would be used to help purchase more goods for the “Kambal na Handog sa Pasko” scheduled on December 28. Fr. Larry concluded the celebration with a prayer.
E. “KAMBAL NA HANDOG SA PASKO”
The parish fittingly ended the year with a noble undertaking – the “Kambal na Handog sa Pasko” held on December 28, Saturday. Now on its second year, the program is a brainchild of the late Fr. Manny Sarez, but it is somehow an adaptation of the traditional “Pasko Na… Ipadama” program in the sense that it is also intended to intensify the virtue of sharing with our less fortunate brothers especially during the season of Christmas.
“Kambal na Handog sa Pasko“was dubbed as such because it has a two-fold purpose: first, it is aimed at empowering our underprivileged brothers to receive help from the parish with dignity — that is, by availing of grocery items and used clothes that are sold at very low prices (“bagsak presyo”); second, the proceeds generated from the sale will be used by the SSDM to benefit the deprived members of the parish – to deliver free medical and dental services at the KKK Parish Clinic and to support the feeding program of the Pastoral Care for Children.
The chosen indigent families from the kawans were provided with coupons allowing them to procure up to a maximum of Php300 worth of assorted items sold at the Gintong Bulwagan which was converted into an improvised bazaar for this purpose. Close to 1,000 families benefitted from the program which began at 8:00am and ended at 4:00pm.
Rice was sold at Php 25/kilo, a can of sardines was on sale at Php6, sugar at Php11 for ½ kg, condiments such as vinegar, soy sauce and ketchup were made available at Php 3 per 100ml pack. Other merchandise on sale were powdered milk, coffee, instant noodles, laundry powder, detergent bar, toothpaste, bath soap and shampoo, but for a limited number per customer so that more people can avail of the wide assortment of goods.
The used clothes sold unlimitedly at low, low prices (Php2 – Php3 apiece) were actually donations solicited by the parish intended originally for the victims of Typhoon Yolanda. When these were being turned over to ABS-CBN and GMA 7, the network foundations announced that they were accepting only cash donations hence. So Fr. Larry and the TriCom decided to just offer the clothes in a rummage sale during the event.
Organized by the SSDM headed by Kuya Noel Santos, several other organizations were on hand to assist, such as: the BEC leaders who helped identify and mobilize the beneficiary families, the Knights of Columbus who provided the security, the GCG and MBG, including Ate Vel Tang, who served as cashiers & sales clerks together with some Caritas scholars of the SSDM, and the Function Committee, with Ate Mel Santiago, who provided food to the volunteers.
The funds used to buy the goods were sourced from the mass offerings during the 9-day Misa de Gallo and evening novena masses, and from second collections during Sunday masses.
Congratulations to everyone who helped make this year’s Advent and Christmas activities successful and meaningful.
Blessings of the NEW St. Nicolas Memorial Wall and the Renovated St. Simon Stock Mortuary
Fr. Larry Garces, OAR and Fr. Rey Paglinawan inaugurated last Sunday, September 29, 2013 the newly installed St. Nicolas Memorial Wall at the Our Lady of the Assumption ossuary and the renovated St. Simon Stock mortuary, both located at the basement of the Bahay Karmelo multi-purpose building.
To thank the generous parishioners and pilgrims who are supporting the Raise the Roof project, the parish is dedicating the ‘wall’ for their departed loved ones, either buried in the ossuary or elsewhere. For a minimum donation of PhP 10,000 a name of their departed loved ones will be etched on the wall and prayers will always be offered in masses celebrated in the ossuary.
Present during the soft opening were our benefactors and guests namely: Kuya Mat Ocenar, Ate Flor Pecson, Ate Puring Aguirre, Ate Connie Abul and Ate Dada Pangilinan who led in the ceremonial cutting of the ribbon.
On October 27, 2013, Sunday at 4:00pm our dear Bishop Honesto Ongtioco will be our guest during its formal inauguration.
NOTES FROM FR. LARRY’S HOMILY
during the Mass for the Sick held on Wed., 24 April 2013
concelebrated by Frs. Resty, Ferdie and Andrew
- Healing can only be possible through a person’s sincere and earnest prayer and through his faith that Christ will heal him.
- All priests, by virtue of their ordination, are healers; they received this gift of the Holy Spirit when they were ordained. So whenever a priest is able to heal a sick person, it is not himself that did the healing but Christ and the person’s imploring prayer and faith.
- Christ gave us, Christians, seven (7) sacraments that will guide us in our journey thru life for our sanctification, so that one day we may all be reunited to God, our Father and Creator.
- It is not correct to seek a priest to anoint a dying person. Most people believe that anointing a dying person is the same as giving extreme unction, but according to Fr. Larry this is a wrong notion. Anointing with oil is administered only to those who are seriously sick so that through this sacrament they could be restored to health and their life may be lengthened.
- A dying person should be given the last rites and communion before he passes away. The sacrament of the holy Eucharist or communion is given to a dying person so that he could receive the body of Christ and be reconciled to Him, so that when he dies Christ is in him.
- Fr. Larry is a cancer survivor; he was diagnosed with cancer in the year 2000 and underwent surgery, chemotherapy and laser treatment. He believes that he was healed because so many people prayed for him and he implored the help of St. Ezekiel Moreno, a canonized Spanish priest belonging to the Order of Augustinian Recollects, who today is the patron saint of cancer patients.
- Immediately after the homily, invoking the name of St. Ezekiel Moreno, Fr. Larry, together with Frs. Resty, Ferdie and Andrew, began the healing rites by praying over each parishioner who lined up before them. Afterwards, all sick parishioners were asked to line up once more, this time for anointing with the holy oil.
- Fr. Larry advised that those who feel and believe that they have been healed, after being prayed over and anointed with oil, should immediately go to confession if possible and ask for forgiveness for their sins so that there could be total or complete healing — both the body and soul become healed and the person is restored to health and grace.
Fr. Larry asked the people if they want to have a regular monthly Mass for the Sick such as this and they heartily applauded in approval.
Lakbay Simbahan Pilgrimage 2013
Fr. Manny Sarez led the pilgrimage to several centuries-old churches and venerated sites in Quezon and Laguna. This first of a series of pilgrimages was attended bythe members of the Parish Pastoral Council (PPC) and other organizations.
The sites visited were:
1) San Francisco de Assisi Church, Sariaya, Quezon;
2) San Miguel Arkangel Basilica Minore, Tayabas, Quezon;
3) Tomb of the Servant of God, Alfredo Ma. Obviar, MCST Convent, Tayabas, Quezon where Fr. Manny celebrated Holy Mass.
4) Kamay ni Hesus, Lucban, Quezon;
5) St. Louise de Toulouse Church, Lucban, Quezon;
6) San Gregorio Magno Church, Majayjay, Laguna; and
7) San Pedro de Alcantara Church where the famous and miraculous Nuestra Senora de los Dolores de Turumba is enshrined in Pakil, Laguna.
The second Lakbay Simbahan Pilgrimage is scheduled on April 11, 2013, Thursday, to be participated in by the members of the Basic Ecclesial Communities (BEC).