ILOILO City, Dec. 1, 2014 — In a fitting end to the Year of the Laity, the Diocese of Bacolod honored 15 laymen and laywomen for their “commitment and selfless service to the Church” on Nov. 29 during a concelebrated 9: a.m. Mass at the San Sebastian Cathedral.
Following a period of deliberation and screening with the vicars forane, the Diocesan Awards Committee, after final approval from Bacolod Bishop Vicente M. Navarra, released the list of awardees in a circular letter dated Nov. 7, 2014:
- Ms. Nelly F. Hechanova (Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, Brgy. Granada, Bacolod City)
- Ms. Corona P. Cuadra (San Sebastian Cathedral Parish, Bacolod City)
- Mr. Eduardo B. Dechilla (San Sebastian Cathedral Parish, Bacolod City)
- Mr. Manuel Pakingking, Jr. (Immaculate Conception Parish, Murcia)
- Mr. Romulo T. Undar (Our Lady of Victory Parish, Victorias City)
- Ms. Gertrudes T. Banes (Immaculate Conception Parish, Brgy. Concepcion, Talisay City)
- Ms. Ofelia A. Busil (Triumph of the Holy Cross Parish, Camingawan, Bacolod City)
- Ms. Jaydia Deles (Our Lady of Candles Parish, San Enrique)
- Ms. Candelaria H. Planta (Our Lady of Candles Parish, San Enrique)
- Ms. Teodora S. Cabilso (San Antonio Abad Parish, Bacolod City)
- Ms. Gloria A. Melocoton (San Antonio Abad Parish, Bacolod City)
- Ms. Pacencia P. Porras (St. Joseph the Worker Parish, E.B. Magalona)
- Ms. Cresencia D. Infante (Immaculate Conception Parish, Brgy. Villamonte, Bacolod City)
- Mr. Roque M. Bonilla (Queen of Peace Parish, Bacolod City)
- Mr. Jaime A. Deriada (Queen of Peace Parish, Bacolod City)
The awarding ceremony was part of the diocesan celebration for the closing of “Year of the Laity”, reminding the faithful that Filipinos are “Called to be Saints, Send Forth as Heroes.”
‘Closest friends of God’
Lay workers also renewed their commitment of service to the Church as the diocese held various activities to culminate the Year of the Laity.
Some 200 lay workers of Vicariate of San Antonio Abad accepted the challenge of serving the Church even more after listening to a lecture given by Fr. Roy Christian Gesulgon, Dean of Studies of the Sacred Heart Seminary of Bacolod on Nov. 8 to officially end the Year of the Laity celebration.
Fr. Gesulgon stressed that lay workers in the Church “must find the happiness” in serving the people and the Church. He said happiness attracts more people to the Church and that it is a motivation for the laity to persevere in their commitment to service.
“This activity should serve as a reminder that the enthusiasm of the laity serving must not fade even after the ‘limelight’ of the Year of the Laity is dimmed,” said Teodora Cabilso, San Antonio de Abad Parish education committee head.
Diocese of Bacolod Vicar-General Msgr. Louie Galbines, who presided over the closing Mass, stressed in his homily that lay workers in the Church are the “closest friends of God”, and are tasked to make the house of God welcoming.
Likewise, the Parish of Our Lady of Victory in Victorias also culminated the Year of the Laity, gathering more than a hundred parishioners and parish lay workers also on Nov. 8.
Fr. Mitchel Guadalupe gave a talk on the role of the laity based on the Second Plenary Council of the Philippines (PCP II).
In the Vicariate of La Carlota, a concelebrated Mass and the awarding of outstanding lay persons were held to close the Year of the Laity.
The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines has set 2015 as the “Year of the Poor”, which officially started on Nov. 30, 2014, the first Sunday of Advent. (Fr. Mickey Cardenas/CBCPNews)