DAVAO City, Dec.7, 2015—In time for the season of Advent, the season of waiting for the Lord’s coming, a parish has been finally established in this part of the city, taking on the name of the country’s newest saint, St. Pedro Calungsod.
Archbishop of Davao Romulo G. Valles presided over the Holy Mass and rite of Canonical erection of San Pedro Calungsod Quasi-Parish and installation of its first parish priest, Fr. Ricky Flores on Dec. 6, at the Immaculate Conception Chapel in Baguio District, Calinan.
The parish was established with a donated lot in Baguio District coming from the late Elias Lopez, a former mayor of Davao City, although the legalities of the donation is still under process.
The parish covers 19 Basic Ecclesial Communities (BEC) formerly under the mother parish, the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish in Calinan, Davao City, which used to have 123 BECs. This is now the 38th parish in the Archdiocese of Davao.
Support and generosity
In his homily, Valles has likened the establishment of the San Pedro Calungsod parish to a classroom that accommodates students, saying that the teacher can manage the class if there are fewer students.
He added priests can better attend to the spiritual needs of the parishioners in the same way.
The prelate also challenged the parishioners to make the quasi-parish a full-fledged parish through their support and generosity.
The archbishop thanked the parish priest of Calinan, Fr. Arnel Tadeo, who supported the establishment of the new quasi-parish, and also Flores who accepted the challenge to be its first parish priest in view of the community’s longing to have their own parish.
‘Seedbed of vocation’
Primitiva Arado, 72, has been waiting for a long time for a parish to be established in Baguio District, Davao City, an area where many Indigenous Peoples (IPs) reside.
Arado, a Marian devotee and an active member of Legion of Mary, said she had been “praying all her life” that they have a parish to call their own near them as there are many Catholics in Baguio District, some five kilometers away from Most Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish in Calinan.
Advent and waiting
“I have a daughter who used to head the Legion of Mary in our chapel and she is now a religious sister of the Teresian Daughters of Mary,” Arado said, adding that her daughter’s vocation was formed in that chapel.
She is referring to Sr. Ma. Marissa Arado, TDM, coordinator of the Archdiocesan Social Action Center of Davao, who has been in the religious life for 17 years already.
Sr. Arado said when she used to head the junior members of Legion of Mary composed of children and youth, they would pray the Holy Rosary from house to house every night as their daily Rosary crusade.
She said she is happy that Mama Mary has answered their prayers to have a parish of their own, thanking her as well for her religious vocation.
“The chapel and now the parish has become the seedbed of my vocation. I grew up attending the Flores de Mayo and I have been a volunteer catechist in my younger years,” Sr. Arado said.
“It’s very timely that the archbishop has chosen the Advent season as the time for the establishment of the San Pedro Calungsod Quasi-Parish. It is an affirmation of the spirit of waiting for the coming of the Lord,” Arado ended. (John Frances C. Fuentes / CBCP News)