Mother Teresa declared ‘adopted Calbayognon, honorary Samarnon’

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Bishop Isabelo Abarquez of Calbayog Diocese blesses the image of St. Teresa of Kolkata in a thanksgiving Mass for her canonization on Sept. 5, a day after she was declared a saint in Rome. (Photo: Joel Mancol)

CALBAYOG CITY, SAMAR, Sept. 17, 2016 – A resolution declaring St. Teresa of Calcutta an “Adopted Calbayognon and Honorary Samarnon” was approved by the Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP) of this city on Sept. 5, a day after she was canonized in Rome.

Sponsored by Councilor Charlito L. Coñejos, the resolution was unanimously seconded by SP members. It was presented to the directress of the Missionaries of Charity by Mayor Ronaldo Aquino in a thanksgiving Mass held at Sts. Peter & Paul Cathedral in Calbayog City on Sept. 5, hours after Pope Francis declared Mother Teresa a Saint in Rome.

Calbayog, a ‘blessed’ place

“Whereas, Mother TERESA of CALCUTTA (later known as St. TERESA) founder of Missionaries of Charity,a known Catholic religious congregation consisting of over 4,500 sisters in 2012 and was active in 133 countries … whereas, she put up a mission center in Oquendo which has served several thousands of the poorest of the poor Calbayognons and its environs … Resolved, as it is hereby resolved to declare ST. TERESA OF CALCUTTA as adopted Calbayognon and Honorary Samarnon for her selfless work by visiting Calbayognons and putting up a mission center in Oquendo, Calbayopg City,” says part of the document, which was read by City Tourism Officer Ronald Ricafort.

The resolution also cited the Missionaries of Charity’s service of running homes for “people dying of HIV/AIDS, leprosy and tuberculosis, children’s and family counseling programs, and [giving] whole-hearted free services to the poorest of the poor…”

Aside from Holy Mother Teresa’s compassion for the marginalized and the poor, the SP cited her 1986 visit to the city, noting: “whereas, Calbayog must be a ‘blessed’ place for in December 31, 1986, the nun who was then hailed as ‘The Living Saint’ arrived in samar and stayed for four (4) days…”

Other awardees

This was not the first time Calbayog City gave such an honor to a non-Calbayognon.

In 2009, a posthumous declaration was passed by SP Calbayog for Fr. Cantius J. Kobak, OFM, who died in the U.S. in 2004. Kobak was recognized for his contribution as the recognized “Historian of Samar.” He was born Zdzislaw (Jesse) Kobak in Poland on June 29, 1930, migrated in 1937 to the U.S., where he finished all his studies.

In 2010, another Franciscan friar was adopted by the city for developing a youth orchestra and for touching the lives of young Calbayognons through the music of the Christ the King College Youth Symphony Orchestra. Fr. Marlowe A. Rosales, OFM, the only living awardee, said minutes after he received the award, “Words are not enough to contain my thoughts. But in certainty I proudly say: ‘Calbayognon na ak’ (I am a Calbayognon).” (Carl Jamie Simple S. Bordeos / CBCPNews)

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