Priest gives own b-day ‘unique’ twist

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MANILA, Aug. 29, 2016 – In celebration of his 60th birthday, a priest will formally start the fundraising campaign for the construction of the proposed Pope Francis Centrum of Mercy and Compassion in Bohol as he celebrates a personal milestone on Sept. 9.

Fr. Fernando “Dodong” Po of Bohol

Fr. Fernando “Dodong” Po wants to dedicate his 60th birthday to the people he described as the “least, lost, and last” by formally launching the campaign for the center.

“It would be a different kind of birthday party,” said the priest. “A birthday dinner with a cause.”

Hope for many

The proposed center will provide shelter to abandoned infants, children, the disabled, elderly, as well as sick people; be a formation center for young people; and aim to restore the dignity and self-esteem of abused women and mothers.

The center will be composed of the following components:

  • Balai sa Kalipay (house of joy)
  • Balai Sagopanan Sa Nazareth (orphanage)
  • Balai sa Pagtuo (house of faith)
  • Pandayan ni San Jose (a manpower and employable skills training center)
  • Balay sa Paglaum (house of hope)
  • Balay Dalangpanan Ni Marta ug Magdalena (women’s crises intervention center)
  • Balay sa Kahayag (house of light), and
  • Sa Kandungan ni Maria (home for the aged)

‘On Mary’s Lap’

Eyeing construction in barangay Looc, Panglao, the center will be run by the Sa Sabakan ni Maria, Inc. (On Mary’s Lap), a non-profit organization.

“I have the blessing of Pope Francis and the backing of Bishop Medroso by letting us use the San Pedro Calungsod Foundation of the Diocese of Tagbilaran,” explained Po.

Po had previously helpled reconstruct houses for Bohol families which lost homes after a 7.2 magnitude earthquake shook the province on Oct. 15, 2013. (Oliver Samson / CBCPNews)

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