INAGAWAN, Puerto Princesa City, Palawan—The month of August brewed something more in the pastoral kettle of Recoletos de Inagawan. Something more to evidence that not only the community but also the parish is alive and kicking!
With Fray Raul Buhay, parish priest of the Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish, on the lead, the implementation of the pastoral programs and activities of the parish continued to heat up. Working “in solidum” as the Life and Mission Project of the Province underscores, the present 5-member team of the community ably supported and assisted him in carrying out the ministerial tasks.
Solemn Feast of St. Ezekiel
As an instance of “divide and conquer,” the brothers were assigned to different areas during the fiesta celebrations. At the parish church of Inagawan, the high mass in honor of St. Ezekiel Moreno on August 19 started at 9:00 in the morning, with Fray Raul as the presider and homilist.
Fray Lounal Jarumay took charge of the mass at St. Ezekiel Moreno Parish church in Macarascas, one of the 66 barangays of Puerto Princesa City and is about 26 kms off the city proper. Fray Regino Bangcaya, the local prior, together with Fray Joel Villaruel and Fray John Paul Tanquiz, a deacon, joined in the celebration at the St. Ezekiel Moreno Spirituality and Development Center in Brgy. San Jose of this city.
In Inagawan, the post-missam activities included a procession of the image of St. Ezekiel from the parish church to a chapel in Tagbarungis, a riverside sitio. Twenty-six motorbikes and motorcycles participated in this year’s ceremony. Parishioners and devotees came for the vigil inside the chapel which started in the afternoon and lasted up to midnight.
Early in the morning of the following day, September 20, the festival resumed with the incensing of the image officiated by the parish priest. Men-volunteers carried the image from the chapel to the riverbank where around 16 boats were awaiting and set for the 7:00AM fluvial procession. The image of St. Ezekiel was comfortably placed at the boat owned by the Gimeno family.
After 40 minutes of navigating in prayerful mood that whole stretch of the Inagawan River towards the open sea, they all debarked at the beach near the endpoint of the St. Ezekiel Moreno Street. From that terminus a quo, they walked praying the rosary towards the Balon-Pari which is around a kilometer in distance and where the midmorning mass was presided by Fr. Albert Sanchez, parish priest of the San Pedro Parish of Puerto Princesa. Then, to culminate the two-day celebration before they dispersed to each one’s home, everybody gathered for an early lunch.
Second Bible Workshop
The Inagawan parish confidently hosted the Second Palawan Regional Bible Workshop last August 11-12, 2016. The theme for this year’s workshop was “The Word of God is the Life and Mission of the Church” which is inspired by Pope Benedict XVI’s post-synodal apostolic exhortation, Verbum Domini.
With Stella Maris Bible Center of the parish as the venue, this year’s two-day live-in event registered a total of 72 participants from 25 parishes of the Apostolic Vicariates of Puerto Princesa and Taytay.
Fray Buhay, a Rome-trained Biblical theologian, was the brain behind the hosting. He said that the workshop was a good prelude to the forthcoming National Bible Congress to be held in October 3-5 in Laoag City, Ilocos Norte. “The theme in this congress will be the same with that of the bible workshop,” Fray Buhay added.
Immediately after the bible workshop, an orientation on the Basic Ecclesial Community (BEC) was held on the same venue on August 13-14. The two-day seminar gathered 41 participants representing, this time, the different chapel areas of the parish.
Fray Buhay gave a brief rationale: “The BEC is a program we have started long time ago, but it somehow mothballed. So, now, we try to revive it and cover the whole parish.” He continued saying that before the participants came from the center, but this year there were representatives coming from the outstations.
Sr. Hilda Romero, MSLT, a Mensa Domini sister and the Vicariate in-charge of the BEC, was at the forefront of the said orientation program.
With the orientation and re-orientation of MSKs (or Munting Simbahang Kristyano), the parish priest remains optimistic to proceed to the next level. “Very soon, there will be follow-up, a scheduled formation program.”
Feast of St. Augustine in Tacduan
“Tacduan is a new community. It is the first settlement of the parish coming from the city proper (of Puerto Princesa to Inagawan),” Fray Buhay briefly described this one-year old portion of his parish territory where he celebrated the fiesta mass of St. Augustine last August 28. It was the chapel’s second patronal fiesta.
One of the 10 chapels in the Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish, the St. Augustine chapel has cooperative members, noted Fray Buhay. Although at the beginning people were hesitant to celebrate a feast in the month of August as it is a lean month for them, the father of the parish was able to convince them: “Don’t worry, St. Augustine will pray for you. He will take charge.”
With a faith that can move mountains, the people simply believed. And Fray Buhay enthusiastically reported that during mealtime after the fiesta mass, there was abundance of food brought and shared by everybody. Viva San Agustin!