Recoletos de Saipan celebrates feast of Nuestra Señora Bithen de los Remedios

FB_IMG_1540172648817

(Article from North Star, Publication of the Diocese of Chalan Kanoa, Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands)

SAIPAN—October 14, 2018 marked a significant event for Santa Remedios Parish. Not only was it the celebration of their annual fiesta but this year, a “re-enactment” of the arrival of the image of Nuestra Señora Bithen Delos Remedios was also held.

The idea of recalling the rich history of the church, and providing something new and different than the usual feast was initiated by the three Augustinian Recollect fathers assigned in Saipan, namely, Fray Allan Rubett Cabatian, OAR, Fray Leo Neil Bullos, OAR, and Fray Philip Rollon, OAR. Though some were initially hesitant due to lack of ample planning and preparation, and concerns about whether they can pull it through beautifully, the support of the OAR community and the people’s love for their patron saint, made it a “yes” for the parishioners of Tanapag. Several committees were created to spearhead the event and many people volunteered to help, in one way or another.

Fray Leo Neil Bullos, OAR, and the image of Nuestra Señora Bithen de los Remedios.

The inclement weather and down pour did not stop the parishioners and devotees to gather and witness the momentous event. The sound of the conch shell being blown signaled the start of the re-enactment at 1:00 pm with the departure of the image of Santa Remedios, carried by Fr. Leo Neil Bullos, OAR, from Lifoifoi Beach, Tanapag by boat, to its arrival to the main pavillion where the history was read and an original composition was sung, followed by a short prayer. Procession from the pavillion to the Church ensued and the image was placed before the altar. Other images of Santa Remedios and the sick parishioners were also blessed after the recitation of the Holy Rosary, followed by the novena. The Eucharistic celebration began at 3:00 pm and was presided by Rev. Fr. Dionisio Q. Selma, OAR, Prior Provincial of the Province of Saint Ezekiel Moreno, together with His Excellency, Bishop Ryan P. Jimenez and the clergy of the Diocese of Chalan Kanoa. Fr. Diony encouraged the people to see God’s love with the gift of life and the invitation to the Eucharist, asking the intercession of the saints and drawing closer to Our Blessed Mother, Santa Remedios. A short lukao around the village was held after the mass then the people gathered for the blessing of the food by Bishop Ryan. What followed was a rainy but bountiful and joyous festivity.

Fray Dionisio Selma, OAR, Prior Provincial, presides the Holy Mass.

The re-enactment may have been challenging for the people of Santa Remedios but they made a good start, taking a look from the past while moving forward to a better and stronger community. Biba Santa Remedios!

Below is a short history of the Santa Remedios Parish:

 “In the early part of 1879, a family, who has apparently come from Spain, arrived in Tinian with Santa Remedios (the image itself was said to have come from Mexico). Señor Johnson and his wife, Señora Ana settled in Tinian, and made a living from exporting pork and beef to Guam and Saipan. They recruited some helpers from Saipan – Carmen Neiso, Genoeba Neitiimod, Rosalia Olupumar and Antonio Kelele who were all from Tanapag, back then known as Talabwog. Doña Ana taught Carmen and Antonio how to read and write for business purposes while Rosalia and Genobeba worked as housekeepers.

One day, Señor Johnson decided to travel to Saipan for business with some of his workers. The day’s weather was not fit for traveling; however, Senor Johnson insisted that their big and finest canoe was fast enough to reach Saipan shores before the expected typhoon reaches the island. Half-way across the journey, heavy rains began to fall; the earth grew dark, and the waves were wildly hostile. The Captain tried to maneuver their vessel to avoid destruction of the beautiful canoe known to the Refalawash as “Seiar”, but the fierce waves were so strong that the carrier broke apart and the people on-board were said to have drowned. Upon hearing the news that her husband had died, Señora Ana longed to return home to Spain and gave most of her belongings to the people of Tinian including the image of Nuestra Señora delos Remedios. She asked her four helpers (Carmen, Genobeba, Rosalia, and Antonio) to pray the Rosary on Saturdays and Sundays. The four natives of Talabwog remained in Tinian for a while, but traveled to Saipan not long after where they saw abundance of good nature and decided to move their families and eventually settled in Tanapag.

The image of Our Lady was also brought from Tinian where she was placed in a small hut-like Chapel built in her honor. She has protected the people of Tanapag through the Spanish, German, Japanese and American periods, and has remained with the people for over one hundred years since 1879.

War was very brutal to the churches on Saipan. The Tanapag Church was closed when the Japanese invaded the area to store their ammunitions and food supplies, and was completely destroyed during the war. In 1944, a small wooden Church was built to house Nuestra Señora Bithen de los Remedios. It was completed and dedicated on the Feast Day of Santa Remedios on October 1949.

Several years passed before plans to build a concrete Church was initiated. The people of Tanapag were very poor and were not sure how the community can afford such a plan. Jose Rebuenog Lifoifoi took on the full responsibility determined to build a permanent Church for the people of Bithen Delos Remedios. The military were glad to be of some assistance even with small things such as rope and bucket. Some donations from the parishioners were also collected which helped purchase some materials. The entire building structure was manually constructed. Many well-known fathers of today worked hard to build the Santa Remedios Church. Some of them include Pedro Camacho Lifoifoi, Jose Santos, Francisco Baza, Frank Q. Aguon, Jose Magofna, Felipe Ruak, Jesus Quitugua and so many others.

Tanapag’s permanent Church in honor of Nuestra Senora Bithen de los Remedios was completed and dedicated on May 21, 1958, Wednesday, at 10:00 a.m. The same Church was renovated thirty-six years later in 1995. It was re-dedicated, again on the Feast of Santa Remedios in October 1995.”

Most Rev. Ryan Jimenez, DD, together with some of the diocesan clergy and Recollect fathers.

More posts about: , ,

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Fray Robin Ross Plata, OAR

Fray Robin Ross Plata, OAR

Deacon/Religious of the Order of Augustinian Recollects in the Province of St. Ezekiel Moreno.

Leave a Comment

< 2019 >
December 08 - December 14
  • 08

    All day
    December 8, 2019

    2ND SUNDAY OF ADVENT

    ROME: Act of Veneration to the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary at the Spanish Steps (1600H, Rome Time)

    150th ANNIVERSARY OF THE OPENING OF THE FIRST VATICAN COUNCIL (1869)

    JUBILEE YEAR (Dec. 8, 2019 – Dec. 10, 2020): Marking the 100th anniversary of the declaration of Our Lady of Loreto as the patron saint

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Leo Neil Bullos
    Sr. Concepcion Anadon, AR
    Sr. Concepcion Potoy, AR

    PRESBYTERAL ANNIVERSARY
    (1967-2019)
    Most Rev. Patricio Buzon, SDB, D.D. (Diocese of Bacolod)

    (1972-2019)
    Most Rev. Honesto Ongtioco, D.D. (Diocese of Cubao)

    (2000-2019)
    Fray Jose Alden Alipin
    Fray Don Besana
    Fray James Bumangabang
    Fray Arnel Diaz
    Fray Rommel Rubia
    Fray Edgar Tubio

    (2006-2019)
    Fray Roland Cepe
    Fray Gideon Antolin Lagrimas

    (2015-2019)
    Fray Ken Oliver Lao
    Fray Nimrod Launio
    Fray Leo Neil Bullos
    Fray Mark Ryan Prado
    Fray Enrico Nacorda
    Fray Nelson Plohimon
    Fray John Zachary Haguisan
    Fray Rafael Pecson
    Fray Jerik Troy Siozon
    Fray Lounal Jarumay

    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION
    Sr. Marites Carasig, OAR
    Sr. Lucita Minguito, OAR

    ANNIVERSARY OF SOLEMN PROFESSION
    Sr. Marites Carasig, OAR
    Sr. Lucita Minguito, OAR

  • 09

    All day
    December 9, 2019

    SOLEMNITY OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION

    GENERAL COUNCIL MEETING
    December 9-13, 2019 / Rome

    40TH DEATH ANIIVERSARY (1979-2019) OF ARCHBP. FULTON SHEEN

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Ma. Alberta Tabon, AR
    Sr. Ma. Rosalina Fuertes, AR
    Sr. Herminia Limotlimot, AR
    Sr. Myrna Mianagua, AR
    Sr. Bernadette Calzado, AR

    PRESBYTERAL ANNIVERSARY
    (2002-2019)
    Fray Joel Dequilla
    Fray Jay Parilla
    Fray Niño Cesar Ruiz

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Magdalena de Sta. Maria
    Sr. Potenciana de la Encarnacion

  • 10
    No events
  • 11

    All day
    December 11, 2019

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Ma. Amada de Ramos, AR

    PRESBYTERAL ANNIVERSARY
    (2010-2019)
    Fray Persiuz Joseph Decena

  • 12

    All day
    December 12, 2019

    EPISCOPAL ORDINATION ANNIVERSARY
    (2001-2019)
    Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle

    EPISCOPAL ORDINATION OF BISHOP-ELECT JOSE ALLAN DIALOGO (Diocese of Sorsogon)

    SPECIAL BOT MEETING – UNO-R, BACOLOD
    Venue: UNO-R Bacolod / 9:00 AM

    23rd PROVINCIAL COUNCIL MEETING

  • 13

    All day
    December 13, 2019

    GOLDEN PRESBYTERAL ANNIVERSARY
    (1969-2019)
    Pope Francis

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Carmen de Sto. Niño, AR

  • 14

    All day
    December 14, 2019

    INSTALLATION OF BISHOP JOSE ALLAN DIALOGO (Diocese of Sorsogon)

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Charlito Orobia

Categories