During the scheduled budget hearing of our parish at the diocese in November 2017, the Most Rev. Mylo Hubert C. Vergara, Bishop of the Diocese of Pasig, told Fr. Arnel Martinez, SSS, our Parish Priest, that Saint Vincent Ferrer Quasi Parish will be elevated into a full-fledged Parish. This was three years after we were placed under the administration of the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament. Sis. Gler Marzo, Parish Finance Council treasurer, suggested that the declaration be held on September 15, 2018.
The good news was shared by Fr. Arnel to all the servants and the whole community. Everybody was filled with joy and excitement and eagerly awaited the day to come. A series of meetings took place to discuss the preparations for a momentous celebration. One of the primary considerations was how to raise funds for the event. Fr. Arnel suggested having a “Dinner for A Cause”; this was held on February 2018. He also came up with the idea of a Souvenir Book not only as a fundraiser but more importantly, as a reminder of the Canonical Erection that can be read by future generations.
As the months passed, all servants of the parish worked together to carry out such tasks as cleaning and making the inside and outside of the church beautiful, and doing major repairs including carpentry, masonry, electrical and repainting works, and building of perimeter fence. Different committees were created to handle specific tasks including the Parish Media representatives who graced radio and television programs to announce the Canonical Erection. Invitations were sent out to government leaders of the immediate cities and barangays as well as the church leaders of both the Diocese of Pasig and Blessed Sacrament Communities. The big event was announced in all Sunday Masses preceding the actual date of the celebration.
However, three days before the big event, the weather bureau warned the public of the super typhoon “Ompong” (Mangkhut) that was about to make landfall in the northern part of the country on the very day of our celebration. The news didn’t dampen our spirit. We proceeded with our Triduum Masses on September 12 to 14, 2018. On the big day, September 15, 2018, all servants gathered at the Parish at 4:00 a.m. amidst the very strong winds and rain, for we were supposed to have our community procession in honor of our Patron, St. Vincent Ferrer. We still proceeded with the procession around the parish and prayed the Holy Rosary after. It rained the whole morning, but amazingly it stopped in the afternoon. We were blessed with good weather from the start until the end of the celebration except for a heavy rain shower when everybody was already inside the church. We had a very meaningful, solemn and beautiful celebration of our Canonical Erection and the installation of our first Parish Priest, Fr. Jose Arnel A. Martinez, SSS.
We were truly grateful for the great blessing our community received from the Lord, but we were also saddened by the severe impact of the typhoon in the northern part of the country, including the loss of lives, on the very same day. And as part of our thanksgiving, Fr. Arnel mobilized the Parish 12 Apostles to go around the community to solicit donations for the victims of the typhoon.
Ms. Babylyn M. Buhat