Venerable Alfonso Gallegos [Biography]

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Alfonso Gallegos was born during hard times.  The Great Depression of the 1930’s was worldwide. It was made more excruciating in the United States of America when the dry spell, the longest in modern American history, struck the Great Plains, affecting mainly the Midwest and the Southwest, the states of Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, and New Mexico. These areas became known as the Dust Bowl.

The lack of economic stability and the fear of starvation led people to flee their homelands in search of better opportunities. Thousands fled to California, which itself was reeling from high unemployment and low wages. This economic situation led to social unrest, worsened by the government’s default on spending that adversely affected all public services including education.

It was then during this time in a place not far from California, in Albuquerque, New Mexico, that the baby boy Alfonso was born.  It was February 20, 1931.  At the age of 7, the little boy and his family took the lead of the many others and moved to Watts, Los Angeles, California hoping for the better.  Watts was a home to a growing community of Mexicans and Mexican American migrants. It was among them that Alfonso grew up until he left his home in 1950 to enter in the seminary of the Order of Augustinian Recollects in Kansas City. He was ordained priest in 1958.

Four years after his priestly ordination, he was assigned as pastor in his home parish in Watts. Here he dedicated his primary attention to the out-of-school youth who were prone to drugs and criminal activities. But the young Father Alfonso did not judge them, must less evaded them. Rather he spent time with them and encouraged and even helped them to go back to school and obtain university degree. This move brought about a change of life to many who heeded his encouragement. His pastoral care improved the environment of the area. Church attendance increased, crime rates dropped and people felt safe to go around. He infused hope into the community.

Aware of the growing population of the Hispanic migrants in California, in 1979 the California Bishops Conference named Alfonso Gallegos as the first Director of the Hispanic Affairs, California Catholic Conference. Its main objective was to organize and implement programs for the benefit of the Spanish-speaking migrants coming to the United States. In these Hispanic Affairs, Gallegos kept up with legislation and issues affecting the Hispanic community and provided this information to the Bishops. His appointment in 1981 as Auxiliary Bishop of Sacramento was a recognition of the new demographics and a response to the need for ecclesiastical leadership for this rapidly growing Hispanic population. Gallegos was the first Mexican-American Bishop to serve the Church in Sacramento since 1861.

He visited and stayed with the migrants in the labour camps, spoke out for them before the government legislators and assured them of the welcoming embrace of the Church. He would spend various nights during the week with the youth in the parks, befriended gang members by talking to them, encouraging them to leave behind drugs and criminal activities and strive for a better future. He blessed the cars of the “low riders” and rode with them. He championed the right of the unborn children. Everyone had a place in his agenda, the poor, the sick, the aged and those in prisons regardless of their creed, colour and culture. He was a Bishop always on the move, spending most of his time with his flock. As one witness during the diocesan process testified, “Bishop Gallegos was always trying to be there for every one, that at times, he would forget to take care of himself”.

Now a day, the world needs shepherds whose life is configured to Christ; shepherds who do not ask for what they stand to gain but what they can give to others; shepherds who do not seek to win people for themselves but to lose themselves for others. People want to see a joyful zeal in the ministers of Christ, ministers who carry out their task with enthusiasm, thus, giving credible witness to the Gospel message. Bishop Gallegos´ life is a response to these noble aspirations. Although throughout his life he had to bear the serious effects of his myopic eye problem, never for an instance did he lose his optimism. His wide smile was a constant mark of his personality. “What a beautiful day!” was his usual expression. He was not a scholar nor considered an intellectual but his preaching touched people’s hearts because God had first touched his own. He chose as motto for his episcopal coat of arms “Love one another”.

Asked how he wanted to be remembered, Bishop Gallegos said, “I would like to be remembered as having helped the young people how to appreciate who they are and to value the life God has given them. I would also like to be remembered as having appreciated people and all that they have to offer in making the world a better place to live in” (The Sacramento Bee Magazine, January 18, 1987).

A vehicular accident in the evening of October 6, 1991 claimed the life of this Hispanic Bishop at the age of 60. Earlier during the day, he joined a march against abortion, visited a young AIDS patient and finally administered the sacrament of confirmation to 71 candidates. His funeral claims the record attendance of grieving people in the diocese of Sacramento up to now.

A year after his death, a street connecting the State Capitol Building and the Cathedral of Sacramento was named “Bishop Gallegos Square”. It serves as bridge to bring the teaching of Jesus to the lawmakers, reminding them that one of their important and sacred duties is to help the migrants find a better place for themselves and for their families. His bronze statue stands in this same place. On March 27, 2010, his mortal remains were transferred to a new tomb in Our Lady of Guadalupe National Shrine.

Considering his saintly life and his intercessory prayers before the Lord, the diocesan process for his Cause of beatification and canonization was opened on December 4, 2005 at the Cathedral of Sacramento. After interviewing 130 witnesses and gathering the pertinent available documents, the process was concluded on November 5, 2006. The Congregation of the Causes of Saints in Vatican approved the validity of the diocesan process on July 4, 2008. The Positio on his life, virtues and fame of sanctity was submitted to the same Congregation on June 27, 2014. The Theologians approved his heroic virtues on March 17, 2016. The Congress of the Cardinals and Bishops gave their affirmative votes on July 5, 2016. Finally, on July 8, 2016, Pope Francis authorized the Congregation of the Causes of Saints to promulgate the decree attesting to his sanctity of life and the heroic practice of virtues.

With a miracle attributed to his intercession he can be declared blessed and with one more he will be due for canonization.  For now we rejoice and content ourselves with the assurance of his sanctity as the Church recognizes the Bishop of the Barrio as Venerable Alfonso Gallegos.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Frei Bo

Frei Bo

Priest-Religious of the Order of Augustinian Recollects, Province of St. Ezekiel Moreno. Webmaster.

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< 2022 >
December
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    1
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    BIRTHDAY

    Fray “Joseph” Pham Duc Quoc (novice)
    Sis. Aida Torio, SAR (Manila Chapter)
    Christy Joyce Fortaleza (RAY-Talisay)

    PRESBYTERAL ANNIVERSARY

    (1984-2022)
    Fray Constantino Real

    (2007-2022)
    Fray Excel Saycon
    Fray Allan Rubett Cabatian

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    +Fray Cornelio Moral (2014-2022)

2
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    SSC-R MANILA:  REKOLETOS FESTIVAL 2022
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    BIRTHRDAY

    Sis. Josefina de Leon, SAR (Manila Chapter)
    Sis. Rodita Gonzales, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

3
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    December 3, 2022

    PRESBYTERAL ORDINATION (Philippines)
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    Time: 9:00 a.m.
    Ordaining Prelate: Most Rev. Joel Baylon, D.D. (Diocese of Legazpi)

    Fray Cristito Rey Tepace
    Fray Ricky John Austria
    Fray Julius James Tinapao
    Fray James Erold Gatinao

    BIRTHDAY

    Bro. Manuel Concepcion, SAR (Manila Chapter)
    Sis. Amparo Tordillo, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

    PRESBYTERAL ANNIVERSARY

    (1994-2022)
    Fray Rouel Sia
    Fray Joel VillaruelFray Bernabe Dosdos

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Fray Crisostomo Garnica (2011-2022)
    +Sis. Avelina Go, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

4
  • All day
    December 4, 2022

    2ND SUNDAY OF ADVENT

    INTRAMUROS GRAND MARIAN PROCESSION
    Time: 4:00 p.m.
    Venue: Plaza Roma, Intramuros, Manila Carosa # 21B (Our Lady of Mt. Carmel de San Sebatian)

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray John Paul Tanquis
    Fray Kenneth Caligdong S
    Sr. Noemi Manzo, AR
    Bro. Santiago Chua, SAR (Talisay Chapter)
    Sis. Barbara Cordova, SAR (Bacolod Chapter)
    Bro. Santiago Chua, SAR (Talisay Chapter)
    Sis. Milica Cleofas, SAR (Provincialate Chapter)
    Joie Mendoza (RAY-Miranila)

    PRESBYTERAL ANNIVERSARY

    (2021-2022)
    Fray Ramon Bitancor III

5
  • All day
    December 5, 2022

    434TH ANNIVERSARY (1588-2022) OF THE AUGUSTINIAN RECOLLECTION

    31st FOUNDING ANNIVERSARY (1991-2022) SEMoNoRe, Antipolo

    BIRTHDAY

    Sis. Grethel Manalang, SAR (Manila Chapter)
    Sis. Crispina Osejo, SAR (Manila Chapter)

    PRESBYTERAL ANNIVERSARY

    (1995-2022)
    Fray Reynaldo Jaranilla
    Fray Antonio Zabala, Jr.

    (2003-2022)
    Fray Romeo Ben Potencio, Jr.

    (2009-2022)
    Fray Roy Baluarte
    Fray Dominador Mercado, Jr.
    Fray Renier Alviola
    Fray Christopher Gaspar

    (2018-2022)
    Fray Paul Demilliones
    Fray Kenneth Caligdong
    Fray Keneth Pahamutang
    Fray Niel Ryan Jarumay
    Fray Elpedio Sarita Jr.

    ANNIVERSARY (2006-2022) OF ACCEPTANCE AS SISTERS-GENERAL OF THE ORDER (OAR)

    Ms. Brenda Saliendra
    Ms. Nestoria Bad-an

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Mo. Juana de Sta. Rita, AR
    +Bro. Aproniano Dioko, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)
    +Sis. Loreda Cruz, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)

6
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    December 6, 2022

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Amado Emmanuel Bolilia
    Sis. Gloria Piig, SAR (Baguio Chapter)
    Sis. Erlinda Paican, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    Sis. Mary Maureen Torres, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    Christy Mae Gregia (RAY-Tambo)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Paciencia Orsolino, AR
    +Sis. Corazon Morales, SAR (Manila Chapter)
    +Bro. Jessie Bolaron, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    +Bro. Gavino Ben Cabardo, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    +Bro. Guillermo Villariza, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

7
  • All day
    December 7, 2022

    REAP ONLINE MEETING – PRESENTATION OF NORMS, POLICIES AND PROCEDURES (IV)

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Jose Jaazeal Jakosalem
    Sr. Teodora Gentapa, AR Sr. Marlyn Escalante, AR
    Sis. Melinda Olis, SAR (Talisay Chapter)
    Sis. Loreta Maglaque, SAR (Tondo Chapter)
    Sis. Maria Estrella Anotado, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)

    PRESBYTERAL ANNIVERSARY

    (2019-2022)
    Fray Jorr Rabacal
    Fray Monday Benjamine Edobor
    Fray Ifeanyichukwu Maximillian Omem
    Fray Jovy Gallego
    Fray Andrie Pugate
    Fray Jessriel Marcha
    Fray Tomokatsu Yamaguchi

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Andrea Martinez, AR
    +Sis. Teopista Eltanal, SAR (Valencia Chapter)
    +Sis. Helen Lingao, SAR (Miranila Chapter)

8
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    SOLEMNITY OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION

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    Fray Leo Neil Bullos
    Sr. Concepcion Anadon, AR
    Sr. Concepcion Potoy, AR
    Sis. Concepcion Tagros, SAR (Provincialate Chapter)
    Sis. Marjorie de Asis, SAR (Manila Chapter)
    Bro. Clemente San Gabriel Jr., SAR (Tondo Chapter)

    PRESBYTERAL ANNIVERSARY

    (1967-2022)
    Most Rev. Patricio Buzon, SDB, D.D. (Diocese of Bacolod)

    (1972-2022)
    Most Rev. Honesto Ongtioco, D.D. (Diocese of Cubao)

    (2000-2022)
    Fray Don Besana
    Fray Rommel Rubia
    Fray Edgar Tubio

    (2006-2022)

    Fray Roland Cepe
    Fray Gideon Antolin Lagrimas

    (2015-2022)

    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

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sis. Leonora Larlar, SAR (San Carlos Chapter)

9
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    December 9, 2022

    BIRTHDAY

    Br. Alan Dale Adel (postulant)
    Sr. Ma. Alberta Tabon, AR
    Sr. Ma. Rosalina Fuertes, AR
    Sr. Herminia Limotlimot, AR
    Sr. Myrna Mianagua, AR
    Sr. Bernadette Calzado, AR
    Bro. German Abrina, SAR (Puerto Princesa Chapter)
    Desiree Mae Lauron (RAY-Miranila)

    PRESBYTERAL ANNIVERSARY

    (2002-2022)
    Fray Joel Dequilla
    Fray Jay Parilla
    Fray Niño Cesar Ruiz

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Magdalena de Sta. Maria
    +Mo. Potenciana de la Encarnacion
    +Sis. Florencia Bacalso, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    +Sis. Purificacion Dakoykoy, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

10
  • All day
    December 10, 2022

    PSTV: SOLEMN PROFESSION & DIACONAL ORDINATION OF FRAY DANILLO DE SOUZA SANTOS

    BIRTHDAY

    Sis. Emerita de la Cruz, SAR (Inagawan Chapter)
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    Sis. Eulalia Cabigas, SAR (Laray Chapter)
    Maica Bironia (RAY-Miranila)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Bro. Melchor Atienza, SAR (Provincialate Chapter)

11
  • All day
    December 11, 2022

    3RD SUNDAY OF ADVENT

    BIRTHDAY

    Sr. Ma. Amada de Ramos, AR
    Bro. Earl Romulo Quero Jr., SAR (Antipolo Chapter)

    REAP CONFERENCES – NORMS, POLICIES, AND PROCEDURES
    Venue: Talavera House of Prayer, Cebu City
    Inclusive Dates: December 11 – 15, 2022

    PRESBYTERAL ANNIVERSARY

    (2010-2022)
    Fray Persiuz Joseph Decena

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Lourdes Tablizo, AR
    +Bro. Antonio Fidel Padua, SAR (Miranila Chapter)

12
  • All day
    December 12, 2022

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Jestoni Latagan (novice)
    Sis. Ma. Isabel Baluyot, SAR (Provincialate Chapter)
    John Paul Morales (RAY-Caidiocan)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sis. Basilia Balbino, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

13
  • All day
    December 13, 2022

    BIRTHDAY

    Jessa Mae Camay (RAY-Laray)

    PRESBYTERAL ANNIVERSARY

    (1969-2022)
    Pope Francis

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Mo. Carmen de Sto. Niño, AR

14
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    December 14, 2022

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Charlito Orobia
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    Sis. Maria Theresa Mislang, SAR (Laray Chapter)
    Bro. Carlito Villanueva, SAR (Brooke’s Point Chapter)

15
  • All day
    December 15, 2022

    BIRTHDAY

    Sr. Florinda Gonzales, AR
    Sis. Eleonor Tadena, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)
    Sis. Evelyn Garcellano, SAR (Puerto Princesa Chapter)
    Sis. Lucia Adormeo, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    Sis. Suzette Gasparillo, SAR (Bacolod Chapter)

16
  • All day
    December 16, 2022

    SIMBANG GABI STARTS

    BIRTHDAY

    Br. Rossil Albina (postulant)
    Sis. Alita Atotubo, SAR (Laray Chapter)
    Sis. Lucia Yburan, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    Danica Padilla (RAY-Baguio)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Evangeline Geuncion, AR
    +Sr. Paulina Admana, AR
    +Sr. Ma. Milgaros Lucero, AR
    +Sis. Evangeline Mactao, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

17
  • All day
    December 17, 2022

    BIRTHDAY

    POPE FRANCIS (Jorge Mario Bergoglio)
    Sis. Rustica Tolentino, SAR (Provincialate Chapter)
    Sis. Luzviminda Arienda, SAR (Manila Chapter)
    Sis. Myrna Condeicion, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)
    Sis. Femesolene Gamboa, SAR (Talisay Chapter)
    Sis. Bibiana Madrinan, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Generosa Dimapilis, AR

18
  • All day
    December 18, 2022

    4TH SUNDAY OF ADVENT

    BIRTHDAY

    Br. June Clark Solas (prenovice)
    Most Rev. Ryan Jimenez, D.D. (Bishop of Chalan Kanoa)
    Bro. Charlito Padul, SAR (Puerto Princesa Chapter)
    Bro. Romeo Pascual, SAR (Manila Chapter)
    Sis. Amparo Tancino, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    Cyrah Cathillar (RAY-Urbiztondo)

19
  • All day
    December 19, 2022

    ONLINE TRAINING SESSION: COMMISSION FOR THE PROTECTION OF MINORS AND VULNERABLE PERSONS

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Excel Saycon
    Sr. Modesta San Jose, AR
    Sis. Maribel Taclobos, SAR (Bacolod Chapter)
    Sis. Elsa de Guzman, SAR (Urbiztondo Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sis. Rosario Nacua, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    +Sis. Anatolia Lopez, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

20
  • All day
    December 20, 2022

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Albert Pellazar

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Soledad Samonte, AR

21
  • All day
    December 21, 2022

    BIRTHDAY

    Ma. Nicaella Rudio (RAY-Canlubang)
    Angel Mae Paraan (RAY-Urbiztondo)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Bro. Serapion Bustamante, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

22
  • All day
    December 22, 2022

    BIRTHDAY

    Sr. Ma. Emma Navea, AR
    Sis. Eusebia Rubillos, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION

    (1986-2022)
    Fray Agustin Culaton

    ANNIVERSARY OF SOLEMN PROFESSION

    (1989-2022)
    Fray Agustin Culaton

23
  • All day
    December 23, 2022

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Ricky John Austria
    Br. Kent Año (postulant)
    Sis. Floresita Sanico, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Mercedes Jayme, AR
    +Sr. Felicidad Pangilinan, AR

24
  • All day
    December 24, 2022

    BIRTHDAY

    Most Rev. Natale Paganelli, SX (Diocese of Makeni)
    Fray Allan Jacinto
    Sis. Emma Binoya, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    Sis. Aida Balagtas, SAR (Valencia Chapter)
    Sis. Christer Mari Taclobos, SAR (Bacolod Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sis. Bienvenida Dumpa, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

25
  • All day
    December 25, 2022

    CHRISTMAS DAY

    Urbi et Orbi / 12:00 nn (Rome Time)

    BIRTHDAY OF:

    Sr. Mary Lou Duhino, AR
    Sis. Gloria Horcasitas, SAR (San Carlos Chapter)
    Bro. Sofronio Maribojoc, SAR (San Carlos Chapter)

    PRESBYTERAL ANNIVERSARY

    (1980-2022)
    Most Rev. Natale Paganelli, SX (Diocese of Makeni)

26
  • All day
    December 26, 2022

    BIRTHDAY

    Bro. Allan Vivas, SAR (Puerto Princesa Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Maria Gavino, AR
    +Sis. Concepcion Artiaga, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

27
  • All day
    December 27, 2022

    BIRTHDAY

    Sr. Ma. Editha Escalania, AR
    Sr. Filomena Atun, AR
    Sis. Evelyn Gaerlan, SAR (Baguio Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sis. Rosalina Cepe, SAR (Valencia Chapter)

28
  • All day
    December 28, 2022

    HOLY INNOCENTS

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Niño Cesar Ruiz
    Fray Jessriel Marcha
    Sis. Remia Gallegos, SAR (Talisay Chapter)
    Sis. Lydia Gutierrez, SAR (Bacolod Chapter)
    Sis. Luzviminda Tecson, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    Sis. Emily Dacanay, SAR (Manila Chapter)
    Cyrine Mae Mendoza (RAY-Talisay)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sis. Rita Lincoran, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)
    +Bro. Bartolome Lamug, SAR (Baguio Chapter)

29
  • All day
    December 29, 2022

    BIRTHDAY

    Sis. Luz Tañales, SAR (Brooke’s Point Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Justa de Jesus, AR
    +Sis. Benita Legaspi, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

30
  • All day
    December 30, 2022

    FEAST OF THE HOLY FAMILY

    [Rizal Day: Regular Holiday]

    BIRTHDAY

    Bro. Tomas Banguilan, SAR (Provincialate Chapter)
    Bro. Delfin Anareta, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)
    Sis. Violeta Fumar, SAR (Miranila Chapter)
    Sis. Rizalina Gasmido, SAR (Provincialate Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Maria Viñon, AR
    +Sis. Teresita Villasario, SAR (San Carlos Chapter)
    +Sis. Benita Dianon, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    +Sis. Esperanza Montesclaros, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

31
  • All day
    December 31, 2022

    ROME: Celebration of Vespers and Te Deum in Thanksgiving for the past year (1700H, Rome Time)

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Antonio Zabala, Jr. Fray Jose Alden Alipin
    Sr. Potenciana Azurin, AR
    Sis. Elizabeth Mahusay, SAR (Talisay Chapter)
    Sis. Erlinda Yubal, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    Sis. Pauline Culaton, SAR (Baguio Chapter)
    Sis. Teresita Dayag, SAR (Manila Chapter)
    Bonnie de Guzman (RAY-Urbiztondo)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Benigna de la Purisima Concepcion, AR
    +Sis. Zenaida Maglalang, SAR (Manila Chapter)
    +Sis. Myrna Baynosa, SAR (Bacolod Chapter)
    +Sis. Nelia Rito, SAR (Talisay Chapter)

    HAPPY NEW YEAR 2023!

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