Groundbreaking Ceremony of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church


CANLUBANG, Laguna – Today, October 2, marks a distinctive milestone in the history of San Sebastian College-Recoletos, Canlubang Campus. It is not merely because we, as a community, opened the Rosary Month but a more significant event took place as we celebrated the Groundbreaking of the Church in honor of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. This concept of building the Church was not new to us but way back when the school was planted in the hearts of Carmelray Industrial Park 1. History has really molded its importance as the Church will be built along Carmelray Boulevard and the donor is Dona Carmen Yulo and more to it, the Augustinian Recollect Friars brought the devotion of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel ahead of the Carmelites in the Philippines. We are grateful that the Carmelites strengthen such devotion and still, in the hearts of OAR Fathers, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel is very dear and important. Her role in the lives of the Filipinos goes far beyond the image as we rightfully say, “Pueblo Amante de Maria”. God’s providence is unfolding in a more meaningful way. God will always remind us, “Your thoughts are not your thoughts and your ways are not your ways” (Isaiah 55:8)

The Groundbreaking Ceremony was spearheaded by the Prior Provincial and his council. It was graced by the presence of the Board of Trustees of three San Sebastian College-Recoletos (Manila, Cavite, and Canlubang). Other members of the community of Manila and Cavite were also present to express their support in making this project a reality. The Carmelray Industrial Park 1, Incorporated was represented by the Chairman, Ms. Maria Rosario Yulo–Ng, Mr. Virgilio Lorenzo, Vice President for Operations, and other representatives. Other important persons also witnessed the ceremony, namely, Fr. Larry Abayon, Mr. Drew Garcia, the SARF Members of SSC-R Canlubang, and the student representatives of SSC-R Canlubang. It started with the Opening Prayer of the School Chaplain, Fray Sixto M. Bitangjol, OAR and followed by the Welcome message of the Prior of the Community, Fr. Don H. Besana, OAR. Messages were given by Fray Bernard Amparado, OAR, Fray Rafael B. Pecson, OAR, and Mrs. Maria Rosario Yulo-Ng. The Unveiling of the Perspective of the Church was participated by Fr. Amparado, Fr. Pecson, Fr. Besana, and Mrs. Maria Rosario Yulo-Ng. The Blessing of the Cornerstone was presided by Fr. Amparado and the Laying of the Cornerstone ensued. To close the events, the School Director made an appeal to support the project in many different forms.

In the message of the Prior Provincial, he emphasized not only to build a Church but also “to build a community and strengthen the good relationship among the people in San Sebastian and other stakeholders”. It is an utmost importance that the apostolate must start in molding the heart of the people. It is a continued mission to evangelize and spread the word of God in all facets of life.

In the speech of Fr. Don H. Besana, OAR, he quoted Architect Isaias “Jhen” Tabozo about the iconic design of the Church. It was a product of a meditative prayers during the pandemic and while he was clasping his hands in prayer, it dawned in his mind of a “praying hand Church” with no particular location to build the Church. It went through many revisions yet the semblance of praying hands remained. By God’s providence, the design of Arch. Tabozo has now ground to make it a reality.

Ad Jesum per Mariam! Viva La Virgen Maria! Ruega por nosotros!

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Fray Sixto Bitangjol, OAR

Fray Sixto Bitangjol, OAR