Papal Nuncio Graces the 153rd Anniversary of Sts. Peter and Paul Parish, OAR Missionaries Called its ‘Founding Fathers’
CALATRAVA, Negros Occidental —Papal Nuncio to the Philippines, Archbishop Charles John Brown, D.D., graced the 153rd Founding Anniversary of the Parish of Sts. Peter and Paul in Calatrava town, Negros Occidental and the missionaries of the Augustinian Recollects were recognized for being its founding fathers.
The Recollects as Founding Fathers
During the introductory speech of Bishop Gerardo Alminaza, D.D. of the Diocese of San Carlos, he recognized the Order of Augustinian Recollects for being the founding fathers of the Parish. In the year 1870, Augustinian Recollect missionaries founded the parish and established the Catholic presence in the town that still included what is now the City of San Carlos.
Bishop Alminaza also recognized Rev. Fr. Rene Paglinawan, OAR, as representative of the Augustinian Recollects together with Rev. Fr. Joel Dequilla, OAR. Fr. Paglinawan was instrumental in restoring the name of the parish to its original patrons—Sts. Peter and Paul.
Rev. Fr. Dindo Pepito, Parochial Vicar of the Vicariate of Calatrava, gave the spiritual and historical perspective of the occasion that gathered Bishop Patricio Buzon, SDB, D.D. of the Diocese of Bacolod (the mother Diocese of all the Negros dioceses), Bishop Louie Galbines, D.D. of the Diocese of Kabankalan (the twin diocese of the Diocese of San Carlos) and Bishop Julito Cortes (represented by Rev. Fr. Salvador G. Mariño).
The Significance of “153”
“Thank God for the gift of 153 years of Catholic Presence in Calatrava,” Archbishop Brown opened his homily thus addressing the faithful who attended the pontifical mass.
Deep into his homily, Archbishop Brown explained that the jubilee celebration should have been to mark its 150th founding anniversary in 2020, but the pandemic happened. However, he emphasized that the people of Calatrava is even more blessed now to be celebrating the 153rd year because it is symbolic of the 153 fishes that St. Peter caught in the Sea of Tiberias.
“One-hundred and fifty-three years is the perfect time to celebrate,” the Papal Nuncio exclaimed. The representative of Pope Francis in the Philippines elucidated on the Gospel of St. John that the blessing of God is that despite the big catch “the net did not break.”
Archbishop Brown read the declaration from Pope Francis granting plenary indulgence for a year for all who will receive the sacraments in the Parish of Sts. Peter and Paul. The grant began last December 6.
At least 50 priests attended the pontifical mass while Negros Occidental Governor Eugenio Lacson joined the luncheon and cultural program to honor the Papal Nuncio.