Peñafrancia parish celebrates golden anniversary
By Grace Buendia and Sherwina Sibulo
Our Lady of Peñafrancia Parish celebrated its 50th foundation anniversary on October 28 and 29.
On October 30, 1973, Our Lady of Peñafrancia Shrine officially became a parish through then Archbishop of Caceres, Teopisto Alberto, Its first parish priest was Most Rev. Concordio Sarte, DD, the Auxiliary Bishop of Caceres. It was originally composed of the barrios of Peñafrancia, Liboton, Bagumbayan Norte, Calauag, Jacob Extension, San Felipe, Pacol, Carolina and Panicuason. Under the guidance of Bishop Sarte, the parish flourished as a center of worship, community engagement and spiritual growth.
This year’s theme, “Magkairiba sa Dalan,” encapsulates more than physical movement ; it symbolizes the collective experiences of the parish spanning 50 years, characterized by shared life, faith and personal development.
The two-day event features a series of activities through the collective effort and dedication of our Parish’ Pastoral Council, Barangay Pastoral Councils of Peñafrancia, Liboton and San Felipe, Area Pastoral Councils and respective ministries of religious movement, having grouped into color teams of Red, Yellow, Green and Blue.
The first day was opened with a holy mass in honor of Our Lady of Penafrancia.
A colorful parade was done along the main streets of Peñafrancia and Liboton. A short program followed with the presentation of color yells, symbolic lighting of the torch, oath of sportsmanship and the color flag raising by the muses, team leaders and Father guardians at the Plaza de Cuvarrubias.
The program was led into prayer by Fr. Joseph Abion, parochial vicar. As the crowd were enveloped with the cheer & ignited by the lighting of torch by Eileen Navarroza symbolizing the fervor of parishioners, with their heart set ablazed for firmer commitment and dedication as children of Ina. Ato San Juan took the stage for the Oath of Sportsmanship, followed by Fr. Felipe Culvera, parish priest, who gave his message, and Ning Labay, the Parish Pastoral Council coordinator declared the games open.
The inter-color competition filled the spirit of camaraderie and unity among the parishioners, young and old alike. The color groups showed their enthusiasm imbibed with the spirit of sportsmanship. Food was prepared by each color group and shared by everyone. Different indoor and outdoor games were played by the millenials, middle-aged and seniors. Fr. Culvera; Fr. Danilo Tuason, resident priest; Fr. Ryan Oliva Fenis, school chaplain; and Fr. Abion participated as father guardians of each color group. Their presence added excitement to the morning activities.
The cultural presentation, the most awaited part of the celebration, was done in the afternoon of October 28 at the parish hall. An inter-color contest showcased the different talents in singing, dancing through folk dance, interpretative dance, ballroom dancing, and trivia.
The competing groups presented an Interpretative Dance of the song of Resuene Vibrante, followed by vocal solo. In the folk dance, the dancers showed intensive preparation as they executed difficult movements with graceful sway. The ballroom dance sports featured a mixture of music and contestants were greatly applauded as they showcased their splendid performance.
The Pontifical mass marked the most important part of the foundation anniversary. It was officiated by the Most Rev. Rolando J. Tria Tirona , Archbishop of Caceres with priests from the parish and guest priests as concelebrants. A sumptuous dinner was offered by the parish to all. Awarding ceremonies and fellowship followed. A formal turn-over ceremony was done by the Yellow Team, outgoing defending champion , to this year’s over-all champion, the Red Team.
Fr. Culvera expressed his joy as he thanked everyone for a very successful and meaningful 50th foundation anniversary. He wished that the momentous occasion gave inspiration for the deepening of faith, strengthening relationships as brothers and sisters in the Lord and continuing service in the parish. The different ministries and organizations in return assured the parish priest of their wholehearted support and dedication in all pastoral activities as they journey together.