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The Mission in Lambunao, Iloilo

The Iloilo Mission Team is now on the last two weeks of their stay in Zones 6 and 2 in the parish of San Nicolas Tolentino, Lambunao, Iloilo. The parish is a one-hour drive from St. Clement's and 14 kms from Janiuay. It is a rice land with barangays connected by good feeder road system. "Good" here means that it is passable by a 4-wheel drive such as our KIA during the rainy season. But because few jeeps go to far off barangays, people go through shortcuts, wlaking through "kahons" or "pilapils," or they take a ride on single motorbikes, which usually carry three to four passengers.

One big activity is on December 9, the "Assembly" of two zones each with their seven barangays. Fr. Barney Casey and Bishop Ireneo Amantillo are the two pioneer missioners surviving from that mission band of the 60s and 70s and still remembered by the lolos and lolas in many of these barangays. Fr. Barney has more or less said "yes" to attending the closing Mass of these two zones on either the 15th or 16th of December. "I'll join you, but not as a visual aid" he said.

Originally the parish priest, Fr. Nicolas Nicolasura, requested missions in two zones only. He wanted the leaders and communities strengthened and prepared in case they decide to become a parish. However, in a recent meeting with the team, Fr. Francis and his vicars formalized their request that hte team would also conduct missions in one more zone, Zone 8. After visiting the area, reflecting, and meeting with the team, we decided to accept the invitation. So by the second week of January, preparartion for the new zone will be continued. In addition, there are standing invitations for the team to work in Carles, Passi and Balasan.

The team at present number 10 - three Redemptorists (Fr. Santiago Odi, Brother Plakie Pajar and Fr. Edwin Mortalla) and seven lay missioners (Haydee, Dodoy, Ruby, Jed, Bebie, Joey and Rona). But we will be mission Rona very soon because she will embark on another kind of mission ... she is getting married in January.

Two MPS sisters, Jeanema and Victoria, are now doing well after an orientation with the team's dynamics and to the language. Finally, on exposure we have Jun who is getting  a taste of the Redemptorist mission apostolate as part of this discernment whether to join our formation program.

Fr. Edwin Mortalla, CSsR
December 2001