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The 2ND Batch of DRMT Missions in SIQUIJOR Island

The Dumaguete Redemptorist Mission Team (DRMT) started a new mission at Siquijor town. This mission can be referred to as the SanCanTeb and IbaLamPan MISSION, which stands for San Antonio, Cantabon, Tebjong and Ibabao, Lambojon Panlautan – all names of Barangay Mission areas. But since, the center of this mission is Bgy. San Antonio, we commonly call this as San Antonio Mission. This new mission is the 2nd batch of DRMT missions in the Island Province of Siquijor. After the Po-o Mission of the St. Isidore Parish of the Lazi town, the mission has moved to the Parish of St. Francis of Assisi, Siquijor, Siquijor under the guidance of the Parish Priest: Fr. Casiano Salac.

The objective of the mission is to help identify and initially form the leaders of those areas to prepare them, in case it will be found out that areas are ready to form as a "Chaplaincy". Part of it is to have contact persons in those areas as the link of the area people to the parish priests. Since the parish priest, Fr. Salac is still newly assigned to the area; he will not be starting from scratch in implementing parish programs.

The Mission was introduced to the area by different liturgical celebrations. Initially, Bishop John F. Du of the Diocese of Dumaguete introduced the mission during the Confirmation Mass at San Antonio. Officially, the mission started with an opening mass held last June 23, 2002 at San Antonio Chapel. The mass was attended by the people from different areas, presided by Fr. Galen Cortes and concelebrated by other Redemptorists: Frs. Mario Masangcay, Gerry Griffith and Martin Ryan together with Fr. Casiano Salac- the Parish Priest. The entry of the mission to an area was through the 3-day Festival of Faith, though it was indeed an introduction, it also served as the initial evangelization in the area. The Festivals of Faith were held in each of the area barangays and were facilitated by the whole mission team, including the postulants.

The DRMT is composed CSSRs, Lay Missioners and Postulants. Two CSSR Students from SAT in Davao joined the DRMT. Bro. Nico Perez, CSSR and Bro. Erwin Padilla, CSSR joined the team as part of the 3rd year theology Mission Immersion Year Program. The DRMT then, went back to the area with two sub-teams. The Dream Team 1 was composed of CSSRs: Fr. Galen Cortes, Bro. Erwin Padilla; Lay Missioners: Danny Libot, Gen-Gen Jaictin, Vivian Cogay; Postulants: Dax Abad, Henry Colubong, Jonas de la Torre; while the Dream Team 2 was composed of CSSRs: Fr. Mario Masangcay, Bro. Nico Perez; Lay Missioners: Liezel Daarol, Ryan "Pink" Parantar, Argi Decano, Ian Ray Lopez, Roger Labañero. Fr. Mario is the coordinator of the whole team & Dream Team 2 (IbaLamPan area), while Fr. Galen coordinates the Dream Team 1 (SanCanTeb area).

Then, the Mission proper leads its way. Liturgical Celebrations, Novena Reflections, Fiesta Preparations, Creative Dramatics, Evangelization and Training Seminars, Inputs, Recollections (Teachers, Tatay, Youth) were facilitated in the local areas as well as to the whole area as a group. Bible sharing groups were established so as to facilitate the identification of potential leaders in the area. Novena, Family Prayers, Rosary groups were also promoted in addition to the regular "Kasaulogan sa Pulong" which the areas celebrated every Sunday. All of those were preparations for the Leadership Seminars. The DRMT facilitated various programs to the area as a whole. The Leadership Seminars I (Aug. 31st) & II (Sept. 28th); the Mission Youth Camp; the Students’ Recollection were a joint effort of the whole team in coordination with the San Antonio leaders and youth. The team also helps in bringing back the catechism of the students both in the elementary and high school. Eventually, volunteer came out to continue the task.

The team facilitated marriages and baptisms as part of its program. However, those areas which don’t have marriages celebrated, initiated renewals of marriage vows instead. The sacraments of Baptisms and Confirmation were also given to those who have not received it yet. The team also helps facilitate the preparation of their papers. 

The closing masses in the area followed after the marriages. On Sept. 29th, San Antonio (am) and Lambojon (pm) was the first batch of the Closing masses. Oct. 1st then, was the turn of Tebjong (am) and Cantabon (pm). The next day, the last batch of 2 areas: Panlautan (am) and Ibabao (pm) was celebrated. After those days of closing masses, the team had a break at the same time joining the St. Francis of Assisi Parish in their patronal fiesta (Oct. 3-4)

The next morning was the Mission Culmination Celebration (Oct 5) held at the center (San Antonio). The Bishop of Dumaguete, Msgr. John F. Du; the CSsR General Consultors from Rome: (Frs. Noel Londoño & Frank Jones), together with the Parish Priest; Fr. Brendan Kelly (Redemptorist Provincial-Visayas & Mindanao); Fr. Martin Ryan (Superior: CSsR Dumaguete) went up the mission area to celebrate with the people. The occasion started with a "Panaw" from the different areas and meeting the visitors with a street dancing. The mass started at 10 am and included in the liturgy is the ceremonial turn-over of the cross by the DRMT to the representative leaders from each area. 

It was an immense crowd. In fact, there was a shortage of consecrated hosts due to the unexpectedly large crowd. Fr. Mario had to say private mass after the mass for those who have not received communion. After the mass, everyone gathered at the basketball court for the "Agape" and a program. It was an enjoyable and at the same time sentimental program.

Right after the program, all the Redemptorists and the visitors left the mission area. While the postulants and the lay missioners followed the next day.

By: Erwin Padilla, CSSR

October 10, 2002

Dumaguete City