Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary Parish in Montalban brought the community closer to the Church through sports festivals.
Breaking one of the most common misconception about the Church being stereotyped as boring, awkward and clumsy, the parishioners in Montalban saw for themselves during the Palarong Parokya last May 6, 2017.
While the Church welcomes the sickly with open arms, she is also full of people leading active lifestyles.
The Parish has a fairly new BEC program. Though supposedly started years ago, it was almost non-existent when the current parish priest, Father Ric Eguia, came to the community in November 2015. He, together with the parishioners, started building the community again.
There were a lot of efforts and activities in the past 2 years such as street masses in the different areas within the parish. They also built neighborhood communities that they call Bukluran.
The parish has a Damayan Program in the four barangays that is meant for the poorest of the poor in our parish. It has four parts:
1. Evangelization: Why is there poverty? Is poverty the will of God for his people?
2. Distribution of grocery bags
3. Feeding the invited poor
4. Visiting all the sick and bedridden
All these efforts were concentrated in uplifting the community and at the same time, leading them closer to God.
One of their recent activities made use of sports in linking the parishioners together and strengthening the community. “Sports is a fun way to start building the neighborhood communities. Church events are usually participated by older people. Sports also attract the younger parishioners.”, shares Father Ric.
Father Ric saw the activity as a venue to bring the parishioners together and bond. “Building community is actually creating relationships among the neighbors. Palaro ng Parokya is just a fun game which is our way of providing the neighbors a reason to come together, to get to know one another, and to create bonding among themselves.”
“After Palaro, we saw many from the “un-churched” now joining our parish events. Palaro also boosted their morale. For their team to win, they know they need to unite and work together.”
Aside from the Palaro, the parish also had a pilgrimage to Antipolo last summer. After the pilgrimage, they brought the parish to a resort where a dance competition between the four barangays was held. It was a Hawaiian Dance Competition for participants age 20 and above. “This contest was just for fun, but it provided a venue for the parishioners to come together, to unite and practice so they can win, and as a result – to build relationships.”
If your parish or Church organization has done events like this recently, let us know: comment of message us at Facebook Year of the Parish Page or Twitter @yearoftheparish. (Mariz Ponti)