Just like a young shorebird starting to grow its feathers big and strong enough for flying, this parish in Rizal is yet to face countless experiences, failures, and triumphs—with its flock supporting all throughout its journey.
San Jose Manggagawa Parish Montalban (SJMPM) is a small parish in San Jose, Rodriguez, Rizal (formerly Montalban, Rizal) that was founded on May 29, 2016. It is under the care of Diocesan Director for Biblical Apostolate and Parish Priest Fr. Paul Merida.
Despite being just a-year-old, the parish wasted no time in working to unite the communities and the Church through several activities like Bibliarasal, Misa de Calle and Livelihood Programs.
SJMPM Basic Ecclesial Communities (BEC) Director Greg Cayetano discussed that every week, Buklurans, groups from different communities under the parish gather to read and reflect on the Sunday readings and the Gospel in their activity Bibliarasal.
“Each member shares their insights on the readings, and once all the members are done, the head of the Bukluran also imparts additional insights for better understanding of the Gospel,” Cayetano expounded in Filipino.
Bibliarasal is a compound term for “Bibliya” (Bible) and “dasal” (prayer) and is an ongoing activity to promote awareness, knowledge, and reflection to the Word of God.
Livelihood and other programs
In its aim to uplift the communities by helping those who have less in life, SJMPM also cater various activities through its livelihood program that are to start off the with a candle-making activity tentatively in November this year, according to Cayetano.
Another activity they would pursue would be the Miss de Calle. If the Christmas season has nine days of misa de gallo, SJMPM has its misa de calle or street mass, which the parish holds bi-monthly.
The BEC Director explained that the parish brought the Holy Mass to the streets with the purpose of reaching the “unchurch” saying “we also wanted the faithful to be aware that we are now a parish who are very much willing to serve and help the community with their spiritual needs.”
“At present, this is on a hiatus to give way to activities that the parish organized in the past months, as well as projects to come,” Cayetano added. However, he assured that the street masses “are to resume soon.”
In addition to all their activities, SJMPM will also send 25 parishioners to support the program for the awareness of the faithful on BECs, at the BEC Big Day as the Diocese of Antipolo culminates the Year of the Parish on November 4.
The program will be held at Cainta Catholic College in Cainta, Rizal and the parish is determined to participate despite challenges.
“(We) lack human resources—people who are committed to their faith,” Cayetano admitted. He also pointed out the lack of material resources that are essential in mobilizing people, and efforts to ‘encourage members to work as one community” are insufficient, still.
“Thankfully, all (church organizations) are working as one to help us achieve our goal to become a parish community that praises and serves the Lord—in words and in deeds,” Cayetano added.
Still, this young parish has thus far proved that it is fluttering its wings well enough to start fulfilling its mission to fly with its flock—its community—on their journey towards communion. (Pamela Mendez)