Bishop’s hope: More vocations from ‘levitical town’ of Hagonoy
The 27th shrine anniversary of the National Shrine & Parish of St. Anne in Hagonoy, Bulacan was presided over by Cubao Bishop & Malolos Apostolic Administrator Honesto F. Ongtioco, with members of the Kapatiran ng Kapariang Taga-Hagonoy, Inc. JOJO BAUTISTA
By Sem. Kendrick Ivan B. Panganiban
Nov. 5, 2018
During the occasion of the 27th anniversary of the National Shrine & Parish of St. Anne’s declaration as a national shrine, Cubao Bishop and Malolos Apostolic Administrator Honesto F. Ongtioco said he hopes more young people from the town of Hagonoy will heed God’s call to the priesthood.
The Kapatiran ng Kapariang Taga-Hagonoy, Inc. (KAKATHA), said the prelate, has “more than a hundred priests, yet about 30 are now with God. And so we hope for more young priestly vocations from this town.”
In his homily, Ongtioco marveled at the many priest-sons the town of Hagonoy has produced over the years. He said: “This town is truly blessed with the many blessings of priests among its townspeople.” He added how St. Anne’s intercession has been a factor in the abundant vocations. The prelate noted, “Among the reasons this church became a national shrine is the impact of the many priests from this place.”
KAKATHA president Msgr. Ranilo Trillana said, “Our great thanks is given to Apo Ana for her generous intercession for the many priests of Hagonoy. We pray for more vocations to the priesthood here.”
KAKATHA member Fr. Daniel Coronel, assigned to St. Martin of Tours Parish, Bocaue, Bulacan, shared how returning to Hagonoy for the annual anniversary celebrations is, “a joy as we return to Inang” (referring to the Blessed Virgin’s mother as a grandmother to all Hagonoeño priests.) He added, “It is truly a refreshing experience that even at the hardest times, you are with your brother priests from Hagonoy whom I can get inspiration from.”
He noted how during the hymn sang in honor of St. Anne, he was simply awestruck by the faith of the people and the devotion of Hagonoeños to St. Anne, fondly called Apo Ana. He stressed that, “My homecoming is a great thanks to Inang for her continuing guidance and help for me as a priest.”
KAKATHA former president Fr. Vicente B. Lina, Jr. who served as hermano mayor 2018 of the town fiesta with Papal Knight Jorge Allan Tengco, offered during the Mass a new set of vestures for the centuries-old image of Sta. Ana y La Niña Maria de Hagonoy. According to Lina, the vestures will be used when the image joins the Intramuros Grand Marian Procession on the first Sunday of December this year.
KAKATHA’s online directory reveals that Hagonoy currently has 67 living priests, 44 deceased priests, and 5 who have left the priesthood, totaling 116.