Port workers urged: Be ‘fishers’ of men!
Hagonoy faithful honor their patron St. Andrew in the first ever fiesta Mass held at the town’s fish port, Nov. 30, 2017. MHARBERT CANILANG
HAGONOY, Bulacan—A Catholic priest reminded workers at a fish port in this town of their responsibility, not only to provide for their families, but also of their duty to be the means of the conversion of others, in the spirit of their patron, St. Andrew the Apostle, whose feast they celebrated that day, Nov. 30.
“Like St. Andrew, we must be fishers of men, starting with our own families … We cannot give what we don’t have! How do we expect to give others 100 if we only have 10? How can we invite others to receive the Catholic faith if we don’t have enough of it ourselves?” stressed Msgr. Luciano Balagtas to an audience of mostly fishermen during the fiesta Mass held in honor of the fishing town’s heavenly intercessor.
According to the Gospels, St. Andrew worked as a fisherman together with his brother, St. Peter, before being called to the apostleship by Jesus.
The priest went on to emphasize to the assembled faithful that true devotion to St. Andrew consists in emulating his virtues.
“Let us strengthen our faith like St. Andrew, who courageously faced death in his love for our Lord Jesus Christ,” added Balagtas.
Called “Pistang Punduhan,” the occasion was the first of its kind to be celebrated at the “punduhan” (fish port) of Hagonoy, which reverberated with music and excitement in welcoming an image and an ex ossibus relic of the patron saint from Barrio Sta. Elena.
“It’s the first time that a Mass was held here, so it meant a lot to us who belong in the fishing sector,” said Roberto Villanueva, president, Haganoy Fishporter.
According to him, he and his co-workers were glad even though they had to stop their work for a while.
“It was all for the sake of our faith in God through St. Andrew,” Villanueva added. With reports from Mharbert Canilang/CBCPNews