San Ildefonso de Navotas Parish @ 25

San Ildefonso de Navotas Parish @ 25

OUR Parish of San Ildefonso de Navotas in the Diocese of Kalookan will celebrate this year its Silver Anniversary on its Feast Day, January 23. Our Parish Priest Fr. Bong Gino, together with the Parish Pastoral Council chaired by Corazon Bumanglag, particularly the Executive Committee, have planned the outreach programs to the six (6) important sectors of the parish. The four (4) barangays—Navotas East and West, Bagumbayan North and South, comprising the parish, were tapped to team up with the celebration.

As Pope Francis said, our evangelization should not be concentrated inside the church; we should go out and proclaim the Word by reaching out to our community. Therefore, we reach out to the six sectors of our parish: (1) The families of victims killed in the war on drug, either due to legitimate police operation or by the bonnet gang and riders in tandem. Round table discussion by families how they coped up with losing a family member. Scholarship will be given to the surviving children while livelihood programs will be made available to the parents, spouses and adult children. Those with traumatic experience will be provided counseling by the Counselors of Task Force Salubong, the Diocese of Kalookan’s Rehabilitation Program for drug users who surrendered to the authorities. (2) The sick and PWD or persons with disability who do not have the resources to avail the services of doctors or health workers. There will be Medical and Dental Mission where free medicines will be given and laboratory tests to be provided. The Parish Priest and the invited clergy will anoint the sick and the disabled with Holy Oil. (3) Out-of-School youth. Activities and seminar about self esteem and dignity of a person and how to develop self confidence will be conducted. They will be allowed to show their strengths and talents in the arts, writing, singing and dancing, (4) Family of 40 inmates who are detained in Navotas City Jail. Resource Persons will discuss the rights of an accused. There will be bonding activities like one of which is “boodle fight lunch” among wives and children on the one hand and the Extra-ordinary Ministers of the Holy Eucharist on the other, who will play the “father figure” since most of the inmates are fathers or brothers. (5) The Homeless, the Hungry and the Thirsty. In coordination with the Barangay officials, this sector will be invited to a meeting where they will tell what their own stories, if they still have families, what they need. Foods, clothing and groceries will be provided to them. If they need livelihood program, they will be enrolled in the Social Service and Development Ministry of the parish.  (6) Street Children. Alternative Catechesis will be provided that “Mga Anak din Sila ng Diyos” or MASID (they are also children of God) which is one of the Projects of the Diocese of Kalookan where there is a shelter house where street children can go anytime they want, to eat, take a bath, watch tv, read books; then they can go home afterward.

There is an outreach program for each day including the clean-up drive in all the four barangays in the parish, except on days when the cultural activities will be held like the traditional Ark and Float contest, Games, motorcade, parade and others. A Mini Fund Raising Concert will also be held where choirs from different universities and parishes will be invited to perform.

The theme of the Novena and Fiesta Masses are the Readings and Gospel from January 14 to 23 which serve as inspirations to the different outreach activities of the parish. The Mass Celebrants are Bishop Francis de Leon of the Diocese of Antipolo (former Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Kalookan); Msgr. Rolando Dela Cruz of San Pedro de Dilao Parish, Paco, Manila (former parish priest of San Jose de Navotas who worked for the establishment of San Ildefonso Chapel into a parish); Bishop Emeritus Deogracias Iňiguez, Jr. of the Diocese of Kalookan; Most Rev. Pablo Virgilio David, Bishop of the Diocese of Kalookan; Fr. Godwin Tatlonghari, Director of Pre-College of San Carlos Seminary (former parish priest of San Ildefonso); Fr. Jeronimo Ma. Cruz Vicar General of the Diocese of Kalookan and Rector of San Roque Cathedral (immediate past parish priest of San Ildefonso); Archbishop Emeritus Ramon Arguelles of the Archdiocese of Lipa); former parish priests Fr. Nelson Orqueta, Fr. Nestor Estanislao, Fr. Tony Nopasa, and other invited priests.

San Ildefonso of Toledo was a scholar and theologian who served as the Bishop of Toledo for the last decade of his life. He had great devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary who was reported “to have appeared before him in person and presented him with priestly vestment, to reward him for his zeal in honoring her. As Bishop Ildefonsus and the congregation sang Marian hymns, light engulfed the church, causing most worshippers to flee. The bishop, remaining with the few deacons, saw Mary descended and sit on the Episcopal throne. She praised Ildefonsus for his devotion, and vested him with special chasuble from her son’s treasury, which she instructed the bishop to wear only during Marian festivals. His feast day is January 23, date of his death. He is the patron saint of Toledo, Zamora and other towns of Spain. Festivities begin with a bonfire and fireworks the previous night, and continue with the traditional procession of the saint’s image with bread being tossed onto onlookers. Theologically, St. Ildefonsus regarded the Nicene Creed as sufficient knowledge of salvation and as two compacts between believer and God – where one renounces the devil and another the statement of belief itself. He encourages frequent Communion.”

San Ildefonso is also the patron saint in San Ildefonso, Bulacan; San Ildefonso in Arnaiz Avenue, Makati City; San Ildefonso in Tanay, Rizal; San Ildefonso, Ilocos Sur.