Into the Deep Mission of Montalban
(by: Fr. Maurice L. Galasa, cicm)
On April 4, 2015, the Montalban team (Fr. Romy & Fr. Rice) together with Fr. Ramon Caluza, cicm (Provincial Superior), met for initial arragements about our CICM pioneering mission in Rodriguez (Montalban), Rizal specifically San Isidro Labrador Parish. The Diocese of Antipolo took time to grant us a Mission Area. Great relief came, when on March 2015, our request was approved and the contract was signed between Bishop Gabriel Reyes, D.D. and Fr. Monch in a generic span of 50 years. A new missionary journey was founded from our Missionary Project of the CICM Philippine Province.
Inspired by this Year of the Poor, Montalban Mission is a concrete action to go to a place we do not know; where life is not comfortable, where justice and peace advocacy is an inspiration, where the Gospel values are neglected, and where poor people are ignored….we dare to respond and forget our own will. We enter into the deep missionary venture aligned to frontier challenges where the periphery can be reached to realize God’s kingdom in our small ways. Jesus Christ sent us through our congregation and by the request of the Local Diocese.
The preparation of a team will be guided by our CICM Documents followed by integration. The acceptance of this new parish in Rizal is to have a CICM presence in the Diocese of Antipolo aside from Bukal ng Tipan and Novitiate formation in Taytay. And also in view of the formation exposure of our seminarians in Maryhurst, Postulancy, Novitiate, and AIFC. To train them to observe and actively participate in every experience in order to have a firsthand encounter about environment, social, and political issues in our Parish area. Father Romy and I did not just come here to the mission area but we formulated a Vision-Mission as our guiding principle in our integration into this new parish.
Vision: Called from many nations, Consecrated by God for His Mission.
Mission: Witnessing to the Gospel Values especially in the Periphery where we are mostly needed.
- Regular community gathering with the possibility of an in-depth sharing in prayer, recollection, recreation, meals, and outing.
- Clear definitions of pastoral priorities, community responsibilities, and participation in the various aspects of community life.
- Good communication and dialogue, we strive to be animators to each other. The success of one is the success of our team.
- Transparency, accountability, and clear financial reporting. Examine always our priorities and cut unnecessary expenses.
- Participation and involvement of the people in our activities.
- Witnessing simple lifestyle in accordance with the actual situation of the population.
- Build the community in the organization of the parish. Structures will flow from this participation and building of the community.
- Formation of the people in terms of participation with the assistance of Bukal ng Tipan, JPIC, NGO’s, MST, and ASI.
- Mission awareness and vocation animation.
- Reach out to the youths, scavengers, elderly, farmers, Chapel Communities, OFW, Widows, Indigenous People, and the sick for Apostolate, Formations, and
- Learn and coordinate with the other two parishes (Mabuting Pastol & Tala), Vicariate group, CICM Manila District, and Diocese of Antipolo of their organization and activities.
- Integration of our CICM seminarians with periodic evaluation.
- Interfaith encounter.
- Empowerment of Catechists.
Calendar of Activities
May 12= For the 2nd time, the Montalban team met with the Provincial Superior, Fr. Ramon Caluza, cicm to finalize our entry to the new parish with some details of our needs and directions.
May 15= Fr. Romy and Fr. Rice concelebrated with Fr. Demetrio Suriben (Kasiglaan Parish Priest) on the feast of San Isidro Labrador.
May 20= Anawim community welcomed us to stay temporary in their center, a room below the chapel for a month. Maraming salamat po br. Bo Sanchez, Ate Myrna, Sr. Jean, Kuya Caloy, and Staff!
May 30= The Decree of Creation of the New Parish was realized signaling the separation of San Isidro Labrador to become a Parish from Ina ng Kapayapaan Parish.
May 31= San Isidro Labrador Parish starts its function under the supervision of Fr. Romy. Encountering and realizing hope from the hopeless……
June 14= Installation of Fr. Romy as the Parish Priest and Fr. Rice as his Assistant. How lovely is your dwelling place oh Lord Mighty God, Lord of all… Thank you very much confreres for supporting us, God bless you always!
July 2= House blessing started every Thursday of the week for the housing units to know more our parishioners and to be known by them.
July 19= The Team officiated the Sacrament of the “Binyagan ng Barangay” at the Gym with 195 babies and adults.
August 1= Fr. Noel Espina, cicm a missionary in Brazil came to visit us. Br. Willian became part of the Montalban Team. We are blessed to have br. Willian. He will help us every Sunday for prayer services in our parish chapels, in- charge for the youth organization, animation, and being part of the seminarians active exposure here in the Parish. Situations can revise our planning strategies to make us at home with our ministries. The Broom making livelihood in Odiongan Chapel started purposely for the renovation of their chapel and small income to augment their personal needs.
August 3= Happy B-day fr. Rice!
August 29= Medical Mission was a joint coordination of TFUC: Task Force Urban Conscientization, Ka-TRIBU, Doctors Association, Parish Execom, Anawim, and Southville 8-B Community. Acknowledging also the presence of Fr. Antonio Tanchoco, cicm, br. Jonel Dalimag, cicm, our seminarians from AIFC and Postulant. It was a successful endeavor indeed for our poor parishioners.
Sept. 5= Liturgical formation given by fr. Romy in Claret chapel for all members of our Parish Worship Committee (Lectors, Commentators, Lay Minister, Altar Servers, Choir, Usherettes, and Mother Butlers Guild). The AIFC Montalban Team (br. Francis, br. John Mar, br. Apeng, and br. Clovis) formally started their weekend apostolate here. An international group and pioneering seminarians for this new Mission Area.
Sept. 8= Mr.& Mrs. Godfrey Guerra and company staff had an outreach program here in our parish to be with the poor people sharing them joyful gifts of hope. And to feed our elderly in Anawim. Thank you for being part of God’s mission here in San Isidro Parish…….God Bless!
Sept. 9= With the support of our Provincial Council headed by Fr. Monch, the plot near our church will be purchased in view of our future Parish Church, Parish House, Formation House, and Pastoral Center / Offices.
Montalban Made to Order Dispositions
Nanay Remy: Noong misa de gallo ay nagmisa kami straight na 5days.
Fr. Romy: Puzzled ako, akala ko ba wala kayong mga pari eh….. eh sino naman sila?
Nanay Remy: Mga seminarians po ng Bulacan. Basta nakasuot sila ng sutana parang nagmisa na rin kami kaysa lay Minister na paulit ulit ang sinasabi mahal pa ang singil nila.
Fr. Romy can still remember his seminary life in Maryhill. He recalled the story of his companions who sneaked into the priest’s refectory straight to the fridge to refresh themselves. After they drank some of those expensive water and ate ham with bread, they hurried out not to be caught by Father Rector. But Ka Brother realized about the light of the fridge still on, so he asked Ko Brother to turn off the light of the fridge. Ko Brother returned to the refectory but he does not know also how to turn off the light so he just closed it and they were never caught and became good priest but separated. I will tell you when I cross that bridge…..
I was in a hurry to celebrate mass in the barrio. I opened the fridge and took the bottle and placed mass wine in my cruet. After consecration during the mass, I drunk the wine and it was too bitter that I became dizzy immediately. Then coming back to the house, I discovered that I took the bottle of Tanduay and not the mompo wine. Can we call that unliturgical mass? Sometimes it is better to separate a new wineskin or for discovery channel, try both.
After our house blessing in Southville 8-B community, one of the parents approached fr. Romy and asked if he can be a ninong to her child’s baptism. Fr. Romy was hesistant, “How can a priest become a ninong at the same time a celebrant?
Fr. Nols ESPN, cicm came to visit us here in Montalban and I brought them straight to Wawa Dam. With his amazement, he shared to us during our dinner time that he was able to go around the Philippines in a span of his short vacation. And was talking very fast without thinking and immediately said, he is a reliable tourist spot. After a short silence, Br. Willian remarked, is it not Tourist Guide? Either way can be applied to him as long as he is not in line with tarsiers. He also discovered, “Suso ng Dalaga”.
Ang manghuhula ay puno ng karunungan at karanasan sa buhay lalo na kung simbahan ang pinaguusapan. Pati nga itong bagong parish ng San Isidro. May naghula na pala nito kaya may confreres na manghuhula talaga sana hindi sa pag mix mix ng tikila. Fr. Pedro of Mabuting Pastol Prophesied our new parish because prior to CICM application to the Diocese of Antipolo, he was already here 2012 telling Fr. Ken Ken, “Sana maging CICM area ito Panginoon…… “ dinamay pa sa prayer kaya milagro. Manghuhula na lang tayo sa prayers mga brothers. “Sana maging pari siya dito si Fr. Audrey naway basbasan siya ng gantimpala……” hasus damay ang sibilyan sa hula-hula.
The Agta Tribe were given a new housing project by the Gawad Kalinga (Couples for Christ) because they were the victim of Typhoon Ondoy. Fr. Rey, MJ was there chaplain who officiated the blessing of the houses here in Maislap, brgy. San Isidro. After the house blessing of Fr. Rey, at night, the elders gathered together and butchered native chickens and sprayed the blood inside their new houses. The next day, the president of the Gawad Kalinga noticed that the new houses were so dirty inside and discovered it was a chicken blood. So she was annoyed and scolded the priest of not doing his job. Of course, missionaries say it best when he/she says nothing at all.