A Special and Memorable Celebration
November 23, 2021 was a special and memorable day for the Columban Missionaries in the Philippines. We celebrated the feast day of St. Columban, the Society’s patron saint, with a Mass at the Our Lady of Remedies Parish in Malate. On this same day, we also celebrated the renewal of aggregation of Kyaw Zaw (one year), Iowane Naio (two years), Atonio Saula Tubuna Seeto (two years) and Larry Gulay Duerme (three years with FMA – first mission assignment); and the first aggregation of Mosese Biuduadua Wasia Yacalevu (three years with FMA). Furthermore, we also heard the thanksgiving mass of Fr. Leonito “Leo” Distor who is celebrating his 25th anniversary as a priest this year.
What made this occasion extra special is the fact that after almost two years of not being able to gather together physically as one due to the restrictions brought about by the pandemic, this would be the first time ever that the Columban Missionaries – priests, lay, sisters and students – in Luzon area came together at Malate Church for the celebration. It was one filled with joy, laughter and gratitude. The sense of longing was filled-in with kumustahan, catching-up on each other, exchanging of stories and simply being with each other’s presence while maintaining social distancing and wearing of masks. Even with the health protocols in place, one could sense the strong bond of camaraderie among us.
The celebration radiated the spirit of mission, love and hope amidst the difficult times we are facing during this pandemic.