Last Saturday I celebrated Mass in one of the more depressed areas in our parish. People call the place “Maligaya”, i.e. “Happy.” It is what others would call a squatters’ area.
The Mass was the second celebrated in the place in two years. We made use of a vacant lot (in the pictures above, it is the lot used for drying washed clothes) for the celebration. The purpose of the Mass was two-fold. First, to tell the people of “Maligaya” that they have not been forgotten, and that we are continuing the initiative taken by the previous parish administration. Second, we were inaugurating a program that will involve the people of “Maligaya” and make them active participants in the building up of our parish.
The Mass was prepared in a month. I coordinated with a group of our parishioners who have been thinking of turning Maligaya into place of Basic Ecclesial Communities but who haven’t had the opportunity to do so. By allowing the group to participate in the preparation of the Mass, a door was opened for them to get inside the Maligaya compound and formally begin a work that they have wanted to begin years ago. With the Mass, we were able to get initial volunteers for future masses and other activities that we will be planning with them.
Last Saturday’s Mass was a first step. We hope to make it the first step in a journey that will empower the people of Maligaya to become Church.
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