Allowing the Holy Spirit be the Source


For considerable years of existence, the Ministry to the Filipinos in the diocese of Orlando has been celebrating religious activities to minister to faith expressions deeply rooted in the Filipino culture.  These are Simbang Gabi Novena Advent Masses, Our Lady of Antipolo, San Lorenzo Ruiz de Manila, and Santo Nino de Cebu festivities.  The recent and rapid growth of Filipino population in Central Florida became aware of these popular religious forms of worship. The Filipino migrants flocked to these events with great devotion, feeling joyfully ‘at home’ in these celebrations where their faith was born, continually nourished and called forth to grow. The Filipino clergy, through the leadership of Rev. Peter Puntal, felt the need to formulate a vision-mission statement that would provide guidance and direction of a more efficient and comprehensive program of pastoral care to the Filipino migrants.  Realizing that without a vision, the ministry will be sporadic, and hence less sustaining and effective, not mentioning a great financial waste of resources.

To respond to this need, Ms. Cecil Motus, who is from Kalibo, Aklan, was suggested to be the resource person to facilitate the process.  Ms. Motus has the expertise and experience of the process since she is the Director of the Migration and Refugees Services of the Office for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Refugees of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops based in Washington D.C. Ms. Motus gladly accepted the invitation.  She also suggested that we write a letter of request for financial assistance from the PCMR office.  The request was granted, and thus, the date was set for February 23, 2008.  Holy Family Catholic Church in Apopka-Vineland was decided to be the venue. The existing ‘core group’ of the Ministry to the Filipinos was mobilized to send letters of invitation to all Filipino leaders in the various parishes in the diocese of Orlando.  A “food brigade” was also formed for a whole day of work.  Work it was when the participants gathered on that day.  But they came with great enthusiasm, dedication, determination and joy, allowing the Holy Spirit be the source of inspiration, motivation and direction of the process.

The delegates were the following, representing their parishes:

Annunciation Church, Altamonte Springs

Liza Krees, Christina Salizon

Good Shepherd, Orlando

Maria (Siony) Gorion

St. Augustine, Casselbery

Larry Lim, Tess Lim

St. Joseph, Lakeland

Rev. Ramon Bolatete, Ellen Solomon

St. Mary, Rockledge

Nona Mamaradlo

Sts. Peter and Paul, Winter Park

Mila Ecle

Ascencion Church, Melbourne

Ralph Turingan

Holy Cross, Orlando

Eric Bernabe, Flora Calata, Lindy Granahan, Celia Salas, Lilia Yap, Alma Soriano/ St. Isaac Jogues Rod Soriano/ St. Isaac Jogues

St. Francis of Assisi, Apopka

Rev. Val de Vera, Dan Ago, Gene Luna

St. Joseph, Orlando

Rev. Rex Familiar, Mina Bailey, George Tunaya

St. Rose of Lima, Poinciana

Cecile Eco, Oro Eco, Cathy Farag, Mary Ann Sayo

Blessed Sacrament, Clermont

Rev. Cromwell Cabrisos

Holy Family, Orlando

Rev. Kenny Aquino, Coling Enriquez, Liza Gonzales, Guada Shaffer, Cece Lim

St. Isaac Jogues, Orlando

Lisa Esteban, Ditas Olivares, Sheila Sta. Maria

St. Joseph, Winter Haven

Rev. Peter Puntal

St. Teresa de Avila, Titusville

Rev. Roy V. Eco, Aldwin Ebuen, Joel Perez, Nancy Tilley

Blessed Trinity, Ocala

Carlito Cruz, Joebalt Evidente, Vangie Evidente

Holy Redeemer, Kissimmee

Vilma Parffitt

St. John Vianney, Orlando

Bob Ansag

St. Margaret Mary, Winter Park

Deacon Nemesio Gubatan, Perla Gubatan

St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Cloud

Martin Claire, Nora Datur

For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” Matthew 18:20

The day turned out to be an unforgettable experience of a community with a joyful camaraderie amidst a grueling process of scanning the present situation of the ministry, celebrating the strengths, as well as enumerating the challenges, the burning issues and unmet pastoral needs that ought to be considered in the visioning process.  Four groups were created to plow through these realities. Resulting with four vision-mission statements from the different groups at the end of the day, a committee of five members was selected to consolidate, collate and formulate one vision-mission statement of the Ministry with literary flair, style and beauty.  The committee members were Sheila Sta. Maria, Cecile Eco, Joebalt Evidente, Dan Ago and George Tunaya.  Rev. Roy V. Eco was an invited guest.

After a thorough and prayerful reflection, discernment, deliberation, discussion and dialogue among the committee members, a final draft was formulated by the end of March 2008.

Let Us Lend a Helping Hand

Fr Kenny Aquino
Fr Archie Faustino
Fr Raul Caga
Liturgy & Spirituality
Fr Glen Lopez
Mimi Maja
FMO Website Coordinator
Fr Mariano Catura

  Pastoral Care & Formation

Mila Ecle
FMO Events Coordinator

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