Toledo parish readies for Calungsod’s day
Carine M. Asutilla, Correspondent
October 20, 2012
DEVOTEES of Blessed Pedro Calungsod come to this hilltop church in Cantabaco, Toledo City to lift up their petitions. One of them was Elisa Carmelotes, who attended the noontime novena mass carryng an image of the teenage martyr.
She said she wanted the parish priest Fr. Russel Sungcad to bless her small statue.
Elisa and her daughter survived a recent motorcycle accident.
"The accident happened not far from this church,” she said in Cebuano.
“When I realized that we were about to crash, I shouted Calungsod's name. If not for him we may not be alive today.”
Another mother attended the novena Mass, Alma Cenieza of Mandaue City bringing her 4-year-old granddaughter Jewel.
The little girl, who suffers from several illnesses, had a cyst growing on the bridge of her nose.
An operation to remove the growth is planned next year, but the lola worries because the young girl often suffers seizures.
"I come to Calungsod to pray for my granddaughter. I'm just hoping that he will answer my prayers," says Cenieza.
Parishioners busy themselves preparing for the canonization of Calungsod tomorrow and an influx of pilgrims.
Showing the bayanihan spirit, they take turns cleaning the church and its surroundings. Most of them are youth parishioners who have prepared a camp site for devotees who plan to stay over night under the sky.
"This is our way of serving Calungsod for all the good things he has done for us and our parish," said 20-year-old Eden Mark Reyes, 20 years old.
Fr. Sungcad said they are expecting more than ten thousand devotees to come starting today for the
The one-hectare lot where the parish church stands was donated by Servillano and Josephine Mapeso in 2003.
A deed of donation was signed by the couple and their children together with Ricardo Cardinal Vidal of the Archdiocese of Cebu.
Vidal officially established the Calungsod Parish in 2006.
Samuel Mapeso, the owner’s son said it was his parents’ choice to donate the land instead of being paid ofr it by the parish.
“It is one way of giving back for every blessing that we have enjoyed especially for the health of my parents who are in their 80’s,” said Samuel.
The family never misses Sunday mass there.
Servillano and Josephine even had what they call a “stairway to heaven” built beside their resort so they can easily climb directly to the grounds of the parish, given that both already have weak knees.
“We are all devotees of Calungsod. I consider our good health a blessing because it is what we always pray for through him.
The construction of the church is a miracle. It is obvious how poor our parish is but we were still able to establish it,” said Samuel.
“I dream that the simple church will one day become a shrine and that people from all over the world who are devoted to Calungsod would visit.”