The OMPH Visayas Congress delegates -outside Cebu- were officially welcomed with a Mass presided by Fr Nico Perez, CSsR (Redemptorist Cebu Provincial Superior)
With an opening Mass presided over by Auxiliary Bishop of Cebu, Most Rev. Oscar Florencio, DD and a closing Mass by Archbishop of Cebu, Most Rev. Jose S. Palma, the three-day Visayas Congress of Our Mother of Perpetual Help marks the 150th year of entrustment of the holy icon to the Redemptorist missionaries.
Delegates from Bacolod, Bohol, Borongan, Catbalogan, Dumaguete, Iloilo, Tacloban, Northern Samar, Western Samar, Baclaran, Lipa, and Davao arrived on February 16, Thursday. An optional city tour for non-Cebu delegates was scheduled at 8:30 a.m. followed by a welcome Mass officiated by Fr. Nico Perez, CSsR, provincial superior, at the Redemptorist Church at 5:30 p.m.
On February 17, Friday, registration at 8:00 a.m. for all participating devotees will precede the Opening Mass and welcome ceremony. Prof. Dale Mansueto of MSU, Iligan Institute of Technology will speak on “How OMPH Icon Devotion and Novena Began in the Philippines and How it Spread Throughout the Country”. The talk will be followed by a testimony on “Mary in the Life of a Redemptorist Missionary” by Rev. Fr. Jovencio Ma, CSSR, coordinator, Redemptorist Asia-Oceania. An evening prayer and cultural presentation at SM Seaside will cap the day’s activities.
On February 18, Saturday, Rev. Fr. Ramon Echica, SThD, Dean of Studies of the San Carlos Seminary will speak on “Looking Into the Novena Texts”. A testimony on the influence of Mary in the life of a teacher-seminarian will be delivered by Mr. Rey Julo Biliran, CSSR Formand and Sacred Heart School teacher. The historico-anothropological perspective of Marian devotion in the Philippines in general and OMPH devotion in particular will be discussed by Bro. Karl Gaspar, CSSR, PhD and Dean of St. Alphonsus Theological and Mission Institute.
In the afternoon, Rev. Fr. Ino Cueto, CSsR, SThD and Director of the St. Alphonsus Theological and Mission Institute will discuss “Debo(mi)syon” followed by “The Story of Mary in our Family”, a testimony to be given by Mr. Bob and Mrs. Delia Baniel, OMPH devotees and Focolare members. The Closing Mass will be at 5:30 p.m.
Welcoming delegates from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao:
Welcome Dinner for Outside Cebu Delegates