Redemptorist Mission launched for Ifugao Ethnic Group in the Philippines

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On Sunday, the 2nd of July, 2023, an extraordinary event unfolded as Bishop Valentin Cabbigat Dimoc, the Vicar-Apostolic of the Apostolic Vicariate of Bontoc-Lagawe, presided over the Mass, officially inaugurating the Redemptorist mission of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer at Our Lady of Visitation Parish.

This groundbreaking occasion signifies a remarkable milestone for the Manila Vice-Province. It marks the very first time that the members of the Vice-Province have assumed the vital role of guiding a parish. Previously, the Redemptorists in Manila were primarily engaged in missions to shrines, conducting popular missions and other forms of mission.

Building upon the recent orientation of the Vice-Province, the dedicated members of the Loag community reached out to the Bontoc-Lagawe diocese. Their ambitious plans received resounding support and approval from Bishop Valentin Cabbigat Dimoc and the entire diocese. Consequently, the Congregation of the Redemptorists has been entrusted with the spiritual care of Our Lady of Visitation Parish, encompassing 24 chapels gracefully scattered across various Ifugao ethnic villages. Remarkably, two of these communities have been elevated to the esteemed status of quasi-parishes, primed for eventual recognition as official parishes. Embracing this key responsibility are three priests, one brother, and four dedicated lay missionaries within the Redemptorist community in Ifugao.

The promising endeavor to shepherd this parish nestled within the remote and mountainous region holds the potential to create exceedingly favorable conditions for the Congregation’s development, particularly in the face of the most challenging circumstances. Father Iyan, one of the devoted missionaries, expressed, “Our Lady of Visitation Parish, with its numerous small communities dotting Ifugao ethnic villages, yearns for the unwavering presence of the Redemptorists. Our parish management will be laser-focused on spreading the faith through missionary work. We can effortlessly conduct popular missions throughout the diocese from this vantage point.”

Following the Mass, the Chancellor formally announced the appointment letters, designating specific roles for each member of the Redemptorist community in Ifugao. This solemn occasion saw Bishop Valentin Cabbigat Dimoc personally bestowing assignments and empowering each conferee with the necessary authority.

With the dawn of this new mission, a future brimming with both challenges and opportunities unfolds for the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer. The parish warmly welcomed the missionaries in an official ceremony to commemorate this historic event. A community representative presented them with traditional attire befitting the Ifugao people and new names derived from local customs. This heartfelt gesture symbolizes the community’s embrace of the missionaries as honorary members of their tribe. Henceforth, they will forge an unbreakable bond with their mission, diligently spreading the faith among the Ifugao ethnic group as beloved community members.

As this Redemptorist mission commences, we extend our heartfelt prayers and blessings, imploring God to shower His grace upon the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer.

Duc Trung Vu, CSsR 

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