Redemptorists of Cebu Province – OPC Icon Mission

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The Redemptorist Province of Cebu marked something historic as they began this quadrennium. For the first time, the members of the Ordinary Provincial Council (OPC), as a team, headed an Icon Mission at the Our Mother of Perpetual Help Parish, Barangay Holy Redeemer, Butuan City. The mission was also a nostalgic return of the Redemptorist to Butuan City, one of our early communities in Mindanao. The Redemptorist foundation was in 1968, a year after the establishment of the Diocese of Butuan. The parish is now under the care of the Diocese.

The OPC is composed of Fr. Bert Cepe, CSsR (Provincial), Fr. Cruz Manding, CSsR (Vicar Provincial) and Fr. Julius Martin Malacas, CSsR (2nd Consultor). They were joined by our Lay Partners in Mission: Portia Awayan, Evelyn Malon, Milagrosa Villas, Babino Casanaan (lay staff of Davao Community) and Darlene Custodio (Provincial Media). 

The Icon Mission formally opened with a Mass held last September 2, 2023, presided by the Vicar, Fr. Cruz. For three days, the mission team, together with volunteers, went to visit the 29 chapels under the parish. They were divided into three sub-teams and spent the day doing rounds of house and family blessings as well as the blessing of the sick. The day in the mission usually ends with a Mass, which includes a catechesis on the Icon and the call for mission. 

The Mission Team hopes that the 2,387 families who received the Icon in their homes will be encouraged to strive to become “icons” of charity and hope within their community and those whom they will encounter.

The culmination of the Icon was held on September 8, the birthday of the Blessed Mother, presided by the bishop of the Diocese of Butuan – the Most Reverend Cosme Damian Almedilla, D.D. The highlight of the celebration was the enthronement of the Icon of Our Mother of Perpetual Help from Rome. It is a humble gift and gesture of gratitude of the Redemptorist Province of Cebu to the community in Butuan City.

Fr. Eric Sevencruz, CSsR