Vicariate of Palo
- Cathedral of Our Lord's Transfiguration Parish, Palo, Leyte
- Saint Joachim Parish, San Joaquin, Palo Leyte
- Our Lady of Assumption Parish, Tanauan, Leyte
- Saint Michael the Archangel Parish, Tolosa, Leyte
- Saint Francis of Assisi Parish, Pastrana, Leyte
- Saint Anne Parish, Santa Fe, Leyte
- Holy Trinity Parish, Alangalang, Leyte
- St. Peter the Apostle Mission Station(Telegrafo, Tolosa, Leyte)
- St. Elizabeth of Hungary Mission Station(Libertad, Palo, Leyte)
- Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary Parish(Pawing, Palo, Leyte)
- Our Lady of Miraculous Medal Mission Station(Dap-Dap, Alang-alang, Leyte)
- Divine Lord and Saviour Quasi-Parish(Salvador, Tanauan, Leyte)
- St. Vincent Ferrer Parish(Canramos, Tanauan, Leyte)
Vicariate of Tacloban City
- Santo Niño Parish, Tacloban City
- Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish, Tacloban City
- Sacred Heart Parish, Tacloban City
- Saint Vincent Ferrer, Babatngon, Leyte
- Saint Jude Parish, PHHC, Tacloban City
- Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, V&G Subdivision, Tacloban City
- Saint Joseph Parish, San Jose, Tacloban City
- Our Lady of Fatima Parish, Fatima Village, Tacloban City
Vicariate of Burauen
- Immaculate Conception Parish, Burauen, Leyte
- Saint Joseph Parish, Dagami, Leyte
- Saint Paschal Baylon Parish, Guinarona, Dagami, Leyte
- Saint Anthony of Padua Parish, Tabon-Tabon, Leyte
Vicariate of Abuyog
- Saint Francis Xavier Parish, Abuyog, Leyte
- Saint Michael the Archangel Parish, Javier, Leyte
- Saint Isidore the Laborer Parish, MacArthur, Leyte
- Saint Michael the Archangel, Mahaplag Leyte
- Saint Anthony of Padua Parish, Mayorga, Leyte
Vicariate of Dulag
- Our Lady of Refuge Parish, Dulag Leyte
- Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage Parish, La Paz, Leyte
- Saint Roch Parish, Julita, Leyte
- Saint Joseph Parish, San Jose, Dulag, Leyte
Vicariate of Carigara
- Holy Cross Parish, Carigara, Leyte
- Saint Matthew the Apostle Parish, Jaro, Leyte
- Saint Anthony of Padua Parish, Tunga Leyte
- Saint Joseph Parish, Barugo, Leyte
- Holy Name of Jesus Parish, Capoocan, Leyte
- Saint Michael the Archangel Parish, San Miguel, Leyte
Vicariate of Ormoc City
- Saints Peter and Paul Parish, Ormoc City
- Immaculate Conception Parish, Ipil, Ormoc City
- Mother of the Redeemer Parish, Cogon, Ormoc City
- San Lorenzo Ruiz de Manila Parish, Simangan, Ormoc City
- Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, Valencia, Ormoc City
- Saint Isidore the Laborer Parish, Mérida, Leyte
- Saint James the Apostle Parish, Albuera, Leyte
- Holy Family Parish, Kananga, Leyte
Vicariate of Palompon
- Saint Francis Xavier Parish, Palompon, Leyte
- Holy Infant Jesus Parish, Palompon, Leyte
- Saint Joseph the Worker Parish, Cantuhaon, Palompon, Leyte
- Holy Infant Jesus Parish, Villaba, Leyte
- Saint Anthony of Padua Parish, Matag-ob, Leyte
- Holy Spirit Chaplaincy, LIDE, Isabel, Leyte
SAINT FRANCIS XAVIER PARISH
PATRON SAINT: St. Francis Xavier
FEAST DAY: AUGUST 29
VICARIATE OF: ABUYOG
Sometime in the year 1655 the Jesuit Missionaries set forth to Abuyog with the mission to Christianize the people. Abuyog was then a vast swampy place area extending up to taragona (now MacArthur), Bugho (now Javier) and Mahaplag.
For quite a time, Abuyog was considered as a missionary area. But with the growth of Christian converts, the town was eventually created into a parish in 1716. The parish was named after the famous “Apostle of the Indies”, St. Francis Xavier, who, according to tradition happened to visit Abuyog in one of his missionary journeys.
In 1768 the Augustinian Friars, Rev. Fr. Jose Herrera and Rev. Fr. Cipriano Barbasan, came and took over the Parish. The people of this area according to Rev. Fr. Agustin Maria de Castro, were very rich, though extremely belligerent that they defied the moros.
Before it was finally handed to the Diocese, the Franciscan Order took over the parish sometime in 1884 with Rev. Fr. Santiago Nalunda as the first Franciscan parish priest.
The parish organization include: BCC-FLA, Kauswagan san Kristohanong katilingban, Catechetical Program and Charismatic Renewal.
TRANSFIGURATION OF LORD PARISH
Patron Saint: Transfiguration of our Lord
Feast Day: August 6
Vicariate of; Palo
The picturesque town of Palo is located twelve kilometers of from the city of Tacloban. It was twice Leyte’s Capital and it has full of traditions. Being the center of Catholicism, and the seat of the archdiocese it is where the archbishop resides.
The Jesuits Fathers were the founders of the parish, Palo. Records show it that they came in 1595 and immediately constructed a church. The first church was inaugurated in 1598, the forerunner of the present Palo Cathedral of Transfiguration. In 1768, when the Jesuits were ordered to leave the Philippines, the Augustinian friars took over the parish. In 1843 the Franciscans took over the parish up to the outbreak of the Philippine revolution against Spain in 1898. The church was repaired by, Fr. Agustin de Consuegra, who built the twin towers in 1850; continued by Fr. Pantaleon de la Fuente, who finish the twin towers and installed the work on façade in 1896. The church was converted into a provincial Capitol by Col. Ambrocio Mojica, the provincial governor, from February 1898- March 1900. It also housed the first seminary of Palo in 1925. The church was proclaimed a cathedral on March 25, 1938 with Msgr. Manuel Mascarinas as the first bishop. It was also used as hospital by the American forces of Liberation from October 1944 up to March 1945. It was made the seat of archdiocese on December 1982 with Msgr. Cipriano Urgel as the first archbishop.
With the archdiocesan Vision in view, the pastoral thrust of the parish at present is “Building Christians communities through the Neo-catechumenate Movement, Family Life Apostolate, Lay Ministers, and other parish programs.”
Parish Programs: Legion of Mary, Catechetical, Instruction, Lay Ministers, Catholic Women’s League, Children of Mary, Knights of Columbus,
Catholic Institution in the parish: St. Mary of Palo Academy- runs by RVM Sisters.
Religious congregations in the parish: Franciscan Handmaid of the Lord, Religious of the Virgin Mary, Oblates of Notre Dame Sisters.
HOLY TRINITY PARISH
Patron Saint: Holy Trinity
Feast day: June 19
The founding of the church of Alang-alang dates back to the early years of Christianization of Leyte at about 1595. By the end of the 16th century the Jesuit missionaries made Alang-alang the center of their missionary activities in the eastern part part of the island. In 1768, the town was entrusted to the care of the Augustinian fathers. The in 1843, it was again ceded to the Franciscan missionaries. With then over 2,400 souls to care for, it was finally made into a parish in January 3, 1852 with Fr. Tiburcio Morales as its first parish priest progressed both spiritually and physically.
SAINT JAMES THE APOSTLE PARISH
Patron Saint: St. James the Apostles
feast day: July 25
Vicariate of: Ormoc
The town of Albuera lies on the western part of Leyte. It was in 1862 when settlement began to appear in the areas between south of Ormoc down towards the town of Baybay. A Spanish priest who was also the parish pastor of Pitaw, Cebu at that time was given the honor of christening the town during its inauguration in 1918. The town officials carried the name of “Albuera” in their records. And because the natives of the town always reffered to the municipality as “Albuera”, prominent citizens petitioned to have the name change officially. The request was granted and the name remained to this date.
The growing community was then under the parish of Ormoc. Father Catalino Cabada, parish priest of Ormoc (1849-67) came to organize the said community. They had built the church near the shore. Surprise came to Fr. Cabada during his next visit when he saw that the church that the church was already erected. It was constructed out of coconut trunks as foundations, cogon grass as roofing’s and bamboo splits as walling’s.
Father leoncio Faelnar, the first parish priest, served for 25 years. With his untiring endeavor to fortify the community, he organized the parish of Albuera extending from Binulho to Tinag-an. He was then responsible for the erection of the church which was completed by Fr. Casimiro Abeto. This stood for many years but was destroyed during World War II. Now stands in its place a new and beautiful church edifice which was made possible by the beloved and energetic parish priest Fr. Frumencio Cainglet from Valencia, Bohol. Also, there stands a convent, the same edifice as a product of Fr. Cainglet’s indefatigability as a church builder. His remains now lies past a few steps away from the entrance of the church.
With the unremitting aid of the parishioners, Msgr. Adan Apostol has improved the vicinity of the church and fenced the cemetery. Leading all his flock with pastoral solicitude Msgr. Adan looks forward to organizing some religious associations which will enhance a spirit of brotherhood among the parishioners.
SAINT VINCENT FERRER PARISH
Patron Saint: St. Vincent Ferrer
Feast Day: Every Second Saturday of May
Vicariate of: Tacloban
Babatngon, by history, was first inhabited by townfolks of Carigara, Catbalogan (Samar) and migrants from bohol. It is believed that the boholanos first discovered the fertile soils of Babatngon by mere accident that time provide. As traders going to far away places, these natives were stranded in the present site of Babatngon because of an intense wind that was hoisting over the place. The whole place was covered with thick forest. Due to a great need of sustenance, Boholanos searched over the entire area and luckily hunted many games. Amazed by the by the abundant catch, they relayed messages to their kinsmen about the favorable hunting ground. Hence, the natives from bohol started to move over the settlements in due need for food and livelihood.
The term ”Babatngon” is a derivative from “butong” which the early settlers utilized in hunting for wild games. The early Spaniards called the town “Babagnon” but the inhabitants altered it to Babatngon for easier diction.
Among the residents from Catbalogan, Samar, a certain Vicente Villamor donated an image of St. Vincent Ferrer and an image of the holy child. Saint Vincent was revered as the patron saint of the aforementioned municipality. The Spanish priest Fr. Vicente Millan erected a chapel at Bejuco, a district in the town.
The conquistadores’ main concern was religion, thus, they spread the Gospel to the whole municipality. Fr. Juan Quimbo constructed the first church structure. Events transpired in the walls of the community until the friars handed over the parish to the secular priest.
According to the tales of old, the image of St. Vincent Ferrer had been miraculously disappearing from where it was displayed originally. Some would relate of how they would hear a whistling sound within the church considered to be a perch from their venerated saint. Until they found out, through the folk customs of interpreting, that their patron wanted a chapel to be erected in his honor. Thus, a church was constructed beside the tree from where it was found after a day or two of praeternatural vanishing.
The early priests remembered for their invalueble contributions are: Fr. Masecampo who established the first “campo santo” which has lived to the present; Fr. F. Langteco who reconstructed the church after it was destroyed by typhoons; Fr. A. Colasito who constructed the belfry; Fr. F. Rostata who initiated the reconstruction of the church after it was ruined during world war II; and finally, Fr. A. Badana for the renovation of the church.
SAINT JOSEPH PARISH
Patron Saint: saint Joseph
Feast Day: May 19
Vicariate of: Carigara
Resting between the Canumantag and Kabarasan rivers in the northern tip of Leyte lies a town called Barugo. The place was named by its leader and founder “kasaduk” after a long tree which grew near the brook called “Balugo”. Later the Spaniards changed the letter L to R to conform with the Spanish pronunciation, hence, its present name,”Barugo”.
According to historical records, Barugo was already a settlement before the Spaniards came. In 1636, when the Spanish expeditionary force with a priest visited Balugo, kasaduk, then its leader, and the Spanish commander had a blood compact as a sign of truce and lasting friendship. This started a series of visits by the Spaniards which eventually paved the way for the Christianization of the place. But it was only around 1800’s that barugo was established a parish. In 1833, a church was built but an earthquake in 1947 destroyed it resulting in the construction of a new belfry.
The parish of Barugo was served by different religious orders. Listed in the order of their service were the Jesuits, Augustinians, and the Franciscans. It has for its first secular parish priest the person of Fr. Ignacio Mora who served the parish from 1901-1923, a span of 22 years.
At present, the pastoral thrust of the parish is to Christianize the community through evangelization and the sacraments. Its parish-related programs and activities include: BCC-FLA, Legion Apostolate, and the Catechetical Apostolate.
IMMACULATE CONCEPTION PARISH
Patron saint: Immaculate Conception
Feast day: December 8
Vicariate of: Burauen
In September 1595, the Jesuit friars, Fr. Pedro Chirino, a Spaniard, and Fr. Gaspar Periera, a Portuguese, arrived in Burauen and organized a community from scattered families in the settlement. With the formation of the community followed the introduction of the Christian faith. The first church to be constructed was situated at the junction of Malitbog and Daguitan and was purely made of bamboos and nipas.
In the same year the Society of Jesus used the community as their base in the Christianization of the central part of Leyte.
From Buraburon, as the settlement was formerly called, the settlers were told by the Jesuit missionaries to transfer to “armason” (meaning a trading place, at the same a granary) to facilitate their “ Reduccion de Visita”. From sitio armasen they transferred to malabca. Due to the disturbances cause by the moro marauders, the settlement was transferred to “Laguiwan” from the word” Kalaguiwan” (meaning refuge). After Laguiwan they transferred to the plains of Tambuko, then finally to “Cota”. It was in the cota that the first concrete church to be ever had in burauen was built. It was at this time that Burauen was made capital of eastern Leyte for the Ecclesiastical Administration of the area from the year 1637 up to 1648. With floods besetting Cota the community was eventually relocated in the elevated northern part of the town proper today.
From this period the development of the town was mostly centered on agriculture and on the propagation of the Catholic faith and doctrines. (Doctrina Cristiana)
In 1768, the Jesuit was expelled from the Philippines and the Bishop of Cebu sent the Augustinians to administer the faith of the people. On June 3, 1804, the parish was placed under the protection of the Immaculate Conception of Mary through the efforts of Fr. Pedro Gomez.
In 1858, Fr. Francisco Lopez built a bigger church and a more spacious convent but eventually was destroyed during the World War II. It later became the project of Fr. Sergio Osmena to rebuild the parish convent. The church built by Fr. Francisco Lopez was 186 feet in length and 48 feet in width was at that time considered as one of the biggest churches in Leyte.
In 1904 up to 1924, Fr. Mateo Astorga became its parish priest. He was said to be temperamental, hot-headed and easily susceptible to violent actions. It was in his time that other religious sects arrived in Burauen. These religious sects found ardent supporters in the persons of Casimiro Pilpa and Mariano Cordero. The former spearheaded the Presbyterian Church activities in burauen and the latter; an ex-semenarian invited the Aglipayan church. These two individuals were once devout catholics but due an unsetteled argument with Fr. Mateo Astorga, they changed their faith and henceforth waged a constant rivalry with Fr. Mateo Astorga.
In 1948, the parish priest of Burauen, Fr. Eufrocino Abala, undertook the reconstruction of the church which was destroyed by the war. It was during the term of Fr. Sergio Osmena that the undergoing construction of the church was finished.
In 1956, the first mass on the newly constructed church was held with Fr. Sergio Osmena as celebrant. But it was during incumbency of Msgr. Estanislao Abarca in 1970 that the church construction project was completed.
Concurrently, the parish priest of Burauen is spearheading the project for the renovation of their church. Fr. Severino Delantar and his assistant Fr. Leonardo Yu are undertaking this mammoth task, with the strong support of the pious and faithful burawanons.
The present large convent is attributed to the efforts made by Fr. Enrque Ubaldo and energetic parishioners of burauen.
Religious organizations: Catholic Womens Legue; Holy Name society; Legion of Mary; Lay Ministers; Youth Catholic Organization; Basic Ecclesial Community; Knights of Columbus.
SAINT JOSEPH THE WORKER PARISH
CANTUHA-ON, PALOMPON, LEYTE
PATRON SAINT: St. Joseph the worker
Vicariate of: Palompon
Cantuha-on existed even before the Spaniards came. Few temporary lean-to dwellings were found with a handful of inhabitants. When some Spaniards came, they happened to pass by Mag-anahaw point and saw cottages along the seashore. At that time, a school of fish named “uhawon” surfaced and much to their surprise there were so many of them. One of the Spaniards asked about the name of the place and the native boatman that he was inquiring about the fish. So he answered, “uhawon”. From that time on they called the place “Uhawon” , but later renamed it to Canta-uhawon.
The role of the church had always been important in the lives of people, especially in this place. Forming of Basic Ecclesial Communities to get people has closer relationship to each other and eventually to God. The following are some of the parish programs which the parishioners participate actively: Legion of Mary: Presidium of our lady of good council Jr.; Presidium Balay nga Bulawan; Cofradia de San Jose ; Mother of Perpetual help Community; Cofradia de Sagrado Corazon; Sto. Nino Confraternity and the charismatic Movement.
A gigantic task is presently being undertaken by the dynamic Father Jessie Sentina, along with the help of Msgr. Quianzon, the parish priest of palompon, and the Cantuha-on parishioners: the construction of a permanent church and rectory.
HOLY CHILD PARISH
Patron Saint: Sto. Nino
Feast Day: June 5
Vicariate of: Carigara
There is no written account of the early beginnings of the town of Capoocan, more so of the parish. However, there is a common knowledge among the old folks that the place, which is now called, “Capoocan” was settled by people earlier than Carigara. They were aetas, who were driven by the Malays into the mountains. Consequently, the Malays become the next settlers of the place. According to these folks, Capoocan was already a town under the Spaniards but because of the meager income of the municipality, it was place under the bigger town of Carigara. Even the administration of the Church followed this procedure. Earlier priests were assigned to take care of the place and people, but after the experience of financial hardships, priest were pulled out and the church was served by priest from Carigara.
The exact date of the Canonical Erection of Capoocan as a Parish is not known. But it was established as a town in 1918 under the American administration. However, taking cue from the parish records, it could be ascertained that as early as 1894 priests were already assigned to Capoocan. The first priest assigned to shepherd the people was Fr. Ulpiano Tendero. Since then, 23 others were entrusted the care of the people.
TRIUMPH OF THE HOLY CROSS PARISH
Feast Day: july 16
Vicariate of: Carigara
The name of town, Carigara, according to its legend, comes from its founding chieftain- “Gara”. Hence Carigara was formerly called “Kangara” meaning “that of Gara”. With the colonization of the archipelago by the Spaniards, “Kangara” was changed to Carigara and has retained this name to the present.
Christianization of the town by the Spaniards began with the coming of the Augustinian missionaries in 1580. However, it was only at the arrival of the Jesuit missionaries that the town was established as a the town their permanent center in their missionary activities in eastern visayas. The date of Fr. Chirino’s arrival is commemorated annually in the parish town fiesta.
The exact date of the canonical erection of the parish is not certain. However, local historians record Rev. Fr. Joseph Ambrosio as the first known parish priest dating back to the year 1808. Parish records previous to 1840 must have been lost or destroyed during the Second World War for the baptismal records in the parish begins with book no. 5 dating back to May 1840. With Rev. Fr. Joseph Ambrocio up to the present, twenty two parish priests, thirteen “interinos” and one hundred twenty coadjutors have served the parish of Carigara.
The titular feast of the parish, i.e., Triumph of the Holy cross, seems not the original Patron Saints. According to Mr. Eduardo Makabenta Sr., one of Leyte’s famous historians, the town’s patron Saints used to be Saints Peter and Paul. However, during one of the moro raids in the town, the people saw in the air thick dark clouds in the form of a cross. For this unusual occurrence, people attributed their success in warding off the Moro raiders to the Holy Cross. After this event, the people then decided to adopt the Holy Cross as the object of their devotion in the yearly town fiesta celebration.
At present, with the archdiocesan vision in view, the pastoral thrust of the parish is to upgrade the liturgical life of the faithful especially those in the barrios through the BCCF-KRISKA, and Sunday Bible Services. Likewise, its present concentration is the intensification of the faith of its parishioners, through its parish-related activities and programs, such as the parish cooperative Credit Union, Mother Butlers Guild, Lay Ministry, Knights of Columbus, Catholic Women’s League and the different cofradias. Finally, together with the holy cross academy, a Catholic institution run by the OSF sisters, the parish also aims to inculcate Christian values into the lives of the Laity.
MOTHER OF THE REDEEMER PARISH
COGON, ORMOC CITY
Patron Saint: Our Lady of Fatima
Feast Day: May 13
Vicariate of: Ormoc
Cogon is one of the many flourishing districts in Ormoc City. Legend has it that the name was derived from a great vegetation of “Cogon” grass which used to grow widely in the area. This wild growth represented beauty and majesty to the settlers and into its significance were woven stories of its past, sometimes charming and ghostly, thus, “Cogon” became the popular name of the place.
In 1963, Msgr. Francisco Santiago then parish priest of Sts. Peter and Paul Community initiated the construction of a chapel in Cogon from a lot donated by Sister Amalia Aviles. His successor Msgr. Quianzon (1971-1981) continued and materialized the project. He officiated the blessing ceremony of the laying of the cornerstone on October 13, 1972. Very desirous to continue with the construction, he negotiated with Dona Marta Rivilla, the owner of OSCO-Sugar, to shoulder the cost of labor and materials. And with the selfless assistance of the civic-minded of Ormoc, the Fatima Church was completed. May 13, 1976 marked the formal inauguration of our lady of Fatima Shrine. This serves as a landmark of Cogon. The lifesized image of Virgin Mary at the altar was made of santol tree donated by Feliciano Cedano and was designed by a sculptor in Cebu.
On September 30, 1987, Msgr. Quianzon undertook the construction of a permanent chapel right on the place where the original bamboo chapel at the side entrance of the shrine once stood. With the financial aid of Mrs. Encarnacion Capahi, the work was immediately started and was completed over a short period of time. The blessing ceremony of the chapel by Archbishop of Palo, Cipriano V. Urgel, D.D. was done on October 13, 1976 which coincided with the date and time of the laying of cornerstone and the finishing of the chapel. Heaving a sigh of success, Msgr. Quianzon launched again doggedly on the second phase of his project the construction of the convent adjoining the church. The convent has complete facilities, and may be used even for live-in seminars with 100-200 persons attending.
On july 6, 1981, Msgr. Quianzon was relieved by Msgr. Pastor Cotiangco, Jr., the present curate of Sts. Peter and Paul Parish. Four years later and months before the golden anniversary of the parish, the most Reverend Archbishop of Palo Cipriano V. Urgel, D.D. announced the creation of a new parish in Ormoc City. Monsignor Cotiangco proposed that a new parish be named the holy redeemer parish which at the moment was the Fatima church.
On January 17, 1985, the new parish, the Mother of the Redeemer, was formally inaugurated and the new and first parish priest was installed, the Reverend Father Wilfredo “willy” V. Alejan. In so short of time, he has repaired and renovated the parish rectory. There is the on-going construction project of sacristy, remodeling of the altar and the belfry.
Father Willy has organized the Cogon Parish Pastoral Council and other religious organizations all over the different barangays within the parish territory. There are a lot of parishioners of Cogon and in Ormoc City and even abroad who are involved financially and spiritually in the construction of Fatima shrine. God knows it.
At present, fervent and lasting devotion to our Lady of Fatima is the apostolate of the parish. The over dynamic parish priest encourages the Family Rosary for peace and unity among families and nations and for national reconciliation.
SAINT JOSEPH PARISH
Patron Saint: St. Joseph
Feast Day: May 27
Vicariate of: Dagami
Sometimes in 1600’s, the missionaries of the Society of Jesus arrived in Dagami. The natives began to build their homes around the vicinity of the church and the “Convento”. The first Church in Dagami was made of wood, stone and nipa materials constructed at the end of one of the two crossroads that bisected three parallel roads- the beginnings of the town. The church and the whole poblacion were placed under the patronage of St. Joseph.
The first priest who took charge of Dagami was Fathers Pedro Chirino, a Spaniard, Mateo Sanchez, Ignacio de Acebedo, and Francisco Luzon. Fr. Pedro Chirino became the rector of Dagami in 1613 he was kidnapped by the moros and was later on ransomed by a moro chieftain who was a friend of the mayor of Cebu, Don Alonzo de Pedrosa. He died in Cavite on May 3, 1643.
Fr. Mateo de Plascencia, who arrived in the islands in 1595, was called, “Varon Apostolico”. He wrote a visayan dictionary, and one time was believed to have multiplied bread to the edification of the natives. In 1711, Fr. Jose de Velasco, the Jesuit provincial, gave Father Mateo the title of “Venerable”.
In 1655, the Jesuits made Dagami the central residence of the society in the visayas. However, when the magnificent church which was constructed by Fr. Sabrino Manrique de Lara was burned, the barrio of Palo was made the center for the propagation of faith.
The Jesuits took charge of the parish until 1768. In 1769, the Augustinian came. The first Augustinian priests were fathers Jose Herrera and Cipriano Barbasa. The reconstruction of the church schools and the government building were credited to them. The road connecting Dagami and Tanauan was attributed to the Augustinian Fathers Francisco de Paula Marquez and Francisco Roxas. It was during this period that Dagami for a time became the capital of Leyte.
When the Augustinian left Dagami in 1843, the Franciscans took over the administration of parish. They remained in Dagami until September 1847.
In 1896, by the end of Spanish regime, the Franciscans, who were all Spaniards, had to leave and the discern clergy took over.
When the town of Dagami was razed down by fire during the Japanese occupation, all parish records were burned and nothing was ever retrieved from them.
It was only after the war when Dagami started to pick herself up. In 1949, Father Antonio Mate, the incumbent parish priest, set up a parochial school and named it St. Joseph Academy. He became its first School Director. The school still exists under the name, St. Joseph High School.
The following are the religious organizations of the parish and movements: Catholic Women’s League Knights of Columbus; Legion of Mary; Columbian Squires; Family Life Apostolate; Confraternity of Mary Immaculate; Parish Pastoral Council; Catechumenate; Confraternity of the Miraculous Medal and Squirettes.
OUR LADY OF REFUGE PARISH
Patron Saint: Our Lady of Refuge of Sinners
Feast day: September 8
Vicariate of: Dulag
Dulag was one of the three parishes founded by the Jesuit Fathers. The first Jesuit Missionaries arrived in dulag on September, 1955. The missionaries, Fr. Alonzo de Humanes, Fr. Juan Del Campo, first coaxed the natives to settle within the boundaries of the sitio instead of living far from each other.
The construction of a parochial chapel virtually was the beginning of the establishment of the church of Dulag it served as the first mission center in Leyte embracing wide territories. In the 1700’s, the Jesuits initiated the concrete construction of the church.
The Augustinians took over in 1768. Fr. Cipriano Barbasan is especially remembered for the expansion and remodeling of the church.
In 1843, the first Franciscan Parish Priest arrived in Dulag. Under the direction of Fr. Francisco Rosas, the first road to Abuyog was constructed.
The once concrete, imposing, well-design Church typical of Spanish architecture is well remembered for its magnificent altar carvings and long and improved pillars. Its inner appearance depicted majesty with saintly figures in the ceiling. This strong, facile and materialistic style exudes a feeling of piety and mysticism. Today the church stands as witness to Dulags Christianization by Spain.
The different organizations existing in the parish are listed as follows: CWL (Catholic Womens League); Legion of Mary; TMCHP (Targeted Maternal and Child Health Program); CATECHETICS; DPYO (Dulag Parish Youth Organization); YSG (Young Shepherd of God); PYC (Parish Youth Choir); KA (Knights of the Altar); Apostles Circle.
SAN PASCUAL BAYLON PARISH
GUINARONA, DAGAMI, LEYTE
Patron Saint: San Pascual Baylon
Vicariate of: Dagami
Late in the 18th century the Spanish conquistadores, in an effort to link settlements and spread Christianity, built roads and bridges crossing the interior towns of the province. “Karwahes” were then used as the only means of transportation. These trips by “Karwahe” were by no means easy nor convenient for the travelers. They were forced to stop at a place between trips for the animals to rest and the passengers to place their morals. The place was the beautiful settlement of Guinarona.
Founded in 1872, this progressive community once belonged to Burauen, but Dagami had a former claim on it. In the dispute that followed over the boundary of this barrio was ceded to Dagami, thereby getting its name “Guina-aro-na” (which literally means “has been asked”) in a dialect or simply Guinarona.
During the entire Spanish period and half of the 20th century Guinarona was dependent to Dagami in its socio-economic, political and religios needs. The Burauen and Dagami parish respectevly provided the spiritual needs of Guinarona until its creation as a parish. In 1967, guinarona became a parish and a new church was built through the efforts of Msgr. Esteban Justimbaste, himself a native of Guinarona .
He undertook the task providing its own church for two reasons: First he believe that the barrio was ready enough to manage its own church and the second reason was to put a stop to the developing controversy regarding private worship practiced by some of the barrio residents. The practice was held at a certain private house with the image of San Pascual Baylon being venerated.
The question on private worship resulted to fights among its native residents. With this ensuing conduct the provincial government decided to take a hand over the issue, and placed the image in the provincial capitol in Tacloban. The people flocked to the capitol to venerate the saint which at that period was very popular. With the efforts of Msgr. Esteban Justembaste the image was finally transferred to its final home. The newly erected church in Guinarona and the parish was officially put under the protection of San Pascual Baylon. The parish became a favorite place for pilgrims. Owing to the reports of miracles performed by the saint, people coming from far off places and as well as from neighboring towns flocked to the parish. The first parish priest was Fr. Marcial A. Dira.
In 1983 during the term of Fr. Vicente Purgatorio, an Angelicum building was built in the parish. The project was founded by the archdiocesan chancery and the only existing of its kind in the whole vicariate VIII.
In june 1985 under the terms of Fr. Victor Pore the angelecum building became operational. The building consist of two rooms each having capacity of 15. The project acts as a preparatory stage in the education of young boys and girls with emphasis in writing, recognition of letters, and prayers. The projects also serve as a catechetical preparation for the young children in the parish. The project has been a complete success and is on its fourth year of existence.
A much newer project is being undertaken by the parish under the initiative of the incumbent parish priest, Fr. Victor Pore. The church which was built under Msgr. Justembaste is undergoing a major reconstruction and repair. The funds used for the project comes from some generous donors and various solicitations.
HOLY CHILD PARISH
Patron Saint: Holy Child
Vicariate of: Palompon
Isabel metamorphosed from a sleepy town into a bustling and growing center of Commerce and Industry, a progressive town with the establishment of Philippine Associated Smelter and Refining Corporation, Philippine Phosphate Fertilizer Corporation and Lepanto Consolidated. Isabel now encompasses 23 barangays with the majority of the populace, Roman Catholics.
To support this thrust certain parish – related programs and activities have come into existence. These are BCC-FA; Catholic Charismatic Renewal; Lay Minister Formation; Catholic Faith Defenders Formation; Legion of Mary; Our of Lady of Fatima Crusaders.
Vicariate of: Palompon
The town of Isabel had grown a lot through the years. With the passage of time, there brought forth an increase, too, in the population, therefore, that means a wider “flock” of souls. A need for a new parish came up to cater to the spiritual needs of a segment of people in the town.
The newly established comprises the employees and dependents of PASAR, PHILPHOS, LEPANTO and other corporation which are presently in the area.
Centering on the spiritual development of hi s chaplaincy has organized the following programs: Charismatic Renewal, Lay Minister Formation, Recollection, Bible Study Class, Rosary Crusaders, Catechetical Programs and others.
ST. MATHEW PARISH
Vicariate of: Carigara
Jaro sprung into existence as a result of the unity of the Christians to ward of Moro raiders. This happened due to the continuing struggle of Christianity and the Mohammedanism in the Philippines. Two of the leading Moro leaders were Datus Bruian and Sirungan. They came to Visayas leading a fleet of colorful vintas plundering and raging towns to the ground and killing its inhabitants. As a reaction, the people united. Thus, a new settlement came about.
Two leading defenders of Jaro were Bonsilao of Ormoc and Sinirungan of Dagami. They decided to settle in a centrally located place wherein they could give immediate aid to his neighboring inhabitants. A place was soon found-atop a hill overlooking the place of Balugo (Barugo) and Kangara (Carigara). This was where the Parochial Church of Jaro was built.
Legendary background of the town has been in the most part connected with the Cabayongan River, which served as a means of trade and expansion. It was once called “salug” because of its proximate location to the Cabayongan River. Later, it came to be called, “visita” because of the periodic baptismal visit regularly made by the priest from Barugo. This became its second name. It became a municipality in 1810.
The exact date of the Canonical Erection of Jaro as a Parish could not be ascertained. However, Parish register records Fr. Licerio Enriquez, who served from 1851-1863, as its first parish priest.
At present the parish has a catholic institution, a school, Notre Dame. The parish related activities and programs include: Lay Ministers Formation, Catechetic, and Sunday Program School in Children.
SAINT MICHEAL ARCHANGEL
Patron Saint: St Micheal Archangel
Feast day: May 28
Vicariate of: Abuyog
When Javier became an independent town in 1964, it was eventually created into parish in honor of St. Michael Archangel with Rev. Fr. Bonifacio Salvan, as the parish priest.
But actually, the efforts to teach the Christian faith in the locality dates back as early as the latter part of the nineteenth century. Barrio Bugho, as it was formally called, had been under Abuyog parish for a quite long time. A priest would usually come to visit the place to say mass and to administer the sacraments.
It was Rev. Fr. Bonifacio Salvana who started the construction of the church on the lot donated by the Javier family. But due to lack of funds the construction was stopped. The parish priest that followed, facing the same proble, discontinued the construction and improved the old chapel instead. With the efforts of Rev. Albert Opiniano, the incumbent pastor, the parish has new rectory and the parish church is undergoing a construction.
The parish programs include: Lay Minister; Charismatic; Kauswagan; Family Life Apostolate; and Catechism.
SAN ROQUE PARISH
Patron Saint: San Roche
Feast Day: August 12
Vicariate of: Dulag
The making of the parish of Julita goes with its foundation as a municipality. Formerly, Julita was a barrio of Burauen, hence, under the parish of Burauen. The parish priest of Burauen took care of the spiritual needs of the people. When Julita was made into a municipality, the parish priest of Burauen would still contenue to serve the spiritual needs of people. In 1966, the town was finally made into a parish independent from the parish of Burauen.
HOLY FAMILY PARISH
Patron Saint: Holy Family
Feast Day: December 12
Vicariate of: Ormoc
Kananga was formerly one of the many barrios of the parish of Valencia, Ormoc City. Valencia was the biggest district in Ormoc, but it was already a thriving parish independent from the mother parish of Ormoc City.
In 1952, Kananga was created as an independent municipality under the aegis of then Congressman Domingo Veloso of Baybay. During the incumbency of the late Mayor Feliciano Larrazabal, a popular petition was sent to Bishop Lino Gonzaga to have Kananga created as an independent parish.
Due to scarcity of priest, Kananga was declared a mission territory with a visitor priest from Samar, Fr. Trifon Garduco, as a missionary pastor.
Ultimately, Kananga was formally declared a juridical parish in June 9, 1959 with father Manuel Colasito as its first parish priest.
At present, the parishioners are urged to continue the “Rosary Crusade for Peace”- the present apostolate of the parish –for the increase of devotion to the holy rosary in homes, poblacion and barrios year round.
The devotion to the holy family is desired upon every individual household members to nurture in their lives the spirit of love concretize in proper parental guidance and care, and in the same manner, to make children grow to become responsible youth.
They are to find example in the holy family at Nazareth, where joy, simplicity, love of God and neighbor are worth emulating.
OUR LADY OF PEACE AND GOOD VOYAGE PARISH
LA PAZ, LEYTE
Patron Saint: OUR LADY OF PEACE AND GOOD VOYAGE
Feast Day: April 28
Vicariate of: Dulag
La Paz, formerly called, “Kabadiangan” was a sitio under the jurisdiction of Burauen. It was called kabadiangan because along its river, there grew many plants called, “Badiang”.
Before 1866 a chapel was built in the sitio. The chapel was called “rosaryohan”. Spanish missionaries visited this place to teach the Christian doctrines to the natives. However, the people had to go to Dulag during the holy week and other days of obligation to attend mass.
It was told that there was couple in that place, who had been childless for nine years. They prayed hard answered. One time, the wife dreamt of Our Lady of Peace (Neustra Senora de la Paz y Buen Viaje). Few months later the wife bore a child. True to their promise the couple secured an image of Our Lady of Peace. When the parish priest of burauen heard of the incedent, he ordered that the image be brought to his church immediately. But the people of Kabadiangan had learned to love the image which they believed to be miraculous. Upon the order of the Burauen parish priest, the image was brought to the church but after a week the image disappeared. On the following day, inside the chapel at Kabadiangan the image was found standing at the very same spot where it was placed before it was given to the parish of Burauen.
In 1908, the first celebration in honor of the Neustra senora de la Paz y Buen Viaje was held.
In 1923, it was formally made as a parish, that is, independent from Burauen.
The following are the Parish Cofradias: Cof. de San Jose , Kanunay nga Panabang, Medalla Milagrosa, Virgen de la Paz, San Antonio de Padua, Lourdes, del Carmen, del Rosario, Sgdo. Corazon de Jesus, Nazareno, Purisima Concepcion, Santo Nino, The Catholic Women’s League, (CWL), and Parish Youth Organization are also existing in the parish.
SAINT ISIDORE PARISH
Patron Saint: St. Isidore
Feast Day:May 28
Vicariate of Abuyog
In the latter part of the 19th century, MacArthur sprouted into a flourishing village appropriately called, “Bagacay” meaning, “Bamboo”, because of the abundance of the said shrub in the locality. Eventually, the place became a renewed missionary area of the neighboring towns like Abuyog, Dulag, Burauen, Tanauan, and Tolosa. Abuyog, being the mother town, became the sole caretaker of the Christian Converts in the locality. A priest would usually come to say mass and administer the sacraments. In turn, the people went to Abuyog to observe the holy days of obligation, like Holy Week and other church celebrations. It was the parish priest of Abuyog, Rev. Fr. Bernardo Tapuyol, who changed “Bagacay” into “Taragona” in honor of his native city in Spain. The name was to stay through until it was changed to MacArthur in honor of the “Great Liberator”.
In 1948 it was erected into a parish in honor of St. Isidore. From then on, a priest would be assigned there to handle the parish.
SAINT MICHAEL ARCHANGEL PARISH
Patron Saint: St. Michael Archangel
Feast Day: September 29
Vicariate of: Abuyog
The town of Mahaplag is situated in a valley between mountain ranges which have tributary rivers where the main outlet to Abuyog is a very narrow enhancement of solid rocks and a hundred meters high on both banks.
The town was named after Mahaplag River on account of their dependency on it. The word is an acronym of two dialect words namely; “Mahapla” meaning destruction or failure and “Kaplag” meaning success. The people believed that failure or success of their livelihood depended on this river. If the weather was bad, the rushing flood waters would wash away every plant resulting to no harvest at all bringing to the people misery. But when the water would recede, it would bring them fertile soil giving them good harvest and thus bring happiness and contentment to the people.
The early Christian beginning of the place is uncertain. But most probably the people received Christianity through its neighboring towns like Abuyog and Baybay. The former, being its mother town, had been the sole caretaker of the faithful locality.
It was created into a parish in1957 in honor of St. Michael Archangel subsequently upon its creation as an independent town independent town from Abuyog.
With the Archdiocesan vision in view, the parish is establishing and promoting the Basic Ecclesial Community in all Barangay of the town. In these BEC the people meet regularly under their leader who is an unordained minister, to express their faith in common worship to study their faith and discern from faith on their life problems, and to respond also in faith to these problems as a community and in the community.
There is also the newly established credit union which is targeted to become later on the financing aim of the small ecclesial community.
ST. ANTHONY OF PADUA PARISH
Patron Saint: St. Anthony of Padua
Feast Day: June 14
Vicariate of: Dulag
Originally, Mayorga was a barrio under the municipality of Dulag. The whole place was called, “Mallorca”, reputedly derived from the name of a Spanish traveler who visited the place and stayed for awhile. According to a different tradition, the name was suggested by Fr. Victoriano Sela, a Franciscan friar and the parish of Dulag at that time. Whether natural evolution and popular usage corrupted the name “Mallorca” into the present “Mayorga”, or whether the transformation was sanctioned by official decree motivated by phonetic convenience is not known. Nevertheless, the name, “Mallorca” has evolved into its present name.
From being a barrio belonging to the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the parish of Dulag, Mayorga became a parish in 1967.
Some early parish-related activities included the construction of a “capilla” in a lot which is north of the present church plaza. Later, a bigger church was built on the same spot.
The parish of Mayorga, under the patronage of St. Anthony of Padua, comprises the town proper of Mayorga and thirteen neighboring barrios.
ST. ANTHONY OF PADUA PARISH
Patron Saint: St. Anthony of Padua
Feast day: June 13
Vicariate of: Palompon
The parish of St. Anthony of Padua comprises all the barangays within the municipality of Matag-ob. It is marked by two rivers which confluence at the entrance of the poblacion. To the town folks, these separate elements uniting as one “Natig-ob” echo their love for unity and this is where the name, “ Matag-ob” came about.
The development of the parish started when Fr. Miguel Logronio, an assistant parish priest of Palompon Leyte was permanently assigned to Matag-ob from 1956-1958. An inexpensive wooden chapel served as the center of the parish. In 1959, he was replaced by Fr. Porfirio Suarez. A semi-permanent chapel was then constructed.
With the peoples desire for an independence, the parish of saint Anthony of Padua was established in July 3, 1959, weaning it from its mother parish which was the parish of St. Francis Xavier of Palompon, Leyte. Rev. Fr. Licerio Oledan was installed as the first parish priest who served in the parish for three years. He organized catechetical classes and formed some religious organizations. In January 1968, Fr. Niceforo Pongos took place as parish priest and stayed in the parish till February 1969. Father Jose Penaranda becomes a parish priest for only seven months. Inclusively, his stay in the parish was only from February 1969 to August 1969. After the brief stay of Fr. Penaranda as parish priest of Matag-ob, Fr. Francisco Vicentillo was commissioned by the bishop of Palo to lead the “flock” of Matag-ob and to take care of their spiritual needs. During this period, the parish has had several significant accomplishments; to mention: the construction of the belfry, the construction of parish rectory, the improvement of the churchs façade.
Parish programs are listed as follows: Basic Christian Community; Catholic Faith Defenders; Legion of Mary; Lay Ministry.
SAINT ISIDORE the LABOURER PARISH
Patron Saint: St. Isidore the Labourer
Feast day: May 15
Situated at the Western side of Ormoc Bay facing Camotes Islands and Camotes Sea lies an agriculture-oriented settlement known as Merida, which was named after a Spanish town. An ancient custom and rich heritage since the days of Spanish empire is a firm and lasting devotion to San Isidro Labrador, the patron saint of Madrid, the capital of Spain. From that most aristocratic city, devotion to the humble farmer and saint spread and struck dry roots especially in areas of Spanish conquest where agriculture was the dominant economy up to the present times, hence, like ours.
Merida used to be a barrio of Ormoc, hence was part of the parish of Sts. Peter and Paul. 1860, however, the barrio was organized as a town and was promulgated in 1867 by the district Governor of the Province of Leyte, Hon. Domingo Fernandez.
As the settlers of the flourishing Merida grew in number, the Christian community also increased in number. It was indeed a blissful moment for the townsfolk’s that in 1918 it became an independent parish, separated from that of Ormoc.
To build ecclesial communities of parishioners that will form as models for the rest of the other people of God in the parish is the present apostolate of the parish. The community engaged on the work to preach by example the good news is on the go. Catechism in some public schools of the town is conducted by Catholic Faith Defenders.
With the town’s agricultural potential, it is believed that the parish would be improved than it is now. The unselfish support of the parishioners has contributed to the development of the church edifice. Now stands its Angelicum in the convent which offers catechism to children in the town. It is hoped and prayed that fervent and lasting devotion to St. Isidore the Labourer will forever be the constant practice among the parishioners.
STS. PETER AND PAUL PARISH
Patron Saints: Sts. Peter and Paul
Feast day: June 29
Vicariate of: Ormoc
Ormoc is the first non-provincial capital city of the Philippines. The late first President of the Philippine Republic, Manuel A. Roxas proclaimed Ormoc City on September 4, 1947 under republic Act No. 179. As a chartered political subdivision, it was formally inaugurated on October 20, 1947.
The place was known before as “Ogmok” an old Visayan term for lowland or depressed plain. The name Ormoc, evidently, is apollution of the original term and came into use with the coming of Spanish conquistadores and the influx of people from neighboustring towns and islands to settle in its fertile plains. In August 1556, Spanish missionary Fathers Pedro Chirino, Alonso Rodriguez, Leonardo Celsi and others arrived in Ogmok and were met by the local chieftains whose courtesy and friendliness impressed much the newcomers. The date marked the conversion of the Ogmokanons to Christianity. And since then, many primitives observed their teachings and were baptized as Christians.
On February 26, 1834, Ormoc was separated from her mother town, Palompon, and was created into a separate district municipality. The following month saw the formal inauguration of the Ormoc Catholic parish with Rev. Babiano Luciano as its first curate.
With the help of the Parish’ Patron Saints Peter and Paul, the parish spreads it wings reaching its end to the farthest coast in building a strong foundation through its different pastoral programs and activities. The core of its ministerial mission now is the renewal of families thru the family life Apostolate with the direction of the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration. Likewise, different parish-related activities have been very cooperative in laying down pastoral programs that would foster a better Christian community.
SAINT JUDE THADDEUS PARISH
PHHC, TACLOBAN CITY
Feast Day: October 28
Patron Saint: St. Jude Thaddeus
Vicariate of: Tacloban
The parish of St. Jude Thaddeus is located some four kilometers to the north of Tacloban City where PHHC (People Home site and Housing Corporation) nestles. This district was built way back in the early 5o’s and it eventually took 10 years for the PHHC community to emerge as a thriving and a truly quit residential area of rural urban tranquility.
Actually and officially, the PHHC (now NHA) is called the Bayanihan Village bisected by the Pan-Philippine highway. The home site houses a big number of families who wanted to retreat from the “maddening crowd”. The aftermath of such withdrawal in town made the housing village a closely-knit and vibrant community conducive for the parish to fulfill its mission of evangelization.
The progressive building of the community in context and indeed, was made the groundwork’s and foundation of St. Jude parish-all in tradition of a Bayanihan spirit. Consequently, even before becoming a parish, the community was a recipient of a life-size statue of St. Jude Thaddeus, the saint of the impossible, donated by Mr. and Mrs. Marcelino Castro.
It was not however, until Rev. Cornelio Parado, pastor of Sto. Nino Parish then, requested the local ordinary to divide Sto. Nino into four parishes, namely: Our mother of Perpetual Help Parish in the south, the Sacred Heart Parish to the east, St. Jude Parish to the north and Sto. Nino parish at the center, as its mother parish.
April 27, 1967 marked the canonical erection of St. Jude Thaddeus Parish. Fr. Jaime Segun was enlisted in chronicle as the first parish pastor. It was most Rev. Teotimo Pacis, C.M., Bishop of Palo, who officiate the rites of installation of the new parish priest and the blessing of the newly erected parish.
The parish of St. Jude is the biggest parish in point of area, as it comprises twenty eight barangays up to the municipal boundary of Babatngon. It includes within its territorial limits the San Juanico Bridge.
Worthy of mention are the various religious organizations within the parish. They have constantly been loyal to work out the parish projects and activities. Indeed, every parish venture with the cooperation of its parish community members turned out to be a success.
There is no doubt that St. Jude Parish is a Parish to watch.
SAINT FRANCIS OF ASSISI PARISH
Patron Saint: St. Francis of Assisi
Feast day: May 3
Vicariate of: Alang-alang
The Saint Francis of Assisi Parish owes its foundation back to the time of the Spanish Christianization of the Philippines. In the early 19th Century, the Spanish missionaries intensified their evangelical activities in the eastern villages of Leyte. Pastrana was made one of their targets. Since then, the people of pastrana embraced the Christian faith. In 1891, the Spanish missionaries having recognized the growth of population, made Pastrana into a parish with Fr. Eusebio Ibanez, a Spanish priest, as its first parish priest.
The people of Pastrana honor St. Francis of Assisi as their patron saint, for they believe him to the model of humility and poverty.
Parish Programs: Youth, BCC-FLA, and Lay Ministry Apostolate.
OUR MOTHER OF PERPETUAL HELP PARISH
Patron Saint: Our Mother of Perpetual Help
Feast day: 3rd Sunday of June (Movable feast)
Vicariate of: Tacloban
The Perpetual Help Parish, otherwise known as the Redemptorist parish, was erected on August 16, 1967. The first parish priest was Fr. Flan Daffy with Fr. Thomas Falkner as his assistant the parish consisted of the present area plus the territory covered by San jose and V & G areas.
The first major undertaking of the new parish was a socio-economic survey conducted by the Asian Social Institute under the abled leadership of Fr. Sedan, OFM. The survey was submitted in May, 1968.
The report indicated that Tacloban City lacks the social basis for Community building. There are divisive factors that inhibit the establishment of genuine Christian communities. One is the cultural differences between the Cebuanos of Western Leyte and the Warays of Eastern Leyte. There was also a vivid manifestation of individualism starting in the family and extending itself to various community organizations. An absence of the service motive to the community was also present.
The survey indicated the existence of a vicious circle of socio-economic insecurity and individualism. Socio-economic insecurity breeds individualism on both the individual and social levels. Which in turn prevents the geographical community from becoming a true and viable community? In this way, poverty and individualism are marked features of the community.
The survey recommend that the new parish can best contribute to the development of Tacloban City and its people by integrating Evangelization, Social Action and traditional religious practices. The parish then set as its objective: to build a Christian community whose oneness is clearly manifested in worship, service and education.
Since then programs embodying this vision were initiated to combat poverty and individualism. Thus the credit Union and the Consumers Cooperative were set up. Class sessions were held for mothers, giving them instruction on child-rearing and family care. This program branched out into cottage industries and health services. All of these were integrated through liturgical celebrations, catechetical instructions and Family Life seminars.
Later, these activities were merged into the Archdiocesan MAKAPAWA program and since many illnesses were found to be the result of poverty, the parish set up, as its most recent effort, and income Generating program. This program provides money, on a loan basis, for people who have skills but lack the necessary capital. In this way the parish is trying to help some 200 families to get more income and so have a better life.
Over the years a spacious hall was constructed. It is home to all parish organizations, activities and programs. This facility has been a big help in continuing the pastoral programs and activities of the parish.
Perpetual Help parish is proud to have given birth to two daughters parishes: Our Lady of Lourdes (V&G) in 1983, and San Jose in 1986. The present catholic Directory gives the population of Perpetual Help parish as 17,480. The new parish of San Jose takes in over 7,000 of these, so that the present population of Perpetual Help parish is around 10,000.
SACRED HEART PARISH
Patron Saint: Sacred Heart of Jesus
Feast day: every 2nd Sunday of June (movable Feast)
Vicariate of: Sto. Nino (Tacloban)
The history and development of the Sacred Heart Parish could be traced back to two young Chinese priests , Reverend Joseph Feng and Rev. Joseph Chang, who came to the city of Tacloban in 1954.
These two clerics were assigned as coadjutors of Fr. Francisco Santiago of the Sto. Nino parish. Moved by their spirit and enthusiasm to build a church for the Catholic Chinese Community, they solicited funds from Filipino-Chinese Catholics, the proceeds of which were intended for the church construction. The church edifice now nestles at M.H. del Pilar and T. Claudio Street. The 600 square meters lot was donated to the Diocese of Palo by the generous Dona Simeona K. Price.
In 1957, the framework of the chapel was evident. The late Bishop Lino Gonzaga inaugurated the half-finished structure in January 1, 1959. It was also the time when he announced the designation of the church as a personal parish for the Chinese community in the whole Diocese of Palo. This was an implementation as per Decree of the Consistorals Congregation of Rome in March 28, 1958.
Through the efforts of these Chinese priests, St. Mary’s Kindergarten School was formally opened in 1957. The school was managed by the Chinese Fathers themselves under the efficient director Fr. Joseph Chang. It later developed into the Min Yuan Elementary School in 1959. It became the present Sacred Heart High School in 1963. The school provided a continuing Catholic Education for the youth. It also schools children who were taught Chinese language and whose parents were of Chinese descents.
In 1970, Bishop Manuel Salvador, after consulting the pastor of the Sto. Nino Parish, Rev. Cornelio Parado, decreed that the personal parish established as a territorial parish. This was made since, as Bishop Salvador States,”… the population of Sto. Nino has increased to such a proportion that it has become difficult for the pastor to minister effectively the spiritual needs of the parishioners.” The territorial parish of the Sacred Heart, now separated from its mother parish, covered the areas bounded by justice Romualdez crossing the Sto. Nino Extension St. Through the Magsaysay Boulevard and the port area. All inhabitants within the district marks constitute the laity of the Sacred Heart Parish together with the Chinese community of the diocese.
The pastoral oriented and responsible Fr. Joseph Feng was elevated to the title of Honorary Prelate in 1972 in due recognition for his work. And in 1974, he was granted a Filipino citizenship by the Philippine government, a timely reward for his gracious efforts.
The parish has grown as it waved through the years and is now in effective service of the community of God within its territorial jurisdiction. The Sacred Heart School is still on its path of furnishing the youth with a flourishing Catholic education. Through the course of time, different religious organizations were of the laity.
Source Material: Sacred Parish Souvenir Program: Parish Fiesta 1987
SAN JOAQUIN, PALO, LEYTE
Patron Saint: St. Joachim
Feast day: July 26
Vicariate of: Palo
In 1760 the Bishop of Nueva Calves sent a priest to Leyte particularly “Bunga” (name of Palo that time) to purchase “Lana” (coconut oil) of which Bunga was a leading exporter. The priest had with him a foot-image of St. Joachim (still intact) which he left to the barrio thru his brother-in-law, one Lacadazo. The image attracted many devotees who finally agreed to make Sr. San Joaquin their patron saint and the same time naming the locality after the saint’s name.
In 1770 the Augustinian order (OSA), through its missionary, initiated the Patron festival of San Joaquin. Very Rev. Fr. Ignacio del Castillo organized the pastoral confraternity of San Joaquin to manage the annual celebration. The ivory image of the Patron Saint was donated by Very Rev. Fr. Pantaleon de la Fuente, OSF, parish priest and vicar Forane of Palo to the San Joaquin Patronal Confraternity to intensify devotion to the heavenly protector.
In 1898, the Hermano system of fiesta celebration by family was started by Don Julian Pedrosa.
There were regular masses in San Joaquin since 1938, when Rev. Fr. Lino R. Gonzaga was the parish priest in Palo. The parishioners still recall Father Zenon Ocampo and Antonio Mate as having taken turns in offering their services until 1942 during the Japanese occupation. After the liberation, Sunday masses were resumed, this time with Fr. Eufrocino Abala counted among those priest helping out.
Father Filomino Bactol of the seminary is best remembered as the one who took charge of San Joaquin prior to the installation of the first parish priest.
San Joaquin was raised to the status of a parish on January 14, 1973 by His Excellency Most Rev. Manuel S. Salvador, D.D. Bishop of Palo. Fr. Jaime Segun was installed as first parish priest and guardian of the San Joaquin shrine. In 1975 his excellency, Most Rev. Cipriano Urgel, D.D. Bishop of Palo, finally decided in favor of the July 26 fiesta celebration, to settle once and for all the conflict of the date of fiesta celebration.
When Fr. Segun left, the priest assigned to San Joaquin did not reside in the parish, due to some constraints. The Bishop appointed priests assigned to the chancery and residing at the Bishops residence as guardians of the parish. For a time, too, like previous times, the seminary fathers took turns in saying masses during Sundays and other holy days of obligation.
Fr. Jose Alfaro, the priest serving the spiritual needs of the parish at present, was installed as parish priest of San Joaquin on August 17, 1986.
The Parish has some ongoing programs, namely, the Basic Christian Communities, Family Life Apostolate, Basic Ecclesial Communities and Catechism in schools.
With the Archdiocesan in view, the pastoral thrust of the parish at present is the renewal of families through the Eucharist.
SAINT JOSEPH PARISH
SAN JOSE, DULAG, LEYTE
Patron Saint: St. Joseph the worker
Feast day: May 1
Vicariate: of Dulag
St. Joseph Parish, situated some five kilometers from Dulag, it was weaned from the parish of Dulag on June 25, 1969 and was raised to the status of a parish by the Bishop of Palo at that time, Bishop Teotimo Pacis.
The first parish priest to be assigned to the parish was Rev. Fr. Oscar Florencio. His was the pioneering task to build a self-sustaining community, -one whose members are imbued with the love of God, nourished by the sacraments, living out their faith life and generous enough to support a new struggling parish.
Lack of material funds notwithstanding, the parish priest spearheaded the construction of a church in the early part of 1970. When he left the parish for a newer post, the construction work was continued by the succeeding pastor in the person of Rev. Fr. Herminigildo Adolfo, who, until then, was assistant parish priest of Carigara.
Father Adolfo’s brief stint as a parish priest ended in May 7, 1972 when he was assigned to the seminary as faculty member. Rev. Fr. Leonardo Yu later on took his place.
He served the community for almost nine years. It was during his pastorship that some improvements came to view. It was during his term that more religious organizations were organized.
Rev. Fr. Felipe Diloy later succeeded him on November 21, 1982. To him is given credit for having organized the Neo-Catechumenate Movement in the parish.
The parish is literally a struggling parish. Poor in material possessions though it is yet, the people are rich in spiritual fervor. The parishioners are still hoping they can realize their dream of having a finished parish church, one they can truly call their own. All they need to do is constantly seek for more generous donors who could help them realize this dream. And pray they do, aside from the actual solicitation and fund raising work they are doing.
Church construction, however, is not the only concern of the parish. For hers is the task of proclaiming the Word of God to all the faithful. It has been felt, then that the parish concentrates on Catechesis both to the young and old. This can be seen in the few but active catechetical instructors the parish has at present. They do some legwork visiting sitios that comprise the parish, catechizing the young and the old and all those who need to know more about God.
SAINT JOSEPH PARISH
SAN JOSE, TACLOBAN CITY
Patron Saint: San Jose
Feast Day: May 25
Vicariate of: Tacloban
Originally, San Jose was first called Casiroman, a sitio of Tacloban facing the Pacific side of Leyte. At the time, Tacloban was still a barrio of Basey, Samar. Sometime in 1885, years after Tacloban became a separate town from Basey, a Spanish friar by the name of Fr. Ricardo Suarez gave the barrio people an idea of how to protect themselves from the Moro pirates through barawalte. Thus, in honor of Fr. Suarez assistance, the barrio was renamed San Recardo, in memory of the friar.
In December 1901, the barrio was formally declared as a barrio San Jose in memory of Fr. Jose de la Pena who once helped them rebuild the barrio. They also honored Sr. San Jose as their patron saint.
Events waved through until the district was devastated by the Japanese occupation forces. Then came 1944 when Leyte gained it’s liberation from all the havoc that came and went, as history would put it. The image of St. Joseph the Laborer was restored from the vehemence that once occupied the land. Just after liberation, it was brought back to the barrio and with it a fiesta celebrated.
From that time on, spirituality became a communal concern. After the wreckage in war, people longed to build an edifice where they could gather themselves in worship. It was Fr. Almendra, assistant parish priest of Sto. Nino and led the campaign for funds. Everyone struggled to let exist a house of prayer. The people constructed a temporary but strong church building for a time on a borrowed lot. The endeavor furthered when all funds raised were at hand and only did the barrio people of San Jose boast of their kind efforts which bore much fruit.
For a long time, San Jose was under the parish of our Lady of Perpetual Help managed by the Redemptorist Fathers. Their pastor would visit the place to say mass on the church which was constructed for the barrio. As such, the Redemptorists were also part in the success of building the church. But since the community area was extending far and wide and since many residents from other places were starting to flock, the Archbishop of Palo, Most Rev. Pedro R. Dean established San Jose as a quasi-parish. It happened last November 15, 1986.
As a quasi-parish, the community of believers is said to be under canonical decree conditions before it becomes a full-pledge parish. One of which is the benevolent support expected from the parishioners in order to let exist the parish efficiently through the years. It was Fr. Moises Apostol who was installed as the pastor of the new quasi-parish.
After a period of time when the parish celebrated its first anniversary, the Metropolitan Archbishop of Palo finally created San Jose as a full-pledge parish. The setting up of the parish was granted through a canonical decree rewarding the community for the support it has given to the church. This was on November 22, 1987, during the pastoral visitation of the Archbishop of Palo.
ST. MICHAEL THE ARCHANGEL PARISH
SAN MIGUEL, LEYTE
Patron Saint: September 29
Vicariate of: Alang-alang
The history of the foundation of San Miguel parish is simultaneous with the history of the town of San Miguel. It dates back at about the middle of the eighteenth century when a group of farmers, seeking for fertile agricultural lands,came into a place beside a stream called “Libtong”. At about 12 kilometers from Libtong, a community of dwellers lived along a seaside which they called “Sabang”. Because of its geographical location, they were certainly more progressive than Libtong.
During this time, there were these widespread attacks of the Moro pirates in the Visayan Islands. Unfortunately, Sabang was not spared from these attacks, forcing the dwellers to move to Libtong a safe ground. Since then, many people transferred to Libtong. Years later, the Spanish Government, recognizing the growth of its population, sent a missionary priest to Christianize settlers. The in the early part of the 19th Century, Libtong was made into town. It was named, “San Miguel”, in honor of Saint Michael the Archangel. According to the people, while they were running away from the Moro’s devastating plunders, there appeared a man dressed in purple with a shield on his left hand and a sword on his right. At the sight of this the Moro pirates ran to their ships and sailed away. They believed that the man was Saint Michael the Archangel. In 1913, the church was made into an independent parish and Fr. Pedro Aruta became its first parish priest.
At present, the parish is engage in programs like catechism, Legionary Apostolate and Lay Ministry.
ST. ANNE PARISH
STA. FE, LEYTE
Patron Saint: St. Anne
Feast Day: July 26
Vicariate of: Alang-alang
Sta. Fe was just one of the big barrios of Palo. It is located about 7 kilometers away from its mother town Palo. For many years, the people of this barrio of Palo were receiving sacraments and other church services out of the availability and convenience of the Palo priests. Any presence of a priest in the barrio was an opportunity for the people to fulfill their spiritual needs.
It was on May 6, 1948 when barrio Sta. Fe was then recognized as a town independent from Palo.
The dreams, yearnings and aspirations of the people were finally realized when a parish of their own was created. This important event occurred in 1953 and herewith began the evangelical works of the St. Anne Parish. The parish chooses Saint Anne, the mother of the Blessed Virgin, as their patron saint with Fr. Doroteo Penaranda as its first parish priest.
At present, the parish has some 12 thousand populations, 98 percent of which are Catholics. The pastoral programs of the parish include: BCC-FLA, CWL, Youth Program, Neo-catechumenate, and Lay Ministry Apostolate.
SAINT ANTHONY OF PADUA PARISH
Patron Saint: St. Anthony of Padua
Feast Day: June 12
In 1600, the first Jesuit missionaries arrived in Dagami. After the conversion of the natives in Dagami the Jesuit fathers concentrated their efforts in propagating Catholic faith to the natives of the neighboring sitios and barangays. Along these periods, the first Jesuit missionaries arrived in Tabon – tabon. When the missionary friars introduced the Christian faith, the inhabitants were not difficult to convert for they practiced the respect for private property and worshipped one God. The Jesuit fathers who took charge of Dagami continually visited the community to oversee the spiritual growth of the inhabitants.
The development of the community was mostly agricultural-based and the emphasis was on the propagation of the “Doctrina Cristiana” of the catholic faith.
Following the expulsion Jesuit order from the Philippines in 1768, the Augustinian order took over the religious administration of the areas formerly managed by the Jesuits. Some beautiful buildings and roads were attributed to them. Two other priests, Father Jose Montenegro and Father Francisco Martinez constructed four school houses in Tabon-tabon and Manaybanay.
Tabon-tabon existed as a municipality or town for 12 years (1892-1904) ruled by capitan Del Pueblo. In 1904, following the attack of prepared “Pulahan” Bandits; Tabon-tabon was again ceded to Dagami. It was during this period that the venerated saint of Tabon-tabon, San Antonio de Padua, purportedly performs a miracle. Through the intervention of the Saint, Tabon-tabon was saved from the combined American and Filipino forces who suspected the community to be the base of operation of the “Pulahanos”.
In 1956, two years after it became a municipality, Tabon-tabon was canonically erected as a parish with father Aucto Pal as its first parish priest. The church and the whole poblacion were placed under the patronage of St. Anthony of Padua.
In 1965, Fr. Manuel Gomez built a bigger church and a more spacious convent. But it was not until the term of Fr. Terencio Tupaz (1972-1974) that the project was finished.
The following are the religious organizations in the parish: Cofradia han Sto. Nino,Cofradia han virgin han Lourdes, cofradia han San Jose, Cofradia han San Antonio,Cofradia han iroy han kanunay nga panabang,Cofradia han Virgen del Carmen,Cofradia han Sagrado Corazon de Jesus,cofradia han Virgen del Rosario, cofradia han Virgen Milagrosa, Cofradia han Virgen han Purisima, Legion of Mary, Parish Pastoral council, Holy Name Society, Lay Ministers.
STO. NINO PARISH
Patron Saint: Senor Santo Nino
Feast Day: June 30
Vicariate of Santo Nino, Tac. City
Historically the founding of Tacloban Parish is not known, but History records that it was under the spirituall jurisdiction of the parish of Basey, Samar. Civilly, however, Tacloban was just another barrio of Palo. It was not until 1780 that it became a town. Its orginal name was “Kankabatok”. It was in 1813 when its name was changed to Tacloban. The name Tacloban is a corruption of the word, “tarakloban” which means a place where they catch fish with the trap called “taklob”.
Tacloban’s venerated and miraculous image is the Senor Sto. Nino. According to the writings of lluminado Lucente, the Santo Nino of Tacloban dates back to the year 1739. No mention, however, is made in the accounts of of early Jesuits missionaries who evangelized the island. It is most likely that the veneration of this image reached Leyte Island due to the strong devotion to this same image in Cebu, Panay and other parts of the visayas. To the Visayan Santo nino was a patron, a protector in times of drought, disease, hunger and fire. They therefore made Santo Nino as the object of veneration, devotion and attachments.
Tradition also has it that this miraculous image actually belonged to Buscada, another barrio of Basey. Tacloban had her own image, but it was smaller and less beautiful but because of the greater number of inhabitants in kankabatok than in Buscada, the parish priest deemed it proper to exchange images. Thus, Tacloban obtained possession of the present image.
The traditional fiesta celebration of Sto. Nino was always on the third Sunday of January. But events happened that altered the tradition. In 1888 the image was sent to Manila for restoration. The day of the fiesta came in 1889 but the image did not arrive. The boat carrying the image caught fire at sea and all the cargoes including the crate containing the image were thrown overboard.
Nothing was heard of the image for some time. It was until May that the Leyte government officials were informed that a heavy crate marked for Tacloban had been salvaged off the coast of Mindoro. It contained religious articles and the Sto. Nino image. Soon, the Hermano Mayor chartered a boat to fetch the image. In theafternoon of June 30 , 1889, the boat carrying the Sto. Nino docked at panalaron, amidst the great rejoicing of the people.
To commemorate the images return, the people set aside June 30 as the feast day of Sto. Nino de Tacloban.
It was in1967 that Sto. Nino de Tacloban became the Heavenly protector of the Leyte, by a diocesan decree. At that time, Rev. Fr. Cornelio Parado was the parish priest and Norberto Romualdez was the Hermano Mayor of the Tacloban Fiesta. The Canonical enthronement and coronation of the Sto. Nino of Tacloban as Patron of Leyte was made in the 1968 City fiesta.
The parish of Tacloban, in the course of years, was devided into smaller parishes. In 1959 a parish was created to serve the Chinese community: the present Sacred Heart parish administered by the Chinese fathers. In 1967, two parishes were created: St. Jude Parish in the north, and the redemptorist parish in the south.
By 1989, Sto. Nino parish celebrates the centenary jubilee since the miraculous return of the Sto. Nino image in Tacloban.
The following are the parish religious organizations: Legion of Mary, Knights of Columbus, Catholic Womens league, knights and ladies of Mary, Young Ladies Association of Charity (ylac), and Association of the Miraculous Medal, Mother Butlers Guild, Holy Name Society, Daughters of Mary Immaculate, Lay Apostles, Christian Family Movement, Charismatic Renewal Movement, Family Life Apostolate, Neo-Catechumenate, Sodality and the Sto. Nino Crusade.
OUR LADY OF THE ASSUMPTION PARISH
Patron Saint: Our Lady of Assumption
Feast Day: August 15
Vicariate of : Palo
The early settlements of Tanauan were exposed to the marauding Moro pirates who created a reign of terror along the eastern coasts. To seek refuge from those invaders, they built a stoned-walled enclosure, “cuta” in the area called “Buawa”.
In 1687, a Jesuit missionary united the settlement. The “cuta” pleased him and suggested that a church be built inside it. Juanillo Siengco, together with his people built the church inside made of strong wood and stone. The first sacrament of baptism was held en masse too many of the inhabitants.
In 1701, a Franciscan friar took over the settlement. He was not satisfied with the location of the church so he ordered the people to build another one nearer the coast. The new edifice was created near tha back of the Mangga River, now Solano River. When the Jesuits took over again, a massive construction took place. In 1704, the church was completed. It was turned over the Augustinians from 1768 to 1860, it was repaired and enlarges by Fr. Francisco de Paula Marquez who added a transept and surrounded the premises with thick Rockwall having a watch tower on each of the corners for defense against pirates. It not only served as a house of worship, but also as a refuge by the people against typhoons and marauding Moro bandits. It withstood the hurricane and tidal wave of 1897.
The parish has only one Catholic Institution, the Assumption Academy, run and managed by the Religious Sisters of Mercy (RSM), a congregation of religious nuns working in the parish.
The following are the activities and programs in the parish: Catechism, BCC-FLA, Neo-catechumenate, Nutrition, CCWA, Kauswagan, and Lay Ministers in view. The Pastoral thrust of the parish is the deepening of the people’s faith and devotion through constant evangelization.
SAINT MICHAEL ARCHANGEL PARISH
Patron Saint: St. Michael Archangel
Feast Day: May 8
Vicariate of: Palo
Tolosa was once a part of the municipality of Tanauan. Through the efforts of Magdaleno Vivero and Domingo Camacho, they petitioned the Spanish government to grant their territory autonomy from the municipality of Tanauan. The petition was granted in 1852.
Tolosa became a parish on February 12, 1863. The first parish priest was Padre Geronimo Asenjo, a Spaniard. The first Filipino priest of the parish was Father Quintin Bautista.
Tolosa made St. Michael Archangel their patron saint because, as the old folks said, Tolosa was visited by a tidal wave. And before it could hit the town, they saw a bird flaying over the waves. The bird did not stop flying until it became small.
With the Archdiocesan vision in view, the pastoral thrust of the parish at present is, “to live out the spirit of the gospel in faith, hope and Love.”
Parish Programs: CRS, Cofradias, Neo-Catechumenate, Knights of Columbus, PMI, CATECHETICS, Parish Pastoral Council.
It may also be noteworthy to mention that the present church structures and the parish rectory underwent renovation and improvement under the aegis of Madam Imelda Romualdez-marcos, the towns prided daughter, when she was the first Lady of the Philippines.
SAINT ANTHONY OF PADUA PARISH
Patron Saint: St. Anthony of Padua
Feast Day: August 13
The municipality of Tunga (the dialect for “half”), so Christened because it is believed by ancestors to be half way between Ormoc and Tacloban, or between Carigara and Jaro, existed as early as 1860 as a barrio of barugo. It is said that the barrio chapel which stood on present school grounds was rarely visited by a priest. In order to fulfill their religious duties, the people walk on foot to Barugo or Carigara.
In 1908 the chapel was transferred to the present market site. By this time Tunga had grown to be the biggest barrio of Barugo and had become progressive in terms of population, income and revenues. However, during the Second World War, Tunga was reduced to ruins. With strong determination, people started coming back and rehabilated the place. It finally became a municipality in 1949.
Recent history shows that Tunga belonged to the parish of Jaro. It was only in 1961 when it was canonically erected into a parish, with St. Anthony of Padua chosen as their heavenly protector. The parish comprises the whole municipality of Tunga, its barrios included, plus eight more barangays belonging to nearby municipalities: three in Barugo, three in Jaro. And two from Carigara.
The present pastoral thrust of the parish is Catechesis to children, and Christian Education and Formation to the adult laity. The Lay Apostolate Ministry in the parish is gaining momentum; lay ministers are leading priest less Sunday Worship in four barangays.
OUR LADY OF LOURDES PARISH
V& G SUB-DIVISION, TACLOBAN CITY
Patron Saint: Our Lady of Lourdes
Feast Day: February 11
Vicariate of : Sto. Nino, Tacloban City
The parish of Our Lady of Lourdes is far exempted from amazing historical events and legends of tribesman or outbreaks of war. As a parish it has sailed thru time, out of an ever increasing population along with a growing spiritual fervor among its residents.
Our Lady of Lourdes, better known as V&G Parish, originally belonged to the Sto.Nino parish of Tacloban. When in april, 1967, the redemptorist Parish was created and established, the community areas of what is now V&G, Janssen Heights (formerly called, Imelda Village), Calanipawan and Caibaan were part of the new parish. Needless to say, these areas were not as populated as it is today.
But these areas soon became the site of housing projects, both of the government and private agencies that sooner than expected, people from far and near began flocking to what would eventually be a bustling and thriving section in the city. With the influx of people, there came a felt need to set up a new parish community. Thus, after a serious study, and upon the recommendation of the redemptorist Fathers, the aforementioned areas became an independent parish on April 28, 1981. The late Bishop Cipriano Urgel, Bishop of Palo, installed Rev. Fr. Benjamin Bacierra as the first parish priest.
The parish is composed of homeowners from all over Leyte and Samar, not to mention a few who are from other places in the country. Most of them are government employees; in a single section are employees of the only Catholic university in the region. From this admixture of dwellers comes the need for parish and community consciousness if the parish were to be alive.
Among the most cherished dreams of the parishioners is the completion of their parish church. The present parish priest, Father Dido Arroyo, is leaving no stone unturned in order to make his parishioners realize their long time dream. With the residents pooling all their resources to raise funds, no doubt, the dream was fast becoming a reality.
But the parish is not just “edifice-oriented”. There are various organizations existing in the parish. The TEC (teenage encounter with Christ),Youth Choir, Knights of Columbus, Daughters of Mary Immaculate, Legion of Mary, and Members of the Neo-catechumenate Movement, are all indicators of an active parish life .these some organizations and movements have a hand in the multifarious projects of the parish.
OUR LADY OF LOURDES PARISH
VALENCIA, ORMOC CITY
Patron Saint: Our Lady of Lourdes
Feast Day: February 11
Vicariate of: Sts. Peter and Paul (Ormoc)
Valencia is one of the many flourishing districts in Ormoc City. The name of the place is termed after a prominent region in Spain called “Valencia” by the missionary friars who would visit the barrio sometime during their mission in Ormoc. Every year they celebrated their fiesta in honor of Saint Vincent Ferrer, the saint introduced to the people by the friars. A good number of people from the neighboring places would come to join the occasion. Others even settled their families’ right there, and earned their livelihood.
The thriving Christian Community of Valencia was formally declared a parish in by then Bishop of Palo, Manuel Mascarinas. The parishioners venerate Our Lady of Lourdes and consider her as their patroness. The first curate, Fr. Vito Briones, took the initiative of building the parish church. He successfully completed it in short period of time with the help of the parishioners and other valued benefactors.
Because of the increasing number of devotees, Father Januario Puray, the third parish priest, undertook the renovation of the church and the rectory. He started a few slabs and this was continued by his successor Fr. Sergio Osmena with the assistance of the same parishioners and civic-spirited citizens; and it was barely completed. It was under the incumbency of Fr. Romeo Mazo, the present curate, that the belfry was erected and the façade was improved. He is also remembered for putting up the angelicum that would benefit the children of the district.
HOLY CHILD PARISH
Patron Saint: Senor Sto. Nino
Feast day: February 13
Vicariate of: Palompon
In the last quarter of the 18th century on 1775 up to 1800, “Boholano settlers composed of several families landed on the shores of Villaba and settled there. Gradually, more settlers arrived and populated the place. Settlers from Bohol and Samar called the place “Hamindangon” after the same river. And this became the old name of the town called, “Villaba”.
The Spanish governor General in manila, who then represented both the church and state ordained that the triumph site must be adjacent to the church. The Spanish priest who was then assigned in the place was Rev. Pantaleon de Veyra. He constructed the church and the tribunal together with the help of natives through forced labor.
On September 6, 1888 to 1896, the church of Villaba was constructed by Rev. Fr. Genaro Canada after the old church constructed during the early Spanish regime was destroyed. A little farther from the present site was the church made of wood, roofing made of nipa. This was not finished due to the revolution which broke out on August 26, 1896.
In the year 1902, a parochial school, where the present municipal stage is situated, was set up. This school was later transferred to Silad.
Sometime 1908 and 1912, the old wooden church was destroyed by a typhoon. So masses were celebrated in the nearby barrio of Silad. Old folks remember that there was a church made of stone. Years later, a new church was constructed Fr. Genaro Canada when masses were transferred to the poblacion.
Since the time of the church’s establishment dating back almost 200 years ago, to uplift the spiritual awareness of the parishioners, the following programs have been established: Preparation of Engaged Couples; School of Cathechism; Lay minister; Catholic Faith Defenders; B E C (Basic ecclesial Communities); Charismatic Movement; Nutrition- CBS.
BUKID TABOR is the official residence of the Archbishop of Palo. It is located north of Palo on top of a hill overlooking the Maharlika Highway, about a kilometer away from the Palo Cathedral. Through the years it has served as the permanent residence of three Bishops and two Archbishops covering a period of nearly twenty years.
Bukid Tabor –or Bishops palace, as it was formerly called- is intended exactly for this purpose: to be the permanent residence of ordinaries assigned in the diocese of Palo. Its erection at its present site is considered one of the myriad accomplishments of the late Archbishop (then Bishop) Lino Gonzaga, D.D., the second Bishop of Palo. Formerly, the bishop’s residence was situated where the present sacristy of the Palo stands. It is said that Bishop Gonzaga had long been intending to transfer his official residence to more favorable and more peaceful place where, after a day’s long hard work , he could retreat into the safety of a home where he could do his private readings, go through his correspondence without being bothered by callers and visitors. But on account of other priority projects, the seminary building being one of them, this plan had been temporarily shelved. Soon, in 1959, when it was deemed right to begin the construction, he laid the foundations. Not long after, in 1960, the building was completed: a huge, massive edifice perched on a hilltop as if to tell all and sundry that it sees the whole diocese from a bird’s eye view. Needless to say, Bishop Gonzaga became its first occupant. He called it, “Bishop’s Palace”
When Bishop Gonzaga became the Archbishop of Zamboanga in 1967, Bishop Teotimo Pacis, D.D., a Vincential priest-turned-bishop, took the administration of the diocese. He stayed in the Bishops Palace from 1967-1969.
He was followed by Bishop Manuel Salvador, D.D. (now Coadjutor Archbishop of Cebu), who resided there from 1969-1973. It was he who invited the RVM sisters to the palace so they could make it into a retreat house. Thus, for a while, until 1978, the Palace was called, “Betania Retreat House” with the RVM Sisters maintaining it.
Bishop Cipriano Urgel, D.D. became its fourth resident in 1973 until his untimely death in 1985. Bishop Urgel, (who later became the first Metropolitan Archbishop of Palo when Palo was elevated to an archdiocese in 1982,) called his residence, “Bukid Tabor” in reference to the biblical mountain on which Jesus Christ was transfigured. It was also during Archbishop Urgel’s incumbency that the Franciscan Handmaids of the Lord (FHL), a diocesan congregation which he founded, were invited to establish their quarters there. Since 1983 the FHL Sisters have made a part of the whole building their residence.
Bukid Tabor is not an ivory tower where the resident bishop closes himself in. neither was it one when it was called, “Bishop’s Palace,” inspite of its legal connotation. It used to be the only haven for priests and religious from far and near who would want to stay in Palo for a short while. It was also the venue for Cursillo gatherings, retreats, seminars and workshops conducted for priests, religious and lay people.
However, of late, with a considerable portion of the house now occupied by the FHL Sisters, and with more private rooms for guests added, added seminars and retreats are no longer held there. Although priests still find Bukid Tabor the best place for them to go for their regular meetings, recollections and other religious functions. Guest priests and bishops also consider it an ideal place to stay while in Palo.
A good portion of the house also used to be the chancery, where the vicar General, Chancellor and oeconomus held office.
Weddings, with special arrangements with the Cathedral Rector, may also be held there. The first recorded marriage ceremony there was on June 5, 1960.
Bukid Tabor may have undergone a series of transformations. But it still is, and will always be, the official residence of the Archbishop of Palo
Abucay, Tacloban City
Brgy. Bagacay Tac. City
Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary Parish
Pawing Palo, Leyte
Our Lady of Miraculous Medal Mission Station
Dap-Dap Alang-alang, Leyte
San pascual baylon shrine
Guinarona, Dagami, Leyte
Divine Lord and Saviour Quasi-Parish
Salvador, Tanauan, Leyte
San Lorenzo Ruiz de Manila Parish
Simangan, Ormoc City
Sta. Fe Abuyog, Leyte
St. Elizabeth of Hungary Mission Station
Libertad, Palo, Leyte
Matlang Isabel, Leyte
Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary Parish
Pawing, Palo, Leyte