by: Conrad Alvez
March 23, 2016. His Excellency Most Reverend Mylo Hubert C. Vergara, D.D., Bishop of Pasig did what Lord Jesus had commanded us to do when he visited and washed the feet of the inmates of the Pasig City Jail at Pinagbuhatan, Pasig City. Then he encouraged everyone to do what Jesus commanded.
He officiated the Eucharistic Celebration that was attended by the inmates of the Pasig City Jail, the Warden, the Jailers, the Laity, and Priests of the Diocese of Pasig.
Bishop Mylo Vergara arrived at the Pasig City Jail at around 8:40 in the morning of Wednesday, March 23, 2016 together with the Seminarians, Priests of the Diocese of Pasig, members of the Confraternity of Our Lady of Lourdes, members of the Jail Ministry and media officer of the Diocese of Pasig.
Bro. Eric Gonzales, coordinator of the Jail Ministry of the Diocese of Pasig welcomed and thanked the participants, the Wardens of the men & female inmates division, the guest lay church volunteers for taking part in the first “washing of the feet” activity held in the Pasig City Jail with Bishop Mylo himself as the initiator of the said historical activity.
The Bishop delivered a very rich homily about humility, forgiveness and compassion. He even cited on the last part the very touching words which was commanded by Jesus to all of us: “Do you understand what I just did to you? You addressed me as ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and fittingly enough, for that is what I am. But if I washed you feet — I who am Teacher and Lord — then you must wash each other’s feet. What I did was to give you an example; as I have done so you must do.”
The Eucharistic Celebration was con-celebrated by Fr. Jhun Sanchez, Fr. Sim Roxas and Fr. Vic Virtudazo.
The program concluded with gift-giving courtesy of the members of the Confraternity of Our Lady of Lourdes from the Immaculate Conception Cathedral Parish, Pasig City. Icc Pasig Parish Priest Mylo Hubert Vergara FrJhun Sanchez Eric Gonzales
(Commentary from the author: The faces of the inmates was deliberately hidden or was not shown to protect their dignity as a person. I myself regard these inmates as our Brothers and Sisters in Christ. I was a jail Minister too conducting prayer meetings for inmates every Sunday way back 1986 when the municipal jail was still located inside the Pasig Municipal Hall until it was transferred at the Old Library located at the back of the Municipal Hall. Then it was transferred again at the Pariancillo Police Headquarters. We also conducted Masses and Penitential Rites on special occasions followed by gift-giving to the inmates. We also extend to them Para-Legal services for “fast-tracking” of their criminal cases. I stopped attending and serving in the Jail Ministry when the Pasig City Jail was relocated to Pinagbuhatan, Pasig City due to conflict with other ministerial work in the Cathedral. I would simply encourage people especially the church people to find time to visit your relatives, friends, acquaintances, etc. who were imprisoned for whatever reason not just because it is a noble thing to do but because JESUS is waiting for us there…a very good example was what our Bishop did. Bishop Mylo Hubert Vergara did not just wash the feet of the inmates…he kissed them as well to show us humility, forgiveness and compassion…)