Sto. Tomas de Villanueva Prepares for Diamond Jubilee
The year 2013 is important for the Catholic faithful of Santolan and Dela Paz, Pasig City. Next year, the parish of Sto. Tomas de Villanueva will turn 60! As such, the parish is the 4th oldest parish in the Diocese of Pasig, following in the senior status of the churches of the Immaculate Conception Cathedral in Pasig, Sta. Ana Shrine in Taguig City and San Roque Parish in Pateros.
To highlight this important event, this year 2012, the parish focuses on the faith formation of the people together with an intense emphasis on the life and message of the patron, Sto. Tomas de Villanueva. This saint, relatively unknown in the Manila area, was a great Augustinian bishop and man of charity. But in the urban metropolis, few know his life and legacy. Sto. Tomas Parish wants to draw people to appreciate their patron and so gain from his example of love for God and service to the poor.
A chapel of Pasig, Santolan was elevated to the status of a parish by the then Archbishop of Manila, Rufino Cardinal Santos. Then the parish became part of the Diocese of Antipolo. When the Diocese of Pasig was created, the parish again transferred to this new jurisdiction. This remarkable history makes the 60th anniversary even more important in the hearts of its parishioners.
Lenten Offerings of Sto. Tomas de Villanueva Parish
This Lent, the parishioners of Sto. Tomas will experience not one, but a weekly recollection centering on key themes offered by the season. Every Wednesday after Ash Wednesday, the parish holds a mini-recollection followed by a moving prayer service for the participants. The event takes place after the evening Mass and Perpetual Help Novena at 6pm.
The first recollection on Feb. 29 was given by the parish priest, Fr. Ramil R. Marcos. The second was given on Mar. 7 by His Excellency Bishop Mylo Hubert Vergara, DD, the Bishop of Pasig. The next 3 Wednesdays will showcase the reflections of Bro. Christian Santos, Bro. Aldrin Cenizal MS and Fr. Joel Lofamia, guest priest of Sto. Tomas Parish.
The parish also offers not one Kumpisalang Bayan but a weekly opportunity for the sacrament. Every Friday, at 7pm, the priests of the parish sit on the Confessional as a commitment to the people who wish to come. For the past two years, record numbers in this parish have been to Confession during Lent. People queuing for Confession form a long line from the sacristy up to the parish hall and even at times up to the guard house near the gate of the church. Several priests also help the parish priest and his guest priest in ministering to the people.