• Lala C. Espina

GREAT IS GOD’S FAITHFULNESS 1st Anniversary of the Installation of Bishop Ariel Santos


Great is God’s faithfulness! July 28 was a momentous event for us as we gathered together as one diocese to celebrate the first anniversary of the installation of Bishop Ariel Cornelio P. Santos, the second Bishop of the Diocese of Metro Manila and Northern Luzon. Church members from Holy Family (Novaliches), St. Andrew the Apostle (Muntinlupa), St. Augustine (Imus, Cavite), Saint Peter the Apostle (Pasay Mission Church), Saint John the Evangelist (Pasig Mission Church), Saint Stephen the Martyr (Taguig Mission Church), and Cathedral of the King (Metro Manila) gathered together to give God the praise and glory that He deserves. Held at the Basketball Court of Marimar Village (just a stone’s throw away from the church building of the Cathedral of the King), the mass began at 9:00 am, officiated by Bishop Ariel Santos.

Having the theme of “Walking in Persistent Prayer” on the 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Bishop Ariel spoke of true blessing, which is to be like Jesus by being persistent in ministering to others. It is also being persistent in spending time with God so that we will not have any room for hatred or bitterness “for our brother. When we dwell in Him, we will learn to have love and acceptance for others despite their failures and weaknesses. Quoting from the homily: “We want to be like God. The more we are, the more we accomplish things not by might or power, but by following His ways.” Such a powerful reminder for us as a church that has been called to love, serve, and minister for such a time as this.

Lunch was served after the mass, as everyone got very generous servings of rice and Pork Humba, lovingly prepared and contributed by the different parishes. Sorbetes was also a hit for children and adults alike. Even with the basketball court being jampacked with church members, God has been so good to grant us with cool weather all throughout the event.

Then followed a program hosted by Blessie Thurman and Nica Jorvina. It took off with Bato-Bato Pick, an icebreaker game by David Miguel, participated by different representatives from the parishes. We were then serenaded by “COTK’s Songbird” Bianca Sison with the song, “Tuwing Umuulan at Kapiling Ka”, which was adored by everyone because of her golden voice.

Sis. Mitzi Bitancor from the Holy Family in Novaliches was a show-stopper as well, as she facilitated the Pinaka Game, encouraging members from the different parishes to join. From pinakamalalim na hugot to pinaka-cute pumabebe, it was such an enjoyable game not just for those who joined, but even to those who were in the audience. The highlight of the game was when Sis. Mitzi called for Pinakamagaling Kumendeng, where Sis. Gemma Zacarias wowed everyone with her astounding dance moves! It was no surprise that she was the winner of the game. This was followed by the Siomai Siopao Suman Game joined by young kids and members of the youth, where Blessie Thurman won the game and took home a Red Ribbon cake.

The program was ended by Bro. Rolie Santos from St. Andrew the Apostle in Muntinlupa, who gave an acoustic rendition of “Under the Milky Way”.

It was an anointed event, as it was also a thanksgiving celebration for God’s faithfulness to us as a church. We are thankful for the life of Bishop Ariel Santos, whose dedication to serve is a great reminder of the Lord’s commitment to us. There is much to look forward to because we know that greater things are yet to come, not just in the life of our Bishop, but in our oneness as a church.

May we always remember that there is no end to the increase of God’s Kingdom. And may we always be driven to do greater and more wonderful works for Him and His Kingdom as one church. Blessings await when we persevere to serve and love the Lord, because in the words of our beloved Bishop, “That is the way it is in the Kingdom of our God.”


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