Sana Maulit Muli – this is the collective sentiment of parish servants and parishioners who bid farewell to Fr. Rodel, outgoing PCJ parish priest, during the Despedida held last June 24 (Saturday) after the anticipated mass. Indeed, six years was quite so fast. PCJ parish has been very blessed with Fr. Rodel’s unwavering care and concern during his years of service. Not only did he provide various formation programs that helped in spiritual growth of the community, but he also raised the bar of excellence in how to reach out to the developing communities through programs such as scholarship, feeding, livelihood, and Holy Family or Adopt a Family. On top of all these, Fr. Rodel undertook the renovation and facelift of the church premises: the new and beautiful church altar, the air conditioning of the church, the building of the new Sacred Heart Center and more meeting rooms in the parish.
Thus, the despedida for Fr. Rodel became a tribute and testament to all that he has accomplished during his six-year stay in the parish. The emcees for the evening – Noemi Poblador and April Dionela, set the tone for the evening’s fun and lively celebration.The main program began with a balagtasan among the members of the Happy Servants Club, composed of various parish servants who bonded together in the course of their service as singers during the enclave Dalaw Ni Maria and Way of the Cross. During the balagtasan, the members detailed the many things that Fr. Rodel has done which endeared him to his parishioners. The same group then performed a dance tribute for Fr. Rodel
The next performance came from the Sanloob Boys who did a heartfelt song number – May Bukas Pa. The lyrics of the song was very fitting for the Sanloob boys who, through the feeding and catechism program of the parish were given the opportunity to be transformed from street children to choir members and some became altar boys.
The third was a dance number by the kasambahay members of Martha’s Ministry. The ministry was established in 2011 thru the initiative of Fr. Rodel who felt that the kasambahay should be welcomed into the parish community, since they are also part of the family.
The members of the Commission on Youth, most of whom are beneficiaries of the parish’s scholarship program rendered a song number – Through the Years. The youth’s many special moments and activities with Fr. Rodel were shown as a photo slideshow while they were singing.
In between the program numbers, comedy skits were presented by the BEC members to the delight of the crowd.
The night’s main feature was an audio visual presentation which paid tribute to Fr. Rodel’s six year journey with his PCJ family and his many accomplishments in the parish. Part of the video featured a dance tribute performed by the members of the PCJ Execom and representatives of various ministries, who did the dance sequence separately but thanks to the excellent editing, it became one seamless and continuous dance number.
As a token of gratitude for Fr. Rodel’s very fruitful journey with his PCJ family, he was presented with a parting gift consisting of an Acer switch laptop cum tablet. Tes Ngo, the lay coordinator of the Commission on Liturgy and Popular Religiosity (CLPR) presented the gift on behalf of the entire Parish Pastoral Council and parish servants.
Fr. Rodel expressed his thanks to the parish community and he very humbly said that he was the one who learned a lot from his PCJ family – from their generosity and their happy outlook in life. He said that he is not really saying goodbye since the parish where he will be transferring (Madonna Del Divino Parish in Ayala Southvale) is quite near and that he will still be around to say mass at PCJ as guest priest.
This was followed by a community singing of the song Panalangin, led by the “Trio Los Guapos” of PCJ: Gardy Lerios, Gani Rellosa and Edwin Ocampo, who were later joined by Fr. Rodel onstage.
The evening’s event was capped by a mob dancing of all attendees of the same dance featured in the video tribute, led by Dra. Wang Fernandez and Winnie Uichi, to the tune of Together in Electric Dreams.
The evening’s celebration was made possible thanks to the untiring efforts of the steering committee who made sure that everything went well. Special acknowledgement goes to Bro. Noel Talosig and his son Jerry for the beautiful and very fitting video tribute to Fr. Rodel.
It was indeed an evening of both fun and nostalgia, as the PCJ community bid farewell and expressed their gratitude to Fr. Rodel. Thank you Fr. Rodel!
– Lorna Buenviaje