What can the alliance of dream, determination, cooperation, faith, hope, charity, hard work, perseverance, community organization and vision accomplish and build?
A parish church and pious Catholic community in the sub-hilly part of Calabanga’s village in Paolbo. The area is nestled in the outlying foothills of Mt. Isarog sliced by the paved provincial road that traverses the town of Calabanga from the city of Naga and on towards Tinambac town and the last virgin frontier now largely ignored in the province that soon may bloom to a beautiful tourist destination- my original hometown of Siruma.
The story began with the vision of setting up a new parish whose religious residents are least served and the people intimidated because of distance in attending regular services from the two “nearest” parishes which was a choice of either the Holy Cross in Manguiring or the vicarial church of Our Lady of La Porteria at the town center. A good timing though, the canonical erection of the church fits in the thrust of the archbishopric of increasing parishes in Caceres.
The site may not be equidistant between the two parishes but perfectly settled well for the future parishioners. So that when the generous Falcon family donated a piece of land for the purpose, a dream suddenly germinates and took roots.
On June 30, 2003, the parish was canonically established under the Titular Divine Mercy with a designated feast day on every second Sunday after Easter. Fr. Eligio Jovensie Balang was tasked to start the grueling objective of uniting the religious towards the monumental effort of building the physical structure of the church.
Masses were first held at the parish rectory garage where the altar was located using an extension out of ingenious nipa shingles, coconut lumber and bamboo poles and slats. During this time a donation campaign was carried out for the construction of the church itself.
To shorten the story, the religious community has constructed the modest parish church now the center of devotion in the area.
Next time, we’ll check out the inside details of the church. By the way, Fr. Balang is appealing for donations to finish the church altar which is still under construction. Please deposit donations at the Banco de Oro Naga-Plaza Rizal Branch account number 5970033244 Divine Mercy Parish 4405. For more info, call +63 (054) 255-6926.
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