Archbishop to Catholic Schools: “Remain Catholic! Prove your Catholic Identity!”

July 11, 2014

10423881_10203231764172440_986319273634177436_nLIPA CITY, July 11, 2014 .- At his address today to the representatives of Lipa Diocese Catholic Schools Association, Archbishop Arguelles noted that “We are instruments of Catholic apostolate. That is why we must review what we are doing. Are we producing good Catholics among our students? Or are we just making money out of the desire of the parents to have Catholic education?

Archbishop Arguelles invited the LIDICSA member schools to a musical play about the life of Bishop Versoza entitled Ang Pasyon ni Obispo Alfredo Versoza ng Vigan at Lipa. He said, “I encourage you to watch this musical which will be shown in Lipa in the Cultural and Youth Center on July 26 and 26 which will have two showings a day, 2:00 in the afternoon and 7:00 in the evening.”

He urged them, “Please do not miss that. Please do not hesitate to tell that to the children. Many of the students in our schools supposedly belonging to the LIDICSA (Lipa Diocese Catholic Schools Association) do not know that we have saintly bishops in person of Bishop Obviar and Bishop Versoza. Many of them do not know that Our Lady Mary Mediatrix is identified with Lipa. The mystery of the mediation of Mary is not purely Lipa but we are blessed that here they talk so much about it. Everywhere in the world that refer to Lipa even if they do not know much about the Philippines they know about Lipa.

The Archbishop lamented that “Many of our students do not even know what the Blessed Mother asked of us. How many of you Catholic schools have time for rosary with the children. I know some do sometimes not every day. So that the children will know even without understanding it who the Blessed Mother is and why she asks us to pray with her the story of Jesus’ life that she lived and we must also live.”

“May i also extend invitation for you, and I do not say all the time, to be part of our Marian days of prayer. Many peoples have realized outside Batangas that we are really blessed and preserved from many calamities. Why? It is because of the special concern of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Why? It is because of our special devotion to her in our prayer. Please get involved in the initiatives of the local Church as far as the environment is concerned. We are known all over the Philippines that we are ecological community. The government cooperates with us even with difficulty because some of them agreed to the destruction of our nature in exchange of money.

Archbishop Argulles concluded by posting a challenge to the member schools by saying, “asking the help of our holy bishops, let us really make sure that our Catholic schools are identified as Catholic. Our Catholic schools are non-profit and non-stock schools. Let us maintain our schools supposed reputation as a major agent of evangelization. So, Catholic schools should know what the Catholic Church is talking about called New Evangelization. You should know that. I hope you do! Thank you.”

(thanks to Sem. Jamester Atwood Arandia)


Bishop Alfredo Verzosa, the Musical in the Making

April 3, 2014

(April 2, 2014) – A musical stage play on the life and work of the first Ilocano Bishop and the first Filipino Bishop of then Diocese of Lipa, Bishop Alfredo Florentin Verzosa, is in the making.  In a press conference held at SM Taguig, it was announced that sometime July this year,  Bishop Alfredo Verzosa, the Musical will be staged first at SM Lipa City  before going into other venues in Luzon, Visayas and even Mindanao. This is part of the nation-wide drive to introduce the late Bishop Verzosa to Filipino Catholics as his cause for beatification, and eventual canonization.  The cause of his beatification has already been initiated in the Archdiocese of Nueva Segovia (Vigan) last year in an elaborate rites, presided over by Archbishop Ernesto Salgado, now Archbishop-Emeritus of Nueva Segovia.

Bishop Alfredo Verzosa was the first Ilocano priest to be elevated to the episcopacy.  His staunch defence of the Catholic Faith during the Aglipayan schism was legendary.  According to Mother Julie Micosa, MCSH, superior-general of the congregation which he later founded while serving as bishop of the then Diocese of Lipa,  he was stoned and threatened with physical harm so many times by the enemies of the Church but miraculously he escarped them all.

He succeeded Bishop Guiseppe Petrelli as Bishop of Lipa, who presided over his consecration as bishop at the Cathedral of San Sebastian, thus making him the first Filipino Bishop of the Diocese of Lipa.  According to Archbishop Ramon Arguelles,  he was the Bishop who served the longest in the local church of Lipa.  He was the prelate when the alleged appearance of Mary Mediatirx of All Grace, accompanied with the shower of roses, took place in the early 50s.  When a commission of bishops declared this as “not extra-ordinary”,  he was retired as Bishop and spent his remaining years at his home diocese in Vigan, where his tomb has been refurbished after having been forgotten and neglected until a young theologian-seminarian took notice of the inscription at one of supposedly tombs at the Cathedral’s side cemetery with the inscription “Bishop Alfredo Verzosa, Bishop of Lipa”. Fr. Erickson Josue, who did the biography of Bp. Verzosa as his paper for graduation in the seminary,  is now a member of the historical commission that helps in the cause for his beatification.

Auditions are being held at the different SM branches in Lipa City, SM North in Manila, SM Pamapanga and SM Rosales, Pangasinan.

All Systems Go for Taal Lake Fest 2013

July 27, 2013

(San Nicolas, Batangas) –  The program for the two-day Taal Lake Fest 2013, September 7-8, 2013,  has been approved by the Executive Committee during its July 18 meeting held at the Dolor Pavillon, Antipolo de l Norte, Lipa City.  Before the meeting, a Mass, presided over by Archbishop Ramon C. Arguelles of the Archdicoese of Lipa, was held to emphasize the religious nature of this Taal Marian Regatta, now on its second year.  The Mass also signalled the launching of this event,  which starts the 10th National Marian Pilgrimage to the Shrine of Mary Mediatrix of All Grace to culminate on September 12, 2013.

September 7 will be the Socio-Cultural part of the festivities around Taal Lake.  For the second time,  the municipality of San Nicolas will be the hub of these activities which include the launching of the photo contest, food and trade fair which would last till the following day, and cultural shows under the aegis of the Department of Education.  By this time,  intensive and final preparations of the boats and images, under the watchful eyes of the PNP, Coast Guard and Maritime authorities to ensure their safety, are being undertaken in teh different parishes surrounding the Lake.

The following day,  boarding by participants in the fluvial procession around Taal Volcano is expecting to start as early as 4:00 am, in the different designated points in the 9 towns surrounding the Lake.  This year, with the advice of the authorities,  the participants will be limited to those aged 14 to 60 years old,  discouraging people with disabilities  to join the fluvial pilgrimage.  By 6:00 am, after the blessing of the boats and participants to be led by the Archbishop, participated in by the other priests connected through the 2 radio stations of the Archdiocese,  the boats will set to the middle of the lake and at a given signal will move clockwise round the Volcano, setting off to San Nicolas as the final port destination.  To ensure the religious fervor during the trip,  participants will follow the prayers led from the San Nicolas covered court.  The boats are to be equipped with loud monitors.  The radio stations — DWAM-FM Spirit 99.1 and DWAL-FM RAdyo Totoo 95.9 — will carry the prayers live for the participants to follow and participated in.  This activity is expected to finish by 10:30 am.

After the fluvial procession,  the Eucharistic sacrifice will follow at the covered court.  With the theme, “Through Mother Mary of Lake Taal, Faith and Total Progress for Stewards of God’s Creation”, one of the highlights in this year’s celebration is the signing of Covenant for Environmental Protection and Preservation, especially the Taal Lake and Pansipit River.  This would be participated in by the Municipal Mayors of the towns surrounding the Lake,  the Church authorities and other government and non-government agencies, currently involved in safeguarding the area, following last year’s fish kill and other environmental problems that arose in the area .

The Executive Committee is headed by Msgr. Alfredo Madlangbayan, chairman with Mr. Pepe Alcantara as his co-chair.  Members are the Parish Priests, Mayors and Cultural, arts and Tourism Officers of the 2 cities (Lipa and Tanauan), 9 Towns (Cuenca, Alitagtag, Sta. Terestia, San Nicolas, Talisay, Balete and Mataas na Kahoy) and 3  other parishes (Subic, Agoncillo; Balele, Tanauan City; and Pinagtong-ulan, Lipa City).  Also in the Executive Committee are the representative of the Provincial Government and the Provincial Tourism Office,  representatives of PNP, Coast Guard and Maritime.  Ms. Edith Aandro, Ms. Aylene Acorda and Mr. Johnny Laylo comprise the secretariat;  Ms. Angel Ortiz and Ms. Fritzie Tabones are the event organizers/coordinators.

Shrine to Celebrate First Anniversary of Its Ties with St. Mary Majors

May 22, 2013

(Labac, Taal, Batangas) –  This Archdiocesan Shrine of Our Lady of Caysasay will celebrate its first anniversary of being granted that privilege of giving plenary indulgence to pilgrims and devotees just as they would should they visit the Basilica of St. Mary Majors in Rome.  It will be recalled that on June 3, 2012,  the Shrine received the Decree from the Vatican Office  grating plenary indulgence to pilgrims and devotees who’d visit the place on major Marian feasts like Assumption, Immaculate Conception, and on Saturdays, if they fulfill the usual conditions, i.e., going to confession, receiving communion, and praying for the intention of the Holy Father.

Fr. Von Cumagon, the Shrine’s Rector, announced that a novena of Masses would be offered in preparation for the June 3 celebration.  Archbishop Ramon C. Arguelles will preside over the Concelebrated Mass on June 3, 2013 at 9:00 am.

Archbishop Calls for Continue Battle against Immorality

January 7, 2013

(Batangas City) –  “Let not the Evil One triumph in our midst!”

This battle cry echoed in the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in this city as it opened  the nine-day preparation for the traditional fiesta

Sto. Nino with his mangled crown


the city’s patron,  Sto. Nino, on Januray 16.  In his homily he mentioned the proliferation of lodges, which he said everybody a

greed that these are not places where families can go.

“Lodges, motels and the like are places which promote infidelity among married couples.  They victimize mostly young girls, who are in dire need of money to support their lifestyle or school expenses,” he continued.



He also cited the impertinence of some people who put up a tent which caters to number games — jueteng or the legal STL — adjacent to the wall of the Basilica.  Before the Mass,  he was led by Fr. Nonie Dolor, director-manager of the local church’s radio station, to see the place where the tent once stood.  Apparently,  this was dismantled just that morning by the local security men of the City hall.  The priest-mediaman showed the Archbishop a picture taken of the tent which shows the results of the number game, among others.

He also called on Batanguenos to continue to fight the RH Law, as this lessens the dignity of people.  He urged his listeners to “paint the province red”, referring to the red ribbon campaign launched by pro-lifers, to signify the opposition to the recently-signed and published RH Law.

“Let us show that we Batanguenos support our congressmen who voted No to the Bill when it was put into vote in the House,”  he explained.  The putting of ribbons all over the province was one gift he asked of those who greeted him in his 19th episcopal anniversary last January 6.

2012 in review. Thanks to those who liked and used our news reports. This is a vital part of our evangelization. Keep supporting us by sending in your comments, queries, or anything you’d like to let me know

December 30, 2012

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 7,200 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 12 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

Marian Regatta at Taal Lake to be Held Annually!

December 8, 2012

(Lipa City) –  It’s final!  The Marian Regatta at the scenic Taal Lake will become a yearly affair, and for next year 2013,  San Nicolas will again be the host town among the 12 towns surrounding the lake.  This the Executive Committee, headed by Archbishop Ramon C. Arguelles, decided during the evaluation meeting held last December 5 at the Archbishop’s Residence.  

The Committee cited the successful launching of the first-ever fluvial procession around the Volcano.  The unexpected attendance, not only of local devotees but also of other devotees coming from Manila and even from overseas, was seen as a propitious kick-off activity to the annually held National Marian Pilgrimage to Lipa for Reconciliation, Peace and Sanctification of the Clergy, held every September 12.  

In choosing San Nicolas to be again the host parish/town of the Regatta 2013,  the Committee said that the parish/town’s accessibility to the participants is the number 1 factor in the successful holding of the first regatta.  The Mayor of San Nicolas, Hon. Epifanio Sandoval, and the parish priest, Fr. Sabas Titular, readily accepted this decision and vowed to prepare way ahead and outdo the celebration held last year in the same venue.  

Archbishop Arguelles said that he was overwhelmed at the devotion showed during this first fluvial procession, which drew the participation of more than 300 vessels coming not only from the 12 towns surrounding the lake but also from the towns outside the lake.  The vessels were adorned not only by flowers but also carried the Marian images that were the objects of veneration in their parishes.  On the other hand, the local and provincial governments saw this as also good vehicle for promoting tourism.  Governor Vilma Santos Recto led local government officials in joining this primarily religious activity.  

“This is our way of honoring the Mother of God during her birthday.  We also show our gratitude to God for sparing Batangas from calamities.  We offer prayers so that the Volcano would do less harm, if ever,” so said the actress-turned-governor.  

The Executive Committee, on the suggestion of the Archbishop, re-appointed Fr. Eleuterio Ramos, parish priest of Alitagtag town, one of the towns around Taal Lake, to be the over-all chairman of next year’s festivities.  It also re-appointed Mr. Pepe Alcantara, a resident of San Nicolas and a non-government official, as the co-chair.  It would name the chairmen of the ad-hoc committees like program, invitation, security and promotion.  It would also name coordinators from the Chancery, Provincial Government, and other Sectors to the Executive Committee.    


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