SHRINE OF OUR LADY OF GRACE PARISH
Established: May 5, 1946
11th Avenue (Eugene de Mazenod Street), Caloocan City
Tel. No.: (02) 364 – 4734, (02) 364 - 5905
PARISH PRIEST: Rev. Fr. Alberto G. Cahilig, OMI
OFTEN CALLED THE BLACK BELTERS OF CHRIST, the specialists in difficult missions –– the Oblates of Mary Immaculate (OMI) has been continuously faithful to its objective of preaching the gospel to the poorest of the poor, as well as uplifting human conditions. With fifty – four fruitful years of Ecclesial existence, Our Lady of Grace Parish is the oldest among the five parishes under the Vicariate of the Our Lady of Grace. The creation of the parish on May 5, 1946 on a 3, 964 sq. m donated lot on 11th Avenue marked the beginning of the OMI evangelization in the heart of Kalookan City.
The Our Lady of Grace Parish was once a small hut where religious services were held in the presence of few people. It commenced when the Archbishop of Manila, Most Rev. Michael J. O’ Doherty, granted the request of the OMI Superior in the Philippines, Rev. Fr. Gerard Mongeau, to establish a house in Grace Park. The Philippine Realty Corporation, administrators of the Grace Park Subdivision, donated the use of eight lots in Block 171 for the church. With the help of the U.S. Signal Corps, a temporary chapel was built.
The first Eucharistic Celebration was done on May 16, 1946, by Rev. Fr. Joseph F. Boyd, OMI, attended by thirty–five people. The small church was blessed on September 1946, with the Good Shepherd Convent taking care of the choir and the church decoration.
But as early as mid–1949, just three years after the inauguration of the church, the need for a bigger space was seen because the number of parishioners can no longer be accommodated. In response to this necessity, the people of Grace Park launched a fund–raising campaign. After two years, a new church was ready to be blessed by the Archbishop of Manila, Rev. Msgr. Gabriel Reyes.
The parish, a product of the Second Vatican Council (1963 – 1965), responded to the call of mounting the dignity of man, being the “People of God”, by renewing the way of Christian Life and Church Structure. Through the active leadership of the OMI Fathers and the Oblates of Notre Dame (OND) Sisters, Basic Ecclesial Communities were organized in eight specific areas of the parish, in order to aid the people regarding the political, environmental, and socio–economical issues. It is also in this period that, the Notre Dame of Greater Manila was established, a school governed by the Oblates of Mary Immaculate that aims to form people of aptitude and morals.
Today, Our Lady of Grace Parish is a clear reflection of what people living in Kalookan are like; industrious, helpful, loving, and faithful. Time may move on, but the spirit of St. Eugene de Mazenod and of our Mother will continue to stir through the lives of his priests and her parishioners.
OUR LADY OF GRACE
SAINT EUGENE DE MAZENOD
CHARLES JOSEPH EUGENE DE MAZENOD WAS BORN IN AUGUST 1, 1782 ON Aix–én–Provence, France from a struggling aristocratic family. He looked to be assured of his family’s wealth, but things started to shift as the French Revolution unfolded.
Saint Eugene grew in an environment of turmoil and uncertainty; he was only eight years old when they fled France as political refugees. As they trailed through Italian cities, he lived a life that was never secured.
But as they moved through Venice, a sympathetic priest that lives adjacent to their house, Don Bartolo Zinelli, educated the young de Mazenod. Don Bartolo gave Saint Eugene a fine and fundamental education, but with the lasting sense of God.
And as they moved to several places, such as Naples, the clouds of ambiguity grew darker. It was only in Palermo, through the Duke and Duchess of Cannizzaro that the de Mazenod family experienced a noble life. Saint Eugene took the title “Count de Mazenod”, and for once, a great light opened up for his future.
But again, Saint Eugene’s family succumbed to poverty as they returned to France with their homeland appearing a lot different. His parents got separated; his mother was trying hard to obtain their lost possessions; and his sisters were out to marry men of nobility. Saint Eugene, on his part, was supposed to marry the richest possible heiress in France. The plan saddened Saint Eugene, for he was not given any freedom.
Yet it was not only his mother’s selfishness that troubled him, but the status of France. He felt extreme compassion for the destitute people, for the prisoners, and for the French Church that was attacked by the Revolution. It was in his return to his homeland that the teaching of faith in Venice began to surface.
On a certain Good Friday, Saint Eugene came to the realization that he was called to serve God. But his mother would not allow him to become a priest as the de Mazenod clan is at the point of evaporation, because he was the last male descendant. His sisters cannot carry the name for the rest of their lives, because they were to marry, thus changing their surname.
Yet Saint Eugene was determined to be a priest. Despite his mother’s opposition, he entered the seminary of Saint Sulpice in Paris. He was ordained as a priest on December 21, 1811.
Saint Eugene returned to Aix–én–Provence, where he first conducted his missions to the poor, both of faith and material. Little by little, the Missionaries of Provence grew into a world–renowned Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, which is famous for being the specialists of difficult missions. Until now, Saint Eugene’s successors are scattering the light of God through physical, economical, and religious assistances, across sixty–eight countries.
FEAST DAY/ FIESTA DAY
First Sunday of May
Rev. Fr. Joseph Boyd, OMI 1946 – 1948
Rev. Fr. Emile Bolduc, OMI 1948 – 1952
Rev. Fr. James Mc Sorley, OMI 1952 – 1954
Rev. Fr. Joseph Milford, OMI 1954 – 1957
Rev. Fr. Edward Gordon, OMI 1957 – 1963
Rev. Fr. Andrew Horgan, OMI 1963 – 1967
Rev. Fr. Primo Hagad, OMI 1967 – 1968
Rev. Fr. Robert Callahan, OMI 1968 – 1970
Rev. Fr. Primo Hagad, OMI 1970 – 1972
Rev. Fr. Bienvenido Leandicho, OMI 1972 – 1977
Rev. Fr. Enrique Gonzales, OMI 1977 – 1980
Rev. Fr. Ernest Sylvester, OMI 1980 – 1986
Rev. Fr. Federico Labaglay, OMI 1986 – 1992
Rev. Fr. Eleno Balboa, OMI 1992 – 1997
Rev. Fr. Jose Ante, OMI 1998 – 2001
Rev. Fr. Romeo Marcelino, OMI 2001 – 2004
Rev. Fr. Ruben Ma. Gomez, OMI 2004 – 2006
Rev. Fr. Eleno Balboa, OMI 2006 –
Rev. Fr. Rogelio Caalim, OMI
Rev. Fr. Alberto Cahilig, OMI
PARISH PASTORAL COUNCIL CHAIRPERSON
Bro. John Fortes
Monday to Saturday – 5:30 AM, 6:45 AM; 6:00 PM
Sundays – 5:00 AM, 6:00 AM, 7:15 AM, 8:30 AM, 9:45 AM 3:45 PM, 5:00 PM, 6:15 PM, 7:30 AM
Saturdays – 10: 30 AM (Registration); 11: 00 AM (Seminar and Baptism)
Sundays – First Batch: 10: 30 AM (Registration); 11: 00 AM (Baptism)
Second Batch: 12: 00 AM (Registration); 12: 30 PM (Baptism)
Once a year (Fiesta)
Monday to Saturday (except Wednesdays) – 9:30 AM; 2:30 PM, 4:00 PM
Wednesdays – 9:30 AM; 2:30 PM
4: 30 PM – novena to Mother of Perpetual Help (with Benediction)
5: 30 PM – novena to Mother of Perpetual Help (w/o Benediction)
6: 45 PM – novena to Mother of Perpetual Help (with Benediction)