Back to the mountains: the St. Vincent Ferrier chapel located on a hill, at an altitude of some 1,000 m, serves as a dispensary this Thursday, February 20. The site is exceptional and offers us a panoramic view of the surrounding mountains and valleys that must be crossed by more or less reinforced roads. But it was worth the detour: as far as the eye can see, banana plantations, bamboo plantations, pineapple plantations, mango forests, and other huge trees of the tropical canopy.
An “ordinary” mission day: numerous consultations with a brief interruption for the lunch cooked on site by the inhabitants of the village; minor surgery in a tiny school classroom,—it’s true that Filipinos are not giants. Distribution of medicines and eyeglasses until nightfall,—in these remote corners, electrification is fairly basic. Management and monitoring of a patient for heart disease. The priest’s presence enabled him to receive the extreme unction, which was also given to another patient at his home in one of these poor little makeshift huts.
And of course on the “Catholicism area” side, the catechists of the Legion of Mary and the sisters are not idle. We are in a Catholic-majority area, even if we could see a mosque under construction on the way up. At the end of the day, many children and adults will be in the front row in the chapel to recite the rosary and attend Mass, where they will also receive miraculous medals and the scapular.
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Captions for the Slideshow
Photo 1: A classroom transformed into an operating theater.
Photo 2: A sumptuous view of the mountain and tropical countryside.
Photo 3: The St. Vincent Ferrier chapel.
Photo 4: “Waiting room” under guard.
Photo 5: The chapel transformed into a dispensary. The sanctuary is separated by a curtain decorated with panels of the Mysteries of the Rosary painted by the Oblate Sisters.
Photos 6 and 7: Care of souls and care of the body. After her feeling faint, this patient was able to confess and receive the extreme unction.
Photo 8: A very modest but touching chapel, lost in these mountains at the end of the world. This place is one of the most distant from the barangay (the municipality) to which this district is attached.
Photo 9: Care of souls.
Photo 10: Care of souls.
Photo 11: Our Lady of the Philippines.
Photo 12: Mass in the chapel at nightfall.
Photo 13: The kitchen area.
Photo 14: Lunch break.
Photo 15: Receiving the “Certificate of Appreciation”: Filipinos are fond of this kind of honorary ceremony. This is how they are used to showing their sincere gratitude to the members of the Mission.
Photos 16-17: portraits
Photos 18-19: “The Lord is my shepherd.”
Photo 20: Missionary!
Photo 21: A big thank you to our special correspondent!