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By: Edgardo R. San Juan, MD - RMCCPC President

On January 26, 2018, the officers of the new Rizal Medical Center Chaplaincy Pastoral Council (RMCCPC), consisting of Chairpersons of different Committees and members of its sub-committees, had participated in the first activity of the Education Committee for the year 2018. It has been actively participated by the President, Dr. Edgardo R. San Juan, the VP, Dr. Louise Marie D. Flores, the Hospital Chaplain, Fr. Edgar M. Dolina, the Secretary, Ms. Violeta I. Serrano, the Treasurer, Ms. Isabel C. Reyes and the different Chairpersons of the Committees: Dr. Edilinda Garcia-Patac, Education; Dr. Ofelia Ibarrientos, Service; Ms. Fe B. Villanueva, Worship & Liturgy; Ms. Kit C. Acena, Temporalities & Finance; Atty. Rhea Julian, Ethics & By-Laws; Mr. Gian Carlo B. Leoncio, Membership; and all the members of the sub-committees with two (2) guests from the hospital chapel. Our departure from the Rizal Med was at 5:35 a.m. This trip was very organized as instructions about the excursion were first given by Dr. Patac, the Chairperson of the Education Committee and Mr. Brylle Zamora, a member of the same committee. Distribution of food and water to the excursion participants then took place followed by the praying of the rosary. It was a very exquisite pilgrimage as this act of religious devotion was under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

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The first destination was the Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church “Monastery” on Antipolo Rd. in Lipa, Batangas.  The Mediatrix of All-Graces was a Marian apparition that took place in the Carmelite Monastery of Lipa, Batangas, to former Carmelite postulant, Teresita Castillo. The apparition is known in the Philippines for the rose petals which fell within the vicinity of the monastery.

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The second destination was not originally included in the itinerary as we were just informed by Fr. Edgar about it. We were told that there is a Parish Church for Mary Mediatrix of all Graces which is different from the Monastery. It was quite fortunate for our group that we were able to get to that church which we found out was built on April 19, 2009. It is actually located at the back of the monastery.

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The next church the group visited was the Lipa Cathedral on G. Solis St., Lipa known as San Sebastian Church. The Lipa Cathedral is one of the most beautiful places of worship in the country with its beautiful artistic paintings on the walls and on the ceilings.

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The last destination was the Shrine of Padre Pio and the group really enjoyed the divinity of the place. What made this church interesting is its open-air design. There was a concelebrated mass at 2:00 p.m. with the Parish Priest and the Guests Priests (Fr. Edgar Dolina and the foreigner Priest). It was on Dec 3, 2006 that the first church structure of St. Padre Pio Shrine was established.

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Padre Pio is a very huge place standing on 1.6 hectares of land. There is a Holy Water Sanctuary located at the back of the church where everyone is allowed to fill up their bottles or containers with holy water for their sick relatives and friends.

This kind of pilgrimage will definitely be a yearly activity for the RMCCPC as it helps RMCCPC’s members refresh their connection with God.

We would also like to take this opportunity to thank, the Medical Center Chief of Rizal Med., Dr. RELITO M. SAQUILAYAN, for allowing this pilgrimage to happen and for his full support of RIZAL MEDICAL CENTER CHAPLAINCY PASTORAL COUNCIL’s endeavors.