June 23, 2024

“What motivated you to get married in the church when you can just cohabitate or be content with civil marriage?” This was the starting question that animated our beautiful conversation.
Mary Ann Langcayas and Villamor Bacullo turned their contract into a covenant when they wed on Nov. 26 at St. Vincent Church, Baguio City.
Mary Ann said they want to receive the sacrament of marriage not because of legality but out of respect to God, to obey His word, and out respect to their parents.
Mary Ann and Villamor or Bal started their relationship when they were still teenagers. They first met in family gathering in Quezon Hill, Baguio City.
“We had been on and off for quite some time but we had been together for eight or nine years already.”
The number eight symbolizes a new beginning. Hence, eight years of nurturing friendship is a good foundation to build a good married life and eventually a family.
Mary Ann experienced the friendship of Bal with his qualities. Her heart did not doubt anymore the love of Bal and it confirmed that receiving the sacrament of marriage will surely fortify and bless their relationship more.
“He is a man of determination. He never left me especially when work and life are challenged. Even without mentioning the difficulties, he feels it,” Mary Ann said recalling that they too had quarrels although this rarely happened.
Bal, on the other hand, sees Mary Ann as a selfless, humble, diligent, and a beautiful lady. She is a woman whose heart lives and works for children especially those abused and neglected.
Chato, Bal’s mother, is model of a well-rounded-parenting and a witness of faithful love. As an entrepreneur, she never forgets to seek the guidance of God in the workplace. She puts God first in the family and in the relationship. She has a strong sense of the divine and constantly affirms that blessings are from God and it is just fitting to praise, glorify, and thank God.
Chato and Bacullo are good examples for the new couple to emulate.
Chato made an annual medical mission and gift giving to become traditions. The Bacullo family is without doubt, a generous and loving family.
I am against illegal drugs, excessive alcohol, and gambling because I have witnessed its adverse effects to the family. These social issues destroyed many lives, disturbed relationships, broke couples and families. The kingdom of God is a kingdom of peace, not a source of division and hatred. Hence, as Christian couples, reject illegal drugs, gambling, and excessive alcohol at home. Children are abused and violated in the family because of these.
Dec. 3 marks my 20th year as a priest. My two decades of priestly life revolved in my loving service to the people especially in the celebration of the sacraments, singing to glorify God and attract people to God, and working for peace through living and spreading justice.
Twenty years ago, Bishop Francisco F. Claver, SJ ordained me at Sta. Rita Cathedral on the Feast of St. Francis Xavier.
Rev. Fr. Castañeda celebrated his 37th year as a priest of selflessness, generosity, and beauty on Dec. 3 as well. He inspired me a lot. He animated me to discover my vocation to the priesthood.
To all those who worked with me, to all those who journeyed and walked with me through thick and thin, to all those who doubted my capacity, to all those who made my life difficult, to all those who celebrated with me, to all those who cried with me when persecution and challenges battled my life, to all those who made me a collaborator in the mission of social justice and evangelization, I thank you all.
Reach me at [email protected].