March 3, 2024

Jesus said to his disciples: “Go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved.”
On May 22, the parents and grandparents of Van Ain Leo Manangdang gave the best gift to him: They celebrated his first birthday and had him baptized.
Van’s baptism was a modern-day Pentecost because the people who gathered to celebrate his gifts of life and faith came from different religious affiliations.
Van’s mother, Aileen, is an Anglican while his father, Ivan, is Roman Catholic.The guests were from different religious sects but they showed deep reverence during the baptism. It was a beautiful experience of unity amidst diversity. There was joy and mutual respect.
The Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Sagada was indeed blessed with the spirit of unity and harmony. We pray for Van Ain Leo that he may grow in the love of his parents. We pray as well for his complete healing and good health.
I love sharing the story of Van Ain’s grandparents, Engr. Leonardo “Nardo” and Consuelo “Connie” Manangdang.
Mang Nardo was a former member of the Iglesia ni Cristo while manang Connie is a devout Catholic.
Manang Connie never forced or persuaded her husband to change his religious affiliation but in God’s time, Nardo converted into the Catholic faith. He became an active church member and even submitted himself to trainings and seminars which qualified him to become a lay leader and a communion minister. He has also been recognized and awarded by the provincial government of Mountain Pro-vince for his selfless services.
Nardo is indeed a leader of moral integrity. His credibility has been winning him respect and true friends. As a grand knight of the Bontoc Knights of Columbus he is initiating se- veral projects and community services.
Connie is also an active member of the Catholic Women’s League (CWL). If there are activities in the church, she is among the diligent CWL member cleaning and decorating the altar and the stage. The couple is an inspiration to many families including Ivan and Aileen’s family.
The couple’s faithfulness to God impels them to live peacefully and happily as Christians.
“There are different kinds of spiritual gifts but the same spirit; there are different forms of service but the same Lord, there are different workings but the same God who produces all of them in everyone. Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.” (1 Corinthians 12:4-7)
Last Pentecost Sunday, May 23, at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, Prime Bishop-elect Brent Alawas of the Episcopalian Church (Anglican), preached to the Roman Catholic congregation about the power of the Holy Spirit at work before and now revealed in the history of the evangelization of the country to the hinterlands of Mountain Province.
The homily was loaded with the word of God incarnated in history, mission, vision, and in the Igorot culture. He underlined the necessity of churches to unite for the continuing evangelization of this generation. The congregation appreciated the Prime Bishop’s love to be with the people and to uplift each one in these trying times. He serenaded the congregation with country songs.
The basic ecclesial community of Our Lady of Mount Carmel brought food for lunch and we enjoyed. It was indeed an experience of modern-day Pentecost.
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