Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Peace and all good!
In behalf of the brothers of the Capuchin Philippine Province, I would like to congratulate Rev. Fr. Wilfredo C. Atienza, OFMCap., Parish Priest of Sta. Teresita del Niño Jesus Parish, Rev. Fr. Danilo S. dela Peña, OFMCap., the Guardian of the fraternity and the Parochial Vicar, all the Capuchin brothers of the Capuchin Fraternity in Sta. Teresita Parish and all of you our dear parishioners on the occasion of the 40th Anniversary as a parish and the Dedication of the Parish Church of Sta. Teresita del Niño Jesus. It is truly a blessing for all of you to have these two occasions falling on the very same date- August 23, 2017!
We remember that in scriptures the number “forty” has a significant meaning. It is associated with certain events in the bible. It rained forty days and forty nights during the great flood at the time of Noah. Forty days and forty nights signified the amount of time for sin to be wiped out of the face of the earth before everything can begin anew. Moses was on Mount Sinai for 40 days before God handed him the Law. “Forty days” here can be seen as a transition period for Israel from being a group of slaves to becoming a nation. Israel also wandered 40 years in the desert before entry into the Promised Land. “”Forty years” is ample time for them to know the Law and to grow stronger as a nation against their enemies. Our Lord himself spent forty days in the wilderness fasting and praying; “forty days” of preparation before His public ministry.
One could then look at the number forty in scriptures as a period of transition. It could be from a state of sin to holiness, a period of purification, a period of sanctification. It is with this in mind that celebrating the Dedication of the Parish Church of Sta. Teresita del Niño Jesus on its 40th Anniversary as a parish becomes even more relevant.
After forty years of challenges, living your Christian life in community, you have finally dedicated your parish church. One could say that you have also gone through a period of transition, a period of purification, a period of sanctification! But your work is not yet ended with the dedication. There is a saying, “Life begins at forty.” What a fitting way to begin a new phase of your life as a parish community than with the dedication of your parish church! You are now faced with the bigger challenge.
You are then reminded to grow more and more as a community building and supporting each other in holiness and love as you journey through the coming years with your patron St. Therese of the Child Jesus as your companion and guide. There could still be a lot of mountains to climb and storms to journey through but with the pillars of your church anointed with holy oils, you shall remain hopefully steadfast and firmly anchored in the Rock foundation of your life as community- none other than Christ! We then look forward to another forty years or even more as you bind yourselves together in the love of Christ.
God bless you all!
Rev. Fr. Eugenio Juanilo P. Lopez, OFMCap.
Capuchin Province of Our Lady of Lourdes