Parishioners welcome new Our Lady of Mount Carmel image

Parishioners of the Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish Church in Tagana-an, Surigao del Norte welcomed the arrival of the new life-size image of their patron saint, which was donated by Hinatuan Mining Corporation (HMC).

On the eve of the feast of the Our Lady of Mount Carmel, the parish church held the blessing and the crowning of the wooden image in a mass officiated by Fr. Josefito P. Mira, DCS (Diocesan Clergy of Surigao), the parish priest.

HMC Community Relations (ComRel) Manager Jay-R Resuera led the crowning while Lester Pascua of NAC Bulletin was in charge of adorning the image with a scapular.

In his homily, Fr. Mira thanked HMC-NAC for such donation saying that this could further strengthen the devotion of the parishioners to the Blessed Virgin Mary. The Our Lady of Mount Carmel is the title given to the Virgin Mary in her role as patroness of the Carmelite Order.

“Taos puso akong nagpapasalamat sa Hinatuan Mining Corporation at sa Nickel Asia dahil without them, we couldn't have this kind of celebration,” he said.

Fr. Mira added that the parishioners were impressed by the images’ appearance and size.

“Sa katunuyan humanga ang mga tao sa ganda at sukat ng imahen na tamang-tama lamang sa laki ng simbahan. Hindi basta-basta ang pagkakaroon ng ganyang kaganda at kalaking santo,” he said.

Fr. Mira also expressed belief that the new image of the Virgin Mary would bring unity to all the parishioners of Tagana-an.

Tagana-an Mayor Cesar B. Diaz, Jr. said the patroness image is “an emblem of

our hopes and prayers to the Lord through her intercession.”

“The image of the Our Lady of Mount Carmel the Parish Church’s patron saint being painstakingly carved courtesy of NAC is an emulation of the house of worship’s vibrant beauty and fulfillment for the people,” he said.

Susan Manubag, a devotee of the Our Lady of Mount Carmel, said the new image adds beauty to the church.

“Malaking tulong ang imaheng ibinigay ng HMC sa amin dahil makakapagpatatag ito ng pananampalataya ng mga tao dito kaya lubos ang aming pasasalamat sa pamunuan ng HMC-NAC dahil lagi silang andyan para magbigay ng tulong sa amin at maging gabay rin sa aming proyekto,” she said.

The replica was sculptured by renowned wood carver Jeffrey Baldemor, formerly and more popularly known as the actor Leandro, who is based in Paete, Laguna, the sculpture capital of the Philippines.

Baldemor said the project is “so special” for him as this would help strengthen the faith and the veneration of the devotees of the Our Lady of Mount Carmel.

“Malaking karangalan para sa akin na gawin ang imahen at tuwang-tuwa ako dahil personal kong nasaksihan ang mainit nilang pagtanggap sa aking obra,” he said.

Apart from the donation of the life-size image of the Our Lady of Mount Carmel, HMC also contributed for the rehabilitation and reconstruction of the parish church as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).

The company said it donated P2.5 million for the reconstruction of the church, the biggest the latter received from a private donor.

Mayor Diaz thanked HMC-NAC for such donation and assistance to the church saying that “your support spells out of having a heart for our faith and in unifying our intentions for the Church. You are indeed a blessing to us.

“In behalf of the local government of Tagana-an, Surigao del Norte conveys a profound gratitude and appreciation to Nickel Asia Corporation (NAC) through the management of HInatuan Mining Corporation (HMC) for being a prime benefactor and an immense contributor in the construction and completion of the Roman Catholic Church in the Tagana-an Parish,” he said.

The dedication and blessing of the newly-reconstructed church and altar was led by Most Rev. Antonieto D. Cabajog, D.D., Bishop of Surigao, who also expressed gratitude to NAC-HMC for the donation and financial support.

“Malaki ang pasasalamat natin sa NAC-HMC dahil sa tulong na ipinagkaloob nila maisaayos muli ang simbahan na nagsisilbing tahanan ng ating Panginoon,” he said.

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