Missionaries in Abra do ‘Walk for Peace’


by Maritess Beñas

BANGUED, Abra – The people of Abra led by the Divine Word College of Bangued walked for peace morning of Aug. 21 from this town to Pidigan.

“Walk for Peace”is actually a Marian pilgrimage organized by the Divine Word College of Bangued (DWCB) led by its president, Fr. Cirilo Ortega, SVD in celebration of the 99th anniversary of the Society of the Divine Word (SVD) Missionaries in Abra as part of the preparatory activities in the celebration of the SVD centennial next year, and the celebration of the Feast of Mary, Queen of Peace and Unity.

The Walk, which started at 6 a.m. at the DWCB quadrangle where the opening ceremony formally took place, was offered for peace in Abra and the Philippines particularly in Mindanao.

The walk was led by Monsignor Leopoldo Jaucian, bishop of Abra, and participated in by the priests, faculty, staff members, and students of the DWCB, Gov. Eustaquio Bersamin, and the Philippine National Police. The hikers from Bangued were received by the priests, faculty, staff members and students of St. Mary’s High School in Pidigan, and the community people.

After the walk, a Eucharistic celebration concelebrated by the participating priests led by the Bishop followed at the Shrine of Mary the Immaculate Conception.

In his homily, Jaucian expressed hope that justice and peace will be attained in Abra as he witnessed the solidarity of the people in making a sacrifice and praying together for peace. He said he felt stronger as he saw many people walking together.

Bersamin said he was so happy and he felt secured walking along with the many people of Abra despite his initial reluctance in joining the Walk considering his own situation of being at risk, being a political figure. He urged the people to continue praying for peace as he believes that “if we cannot attain peace through the laws of the land, we will, through Divine Peace.”

Bersamin also assured the public that he will facilitate the completion of the concreting of the road from Pidigan to San Isidro in time for the SVD centennial celebrations in San Isidro next year without having to wait for the conversion of said road from its current status as provincial road to national road. It may be recalled that the road to San Isidro has been requested by the SVD centennial working committee to be declares as Divine Word Road to recognize it as a historical landmark, with San Isidro being the cradle of the SVD Missions in the Philippines 100 years ago.(BaguioMidlandCourier)

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