An Inbox of Stories of Faith
By R. Francisco A. Evangelista / Natalie Hazel P. Quimlat, M.D.
There are many ways of telling a story - some do it by word of mouth, others write theirs, but either way, a story is told because we want to share our experiences with others, may it be of joy or sadness, of hope or grief. We tell our stories to give a part of ourselves to others.
When Jesus called Peter to be his disciple, the first thing Peter did was share the news to his brother and fellow fishermen. He did not keep his experience to himself, rather he called others as well; and it is in this spirit of sharing that the ‘Caceres Inbox’ - a page filled of Church news, information, stories of faith, opinions and reflections, has been born in 2009, specifically in preparation for the celebration of the Tercentenary devotion to ‘Ina’, Our Lady of Peñafrancia. Through the generous act of giving the Archdiocese a page in the local newspaper -the Bicol Mail, the Caceres Commission on Communications was able to reach those who knew nothing of 3G, LTE or wi-fi for that matter.
Even after the digital explosion in the early 2010s, people look forward to receiving a copy of the Bicol Mail, easily recognizable with its gold and red banner head, a beacon of truth and the bearer of our stories of faith, weekly delivered region-wide, to the comfort of our homes. Parishioners looked forward to seeing photos and reading stories of their daily Parish life. The page itself gave people so much joy to witness their stories of faith being documented. Page in hand, they would show these to their fellow parishioners as well. It was like that first moment when Jesus called Peter. Indeed, devotion begets devotion.
The Caceres Inbox, as previously said, was born out of devotion and has withstood the test of time because of that same devotion to keeping the faith alive and spreading the Good News. Challenging to sustain such a project, however, to see these stories printed on paper is like witnessing the proper documentation of Church history unfold before our very eyes.
And all these would not be made possible if it were not first and foremost for the generosity of Sir Nilo Aureus, of the hard work and perseverance not only of the members of the Caceres Commission on Communications but also of the staff of Bicol Mail, but most important of all, there would be no stories to tell, no life to breathe in this page were it not for the pastoral work we witness every single day in each and every Parish of our Archdiocese. It is because of our Parishioners -their life and their work, that we live through these times and through this page and by the grace of God, His Spirit, that all these have come into being -the good work of evangelization fulfilled thru print media.
Today may be our last issue but our work does not stop here. We shall continue to tell our stories. We shall continue to document our history, our stories of faith. The work of evangelization continues as we walk our faith, as we speak of our faith, until the next issue, we carry these stories in our hearts, like Mary, our Mother, our Ina.