Archbishop visits missionary priests
By Myrna S. Bermudo
Caceres Archbishop Rolando J. Tria Tirona, OCD, DD, visited Fr. Benito Velasco in the Diocese of Christchurch, New Zealand, on February 6 to 11.
Fr. Benito Velasco, a priest of the Archdiocese of Caceres, has been a missionary in the Diocese of Christchurch since October 2014. He also serves as the Chaplain of the Filipino Community of Christchurch.
While in Christchurch, the Archbishop met with the Filipino communities being ministered to by Fr. Velasco.
Bicol Express Community of Canterbury in Christchurch organized a mass and gathering on February 6, at the Saint Peter’s Parish Compound , Beckenham, Christchurch.
The Filipino Community of Invercargill in Saint Mary’s Basilica in Tyre, Invercargill, NZ, celebrated the Eucharist with Archbishop Tirona on February 7. On February 8, the Filipino community in Christchurch also gathered for Mass in Christ the King Parish, Burnside, Christchurch.
Caceres Archbishop Rolando J. Tria Tirona, OCD, DD (center) pose for a group photo with Fr. Gerome Pelagio, Mission director (left), Fr. Benito Velasco (right), missionary priest from Caceres and the Bikol Express Filipino Community of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand. A mass was held on February 6, 2023 at the Saint Peter’s Parish Compound Beckenham, Christchurch, New Zealand. Fr. Benito Velasco, missionary priest to the Diocese of Christchurch, New Zealand, was visited by Most Rev. Rolando J. Tria Tirona, on February 6-11, 2023.
Archbishop Tirona also visited Fr. Joaquin Camano, another missionary priest from the Archdiocese of Caceres to the Diocese of Christchurch since October 2014. The visit occured on February 9 to 10, in Saint Mary’s Parish, Hotikita, NZ.
Organized by the Auckland Catholic Chaplaincy, Couples for Christ and Peñafrancia Association, a Mass was held on February 12, 2023 at the Saint Benedict’s Catholic Church Parish Compound in Auckland. with Archbishop Tirona as main celebrant together with the missionary priests from Caceres.
Fr. Rico Angelo dela Torre and Fr. Marlon Tebelin, both from Caceres also serves as missionary priests in the Archdiocese of Wellington, NZ.
“The program of sending missionary priests to other dioceses in other parts of the world help preserve the faith of the people. They serve as beacons, “ said Fr. Gerome N. Pelagio, mission director of the Archdiocese of Caceres.