SAINT VICENT FERRER PARISH
LABASON, ZAMBOANGA DEL NORTE
MSGR. BEDA B. BELOTINDOS, EV
REV. FR. JOHN WARREN B. MARATAS
Saint Vincent Ferrer Parish passed the half-century mark last year, having been established on March 25, 1941. It has undergone structural growth as it was handed on from pastor to another. The first three shepherds, Fr. Epefanio Baleares, Fr. Pio Saavedra and Fr. Bernardino Costa laid down the basic organization. Fr. Anacleto Pellano, who served the parish for seventeen years (1953-1970), was said to have built the church. Fr. Salvador Mora and Fr. Edito Gamallo focused their ministry on forming the people into communities. Fr. Faron Calumba, Fr. Noel Saldariega and Fr. Arnold Caboverde tried team-ministry and optional tithing as a alternative to “arancel system” Fr. Emigdio Socias rebuilt the rectory and animated further the ecclesial communities. Following him were priests who administered the parish for only two years of less: Fr. Philip Alicayos, Fr. Oswldo Bacareza, Fr. Renato Paluca and Fr. Hamilcar Blanco, Fr. Rodrigo Zafra, Fr. Gregorio Canonigo, Fr. Noel Salderiega and Msgr. Alfredo P. Ganson. Through the vibrant and effective leadership of Msgr. Fred, the BECs among the parishioners are strengthened, the renovation of the church was accomplished, the construction of the new parish convent was realized and the establishment of the St. Vincent’s Kindergarten School. The present parish pastor is Rev. Fr. Philip Alicayos.
The church as people shows maturity in their life of faith and service. Lay leaders, ministers, catechists and the youth continue to undergo formation seminars and in-services. Ministry among families, Bible seminars and health program have been held and implemented. Perpetual dawn rosary and ecology seminars have been introduced while cooperatives are gradually established. Indeed, the flock of St. Vincent Ferrer Parish has shown unity not only in terms of the conventional, mandated organizations but also as BECs. If they have gone a long way since its parochial erection, they will continue to scale more mountains.