CMMA holds soup kitchen for poor with Manila parish

Eternal Gardens volunteers and the CMMA Secretariat help Fr. Joselito Buenafe (in white t-shirt, standing third from right) distribute the bags of goodies.

TWO Catholic church institutions fed and gave away bags of basic goods to more than 300 people in Manila last Saturday (March 23) in joint celebration of their respective anniversaries. Medicines donated by drug laboratories and pharmacies were also distributed.

The Catholic Mass Media Awards (CMMA), as part of its yearlong celebration of its 40th anniversary last year, mounted a Soup Kitchen for the Poor jointly with the Santisima Trinidad Parish Church, itself celebrating its 25th anniversary.

The CMMA was established by Jaime L. Cardinal Sin, then-archbishop of  Manila, in 1978 as the means by which the archdiocese of Manila pays tribute to those “who serve God through the mass media.”  Thousands of communication professionals and students, through the Student CMMA, have received the award over the years.

The Santisima Trinidad parish was established on March 25, 1994, with Fr. Domingo Baybay as its first parish priest. Fr. Joselito Buenafe has been its parish priest for almost six years, with Fr. Agot Abril as auxiliary parish priest. The church is located on Estrada corner Dian Streets in Malate, Manila.

In his brief message to parishioners, Buenafe said the celebration was fitting and timely, “particularly in this season of Lent, which is a time for prayers, fasting and abstinence, and sharing with our fellow men.”

The church is unique among Catholic churches honoring the Holy Trinity. Besides the images of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit, an altar on the right side of the church displays an image of the Blessed Virgin Mary on her coronation.

Asked why this is so, Buenafe said the Catholic church “inherited the image from the Aglipayan church” that formerly owned and managed the structure.

Novaliches Bishop Emeritus Teodoro Bacani is credited with helping establish the Catholic parish 25 years ago, celebrating a street mass on Estrada street to gain the community’s support for the move.

Cory Estrella, a lay worker, said the image is known as La Virgen de las Santisima Trinidad.

The CMMA Secretariat led by Sasa Tobias and volunteers from Eternal Gardens served hot bowls of rice porridge with roast pork known as “lugaw with lechon kawali.” Church lay organizations also distributed bowls of noodle soup to parishioners.

CMMA trustee Benjamin V. Ramos was also on hand and helped distribute the bags of goodies.

Along with the Soup Kitchen, lay organizations also organized a medical mission that provided health checkups for vital signs of the mostly elderly residents of the community who took part in the project. Volunteer doctors were also present for consultations and further examinations of the parishioners.

On Sunday (March 24), Gaudencio B. Cardinal Rosales, archbishop emeritus of Manila, celebrated the third of a Triduum Mass, and today (Monday) the parish caps its silver anniversary celebration with a Holy Mass to be celebrated by Bishop Emeritus Bacani.

Image credits: Nonoy Lacza


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