A Catholic Parish Inside a Predominantly Muslim Community Commemorates 20 Years of Presence

A parish in a remote island located at the southern tip of Davao Occidental province in Mindanao celebrated its 20th foundation anniversary last October 1, 2017.

The Santa Teresita del Nino Parish on Balut island celebrated its parish fiesta on the feast of its patroness, Saint Therese of Lisieux.  The parish was established in 1997 and started with only 2,000 Catholics, in the midst of a predominantly Muslim community.

Its parish priest, Father Saturnino Andoy arrived in the parish 3 years ago, and said that prior to the establishment of the parish in 1997, Catholics seldom saw a priest on the island.  For last Sunday's Mass, some of the parishioners from nearby islets had to row for over an hour just to be able to attend the Eucharistic celebration.

Fr. Andoy said that the success of the parish is measured by the unity of its parishioners and not by its number. He said that the flock is very solid, and their faith is very strong.

The parish church was completed in the year 2000, and has since had a parish priest assigned to it.  It is under the ecclesiastical territory of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Digos.

Source: (ucanews.com)