Celebrating love and generosity

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Friday, August 15, 2014


OVER 300 parishioners, family members and friends gathered at the Redemptorist Church last Monday, August 11, to celebrate the 69th birthday of Monsignor Victorino Rivas, JCD, beloved rector of the Shrine of Our Lady of Perpetual Help.

Mons Vic, as he is more fondly called, celebrated the Thanksgiving Mass with fellow birthday celebrant Fr. Elmer "Dodoy" Poniado, vice-rector of the Redemptorist Shrine, and Fr. Salvador Barcelona, procurator of the Sacred Heart Seminary, Fr. Raymond Asoy, Fr. Ruel Jundos, Fr. Chris Gonzales, Fr. Ronald Quijano, Fr. Dimitri Gatia, Fr. Serafin Nava, US-based Fr. Norman Segovia, the Pallotine Fathers led by Fr. Binay Bhushan Barwa, and several other priests.

In his homily during the Mass, Fr. Raymond Asoy recalled an oft-repeated urging by Pope Francis: “In this contemporary world, we do not need preachers, we need true witnesses.”

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For Fr. Asoy, Mons Vic is a witness to generosity, being one who shares everything that he has.

“One cannot be generous unless you love deeply. And you cannot love others deeply unless you love God,” he said.

Fr. Asoy recalled that many years ago, he was with Mons Vic when they passed a church where a very nice car was parked. He jokingly pointed it out, saying “Do you think that priest has more money than you, Mons?” Mons Vic replied, “You know, that’s not what is important. What’s important in life is that you are good to people. Always.”

And indeed, Monday night’s gathering is a testimony on how much love and goodness Mons Vic has shared with many of us through the years.

Leading the well-wishers were Bacolod Mayor Monico Puentevella, first lady Josefa “Patching” Puentevella, Mons Vic’s aunts, nephews and nieces from the Rivas-Abueg-Galang families, students and staff of the John Paul II National Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family where Mons Vic serves as director, and the University of St. La Salle community led by Bro. Ray Suplido, FSC where Mons Vic is a professor.

Showing their love and support to their long-time chaplain and shepherd were representatives from the Christian Family Movement, Legion of Mary, Mother Butler Mission Guild, Daughters of Mary Immaculate, as well as the ministers, lectors, and choir of the Redemptorist Church.

We wish Mons Vic more years and blessings so he may continue to share them with everyone. Happy birthday, Mons Vic!*

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on August 15, 2014.

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