Philippines – Manila
History of the Mission
On 2008, our Founder, Rev. Fr. Richard Ho Lung, MOP together with Fr. Ambrose Kulandairaj, MOP met with Cardinal Rosales for initial talks relative to the possibility of MOP Mission in said (San Andres Bukid) urban poor area within Metro Manila here in the Philippines.
While the eventual establishment of said mission was being arranged, including the donation/usufruct of the lot for the mission building and monastery, two (2) MOP Brothers were assigned, Br. Marc Maurice, MOP and Br.Rogelio Funtanares, Jr., with the supervision and assistance of Rev. Fr. Ambrose, MOP. They temporarily stayed at the Caritas Compound, Jesus Street, Manila, few blocks away from the mission area.
They had initial visitations to the different families and they would gather the children for catechism, singing songs in the mission area.
Due to the pressing need for a service car for the Brothers, a second-hand of 11-year old van was given by a friend through their mission in Naga City, Bicol on May 10, 2011. that was the actual date we left Naga for Manila.
The two Brothers felt the need to study Sign Language in order to fully serve the poorest of the poor in the mission area including the mute and the deaf and the special children. And they did study for three months at Catholic Organizations of/for the Deaf.
The two Brothers have their first visit to His Eminence, Most Rev. Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales, DD at around last week of May at 7:00 in the morning where the good Cardinal himself served them breakfast. They talked about the initial activities made to introduce the MOP Brothers in the mission area and the positive response of the people in the area. Initial talks about the lot was also done during this grace-filled encounter.
It was on the Feast of St. Martha, July 22, 2011 that the Deed of Usufructuary over the lot for the Mission Building and Monastery was finally signed by Msgr. Francisco G Tantoco, Jr. and Fr. Luke Moortgat CICM for the Archdiocese of Manila and Fr. Ambrose Kulandairaj and Bro. Marc for the MOP.
On the Feast of St. Bartholomew, Apostle, August 24, 2011, Br. Marc, MOP and Bro. Rogelio, MOP transferred from Caritas Compound and rented a house for P15,000/month nearer to the mission area in order to have easier access and supervision over the construction of the mission building and monastery.
On the Feast of St. Therese of the Child Jesus last October 1, 2011, the MOP Mission in San Andres Bukid, Manila had its Grand Opening with a free Medical Mission. Over a hundred (100+) indigent people received the MOP Brother’s services that day!! It was given as a package with breakfast, interview, dental check-up, haircut, medical check-up (vital signs), sharing values, physical therapy and pharmacy included. It was made possible with the help and assistance of some generous and noble-hearted professionals in the area.
November month was some kind of a very tight schedule for the MOP Brothers in this New MOP Community in San Andres Bukid, Manila. While the preparations for the “Dinner for A Cause” scheduled November 25, 2011 were being arranged and tickets were being distributed, the Grand Launching and Ground-breaking schedule of the Divine Mercy Apostolate Building was set on November 26, 2011 just in time with the presence (November 17-26) of the Very Rev. Fr. Richard Holung, MOP, General Superior of the Order, who was to receive a very prestigious GUSI AWARD for humanitarian advocacies at the PICC, Manila on November 24, 2011.
On January 26, 2012, the construction of the Clinic of the Divine Mercy Apostolate started. The Sponsor of the building construction was the “Lao Family.”
There was a soft blessing of the finished Clinic building dedicated to our Blessed John Paul II on the Feast of the Divine Mercy, April 15 (2nd Sunday of Easter). The Presider of the Blessing was Msgr. Rolando De la Cruz.The feast was also spiced with a Free Medical Clinic where over a hundred patients were treated by the generous Medical Doctors that day. Many still were not treated because of lack of time.