Pasko sa Opol – Christmas in Opol

Every December the SCJ postulants of the Sacred Heart Formation House would traditionally go through an immersion program for 10 days during the Christmas novena.

For this year we decided to hold the immersion in Mother of Divine Mercy Village in Opol, Misamis Oriental. The village is home to 326 families who survived Sendong. Actually, it is one of the relocation sites of the Sendong survivors. The congregation of the Priests of the Sacred Heart is one of the lead groups which helped establish this village.

On December 21, the 6th day of the immersion, the postulants were joined by the members of the Dehonian family–the youth & the lay group through the medical-dental-food and gift giving activities.

The families living in the village continue to struggle to survive in their daily life, coping without access to clean water and electricity. Thus, we decided that the outreach of the Dehonians be held in the village.

The mission focused on the children who were able to avail of free medical and dental services. The medicines prescribed were freely provided. The dental teams were from the Health Services Department of the Philippine National Police and Bureau of Fire Protection. The dentists performed tooth extraction to 100 children. Also to some adults. The medical team was from the Department of Health joined by 2 private doctors and a nurse. A pharmacist was likewise present who helped in the dispensation of medicines

The kids also enjoyed the food packs, loot bags, and games spearheaded by a group of teachers who collaborated in this affair. Some friends of the SCJs sponsored and gave popcorns and ice cream which delighted the children. They had a lot of fun.

The day was loaded with simultaneous activities courtesy of generous benefactors and friends of the SCJs. The lay and the youth groups provided assistance according to their assigned tasks.

The outreach was a success… an outpouring of generosity of time, treasure & talents of diverse groups united in their effort to provide service to Sendong survivors in Mother if Divine Mercy Village. Thanks be to God!

By: Fr. Andrew Sudol, scj