“Halad Pasalamat” 152 receive Confirmation for free
CEBU, Philippines — Junrey Silvano, 18, did not have to spend a single centavo to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation at the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral on Tuesday.
He was one of the 152 privileged students of the University of the Visayas who were sponsored by the Jose R. Gullas (JRG) Halad Foundation to receive the holy sacrament for free. The Senior High student said he felt blessed by the foundation’s offer to pay for the expenses at the parish. Confirmation costs at least P200.
“Dako gyud ni nga tabang namo nga wala mi bayranan para mi makonpirmahan bisan piso tungod kay importanti sad kaayo para namo nga makadawat ani nga sakramento isip mga Katoliko,” he told The FREEMAN.
(It was a great help for us to receive the sacrament without paying even a single peso because it is also important, as Catholic, to receive it.)
More than that, he said he was elated because through confirmation, he also received spiritual nourishment and guidance – a feeling which he could not contain.
“I believe when you accept confirmation, you also accept the Holy Spirit. And I really feel blessed. I cannot explain how I felt during the confirmation rites. You can just feel the Holy Spirit within you,” he said.
“Especially with how things work right now when there are a lot of distractions, having received confirmation can also give you peace of mind and optimism. It will give you focus and guidance,” he added.
Msgr. Vicente Rey Penagunda, the Mass presider, said in his homily that in the sacrament of confirmation, people welcome the Holy (or good) Spirit to dwell in them.
He said that unlike Baptism, confirmants are already adults that can already exercise free will to accept the Holy Spirit and renew their faith.
“The Holy Spirit will strengthen us and give us courage and inspiration… and so allow that spirit of God to reign your hearts,” said Penagunda during the ceremony yesterday afternoon.
It was the fifth run of the mass confirmation initiated by JRG Halad Foundation, and part of a bigger annual program dubbed as “Halad Pasalamat,” a brainchild of Jose “Dodong” Gullas, The FREEMAN chairman and UV executive vice president.
Majority of the beneficiaries came from the different campuses of UV— Main campus (along Colon Street); Pardo campus in Cebu City, and the Mandaue City campus. The confirmants were also given free snacks after the religious rites. The foundation had also organized mass wedding for free.
Gullas said he noticed that most of the couples who availed of the mass weddings they have had in the past lack the requirements, particularly the confirmation certificate.
Aside from the mass confirmations and weddings, part of the program was the volunteer-driven dental and medical mission held last February 24 where 3,000 patients benefited. — FPL (FREEMAN)