Construction of the Fr. Manuel Valles SJ Parish and Rectory in Culion, Palawan

BACKGROUND 

On March 16, 1906, Fr. Manuel Valles, S.J. arrived as the first chaplain assigned to Culion. He immediately gave workmen  instructions to help with the daunting tasks of the leper colony.  In the next years, the Jesuit Mission extended to the islets around the mainland, to lepers and non-lepers alike.  With assistance from generous benefactors and friends, the Jesuits were  responsible for building some hospitals, dormitories, schools, the church and chapels, roads and the airstrip, while taking care of the spiritual needs of the people.  Presently, the work of the Jesuits is undertaken with the La Inmaculada Concepcion Parish and Loyola College of Culion with special ministry for the Indigenous People of Palawan.

Serving the Tagbanuas. In the 1990s, when the number of lepers drastically declined due to the implementation of the Multi-Drug Therapy (MDT),    the chaplaincy’s  mission for  lepers became a point for reflection. After discernment,  a new call to serve emerged in Culion, this time for our Tagbanua brethren.

The Literacy Program. In the early years of the literacy program, the parish spearheaded in establishing ties with nearby communities.  In  2009, the  first teachers who were  parish catechists, were sent to teach our brethren basic reading and writing.  During that year, the partnership with Cartwheel Foundation, Inc. was initiated  in order to assist in the training of teachers which  included the provision of learning aids designed specifically for the Tagbanuas.  The year  2010 marked the first graduates of the adult literacy program and in the  last five years , the program, now recognized by the Department of Education, has  expanded to include grade school children.

After 110 years of love and service, on July 21, 2016, the Jesuits of the Philippine Province will formally turn-over La Inmaculada Concepcion Parish to the care of the Apostolic Vicariate of Taytay.

Turnover of the La Inmaculada Concepcion Parish.The Philippine Jesuits have been declining  in numbers over recent years.  Because of this, the Philippine province, cannot sustain all of its ministries.  In this regard,  some of the Jesuit parishes had to be  turned over to the local clergy including the La Inmaculada Concepcion Parish.  However, the Jesuit’s work in Culion will still continue thru the  Loyola College of Culion, where the IP Literacy Program will fall under.

As part of the turnover agreement with Bishop Edgardo S. Juanich of the Apostolic Vicariate of Taytay (AVT),  a new rectory with some facilities had to be built since the Jesuits will still reside at the present one.  Thus, the  “Fr. Manuel Valles, S.J. Parish Center and Rectory”  currently in construction will serve as the residence of the incoming parish priest from AVT.  It will house the parish office as well.

As of this writing, generous benefactors have donated P1.2M out of the needed P5.6M.   For donations, please address your checks to the Philippine Jesuit Aid Association (PJAA). For online donations click on  www.phjesuits.org

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