Commemorative mass for slain priest concelebrated at Catarman Cathedral
By Nene A. Manzanares
Catarman, Northern Samar (7 October) -- Scores of Catarman parishioners trooped to the Catarman Cathedral at 6 early morning yesterday as they commemorated the 30th day of the senseless and inhuman killing of Rev. Father Cecileo P. Lucero who is also known to his friends as Padre Cecil.
The human rights advocate and chair of the Task Force Peace and Order of the Northern Samar Peace and Development Forum (NSPDF) sustained wounds in the head and left arm when he was ambushed by still unknown assailants on Sept. 6, a Sunday at the national highway of Barangay Layuhan, San Jose town while on his way back to Catubig Parish from Capul island, home town of his mother and also one of the parishes he has served.
Bishop Emeritus Angel T. Hobayan, D.D. officiated the mass while Msgr. Gaspar Balerite, HP,SthD was the homilist. About 30 priests of the Catarman Diocese participated in the mass.
Some of Padre Cecil's siblings who were seen inside the church were Vice Governor Antonio P. Lucero, assistant provincial budget officer Adel L. Acebuche, dean of academic instruction Felisa L. Sanico of the University of Eastern Philippines, and San Roque municipal planning and development coordinator Evangeline L. Timan.
After the mass, the plan for the Launching for the Year of Peace was presented to the core members of the Task Force for Peace and Order. The same were reported for approval during their Presbyterium at 10 AM yesterday by Sr. Lydia M. Collado, RSCJ and chair of the Association of Northern Samar Women and Men Religious.
Meanwhile in a Memorandum issued on September 12, 2009 from the Office of the Bishop, several activities were identified and some of which were already done and being done at the respective parishes or at the diocesan level. Right after the burial of the slain priest, the Pastoral Letter of H.E. Most Rev. Emmanuel C. Trance, DD. and the Statement of Condemnation over the slaying of Fr. Lucero was read in all Sunday masses. There will be the tolling of bells for the dead (agonias) every noontime and eight in the evening. Black cloth will be hanged at the fašade of the churches until the 40th day of his death. Prayer vigils and Peace Rallies maybe organized as a call for justice for the death of Padre Lucero. (PIA 8/Northern Samar) [top]