Sta. Monica Parish

Vicariate of Espiritu Santo.

Mission

We commit to bind ourselves as faithful workers/disciples for a common mission by: To live consciously in accordance with the Gospel values, To undergo continuous relevant spiritual formations; and To motivate the entire community towards renewal.

Vision

We, the people of Espiritu Santo Parish are: a Dynamic, Disciplined, Organized and Committed Workers for the Realization of the Kingdom of God.

Liturgical services

Masses: Monday-Saturday 6:00pm Saturday 6:00pm anticipated mass Sunday 6:00am, 7:30am, 9:00am and 10:30am (morning) 3:00pm, 4:00pm, 5:30pm and 7:00pm (afternoon)

Baptism: every First Sunday

Confession: by appointment

Wedding: by schedule

Devotions: Wednesday Mother of Perpetual Help Thursday Sta. Monica First Friday Holy Hour after the 6:00pm mass First Saturday Dawn procession, followed by the mass

Sick call: anytime


About Us

The Life of Santa Monica

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                        Monica was of Berber descent. She was born in 332 at Tagaste  (located  in modern-day Souk Ahras, Algeria). Her parents brought her up as Christian and married her to an older, pagan man named Patricius. He was a man of great energy but also had a violent temper and sexually promiscuous. However, their son Augustine reports that, although domestic abuse was common at the time, because of Monica’s submission to her husband, he never beat her. Her almsgiving and habit of prayer irritated him yet led him to respect her. It was said that by her sweetness and patience, she was able to exercise a good influence among other abused wives and mothers. They knew she suffered as they did and so were moved by her example.

                    Monica and Patritius bore three children: Augustine the eldest, Navigius the second, and a daughter, Perpetua. Augustine made her happy because of his successes as a scholar and teacher but she was also ashamed of his debauched life    style. August lived for 10 years with his mistress and also became a Manichaean. Although Monica asked a bishop to convince Augustine of his errors, he was not able to change the young man. He told the mother to keep praying for her son. He told her, “It is impossible that the son of so many tears should perish.”

                         When Patricius died, Monica went to Italy to join her son. He had been in Rome but when she arrived he had already gone to Milan so she followed him     there. Through St Ambrose, bishop of Milan, she had the joy of seeing Augustine  aged 28 converted after 17 years of her prayers. Mother and son spent six months at Cassiacum, after which Augustine was baptised in the church of St John the Baptist in Milan. They then decided to return to Africa, stopping at Civita Vecchia and Ostia. It was here that Monica died. The year was 387 and she was 56 years old.      

                        Her last words to her son were: “There was indeed one thing for which I wished to tarry a little in this life and that was that I might see you a Christian before I died. My God hath answered this more than abundantly, so that I see you now his servant spurning all earthly happiness. What more have I to do here?”

VENERATION

                    Saint Monica was buried at Ostia, and at first seems to have been almost forgotten, though her body was removed during the 6th century to a hidden crypt in the church of Santa Aurea in Osta. Monica was buried near the tomb of St. Aurea of Ostia.   About the 13th century, however, the cult of St. Monica began to spread and a feast in her honour was kept on 4 May. In 1430 Pope Martin V ordered the relics to be brought to Rome.

                    Later the Archbishop of Rouen, Cardinal d'Estouteville, built a church, the Basilica di Sant' Agostino, and deposited the relics of St. Monica in a chapel to the left of the high altar. As part of the 1969 revision of the Roman Catholic calendar of saints, Monica’s feast was moved to August 27, the day before the feast of her son Saint Augustine.

Confession of Saint Augustine

                          The life of our St. Monica was also written in the a book made by her son, St. Augustine. To fully witness the life our patron saint, together with his son, an electronic copy of this book is made available to us.

  • Wilfredo Paguio (1990-2000)
  • Wilmer Rosario (2000-2001)
  • Paschal Gorgona (2001-2011)
  • Fr. Juanito Arroco Jr. (2011-present)

In 1940, after the vast fire hit Dagupan and Jose Basa areas, within the jurisdiction of Hacienda Nuestra Senora de Guia of the Archdiocese of Manila, the first wooden chapel was built. They celebrated the first Fiesta sa Nayon with Sta. Monica de Pampanga as their patroness. In 1941, the chapel had their own image of Sta. Monica with a meter in height brought by some generous donors imprinted to it. On May 4 1941, during the fifth novena mass for the patroness, Msgr. Jose Jovellanos, parish priest of Sto. Nino de Tondo Parish, blessed the image and enthroned at the center side of the altar.

 

During the Japanese occupation in Manila, the chapel was then a classroom for teaching catechism by Mrs. Valentia Abad or Aling Tinatay. The catechists during that time were headed by Msgr. Francisco Araneta, SJ and some seminarians of the San Jose Seminary.

 

The church and convent of the Sto. Nino de Tondo was destroyed by fire. The Monsignor with the image of Sto. Nino crossed the Estero de la Reina to escape from the hands of the Japanese soldiers. The chapel of Sta. Monica was then the temporary parish church until they built a new sanctuary.

 

In 1955, the Parish of the Immaculate Conception was erected by Cardinal Santos and the chapel of Sta. Monica became its jurisdiction. They held regular Sunday Masses and Misa de Gallo during the yuletide.

 

On May 9 1965, the chapel celebrated its 25th anniversary headed by the Comite Central. Various personalities including the then President Diosdado Macapagal, the Archbishop, the parish priests of the Sto. Nino and Immaculate Conception addressed their greetings to the chapel in their souvenir program.

 

In September 1967, again, the community of Sta. Monica ravaged by fire, the wooden chapel was burned out, but the images including Sta. Monica were miraculously saved. The Comite Central immediately proposed another plan for the new chapel by the aid of the parishioners of the Immaculate Conception in Tayuman. The construction of the church was assisted by then Congressman Fidel Santiago and his brother Eduardo Santiago. The Comite was held responsible for liturgical needs of the chapel; they constructed a sanctuary for Sta. Monica and St. Augustine, altar table for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, church bells and kneeler seats for the churchgoers. They also built a mini-rectory office for guest priests.

 

Despite its construction, they continuously celebrate their town fiesta annually, and in 1968, Archbishop Gabriel Reyes concelebrated the novena masses for the patroness, he was then their ‘second parish priest.’ In 1969, Fr. Dominador de Vera held chapel Masses every Sundays and Misa de Gallo during Christmas season.

 

On March 9 1987, the committee proposed another plan: to be a separate parish from Tondo and Tayuman and to have a parish priest. The said proposal was submitted to the Arzobispado.

 

On April 5 1990, the questions were answered, the requests were granted, Archbishop Jaime Cardinal Sin signed the Decree of Erection to recognize the Santa Monica Parish in Dagupan and J. Basa streets in Tondo.

 

The new parish comprises its boundaries: North: Tayuman St., from Estero de la Reina to Dagupan St.; East:  Dagupan St., from Tayuman to Claro M. Recto Ave.; South: CM Recto; and West: Estero de la Reina.

 

On April 16 of the same year, Fr. Wilfredo Paguio was welcomed by the parishioners and held his first mass at the parish church.

(Translated from Landas Sta. Monica by Nicanor Manuel)

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