On April 21, 2022, Marist School embarked on another success when they welcomed their students to attend the Eucharistic mass on-site, marking the school’s second on-campus activity since quarantine levels were alleviated.
The Eucharistic celebration followed the octave of Easter and was sponsored by the students of Grade 11 and the Learning Resource Center (LRC) , which was presided over by Rev. Fr. Cris Dimaculangan, CP.
Grade 11 students were required to acquire their parents’ approval through a google form sent to the parent’s email accounts, similar to the Grade 12 sponsored Eucharistic mass last March. Upon entering the campus, Grade 11 students were also required to bring a waiver form signed by their parents.
To ensure the safety of both students and faculty members, health regulations were strictly followed. The pupils were obliged to wear their face masks at all times, keep a safe distance within the church, and bring only necessary materials such as their vaccination card and ballpen.
The eucharistic mass focused on one’s faith being challenged by the worries and uncertainties that come with hardship. It encompassed the idea that we have God to rely on and trust through the highs and lows of life.
Fr. Dimaculangan’s homily started with an easter greeting to the students, followed by a question on whether their hearts were at peace. This question is in line with the gospel as the disciples were in fear after witnessing their mentor’s demise. He connected the gospel to our current situation of being in fear due to the ongoing pandemic which devastated many lives.
Fr. Dimaculangan reminded everyone that Jesus sees our hearts and struggles, thus He is aware of what we are going through. He went on to say that Jesus’ love is unconditional, that He desires for us to live peaceful lives, and that in order to do so, we must surrender ourselves to Him.
As Fr. Dimaculangan said in his sermon, “The invitation for us, especially this resurrection, ay patuloy na maging matatag. To be strong in our faith, sa paglaban sa hamon ng buhay… Kumapit lang tayo, manalig lang tayong tunay na buhay ang Diyos. At iyan ang pinakita niya sa kanyang mga disipulo. Hindi siya nawala, hindi siya umalis, at lagi siyang nandyan. At iyan ang pinanghahawakan natin, na hindi tayo pababayaan ng Panginoon.”
As the homily came to a close, Fr. Dimaculangan again reminded the students to be strong in their faith in the Lord, reminding them that He is always by our side and has never abandoned us in our times of need. He continued to teach us that His presence in our darkest circumstances demonstrates His unfailing love for His people.
The celebration did not end there. Cluster 3 Assistant Principal, Mrs. Charissa Guevarra, conveyed her gratitude to the attendees of the mass afterward. Following her speech, Mrs. Guevarra formally introduced the students to their current Grade 11 advisers as well as some senior high school personnel. This resulted in a lively exchange between the teachers and the students.
With the success of the second on-campus mass, there is a ray of hope in the midst of the pandemic. We continue to pray and hope for the pandemic and quarantine protocols to be alleviated while still following the health protocols such as wearing face masks and maintaining social distance from others. We might expect for a slow but steady return of our country to the lives we had pre-pandemic if health standards would continue to be observed. Michaela Divino