Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Olupan na Laiko - Arkidiosis na Lingayen-Dagupan

by Silvana Jacinta M. de Vera
Seeds of ONLA-ALD

ONLA-ALD Team in Baguio City
Early this year of 2011, Most Rev. Socrates B. Villegas, the Archbishop of the Archdiocese Lingayen-Dagupan chose four small seeds in the persons of Mar Vistro, Janice Hebron, Silvana M. de Vera and Susan Aoanan, to be planted in the grounds of the Council of the Laity for the Archdiocese. These four seed-persons were to serve as Vicariate Coordinators (at that time, there were only four Vicariates). Inspired by the Holy Spirit, Father Soc then had a thought, that born in the soil of Pangasinan, the promising council has to have a name in its own language, which will give more meaning to its purpose.

Olupan na Laiko – Arkidiosis na Lingayen-Dagupan

Father Soc's not knowing the language was not a hindrance to the formulation of a local nickname. As if guided by an angel, he gave guide questions to the four seed persons that led to the coining of ONLA-ALD (Olupan Na LAiko – Arkidiosis na Lingayen–Dagupan) which means "GO ALD". These four chosen Vicariate Coordinators were then tasked to begin making plans in meeting the Vision- Mission of the Archdiocese, the I C TH U S, and to start they chose to work on ‘Unity in Diversity’.

This gave birth to the formulation by Father Soc of the  Prayer for Unity which was prayed in all churches of the Archdiocese during the whole Marian month of May. Tilled with the prayers of the whole Archdiocese, watered with Father Soc’s passion for a Council of the Laity and fertilized with support from the clergy, the ground of ONLA-ALD became rich and ready for more seeds.

Assembly of Lay Leaders

An assembly of lay leaders was organized, and with the spirit of Stewardship, a new seed of a leader began to sprout and called the attention of the inspired and inspiring Archbishop which led to the appointment of Tony Supremido as the first President of ONLA-ALD. The four chosen Vicariate Coordinators were then appointed as Archdiocesan Coordinators for the Ministry of Worship, Education, Service and Temporalities. Dennis Oaing was also added to the list to take the position of a Coordinator for the Ministry of Youth.

Team Building

Taking its shape,  ONLA-ALD was then ready for its first formation – a Team Building Program. Father Soc invited the Lubid Team and so ONLA-ALD Core Team was organized. More leaders were added to the group, 10 Vicariate Coordinators and 10 BEC Coordinators from the five Vicariates of the Archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan (this time, there are already 5 Vicariates).

In the afternoon of August 19, 2011, 25 of the chosen leaders arrived at the site with their Spiritual Director, Rev. Fr. Mario Sanchez, ready to undergo the Team Building Program.  The SVD Divine Word Retreat House in Sunnyside, Baguio City was a perfect place for the Lubid Challenge and there they stayed and struggled for two nights and two days until they reached the finish line victoriously and strongly animated on the afternoon of August 21, 2011.

Pictures, courtesy of Fr. Mario Sanchez, ONLA-ALD Spiritual Director