Makati, Philippines – On the 25th March 2015, the Montfortians joined the universal church in celebrating the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord. Two momentous events took place on this special day. First and foremost this is the day, we Montfortians, renew our baptismal promises to God. Second, we celebrate with great joy as we thank God for the blessing of a new priest in the person of Rev. Benjie A. Notarte, SMM. The celebration took place at Sta. Teresita Parish, West Rembo, Makati City. The Archbishop of Lingayen-Dagupan His Excellency Socrates Villegas, D.D. presided the ordination. The Montfortian priests and some invited priests from the home parish of Fr. Benjie and from Kenya concelebrated with him. Rev. Arnel Pagaduan, SMM served as the deacon and Fr. Rene Bustillo, SMM was the Master of the Ceremony. It was a heartfelt moment for Fr. Benjie, seeing his family and friends from the different parts of the country present during the celebration to show their full support for him. He has truly touched the lives of the people and his presence left a special mark in their hearts. During the Mass Fr. Benjie was asked by Archbishop Villegas if he will remain faithful in face of many challenges a priest may encounter in his life by saying the very strong words “Kaya mo ba?” (Can you do it?). At the end of his homily, the Archbishop added, “The answer is always ‘It is not certain but you must rely on the grace of God.’” Lastly, he challenged him with three things: to celebrate the Mass everyday even if he is alone, to pray always the Liturgy of the Hours, and to go to confession at least once a month. Fr. Benjie received his first obedience as formator of the aspirants.
-Bro. Eugene Escario, SMM