shrine/church of the Mother of Perpetual Help
the monastery beside the church
2nd floor corridor outside my room
|my bed and little altar|
Since the beginning of June this year, I have been living in the Redemptorist Monastery in Baclaran. The church is the national shrine of the Mother of Perpetual Help and every Wednesday over one hundred thousand devotees flock to the church to attend the masses and novenas which go on from dawn to dusk. Over fifty thousand also attend the Sunday masses. This is the only church that is open 24 hours so there are many people who come even late at night and the wee hours of the morning to pray - including well known actors and actresses and some politicians.
There are nine members of the Redemptorist community (4 Australians & 5 Filipinos) - who belong to the Redemptorist Vice-Province of Manila (under the Australian province) and one from the Cebu Province assigned here. There is one Indonesian Redemptorist staying here who is studying at University of Sto. Tomas and another Filipino Redemptorist from Cebu Province who is doing his masteral studies in conselling in de La Salle University. I am a resident here but canonically I am not a member of the community since I belong to the Redemptorist Cebu Province on special assignment to the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (as executive secretary of the BEC committee). But I help out in the masses on Wednesdays and Sundays at the shrine-church (usually 7 am on Wednesdays and 6:30 pm or 8 pm on Sundays).
My office at the CBCP building in Intramuros is 8 km away from Baclaran, so I usually go there on weekdays by running/walking or biking (round-trip is 16 km but sometimes I take a longer, round-about route when biking).
I feel very much at home here in Baclaran.