Photo grabbed from Chrisma Bangaoil's Facebook profile

In celebration of World Mission Day, Pope Francis called on Catholics to revive their missionary awareness and commitment to the Church.

The Pope emphasized in his message for this year’s celebration that the relationship with God is not private, but communal with the Church, where a received gift must be also shared.

With this year’s theme “Baptized and Sent: The Church of Christ on Mission in the World,” UST Faculty of Philosophy instructor Chrisma Bangaoil stressed that mission today must be inclusive, which will replenish the feeling and appreciation of the people belonging in the Church, and must further strengthen their faith by reaching out more.

“[In doing mission], we open an opportunity for people to become a part of the Church again by making them feel they belong, and when they are gathered, that’s when we teach again. We catechize pero it’s not just the old way na we only teach the dogma. It’s more of an appreciation. We nurture what we believe,” said Bangaoil in an interview with the Varsitarian.

She spearheaded the “Love for the Poor” outreach program, a holistic mission work that provides catechism, outreach, and sacraments to its recipient community, and the “Belong, Believe, Become” program where people are invited to revitalize their belongingness to the Church.

“We conduct Mass, baptism and adult confirmation [then], we have catechism for the youth and adults. [W]e also give them talks on hygiene then how to prepare their meals in a more healthy way [and] conduct a feeding program for the children and give gifts such as groceries. Kapag Christmas usually, may stuff toys, slippers, and new clothes,” said Bangaoil.

She said donating must be giving in order to help, and not dumping what one doesn’t need. She stressed that half of the in-kind donations they received were segregated for being unusable.

“Ang nagyayari kasi sa donation is dumping what they don’t need anymore na parang garbage na so if you want to help, give us something na kayo mismo, gagamitin pa. Hindi dahil hindi niyo na kailangan o yung itatapon niyo na kasi,” Bangaoil said.

Seeing the people’s excitement in welcoming them to their community is a beautiful experience, and indirectly evangelizing her companions is a bonus in doing missionary work, Bagaoil said.

“Our mission is not only focused on evangelizing the people in the barrios but also we indirectly evangelize our companions, the youth and even the habal-habal drivers. Yung mga hindi nagsisimba, since they’re always with us, nakakasama na rin sila sa pagsisimba. That’s how we indirectly evangelize them, ” she said.

“Love for the Poor” outreach program started in 2014 with only Bangaoil, her daughter, and Fr. Jowel Agad. It was developed the year after when people saw their posts on social media and started to inquire on how to help.

Among of their recipients are the Subanen people in the Diocese of Dipolog, Zamboanga del Norte

Bangaoil said one of the challenges in doing missionary work is when one is rejected by the people for thinking what you have done is not sustainable despite the good intention to help.

“[D]oing missionary work is difficult but fun, [and] it’s sustainable because it’s not our mission but the mission of God. [I]t is a daily call for every baptized Christian regardless of the age,” she said.

Bangaoil started doing missionary work at the UST Central Seminary when her former students invited her to their dioceses to give talks on human formation, speech, English, and writing.

Celebrated every month of October, the World Missionary Day was initiated by Pope Pius XI in 1926 as the day of prayer for missions.


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