The SVD Olutanga Mission at the Diocese of Ipil (Zamboanga Sibugay) has grown significantly. From only 2 parishes back in 2005 when we accepted the mission from the Society of Jesus, our SVD missionaries are now scattered in 5 parishes, with 2 parishes being in the mainland Sibugay Province.
Interestingly, in one Parokya San Miguel in the town of Mabuhay, we have two chapels named after our founder, St. Arnold Janssen.
Originally Sto. Niňo Chapel, it was changed in 2005 when the pioneer Divine Word Missionaries Fr. Joseph Audiencia, SVD and Fr. John Doa, SVD arrived in the parish. Situated along the highway, they are the only chapel with a big tarpaulin of the SVD founder at their chapel doorpost.
St. Arnold Janssen Chapel of Looc-Barlac is situated in a “critical area.” Many times, our parishioners have to flee from their homes to avoid being sandwiched between the military and the “lawless elements.” Interestingly, they still choose to go back to their chapel after the military operations. Literally, they live each day according to the grace and mercy of God. Tomorrow is uncertain, but their faith feeds them with hope that in the end, the good always triumphs against evil.