Cause for Beatification of a Filipino Priest Underway
The cause for beatification of the Lipeño priest, first Auxiliary Bishop of Lipa and first Bishop of Lucena, Most Rev. Alfredo Maria Aranda Obviar, D.D, is in full swing in the Archdiocese of Lipa. This especially after the Sacred Congregation for the Cause of Saints in Rome recently allowed (given the Nihil Obstat) the study of his life, writings and pastoral care, for his possible elevation to the rank of the Blessed.
A very long and arduous process indeed, but with diligent prayers, sacrifice, and much legwork for research and compilation of evidence on the spirituality of this holy and self-effacing Batangueño, with God’s grace he could be the first Filipino priest to be elevated to that inspiring spiritual level.
A series of activities is scheduled this year, both in Parochial and Archdiocesan levels, all designed to honor his memory and aggressively promote the task of praying for the Cause and making him known, first, to his fellow Batangueños, and then to different parts of the world. These are also the Archdiocese of Lipa’s delighted response to the Diocese of Lucena whose Bishop, Most Rev. Ruben T. Profugo, D.D, made the first official pronouncement of the start of the preparation toward the Beatification Process of the holy man from Batangas and the Archdiocese of Lipa.
On Saturday, August 10, 2002, three successive events will be held. The blessing and inauguration of the Bp. Alfredo Ma. Aranda Obviar Center shall kick-off at 9:00 a.m., followed by the unveiling of a Marker of his former residence amidst the ruins of the Aranda Ancestral Residence at 10:00 a.m., and capped by a visit to his Private Chapel nearby.
The Bishop Obviar Center, situated at the SLD Bldg, 208 P. Torres St, Lipa City, owned by the Dolor Family, shall be blessed and inaugurated by the Most Rev. Gaudencio B. Rosales, D.D, Archbishop of Lipa. He will be assisted by Mo. Rene Rarela, MCST, Superior General of the Missionary Catechists of St. Therese and Mr. Danny Dolor, President of the MAKA-OBVIAR Laity Chapter, in cutting the ribbon. Bp. Obviar’s personal Memorabilia and Records shall be displayed at the Bishop Obviar Center for public viewing. It is also designed as an ideal venue for talks and conferences about the Bishop and his beatification cause.
Atty. Vicente K. Aranda, maternal nephew of the late Bishop, and Mr. Leocadio Obviar, a paternal nephew and President of the MAKA-OBVIAR Relatives Chapter, will assist Archbp. Rosales in unveiling the Marker at the ruins of the old Aranda home at 11 B. Morada St, Mataas na Lupa, Lipa City. This is the official residence of Bp. Obviar where he stayed on his private moments as Auxiliary Bishop of Lipa and later Bishop of Lucena.
Meanwhile, guests will be awed with the well-preserved private chapel of Bp. Obviar at the ground floor of the nearby building which the Arandas made their new home after the original was bombed during the Japanese occupation. Here is where the Bishop privately celebrated the sacraments with his family members. Both the ruins and the chapel shall be open to the public but bookings have to be arranged at the Bp. Obviar Center.
The MAKA-Obviar (Mga Angkan at Kababayan ni Obispo Obviar) is at the forefront of the Cause in the Archdiocese of Lipa. This Association, a brainchild of Archbp. Rosales, and formally launched on November 23, 2000, during the Batangueño’s first visit to the tomb of Bp. Obviar at Tayabas, Quezon, is as yet offered only to Batangueños – relatives, friends, faithful, religious and priests - because the first target of the information campaign on the good Priest and Bishop’s ministry and life will be fellow Batangueños and Batangueñas, many of whom do not know anything about Bishop Obviar now.
The crown jewel on Bishop Obviar’s priestly ministry is the congregation of the Missionary Catechists of St. Therese of the Infant Jesus (MCST) which he founded on August 12, 1958. With Formation Houses and Generalate at Tayabas, Quezon, it has 59 local and 12 foreign mission houses in different parts of the world. They were tapped to supervise the Catechetical Institute at Castel Gandolfo, the Holy Father’s summer residence. Of late, the sisters were tasked with house management of the Nunciature at the Vatican.
Such is the holy man and Bishop Alfredo Maria Aranda Obviar, a Lipeño, a true and full-blooded Batangueño. If God allows that he be counted among the first Filipino Saints, perhaps the first Filipino Priest Saint --- definitely he will be the FIRST BATANGUEÑO PRIEST SAINT!
The Bishop's Personal Information
Most Rev. Alfredo Maria Aranda Obviar was born on 29 August 1889 in Mataas na Lupa, Lipa City, Batangas to Telesforo Obviar and Florentina Catalina Aranda.
He received his early religious formation and education at the Jesuit College of St. Francis Xavier in Manila where he graduated in 1901. He earned his degree in Bachelor of Arts at Ateneo de Manila in 1914. He then proceeded to the University of Sto. Tomas Pontifical Seminary for Theological Studies.
The Rev. Obviar received the Sacerdotal Ordination on 15 March 1919. His pastoral ministry began that same year at Luta, now Malvar, Batangas, and continued as Pastor of the Cathedral Parish in Lipa City (1927-1944). In both parishes, he established Catechetical Centers at the Poblacion and the barrios. He was also Vicar General for the Archdiocese of Lipa.
After 25 years in the ministry, Fr. Obviar was ordained to the Episcopate on June 29, 1944 and served as the first Auxiliary Bishop of Lipa.
In January 22, 1951, Bishop Obviar was installed Apostolic Administrator of the new Diocese of Lucena. Motivated by his geat work for catechesis, he founded the Missionary Catechists of St. Therese (MCST) on August 12, 1958.
After more than 18 years as Administrator, Bp. Obviar was declared First Residential Bishop of the Diocese of Lucena on July 15, 1969.
On October 1, 1978, Most Rev. Alfredo Maria Aranda Obviar returned to his loving Father. Providentially, it was also the Feast of his patron saint, St. Therese of the Child Jesus.
Almighty Father, aware of our needs,
You always provide faithful shepherds for your people.
You made ALFREDO MARIA a faithful priest,
a true shepherd to the flock,
a model and an encouraging elder to his brother priests.
We thank You for having raised this servant
as an example of humble obedience to the Church
and a silent and committed witness
to the Paschal Mystery that is Jesus.
We also praise You, Father, because,
with filial love for Mary, Mother of Your Son Jesus,
You inspired ALFREDO MARIA to found
the Institute of the Missionary Catechists of St. Therese
in order to carry out the task of evangelization in Christ,
one that he started early in his Priestly Ministry,
and which is an urgent task in the Church today.
In Your loving compassion lead us always to do Your will,
even as we ask You the favor/ grace __________________,
wherein You may always be glorified
and Your faithful servant can be presented
as another example of holiness in the Church.
This we ask of You,
through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit,
You are God forever and ever.
Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory be to the Father
Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, Pray for us.
St. Joseph, Pray for us
St. Therese of the Child Jesus, Pray for us.
St. John Ma. Vianney, Pray for us.
Ang middle name ng tatay ko ay Aranda. Tiyo niya sa Pinsan ang mamay pare o mamay obispo. Ang mamay pare ang nagkasal sa inay at tatay ko at sa lahat ng mga kamaganakan naming inabot ang panahon niya. Isa siyang ulirang kagawad ng Simbahan. With the blessing of God maaring siya ang maging kaunaunahang Pilipinong paring naging Santo at Santong Batanggenyo.