Mangyan Islanders Welcome 1st Native Priest
CALAPAN CITY, Philippines, APRIL 30, 2007 (Zenit.org).- An island group in the Philippines now has its first native-born priest.
AsiaNews reported that Hanunuo Oybad, a Mangyan native from one of the most ancient and least known indigenous groups, was ordained last week after finishing his studies in pastoral sociology at the Asian Social Institute in Manila.
Oybad's entry into the priesthood was welcomed by thousands of Catholic faithful at the Bulalacao Cathedral of the Oriental Mindoro province.
"This is an event for the whole Catholic Church," said Father Ewald Dinter, director of the Mangyan Mission-Oriental Mindoro.
The ordination Mass, held in the local dialect, was presided by Bishop Warlito Cajandig and concelebrated by nearly 100 priests.
Father Oybad said he wished his priesthood to be "simple, close to people, balanced by prayer."
Asked how he felt now that he was a priest, Father Oybad reflected, "I am overwhelmed with the love of God."