The story of Fr. Joel Silagpo, parish priest of San Antonio de Padua in Lamitan City, Basilan went viral in March of last year. He sells fish to help finish the construction of a church for the benefit of those Catholics in a heavily Muslim-populated area.
The new church cost around 9 million pesos. But in March of last year, the Parish only had a little more than 100,000 pesos on hand and a foreign grant in the works. They needed so much more to turn their dream into reality.
And even though people raised their eyebrows upon knowing that the priest would sell fish, he never batted an eye and worked every day. And thankfully, his hard work paid off.
With his earnings, and generous donations from kind-hearted individuals, the new San Antonio de Padua Parish Church opened on May 5.
“I was so amazed how God responded to our call, www.newsline.ph, became an instrument, I cannot believe, even my elementary and high school classmates are contacting me how they can help,” Fr. Silagpo said.
“Salamat sa Ginoo nga gihikap niya ang kasing kasing sa nagbasa sa story, basin mao ni paagi sa Dios nga mahuman among simbahan (I thank God for touching the heart of the newsline.ph readers, maybe this is His way to finish our church).
If Christ can sacrifice for His people, then, I am just doing my share to my community,” Fr. Silagpo explained.