Ifugaos want to build solar-powered chapel

POOR in material things, but rich in faith.

Residents of a mountain village in Ifugao have no church, not even a chapel to hold their Sunday Mass and services, but they never failed to attend.

The people of Inwaloy, in the mountains of Ifugao have one big dream as a community—to build a chapel where they can celebrate Mass and hold bible services when the priest is not around.

The basic ecclesial community is part of the Our Lady of the Assumption Mission Station in Mayoyao, Ifugao under the jurisdiction of the SVD missionaries of Philippine Northern province.

Residents plan to build a chapel powered by solar energy, according to a facebook account put up by the SVD’s.

The facebook account titled “Help Build a Solar-Powered, Catholic Chapel amidst the Ifugao Rice Terraces” has been put up in a bid to generate support for the project from generous individuals worldwide.

Consisting of 92 households with a population of 437, Inwaloy was first visited in 2008 by Fr. Romeo Benitez, SVD, who was then rector of the Mayoyao Catholic Mission.

The priest’s constant visit to the barrio led the people to go back to the practice of their Catholic faith and the establishment of the basic ecclesial community, with particular emphasis on youth, education, altar, social services and temporalities ministries (BEC-YEAST).

Supported by their current pastor, SVD priest Fr. Gil Rochar Dulay, the community decided to ask help from generous people so they can build a chapel that can also be used as a multi-purpose center for outreach activities like medical missions, disaster response and relief, agriculture extension, and cultural heritage preservation.

The people promised to render free labor in building their dream chapel.

In a letter of appeal posted in their facebook account, the community said that with the regular masses said by the priest, “baptized Catholics could now attend catholic services.”

But without a chapel, the community holds their Sunday Mass and services in the house of a couple in the barrio.

The nearest chapels to Inwaloy are St. Luke Chapel in Magulon which is a two-hour hike going up the mountain, and St. Andrew chapel in Guinihon, an hour and a half hike going down from Inwaloy.

Mayoyao is one of the mission stations of the SVD priests in the Northern province of the Philippines. The place is part of the world famous Ifugao Rice Terraces. CBCP News

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