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Santo Niño Mohon Parish, Talisay City

Santo Niño Parish Mohon

Rockefeller had other things in mind when he said this, but he certainly can say the same thing for the outreach program in the area near the Talisay-Minglanilla estate boundary.

The increase in the number of Sto. Niño devotees in the area and the necessity to meet their spiritual needs awakened the desire of the Basilica del Sto. Niño Community to meet an obligation in the said opportunity.

To maximize the propagation of the devotion to the Holy Child, the Community realized that it had become an obligation to extend its services to rural areas and devise an “outreach program.”


The program took form initially with the decision to build a chapel on agricultural land owned by the Augustinians (then still under the Mother Province of the Most Holy Name of Jesus) in 1982. The site is located in lower Mohon within the jurisdiction of the town of Talisay but approximate to the boundary with Minglanilla.

The chapel, situated at the southwestern portion of the lot measuring more than two hectares, is adorned with a wide front churchyard that opens to the provincial road. The churchyard boasts a small rotunda with a replica of the Santo Niño de Cebu on top, facing the chapel facade.

The building is a modern edifice made of concrete and Mactan stone bricks which can accommodate a maximum of 300 people. There are two side doors with the main door at the center wider than these two beckoning in the entrance. It was designed by Architect Damian Luchavez. The sacristy is behind the altar, extending to the parish office. After the chapel’s full completion in 1983, the convent residence came next. Situated slightly behind the chapel, the convent is a small bungalow building sufficient to accommodate a community of two or three.

A few meters fronting the residence rises the man-sized concrete replica of St. Augustine and Our Lady of Consolation.


The idea of putting up a chapel was to create a “basic community” in the peripheral area with the Santo Niño de Cebu as the center of devotion.

Mohon, a rural area with a population of more than 11,000 at that time, was ideal for the project since a vast majority of the population are Catholics.

More than half of the inhabitants belong to impoverished families of farmers and fishermen. The remaining number is divided into average middle-class families and higher middle class. Considering these factors, the Community was convinced that the area was ideal for the program. However, the project did not stop there. Neighboring parishes felt that the population could support a parish church, just enough for an area the size of Mohon.

The creation of a new parish would mean a reduction in the pastoral responsibilities of concerned parish priests in the area as well as bolster the ministry, particularly in the neighboring barangays of Biasong and Pooc. This will likewise ensure a more intimate encounter with parishioners in the territory.

Seeing an obligation in this opportunity, the pastors of the concerned parishes moved to recommend the creation of the Santo Niño Parish in Mohon to His Eminence Ricardo J. Cardinal Vidal, Archbishop of Cebu.

As a result, a memorandum of agreement was signed by Cardinal Vidal with the Prior Provincial of the Province at the time, Very Rev. Eusebio Berdon.

Under this agreement, a decree for the erection of a parish was signed by the Cardinal and Msgr. Adelito Abella, Archdiocesan Chancellor, which was issued on January 20, 1985, fittingly on the Feast of Santo Niño de Cebu.

February 1, 1985, the Prior Provincial in a communication to Cardinal Vidal presented the first parish priest of the newly created parish, Fr. Ambrosio Galindez. And a little later on February 10, Fr. Ambrosio Galindez was installed by the Most Rev. Manuel Salvador, D.D. Coadjutor Archbishop of Cebu. On November 15, 1985, a communication was sent to the Father General, Martin Nolan, seeking approval to establish a religious house in the vicinity of the Parish. Thereafter, on December 18, 1985 an official response was issued by the Father General declaring the Sto. Niño Parish Convent a religious residence of the Order.

Along with its patron saint, Sto. Niño de Cebu, the new parish adopted Our Lady of Consolation or Nuestra Señora Virgen de la Consolacion y Correa as its second patron. The said parish comprises the barangays of Mohon, Pooc, and Biasong which are under the jurisdiction of the Vicariate of Minglanilla.

Although economically poor, the parishioners have justified their parish’s existence with the sprouting of 18 chapels aside from the parish church, proof of their active involvement in the apostolate.

To assist the Augustinian Community in running the parish, the Parish Pastoral Council constituted ten religious associations, which are largely devotional but are also involved in the catechetical and different charitable activities. 

Most notable among these are the Cofradia del Sto. Niño, Cofradia del Virgen de la Consolacion, Adoracion Nocturna, Catholic Women’s League, Knights of Columbus, Daughters of Mary Immaculate and Charismatic Renewal Movement.

Also organized are the parish choirs, catechists, and chapel officers.

Since the installation of Fr. Galindez, the Basilica Community had been badly in need of manpower, which led to the decision to designate Fr. Dominador Besares as parish priest and prior of Sto. Niño Mohon Parish and Community on April 5, 1986. Fr. Galindez in return was recalled to attend fully to the demanding task of Rector/Prior of the Basilica and as Director of the Colegio del Sto. Niño. Fr. Besares served as parish priest up to April 1988.

Fr. Galindez returned to the parish on April 22, 1988 and served as parish priest until April 1992. At present, the responsibility of leading the flock in the parish rests in the hands of Fr. Anselmo Erazo since June 1992.

After the Third Provincial Chapter held on April 15-20, 1992, the proposed fusion of the Augustinian Novitiate and Prayer House and the Sto. Niño Parish communities were approved. The decision was endorsed for final approval to Cardinal Vidal, but most especially, to the Father General, Fr. Miguel Angel Orcasitas. Subsequently, on February 4, 1993, Cardinal Vidal expressed his approval specifically stating that the move won’t be detrimental to the pastoral care of the parish. A little later on February 26, 1993, the Father General responded officially approving the decision.

On June 25, 1992, with the formation of a single community for both the Parish and the Novitiate house, Fr. Anselmo Erazo was appointed parish priest.

The work of the church has been augmented by the presence of four religious communities in the parish including the Augustinian Contemplative Sisters (Sto. Niño Monastery), the Augustinian Friars (Augustinian Novitiate and Prayer House), the Augustinian Sisters of Divine Love (Divine Love High School of Mohon) and the Augustinian Sisters of Our Lady of Sorrows. The first three belong to the Augustinian Family while the last follows the Rule and spirituality of St. Augustine. With the presence of all four and the overall role of Community as the way of life, people invariably refer to the parish as “Augustinian City”.

There will be more challenges. Yet as long as the people continue to realize their responsibilities, meet every opportunity with the corresponding obligation, and consider every possession with its duties, there is nothing to fear.

God helps those who help themselves. (JUDEFE PILONGO)


* Augustinian Newsletter (Dec. 1991-January 1992)

* Official Documents (Provincial Archives)

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