QUEZON City, June 18, 2017–In a Holy Mass celebrating the 76th birthday of Novaliches Bishop, Antonio R. Tobias, D.D., multi-awarded actress and comedienne Aileen “Ai-Ai” Delas Alas proudly proclaimed her personal experience of mercy in the Catholic Church.
“This is the proof that the Church is really forgiving,” said the actress in Filipino during an assembly at the Visitation of Our Lord Parish in Lagro in this city on June 13, referring to the Papal Award she received last year.
According Delas Alas, she became close to Tobias when she was asked to help raise funds for the construction of the Kristong Hari Parish by its parish priest, Fr. Roland Jaluag. The Kristong Hari Parish Construction is one of the diocesan projects of Novaliches, which the bishop personally supervises and solicits funds for.
Wedding in the offing
“I am a dirty woman – I have so many sins, but I have a Papal Award. Thank you, Lord! Thank you!” She said smiling ear to ear, as the assembly composed of the clergy, the religious, and the laity of Novaliches applauded.
Her overflowing gratitude and love for the bishop prompted her to attend the said Eucharistic celebration with her best friend, Fr. Daniel Allan Samonte, a member of Novaliches’ clergy from Our Lady of Fatima Parish in Urduja Village in this city..
Asked by the Bishop to accompany her while giving her birthday message, Samonte went up the altar with Delas Alas’ future husband, Gerald Sibayan. Tobias approved their wedding last week despite the possible hindrances to their peaceful and happy union, which added to the actress’ joy.
Media ministry prospects
“If you look at my personal life, it’s not that pretty. That’s why this is where I will start anew and get married in church. Yes!” she said before approaching the prelate to hug him.
The Diocese of Novaliches, through its Social Communications and Media Ministry (SocComm Nova), is reaching out to celebrities in their jurisdiction after recognizing their hunger for spiritual nourishment and guidance, especially during the celebration of the Year of the Parish as Communion of Communities.
Fr. Ambrosio Nonato Legaspi, SocComm Nova director, expressed the need to gather them into one assembly once or twice a year like during Lent and Advent and to involve them in the media ministry of the diocese. Tobias has since approved such a move.
Delas Alas will guest on a Radio Veritas 846AM’s Hello Father 911 episode on July 17 that will be hosted by Bishop Tobias entitled, “Magtanong Kay Bishop!” The first episode will discuss marriage and annulment (nullification marriage) in the Catholic Church since Tobias, a canon lawyer, is the vice judicial vicar of the National Appellate Matrimonial Tribunal of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP). Magtanong Kay Bishop! will air every second Mondays from 9:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.
“Listen to Hello Father 911 to find out why I approved Ai-Ai’s wedding,” quipped Tobias before giving the final blessing during his birthday Mass. (CBCPNews)