May 26, 2009
The Most Rev. Arturo M. Bastes, S.V.D., D.D.
Bishop of Sorsogon
SUBJECT: PETITION FOR THE IMMEDIATE HALT OF THE ON-GOING CONSTRUCTION /
SUBSEQUENT OPERATION OF A GASOLINE STATION ON CHURCH PROPERTY
PETITION FOR THE PRESERVATION OF THE INSTITUTIONAL LAND USE CLASSIFICATION
OF THE REMAINING OPEN SPACES OF PUNTA DIAMANTE
PETITION FOR A MORE ACTIVE PARTICIPATION BY THE PARISH%u2019S LAITY IN MATTERS
INVOLVING THE LOCAL CHURCH%u2019S TEMPORALITIES AND OTHER MATERIAL PROPERTIES
Parish of St. James the Greater, Bulusan, Sorsogon
Greetings of peace!
WE, MEMBERS of the Parish of St. James the Greater, Bulusan, Sorsogon %u2013 are greatly distressed by what now appears as the commercialization of our parish%u2019s Punta Diamante and by the apparent lack of laity involvement in matters concerning our local church%u2019s temporalities.
WE ACKNOWLEDGE the need for our town to have at least one gasoline station. However, to have it constructed right in front of our church belfry, and Punta Diamante%u2019s ancient walls %u2013 is saddening.
WE BELIEVE that there are other sites more appropriate for this project. Constructing the same in Punta Diamante%u2019s outer patio would obstruct the once imposing and tranquil view of the belfry. Aesthetically, it would be no less than an eye sore.
WE BELIEVE that the site could serve other greater purpose than this enterprise. A public park honoring Bulusan%u2019s beloved sons and daughters, a freedom park, or a combination of both %u2013 are for us, even better alternatives.
WE FEAR for the safety of the general public, particularly the faithful who frequent this area, and those who reside in its immediate vicinity. It is to be noted that the town currently has no organized fire-fighting manpower and facilities. Thus, one could but imagine the hazard that a huge tank-full of fuel could pose.
WE therefore SEEK your aid towards the immediate halt of the project%u2019s on-going construction, and of its subsequent operation should it reach completion.
WE PRAY that the entire project site be reverted to its original institutional land use classification, through your intercession; and that all the other areas on the same block unless otherwise currently categorized as residential, be permanently protected from commercialization.
WE FURTHER PRAY that as members of the parish and the major part of the local church itself - we be given an active role in matters and decisions involving our local church%u2019s temporalities, and other material properties. To the latter is included our collection of antiques %u2013 silvers particularly, old bells, old books %u2013 to name a few. These are all part of our heritage, testimonies to our faith throughout the centuries - which we now endeavor to preserve.
WE BELIEVE that as the prime shepherd of the flock in the Diocese of Sorsogon, our welfare is of paramount importance to you. Thus, we trust that just like a loving father, you would always be there to listen, would understand the deepest meaning of what we were advocating, would give your support , and ever encompass us in your protective love.
TO SIGNIFY OUR UNITY regarding the above subject, we have affixed our signatures on the attached petition papers. May our concerted prayers and efforts bring about expected results.
WE THANK YOU for your continued love and prayers for all of us. May you always be in the best of health and spirit.