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            AFTER twenty-five years serving parishes in the USA, Metro-Manila, and in the province of Sorsogon since his ordination, Rev. Fr. Domingo A. France has finally come home: he is now the parish priest of St. James Greater parish in Bulusan, his hometown.

            Together with his assistant, Rev. Fr. Romy H. Dimaano, Fr. France assumed his new post on July 1, 2004 before a crowd of fellow Buluseños who warmly welcomed them.  His present assignment is a great relief to his townmates who have long been wishing him to be their parish priest.

            Knowing fully well his vast experience in the management of church affairs and his impressive accomplishments in his past assignments, the local parishioners expect big changes in their religious activities and improvements of the church’s facilities.

            Upon his assumption, he concentrated on the proper administration of the sacraments, fiestas, incomons, parish barangay masses, and the implementation of the Diocesan Ecclesiastical and Evangelical Program (DEEP).

            According to Fr. France, his immediate concern now which he would like to appeal to the parishioners are fourteen pieces of stained glass and the construction of the church’s sibay or side wings.  This is to protect the churchgoers who are seated near the church’s side doors from getting wet on rainy days. The rectory also needs immediate repair, he added.

            If it were possible, he said, he would like to start right now the construction of a concrete alleluiahan in time for next year’s Easter Sunday celebration.  He pointed out that of the sixteen towns of Sorsogon, Bulusan is one of the only two remaining parishes with no such permanent facility.

            Fr. France who is now in his mid-fifties, is the son of farmer Pedro France and the late Mercedes Aguilar of Barangay Looban, Bulusan.  He took his elementary and secondary education in his hometown but finished his priesthood at St. John’s Seminary in Camarollo, California, USA in 1979.  He was ordained in Los Angeles and became assistant priest at the St. Anthony Parish in Long Beach until 1980.

            On his return to the Philippines, he was assigned assistant priest at the Sts. Peter & Paul Cathedral in Sorsogon City.  He later became the parish priest of St. Joseph Parish in Barcelona, Our Lady of the Pillar in the town of Pilar, St. Anthony in Gubat, and chaplain of the San Juan de Dios Hospital in Pasay City where he underwent medication for his diabetes.  It was during this period that he was also the regular celebrant of the monthly mass for Damayan-Buluseño at the Knights of Columbus Clubhouse in Manila which is considered as an extension of the Parish of St. James the Greater back home.

            Prior to his assignment in Bulusan, he was the rector at the Sts. Peter & Paul Cathedral in Sorsogon City.  Now that he is in his hometown, many observers are of their honest opinion that with Fr. France’s dedication to his parish, there is no doubt the Buluseño parishioners can now see the realization not only of his plans for the improvements of the facilities of their church but the upliftment of their spiritual well-being as well.

Vol. XVI No.4 (August  - September 2004)

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