[box type=”default” size=”large”] Officer of Boholano group clarifies Filipino Star news report [/box]A miracle of some kind happened when the visiting Boholano Singing Priests staged a concert last Aug. 8 at the St. Scholastica church in Detroit.
Gerald Gales, vice president of the Boholano sa Michigan (BOSAMI), recounted that while the concert was going on, Fr. Michael Scherry, priest of St. Scholastica parish, approached him and told him that “somehow he felt the Lord guided him to do something more. He came on stage to speak to the audience about the essence of generosity specifically in helping churches that were destroyed in our homeland (Philippines).”
Gales recalled that Father Scherry “challenged the audience to donate more and he would match it dollar for dollar up to $5,000. Well, a miracle happened: People started coming forward with 20, 50 and 100 dollar bills and some with checks.
“Some people, like Tita Ernie Mac, personally donated another $1,000. In a span of 10 minutes, three baskets were filled with cash and checks. Father Michael wanted it counted to determine the amount so he can match it. Some members of the audience came forward and helped count the money. It totaled $5,300, and (when it was announced) the whole church was filled with applause, an evident presence of the spirit of generosity.”
Gales said it was the second biggest donation that evening, which was totally unexpected.
Clarifying an earlier Filipino Star report, Gales related how the concert last Aug. 8 came about. He said, “Our group (BOSAMI) was the main host of the singing priest event. BOSAMI President, Ms. Evelyn ‘Babie’ Romero, was contacted by the Bohol singing priest group early this year, requesting BOSAMI to host (their concert) in Michigan.”
BOSAMI was told that the purpose of Boholano Singing Priests in staging the fund-raising concerts in the US is to rebuild the churches in Bohol destroyed in the 2013 earthquake that hit the province and other areas in the Visayas.
Granting the priests’ request, BOSAMI started preparing for the concert in March, and the preparation continued up to the concert date.
Gales said, “We met almost bi-weekly (twice a week) and as it got closer, weekly. Everyone donated their time and skills to make things happen. The flyers and tickets were designed by Candice Cardenas, our elected secretary. The (St. Scholastica) church was approached by Tita Babie Romero,” and the church allowed “us to use the facilities for free.”
The priests stayed in the houses of four families during their stint in Michigan. The board and lodging were free of charge.
Gales sent out emails to the Filipino groups, including the Filamcco Foundation headed by Dr. Ernie Mac, and the foundation “responded generously with its $10,000 donation.” Gales also facilitated the meeting between the priests and the Filamcco Foundation before the concert.
In his capacity as the emcee at the event, Gales “made sure I gave Tita Ernie and her staff a part in the program to present the check to the priests’ group witnessed by the audience.”
Hannah Joseph, a member of both the Ang Bisaya of Michigan and KKPM (Kapulongan ng mga Katolikong Pilipino sa Michigan), donated her time as well as the use of her home as one of the hosts of the singing priests.
“Furthermore,” Gales said, “since the priest group was arriving a day earlier (Wednesday), Tita Hannah Joseph suggested to take the priests’ group to Lansing” and to have them hold a concert there as well. This event was coordinated by KKPM.”
The Lansing concert raised approximately $5,000 in donations, he said.
During the concert at St. Scholastica church, Gales said, the KKPM children’s choir sang a few beautiful songs. Also, the Choro Bisaya group, San Pedro Calungsod Choir, also presented a song at the beginning of the concert. Hannah Joseph’s daughter sang several songs as she was a part of the main show.
He said, “Being a devoted Catholic, I firmly believe that the Holy Spirit was present at the concert and moved hearts. The concert was also dedicated to Saint Pedro Calungsod, newly canonized Filipino saint from the Visayas, as well as to the Virgin Mary. Gales added, “The singing priests raised approximately $30,000 from the St. Scholastica event, and plus the $5,000 raised in Lansing, the total was $35,000. In your article, only $26,000 was reported. Michigan has donated the largest amount compared to the other states” where the same concert was held.