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Where were you born and raised?

Meet Fr RizalFr. Rizal in front of Sts. Peter & Paul Church, Bauang, La Union, Philippines; Photo of Church: Ramon F Velasquez
I was born in Bauang, La Union, northern Philippines. I spend most of my young one hour away, in Baguio City. My mother’s name was Magdalena Calica Campos, and was employed at home. My father’s name was Pedro Dumo Acosta, and was a power plant technician for Voice of America in Baguio City for 33 years. I’m the fifth child of nine children, five girls and four boys.

How did you first hear about La Salette?

I went to elementary and secondary school in Baguio City. When I enrolled in St. Louis University in Baguio City, I met some La Salette Seminarians and learned more about their community and decided to enter.

What is your formation experience?

The following year, I entered the seminary as a La Salette and graduated with a degree in Classical Philosophy from Divine Word Seminary in Tagaypay City. I then went to the Novitiate in Baguio City and took vows on May 1, 1980. Then I went back to Divine Word Seminary to get my BA in Theology. I was ordained on Dec. 5, 1985 in our own St. James Parish Church in Santiago City.

What is your ministry experience?

Untitled 2Exterior and Interior of Holy Rosary Church in Jones, Isabella, Philippines
I was assigned as Assistant and then Pastor of Holy Rosary Parish in Jones, Isabella, Philippines. This parish, even for the Philippines, was a very large area comprising some 45,000 people, in 42 small villages. We had in our parish five Masses a weekend, welcoming about 3,000 a weekend. Consequently, 60% of this area are Catholic.

Then I was requested to become Director of First and Second Year La Salette College Seminarians – about 42 students and I became Director of the entire Seminary. In 2000-2007 I was Director of the Theology Seminarians. Soon I was asked to become Master of Novices for three years, followed by three years in the Philosophy Department. Afterwards, I served again in parish work.
Untitled 3Local rendition of Our Lady of La Salette

What do your appreciate most about the La Salette Apparition and your charism of reconciliation?

Up to this very say, I believe that the message of the Blessed Virgin of La Salette continues to ask us to pray, invites us to celebrate the Eucharist and give reverence to her Son. The sad fact is that many people are, as in days of old, in need of her basic message, based on the message of the Son.

What gives me hope is that fact that the Virgin Mary of La Salette continues to invite us “Come near” and for some, whom I myself have helped over my many years of Seminary Administration, to join our La Salette Community and continue to make her messaged known.

Our charism of reconciliation is so very relevant in these days of renewal in the Church and efforts of unity in our society at large.