A new priest’s sacerdotal ordination is always a joyous and memorable occasion, a culmination of his seminary studies necessary to fulfill his holy calling. But his first thanksgiving mass takes on an even extraordinary significance for it marks his assumption of a new role--that of God’s chosen apostle-- anointed to preach and spread the good news of His Salvation.
On Easter Monday, 19 April 1954, Fr. Vicente Malig Coronel had the privilege of celebrating his first Solemn High Mass of Thanksgiving, and we have his souvenir card to remember that special day in the young priest’s life.
Betis-born Vicente, was one of the children of Gaudencio David Coronel, which also included Rodolfo, Gerardo, Santos and Dominga . His vocation was shaped early by his family and town, which prides itself in having produced the most number of priests than any other Pampanga town. He went to pursue his studies at the San Carlos Seminary, which had quite a sizable number of Kapampangan seminarians who even organized themselves into the Academiang Pampangueña.
On that fateful day at the same church where he served as an altar boy--the Church of Santiago Apostol of Betis, the neo-presbyter celebrated his own Mass at exactly 8:00 in the morning. Fr. Coronel was assisted by Rt. Rev. Msgr. Cosme P. Bituin who would, in the same year, be his superior in Angeles. Serving as Deacon and Subdeacon respectively were Neo-Pbtr. Severino G. Casas and Alejandro O. Ocampo. The assigned Preacher was the Very Rev. Santiago G. Guanlao. In charge with the Thurifer was Minorist Jose C. Guiao. Seminarians from U.S.T. served as Acolytes while the Torchbearers were his schoolmates from San Carlos Seminary. The Mater Boni Consilii Choir provided the music while Very Rev. Fidel M. Dabu hosted the ceremonies.
The sponsors of Fr. Coronel at this Mass were Msgr. Cosme Bituin, Sir Knight German R. Songco and Dña. Carmen Coronel Pecson. Immediately after the Mass, a fraternal reunion was held at the Coronel family residence.
After his ordination, Fr. Coronel was assigned as the Assistant Parish Priest, of Angeles in 1954. Together with Frs. Alfredo Lorenzo and Maximino Manuguid, Fr. Malig helped Msgr. Cosme P. Bituin run the affairs of the Sto. Rosario Church, proving his dedication in serving Angeleños for many years. One highlight of his religious career was his special audience and blessing of His Holiness Pope John XXIII on 29 July 1959, at his summer residence in Castel Gandolfo in Rome.
From Angeles, he was assigned in Tarlac and also had a stint at Our Lady of Penafrancia in Manila from 1976-1983, Fr. Coronel passed away on 22 June 1998.
“You have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you”—John 6, 16.