Fr. Barbi of PGH Wins Saint Teresa of Calcutta Award 2018

Published · Thursday, September 13, 2018 05:23 PM

MAKATI CITY - The Junior Chamber International (Manila Chapter) and the Alfonso Yuchengco Foundation Inc. recognize this year's Saint Teresa of Calcutta Awardee, Fr. Maximo Barbero, SJ, also known as Fr. Barbi, chaplain of the Philippine General Hospital. The award was presented by Mrs. Helen Y. Dee, Chairman of the Alfonso Yuchengco Foundation and Mr. Patrick Chua, 2018 STCA Chairman, on September 12th at the Alfonso Sycip Executive Lounge, 47th Floor Yuchengco Tower, RCBC Plaza in Makati City.

After the STCA nomination period from April to July, 2018, Fr. Barb has successfully qualified for the criteria and met the expectations of this year's STCA theme, "One selfless act, countless lives changed." The award is given to selfless individuals who have dedicated at least 25 years of service to the poorest of the poor among Filipinos. 

Before his chaplaincy in PGH, he completed his Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy in Chabanel Hall, Mandaluyong and Bachelor in Sacred Theology at the St. Robert Bellarmine College, Baguio City. A beloved Jesuit, he used to be a spiritual leader in Xavier School, Greenhills, San Juan. His service includes starting a Bigasan Project in the mid- 80s which was adopted by the Mary The Queen (MTQ) Parish known as the Murang Bigas project.

He truly wishes to work with the poor, the ones he calls God's "little ones" and he would spend many Sundays organizing a small community in Barasoain, Little Baguio, San Juan. Here, he evangelized the people, built a small concrete chapel, and celebrated the Holy Eucharist. He also assisted in relocating the informal settlers in the area to Carmona, Cavite. He used his contacts with the National Housing Authority to support informal settlers insecuring lots to build their homes, calling it their "Biyaya ng Panginoon."

In 1993, Fr. Barbi took care of the Chaplaincy of the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) where he has the real opportunity to work with the poor, providing pastoral care. His work there focused more on serving the masses, and attending to the spiritual needs of multiple patients such as administering the holy sacraments. It has gotten to the point where he needed the assistance of other congregations to lighten the load. He established a "lay person" chaplaincy movement, also known as the Legion of Mary, to lessen the burden of the PGH Chaplain. Through this movement, he has connected the normal person and allowed them to make a positive contribution to the sick. 

In 2000, Fr. Barbi launched his dream project: The Jubilee Fund for the PGH Charity Patients which was named the Fr. Barbero Foundation The fund is for those who are in dire need but cannot at all afford medical services. They heavily promoted this cause to private groups garnering over Php 10M in that year alone, and helped over 800 indigent patients by 2002. A large part of the funds and donations they received for their movement were given as alms to allow the indigent patients to afford medicines. From 2000 to 2016, the Fr. Barbero Foundation has disbursed over Php 31,559,214.98 pesos to over 17,920 patients of which 95% of the funds went to the purchase of medicines, medical supplies, diagnostics and laboratory procedures and equipment such as oxygen tanks, wheelchairs and so on.

Among the unique ideas of the foundation is to help parents as well which is why part of that 95% also included donation for equipment for general use in the charity wards like plasma freezers and humidifiers. 

He also fostered the service practicum, which exposes students from Xavier School to conduct supplementary classes in various subjects in poorer schools of San Juan, and spending weekends (immersion) in Bulacan to give the students a better understanding of the life of the poor. 

Fr. Barbi received a cash grant of P1,000,000 from the Alfonso Yuchengco Foundation, half of which is to fund the charitable projects that Fr. Barbi has started. 

Alfonso Yuchengco Foundation together with JCI-Manila have been giving the Saint Teresa of Calcutta Award for more than 35 years in recognizing the selfless efforts of individuals in service of the Filipinos. 

The Saint Teresa of Calcutta Award is a project of Junior Chamber International - Manila and Alfonso Yuchengco Foundation.

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