How Bukal Started

In 1998, the CICM-RP Provincial Council decided to turnover the St. Joseph Parish of Las Piñas to the Archdiocese of Manila (Las Piñas is now a part of the Diocese of Parañaque). The turnover was implemented on May 15, 1999.  Fr. Mark Lesage, CICM, who was then the parish priest, went on sabbatical.

In Jan 2000, Fr. Mark Lesage came back from sabbatical. Cardinal Sin offered a possible parish in Novaliches. Together with the Fr. Provincial Percy Bacani, Fr. Mark went for an ocular inspection. After the visit the Provincial asked him to be in charge of the Maryhill Retreat center.   For the past years, the Maryhill center has been the topic of discussion in the recollections of the Manila District since the province did not exactly know what to do with it.   Some suggestions were to sell the property or to donate it.

Since Fr. Mark was reluctant to run a retreat house, the Provincial made the mission very clear, “I want you to pass on to dioceses and parishes what you have learned in Las Piñas about BECs “.  In fact during the past years many people have come to Las Piñas to observe the growing BECs and participate in the trainings conducted in the parish. There was even a plan by the Archdiocese of Manila to make the parish of Las Piñas a “formation parish” for BECs.

Another reason why Fr. Mark accepted this offer was that some members of  the parish  BEC team has had growing influence within BEC circles and  they were clamoring for wider opportunities then just a parish.

To have a vision for this center was the priority of the team
After getting the confirmation of members of the BEC formation team of the Parish of Las Piñas that they were willing to help in putting up the center and securing their commitment to be of service whenever available, an initial brainstorming with around 15 attendees was held at Maryhill. 

 After a long period of prayer, reflection, and scripture reading, the group shared their dreams of what this place could be in the future.  Succeeding meetings were held to clarify the identity of the center and articulate it into a vision statement.

The Vision, Mission and Goals of the center was approved by the Council
A meeting was then held in Maryhill where the team presented to the Provincial Council its initial Vision, Mission, and Goals and also a proposed name. The council approved this new mission and contributed to naming the center, “Bukal ng Tipan”.

A venue and a center
Fr. Mark was entrusted by the Provincial Council with the whole Maryhill compound except the Novitiate area and to renovate the Maryhill building and surroundings to be a more attractive retreat center in the service of Philippine Church.  In the first place, Maryhill was to be a center where people and their mission can be renewed and more importantly be trained to be become leaders and facilitators of a participatory church especially through BECs.  Maryhill was to continue as retreat venue for schools and parishes. Young facilitators, trained by the Bukal Team could also assure the missionary character of this CICM entity.

It was planned that the revenues from the venue would sustain the center and to provide for the maintenance and improvements as well.
Bukal ng Tipan in Maryhill celebrates its anniversary every 2nd week of March.


Committed and competent disciples nourished by the Gospel, a wellspring for the world in its holistic and creative pastoral formation for a participatory Church.


Bukal ng Tipan is a CICM mission center  that enables the realization of a participatory church in the world by

Witnessing  to community life;  

Facilitating transformative experiences of God; 

 Training on integrated pastoral programs and;  

Journeying with communities in their particular contexts and cultures.



GOD is our spring of life-giving water, in Him we will never thirst

 EVERY PERSON in his uniqueness is a spring of goodness, capable of becoming fully human and alive 

 As springs converge to flow in the sea, we believe in COMMUNION OF COMMUNITIES that journey towards God’s dream for the world 


We become the spring when we live out these COVENANTS


Christ Centeredness and Humility

Passionate Commitment to Mission

Celebrating Community

Wholeness and Integrity

Our Team

Estela Padilla

A journalist by profession with more than 20 years pastoral experience in the parish of Las Piñas. She is also a doctor of Theology having finished her master’s degree at Maryhill School of Theology and her doctorate at De La Salle University.  She is part of the founding member of Asian Integral Pastoral Approach (AsIPA), the BEC approach in Asia, and presently sits as one of its regular team members. She is also a member of the Office for Theological Concerns of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences.

Aleli Gutierrez

An Economics graduate who had been a full-time pastoral worker in the Parish of Las Piñas for 13 years. She also worked as a training consultant in one of the major IT company in the Philippines before returning to pastoral work via Bukal ng Tipan since its conception.  Her experience is in doing pastoral formation and organization of Basic Ecclesial Communities (BECs).  She is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in Organization Development.


Joy Candelario

A graduate of Psychology, she once worked as the guidance counselor of the parochial school in Las Piñas before becoming a full-time youth minister of the parish for 9 years. She was also the executive secretary of the Youth Desk for the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences for 8 years.  She finished her masters in Theology at Chicago Theological University (CTU) and currently writing her dissertation for her doctorate on Practical Theology at St. Thomas University in Miami, Florida.



Is a Business Administration graduate who served as a full-time pastoral worker in the parish of Las Piñas for 7 years.  He was part of the youth consultative body of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines through the Episcopal Commission on Youth.  He has been one of the contributing writers of the ecclesial book “Kalakbay” which is the directory for Catholic Youth Ministry in the Philippines.  He is currently pursuing his Master’s degree in Organization Development.

Andrew Velasquez

Another journalism graduate of the team, has worked as a full-time youth minister in the Parish of Las Piñas for 10 years. After his stint in the parish, he worked as a creative accounts planner for an advertising firm in Bangkok, Thailand.  Upon his return to the Philippines last 2011, he was again invited to join Bukal ng Tipan as part of its youth component.  Like the rest of the team, he’s also finishing his Master’s degree in Organization Development.

Noel Judith

A former Salesian of Don Bosco, has a master’s degree in Theology and a doctoral degree in educational management.  He was a campus minister of De La Salle University for 2 years before being invited to join the team of Bukal ng Tipan.  He coordinates the pastoral programs in the south is based in Maryshore, one of the centers of Bukal located in the island of Negros Occidental.  He just finished his doctorate on Philosophy major in Educational Management from the Central Philippine State University in Kabankalan, Negros Occidental.

Ading Logronio

Is a catechist having finished her degree in Religious Education at Sienna College.  After graduating, she became a full-time pastoral worker for a CICM Parish in Butuan which is one of the provinces in Mindanao.  She then moved on to become a teacher of religion at her alma-mater.  Year 2012 when the team of Bukal decided to add a new person for Maryshore to partner with Noel and Delia was the obvious choice.  She is also currently purusing her Master’s degree in Organization Development.

Fr. Mark Lesage, CICM

Is a missionary of the Congregation of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (CICM) who has been in the Philippines for more than 50 years. He was assigned to several parishes but it was in the Parish of Las Piñas that he stayed the longest having been its parish priest for 30 years.  It was here that he first had a glimpse of that dream of a participatory Church.

Fr. Guido Everaert, CICM

A moral theologian, is also a missionary of the Congregation of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. He was assigned as a parish priest in different parishes around Manila. He was also the dean of studies in MST (Maryhill School of Theology).

Our Staff

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