About Us

Father Felipe Bello was born in Cabirmota, La Vega, Dominican Republic, on August 28, 1928, to Felipe Bello (deceased) and Josefa de Jesús Almanzar. Father Bello grew up in a very close-knit, religious family. Ten brothers who have characterized themselves as good men and women. They are: Julio, Felipa Antonia, Domingo, Tomas (deceased), Francisco (deceased), Oscar, Carmen, Juanito, Antonio and Benito. Father Bello did his first studies at the school in Burende-La Vega, Dominican Republic. Being very young he entered the Minor Seminary of Santo Cerro in 1945; and then continued at the Saint Thomas of Aquinas Seminary, where he completed his humanistic studies (including Latin), to later continue with philosophical and theological studies. He was ordained a Priest in the Cathedral of La Vega by Monsignor Octavio Antonio Berás on July 8, year 1956, together with Father Mauricio Vargas. He celebrated his first mass on Santo Cerro, on the day of Saint Bonaventure, July 14 of the same year. If we wanted to describe some of Father Bello's values, we would highlight without a doubt his simplicity, his humility, his being a man of prayer and a constant worker.

Recently ordained, he was appointed Vicar of the Cathedral with Father Apolinar Suárez and then appointed Parish Priest of the Sacred Heart of Jesus of Sabaneta, La Vega, until 1966. This function was interrupted for a year, to carry out studies on Pastoral Theology at the University from Santiago de Chile (1964-65) When he returned he spent one more year in Sabaneta and then was appointed Parish Priest in the Cathedral from 1969 to 1996. When the conflicts arose with the Tyrant Trujillo, Father Bello lived and worked in Sabaneta and showed solidarity with his Bishop. He openly criticized the then Head of State, costing him persecution. All means were used to attack him, especially on Radio Caribe, where the legendary Lamela Geler denoted him with various epithets, such as the Sabaneta shark, The witch who goes to Haiti to practice voodoo, the Ensotanado, The devil on horseback. Naturally , Father Bello became known to the point that one day he received a visit from General Trujillo himself, who after visiting and giving his hypocritical condolences to Mirabal's family, whom he had ordered to be killed, showed up in Sabaneta with the Governor Cosme.

As Father Bello lived in a modest little house, he invited Trujillo to enter the church and there a dialogue began between the two: "What do you think of this visit?", "And that saint, what is his name?" Referring to San Isidro and “What does Radio Caribe say about you?”, “What opinion do you have of Monsignor Panal?” “Was it true that you denied a mass to His Excellency present here?” Father Bello answered him with the parsimony and tranquility that characterized him; He explained to him that Mons. Panal was a very exemplary priest, responsible, hard-working, serious and lover of the truth. And the last question was: “They say that you are an enemy of His Excellency.” To which Father Bello responded that, as a priest and Christian, he could not have anyone as an enemy, but that he did have to be consistent with human rights and the defense of the truth. Then Trujillo asked him who had helped him build the church. The tyrant was upset since he had not received any request for help for this and considered this a slight. He continued asking him about his family, how many brothers he had. Naturally, Trujillo knew this very well because his henchmen had already informed him. A week later, Father Bello's three brothers who were in the Army and Aviation were discharged. From there the siege on Father Bello and his family intensified. Paleros constantly bothered him and surrounded the house every night. Many peasants slept in the church and in the patio, taking care of it. Father Bello in his 50 years of priestly life developed a very intense apostolic life and waged many struggles in favor of the peasants. The interesting thing is that Father Bello preserved a very jovial and always with great joy and availability for service and work. We can say of Father Bello that he was a man of God and of men: An exemplary priest and a tireless worker. He is a source of pride for our Church and especially for our Parish of Sabaneta. That is why all generations, even those of us who do not deal with him closely, esteem him and recognize his great vocation for service and dedication.

When Father Bello arrived in Sabaneta, he began his work before Monsignor Panal made the decree erecting the Parish in November 1956. By then the parish temple did not exist and the Eucharistic celebrations were celebrated in a small chapel located where the house is today. Lino and Silvia, in Sabaneta, La Vega. The Parish of Sabaneta as such was created on December 25, 1956, and Father Bello immediately began a program of activities.

He formed a team for the construction of the parish temple. Father Bello's first appointment in Sabaneta was that of Auxiliary Vicar on January 6, 1957. For the construction there were volunteers who cooperated. Father Bello assigned a sector to each tobacco producer. In principle, each family had to put up a block and pay a fee of one peso each month (RD$1.00). Everyone joined the construction; Some carried water from the river, others carried materials, and others provided food. There was a horse that was used to carry materials that they called Parroquial. Monsignor Lara was the master builder. Doña Estela and Monsignor Abreu kept the construction accounts and Don Vinicio Cruz was the Secretary. A group of young people dedicated themselves to preparing evenings in various fields to raise funds and have healthy fun, Eduardo, Belgium Cruz, Grecia Ángeles, Demencia Abreu, Abraham de La Cruz (Bura), Lucy Abreu, Dinorah Cruz, Carmen Castillo. Among other things, a comedy called “Francisca's Commitment” stood out, causing a lot of laughter in the audience. Father Bello stood out from the beginning in his pastoral work. He organized a Bible course for the leaders, which was taught every Monday. For Lent there was a three-day retreat, and in the month of May traditional songs were made to the flowers every day and at the end a play was presented, Amantita was the coordinator. Mass was celebrated every day at 8:00 AM and his Secretary was his brother, Domingo Bello. He gathered all the youth, they went out to sing Christmas carols at 4:00 PM. He formed the choir with a group of young people among whom stood out: Los Ángeles, Delta Díaz, Ana Gómez, Ligia Holguín, Antonia Gómez, Natividad Ayala, María de los Ángeles, Leoncio Holguín (musician). All the songs were in Latin as well as the mass.

He formed the apostolate group of prayer, of which Eduardo Cruz was the president. He instructed a group of children for altar boys, among whom were: Javier Abreu, Roberto del Villar, Joselito el de Quina, Berto Villar, Rafael Eduardo, Jesús María Galán (Chu), Fidel Cruz and Tomas Concepción. As a way to encourage the Father. Bello gave them parties and rewarded them with five cents each. He formed an apostolic group called The Daughters of Mary, whose purpose was to pray and they met every first Saturday of each month. A good man, a fighting spirit and full of the energy that inspires to be followed towards purposes that benefit everyone. A brave man concerned about youth and giving them healthy activities with which they can, in addition to enjoying themselves and making others enjoy themselves, fulfill the healthiest mission of man, helping their fellow men. For this reason, the name of our foundation cannot be best chosen and we are proud of it.

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