Fr. Teresito Soganub, the vicar-general of Marawi Prelature, who was rescued from Islamic militants in the southern Philippines recently, offered his first Thanksgiving Mass on September 24, 2017. The Holy Mass was also celebrated as a thanksgiving for the lives of those who were rescued along with the priest. Col. Romeo Brawner, deputy commander of the joint task force fighting to dislodge IS-inspired militants in the southern Philippines, released a photo of the priest and other clergy celebrating the Holy Mass for troops at the armed forces headquarters in Manila.

As reported by, Col. Romeo remarked in a note accompanying the photo that “It was a great celebration of life for Fr. Soganub, whose personal safety was placed in danger because of the battles in Marawi.” Further, he added, “Fr. Soganub is praying that he will be able to hear Holy Mass again at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Marawi city once the firefight is over and the area is cleared of improvised explosive devices.”

Troops and first responders have rescued more than 1,730 people in Marawi and the government has started rehabilitation efforts even as fighting continue.