Parish
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Diakonia is more than words

I just realized the other day, it’s been three years since my diaconate ordination. It’s worth celebrating such an important day by myself at the confines of the parish rectory. Olympic swimming and gymnastics have done a great deal keeping me awake which was really unusual on a weekday. Allowing myself to be entertained by the incredible and stunning olympic shows, I started missing my classmates back home. It just happened in the nic of time. I wondered how they were doing at least for those who were ordained. It brings back lots of memories from friends’ and family’s disapproval entering the seminary to the enormous challenges faced with great pride. 


Through the years, I had to give up my human predilection to anything that would put my vocation in danger. Well, God’s calling may have been as ancient as the pyramids of egypt (not really) but the promises of celibacy, obedience and a simple/humble lifestyle for a Diocesan Priest, have been kept alive and have remained as fresh as the red roses picked at the first hours of the morning. From the start, I knew it would be a very exciting life filled especially with hopes, imperfections, meaning, purpose and laughter. I knew there would be a tremendous work to be done which I have always looked forward from the moment I said, yes. 


As a newcomer, I have to be very patient with myself and with the people I work since numerous mistakes will be made. It certainly won’t be a bed of roses and yet, it didn’t matter so much to me as long as I enjoy it to the max. I’m eternally grateful to the countless people who have inspired, supported and trusted me in more than a decade of seminary training. To this day, ministry is all about service. It’s a discipline punctuated by prayer, study, work, play and yep, day off! It entails intense focus, faithful effort and immense dedication. I have to remind myself every now and then that whether i like it or not, it’s 24/7, 365. That’s why I take a power nap everyday. How long? secret. It’s for you to discover. i’ll let you know but promise me, you won’t broadcast it. haha..I’ve learned to be very careful about what I say and do knowing that I represent God. I see to it that I carry out my task exceptionally well. Though, ever since the world began, I’ve been branded as a chronic late- comer (Fr. Tardy!( to be exact), I make sure to let people know that I would be running late. What an excuse! well, that’s just the way it is. But, i’m making significant attempts to shock and awe my people. hhmm, fr. jojo, early ha. oh yeah…Thank God…alarm clocks worked, HS woke me up and well, i’m disposed. Truly, it’s a real shame and a terrible embarrassment to show up late and i’m grieving for missed opportunities. Over time, out of deep concern, I hesitate to make a grand entrance especially, if i have to lead. It’s hard to tell wherever I have gone far or not but whatever comes along the way, I say, life goes on and that’s the best part of serving God. I’m not so sure what the future holds but I’ll continue to stay healthy, lovely, and funny…

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A Filipino Catholic Priest, born and raised in Virac, Catanduanes, Philippines, ordained for the Diocese of Tucson, AZ, eleven years in ministry and counting, currently assigned as Pastor of St. Christopher Catholic Parish, Marana, AZ.

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