Parish
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Olympics 2008

Growing up in an island province in the Philippines, I dreamed of becoming an olympian although it was next to impossible considering my limited athletic abilities. To a certain extent, I knew I had the potential of becoming the fastest man in the country if only I trained very well. Dreaming, besides fun and sports, is probably the best part of being a child. At 10, I started running. I got up early on saturdays and ran. In high school, I was the fastest but I never made it to any competition outside the school in part because my coach wanted me to run a 100m, 5 minutes before the time, with no training at all and I declined. 


Thank God, I decided not to do it because if I had won, I would have decided to climb the national stage. Nothing to lose, I played point for hoops which I’ve wanted forever. Shortly before finishing elementary, I got an urgent call for something spiritual and surely worthwhile. It was a terribly shocking thing, bearing the brunt of divine impact. The people who knew me and heard about it were startled as well. Jojo, Priesthood? That’s impossible to reconcile! said my closest friend. But this time, God said, it won’t require rigorous physical exercise, only a little bit of love, smile, and a resounding YES…willingness… to endure whatever it takes. He said, jojo…you had better chances in winning gold medal that lasts more than a lifetime if you join me in the spiritual olympics. Haven’t heard that word before. You don’t have to wait for four years, it happens in every breath you take…in every encounter you make, in every prayer you say… it is a game played in humility, simplicity, gentleness, decency, forgiveness and of course, love which sums them all up…


I was hesitant at first which was usually the case, but as the years unfolded, I had fallen in love with it. And if you knew what love meant, there’s no need to elaborate. From day one of this ministry, I knew it wasn’t money to be made, or fame to be earned not even influence to be gained. But, if ever these things happen as a possible result of my exceptional performance, still, it’s not about me. Amen. 

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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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