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On the wings of change…

After ordination, my life has considerably changed and priorities shifted. It has been devoted entirely in parish ministry and was spent for the most part in an effort to fit in a diverse community and in a serious attempt at knowing how the system worked. I confess it was quite an adjustment learning the ropes of daily parish routine coming straight from the oven. In fact, I just recently landed. Since then, life has often been punctuated by daily prayer, diligent study of the Scriptures, timely response to emails and phone calls, showing at appointments and meetings, administering sacrament, preaching almost 7 days a week, reading news, watching TV shows, cheering for UA games, learning the lives of politicians including their stance on critical issues and yep, frequent blogging at my favorite social networking site, sort of cyberspace ministry, if such a thing is ever possible. I’d like to single out the recitation of the Office and Liturgy of the Hours as central to my existence and the celebration of the Eucharist as the climax of my day. 

What gets me excited every single minute is the hands-0n experience of meeting people at the trenches. It piqued my interest. I’ve always looked forward to the daily encounter with them, which in my view, is the stuff of Diocesan Spirituality. Certainly, it’s a life not simply confined in the sanctuary of the office, although that’s possible, or in my cozy bed, that’s even more enticing but anchored, rather, at building relationships with people at a personal level, strive to enter into their lives accompanied with listening carefully to their hopes, dreams and concerns, comfort them in sorrow, and grace them with priestly presence on various occasions, to name a few. If the present understanding of Catholic priesthood still has to be set apart from the rest of the community, from saints and most importantly, sinners whose souls I’m supposed to minister and save, I don’t want to be ordained again. No book about religion can super cede the teachings of Jesus in the scriptures who went into the outskirts to find the lost and the left-out. Should I as a Priest be the example of Christ, too? – a question whether the sky is blue… 

For someone like me who wasn’t raised in an English and Spanish environment, learning to master languages other than my own coupled with efforts at making myself understood in the pulpit and the street has been a real struggle from day one knowing for a fact that foreign accents are absolutely intolerable. 

One of my biggest concerns is the so-called pastoral approach. In the past, I thought there were two only kinds of priests: one who loves yelling at people and enjoyed at picking on them while the other, a nice fellow who simply does the opposite. My experience is that a mixture can be a perfect combination.  The biggest challenge so far is to represent God and the creative task of speaking in behalf of his name since ordained as I am, I still don’t have direct access to the inner life but only by way of deep contemplation on the written word, the tradition of the church and the Magisterium. Amen. 

This entry was posted in: Parish


Filipino Catholic Priest, born and raised in Virac, Catanduanes, Philippines, ordained for the Diocese of Tucson, AZ, Gracias a Dios! twelve years in ministry, pastor of St. Christopher Catholic Parish, Marana, AZ.

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