Parish
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TGIF

Life after ordination has dramatically changed. Friday is no longer a day I look forward to relax, breath fresh air and savor the simple and yet timely pleasures weekend has to offer. In college, friday afternoon was free time. The rule of thumb, as far back as I can remember was: You can do whatever you want as long as you’re in the Seminary premises before 5:00pm. Well, it was a special time to hang out in the mall where it was nice, crowded and cool, run errands, shop for groceries and personal necessities, watch movies, stop by at a friend’s house and enjoy light conversations over a bottle of Ginebra San Miguel even if money was tight. There was a time when it tasted like water, mind you. The company of like-minded people was happily cherished. It was a life support and its meaning ran deep. 
It was September of 2005 when my desire to spend friday night prayerfully, seriously took shape. There’s a sense of urgency every time it draws to a close. TGIF meant and lived differently. It’s that time when I personally enter into a weekend of sacrifice and practice asceticism. These spiritual exercises are central to a vowed life. It wasn’t done simply to impress anyone. R & R didn’t cross my radar screen. I stick to my gun and hold on to the saying that a life of leisure will not taste the fruit of success. Generally, I would decline invitations of all sorts to prepare for the Sunday Liturgy,  except only if duty calls. For quite some time, I became tolerant and went head long but realized, in the end that Priesthood without discipline is like a garden without a fence. 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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