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Finally, after five years, I had the chance to visit friends in the Diocese of Joliet. Tito Jun Salgado picked me up in O’hare late this morning, hospitably opened his house and graciously prepared fried tilapia and sinigang for lunch at my request. In the evening, we drove to St. Isidore Parish with Tita Wilma to attend the weekly prayer meeting of the Sacred Heart Prayer Group. After a number of worship songs, when everyone was wondering who the presenter was,  Sister Emy, the prayer leader, introduced me to the roughly fifty people and was greeted with a warm applause. When my name was called, I invoked the Holy Spirit to take over me and help me stimulate the faith of the crowd.

In the pulpit, I immediately recognized familiar faces who couldn’t wait to hear what I wished to say. At the start, I personally thanked the group for the support given me and reminded them of the importance of prayer and action. I shared my experiences ministering in a parish, including the struggle to fit in and be on time. In priesthood, you don’t know what it is unless you’re on it. While pondering momentarily, I submit that the first criterion should be the ability to be alone. Small prayers groups such as this reflect Filipino Diaspora, simply described as the worship of God in a foreign land and the desire to fill the innermost depths of one’s heart. I know I said a lot but since it is late already, my memory is too weak to remember everything on top of my head. The fellowship ended with a dinner and picture taking hard to forget. 

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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