Parish
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Thank you, OMOS!

Last week, someone said to me, are you still here? When do you leave? One more week, my dear. Surely, that person cannot wait to see me maneuver my caravan out of the parking lot and head north. For over four years of ministering in a very Catholic parish environment led by a seasoned Pastor, permit me to say with confidence that my heart is filled with a deep sense of gratitude, profound admiration and the wonder of it all for the warm welcome, spirited worship, good friendship and enduring patience for my thick Filipino accent.

When I landed in America, seven years ago, I was convinced time and again that even if I spend a lifetime here, I will always be a stranger, a wandering Filipino missionary spreading the Gospel in the Southwest.  But the way OMOS treated me was a clear evidence of the unseen. Every time I came back from vacation, some of you gave me a hug and said, Welcome home, Father. That meant a lot.

In my reflective moments, I am grateful for spending my first few years of Priestly life in OMOS. I have encountered the confused, the wounded, the troubled and the distraught. I have listened to numerous stories and tried to offer pastoral directives to the ever complex human situations. I have also disappointed people particularly those who keep themselves busy discovering God and figuring the meaning of life. But, in these times of great testing in the church, in the absence of clarity and in the  midst of struggles, whereby a Priest is almost under a 24 hour surveillance camera, I humbly bring my experiences to gratitude.

Rest assured, I will hold you deep in my heart. Amen. 

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This entry was posted in: Parish

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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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