Parish
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St. John Marie Vianney, Pray for us!

St. John Marie Vianney, Patron Saint of Parish Priests popularly known as the Cure’ d’Ars, was a humble man who spent over 10 hours a day in the confessional. In the course of his ministry, the once religiously indifferent small french town of Ars, many of whom were fallen away Catholics, turned into a vibrant community. In fact, people from neighboring parishes and different regions of the country flocked to him to seek healing and reconciliation. In as much as I hanker and wish to imitate his pastoral zeal, I can’t do it out of my pseudo-busy schedule. With the current American parish setting, even an enthusiastic and energetic Priest assigned in a little town in Arizona, almost singlehandedly carrying out the tough job of parish administration, would find it hard to spend even 5 hours hearing confessions unless, Coolidge repents. Ministering in St. James, a non-profit organization in the eyes of the State, is incredibly challenging. It’s obviously more than just the Sacraments. It includes management, administration, fund raising, inter-personal skills, among others, on top of prophecy and …time- off, to be precise. Sad that the sacrament of mercy and forgiveness is offered only an hour each week with no more than ten souls showing up. I can do something about it, though. His example remains an inspiration and reminder that the primum officium of a Priest is to preach and sanctify his people. Social Action is secondary. 
Just like him, I was a very poor student, too. In fact, the most stupid in the class and failed to pass in many of the Seminary courses offered especially Ad Auds (on hearing confessions), a practicum in preparation for hearing confessions. I admit in ages past that my ordination to the Priesthood is a sign that God, indeed, exists. Again, my ministry is a concrete testimony that if I made it out of the mercy and kindness of God and Formators, anybody can. 
St. John Marie Vianney, Pray for us! 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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