A FrancisFest 2016 Beneficiary
by Millette Ocampo
In the heart of Rome, at the beautiful Church of St. Ambrose in Via del Corso, the 12:15 noon-day Mass was almost empty. It was a Wednesday and a sprinkling of Filipinos and old people were in attendance.
At the Vatican, there were hundreds in line to view the magnificent works of art rather than to worship in the amazing Church of St. Peter.
At the famous Duomo Cathedral in Milan, the line was long and tedious for tourists to enter its hallowed halls. The daily Mass was celebrated behind its main altar by a very old priest and with just a few old people hearing Mass.
It is inspiring to see old priests who have devoted a lifetime to God, who have given up family, comfort, ambition, perhaps personal love and material wants. They are living testaments of a life offered unselfishly to God and for others. Equally it is uplifting to see young priests in their prime working with dedication and passion for our faith. Sadly, today we have a much lower rate of vocations for priesthood.
In good stead, our parish not only prays for vocations but has established the Pastoral Care for Franciscan Vocation Ministry. Started three years ago, it supports seminarians who are in their final two years prior to ordination. Chosen are 3rd and 4th year Theology students who are already solemnly professed friars. It was deemed wise to support seminarians nearing ordination to ensure judicious use of funds. They are selected by our Franciscan priests at San Pedro Bautista. For the year 2014-2015, there were 4 scholars; and another 4 for the year 2015-2016. A portion of funds raised from FrancisFest is allocated to this worthy ministry.
It is with pride that 3 scholars were recently ordained priests. Two of them – Rev. Fr. Jose Romero Fabahair, OFM, and Rev. Fr. Jumil Jomoc Alcasoda, OFM – celebrated their first Mass at Santuario de San Antonio on August 23 this year.
Our Santuario de San Antonio Parish is well and alive with active parishioners and priests who celebrate our daily Masses and attend to our spiritual needs. It is important that we support vocations for the future of our church and our faith; for the priests are the keepers of our faith, with a deep sense of God, who inspire and link us to God through the Sacraments.
Giving to FrancisFest is supporting this meaningful ministry. So please help.
As published in the September 18 issue of the Parish Bulletin.