In Memory of Fr. Hugh Zurat, OFM

On the occasion of Fr. Hugh’s birthday (Oct. 19) and 40th day of his death, we are publishing this special issue to give due recognition to his contributions in laying a solid foundation for our parish community.

While I know that Fr. Hugh will personally protest this idea of honoring what he has done for our parish and will simply argue that he only did what he was expected to do as a faithful servant of our Lord Jesus Christ (Lk. 17:10) and son of St. Francis of Assisi, this is also an occasion for us to reminisce and refresh our memories, reflect on our ongoing activities and programs and review our future pastoral endeavors that facilitate our community’s steady growth and development.

On a personal note, Fr. Hugh’s first mission station in the Philippines was in Sacred Heart Parish, San Isidro N. Samar. Our family used to serve this parish and my usual assignment was to bring our youth group to clean the church at least once a month until the time I entered OLAS. Of course he was there before I was born. Fr. Hugh was my college professor at Our Lady of the Angels Seminary. Looking back, his teaching pedagogy influenced my ability to be attentive in classroom discussions and form good study habits – weekly quizzes were regular. When I was taking up my graduate studies at the Catholic Theological Union and Loyola University in Chicago, IL, he helped me financially by offering mass intentions for my books and other personal needs because he knew that our provincial fraternity could not afford to support me. He laughed out loud when I told him that I applied to work as a dog walker in order to get extra financial support for my schooling. Once in a while he brought me to a Filipino restaurant for lunch. He would always open our conversation in Waray, my mother tongue.

In all of those personal encounters, Fr. Hugh exemplified the essence of relational connectivity. The next time I visit my relatives and friends in the US, I will certainly miss our fraternal luncheon get together.

“Pray for all of us always and hope to see you at home that God prepared for us. Thank you for your fraternal care. May the good Lord grant you eternal peace!”

An Imo Kablas na Bug-to,

Fr. Reu Jose C. Galoy, OFM

As published in the October 16 issue of the Parish Bulletin.

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