Finding Friendship at SSAP by Dennis Montecillo

C. S. Lewis, in his seminal book “The Four Loves” wrote: “Friendship . . . is born at the moment when one man says to another ‘What! You too? I thought that no one but myself’. . .”

Common purpose. Seeing eye-to-eye. Peas in a pod. Siamese twins. The world has sought to define friendship, no one has found quite the right way to describe it. Perhaps that’s because friendship – true friendship – isn’t of this world.
In a very real sense, friendship is an analogue to our relationship with God. It is a practice session, if you will, of our relationship with that certain Someone who – if He isn’t already – should be your best friend.

It’s fitting that Pope Francis is on the cusp of naming the coming Church season as the Year of the Parish. In this article you will read several powerful stories of friendship, all tying in to our relationship with our parish community. In this sense, “parish” is not the organization or the location – it is the people comprising it. I challenge you to read these stories and not be touched by the warmth of the bonds of friendship that our parishioners have developed for each other and of their families!

My family and I spent 17 years in a Hong Kong parish, and it is there that we first discovered what true friendship is – a kinship with each other knotted by a common love for our Best Friend, Jesus Christ. Leaving was extremely difficult for my family, but one thing that comforted us was the prospect of making new friends in my old/new parish of SSAP. It is here where we pray to meet and develop relationships with other lovers of our Best Friend Jesus Christ and His community of believers on this earth.

As published in the December 11 issue of the Parish Bulletin.