In this week’s Parish Bulletin….
On to New Beginnings
with Alice Loto
Ms. Alicia Loto is a familiar face to many who have visited the office of SSAP. For 20 years, she has been in charge of bookings of both the Parish Center and Multipurpose Hall. She will be retiring from her work in the Parish soon.
What do you remember the most from your 20 years of work at SSAP? What will you miss the most?
Nag-umpisa ako kina Fr. Jerome, Fr. Rosales, Fr. Joel at Fr. Nestor Manlangit. Siguro, mga apat na generations na ng mga priests ang nakasama ko dito.
Ma-mimiss ko, definitely, yung mga tao na pumupunta dito at nagpapa-Mass or nagpapa-book ng events place at mortuary chapel. So hawak ko ang para sa buhay at para sa patay. Nagustuhan ko yung feeling kapag na-fulfill mo yung needs ng mga tao na nangangailangan ng time mo na tulungan sila. Sila din yung nagsasabi na grateful sila na nakilala nila ako habang grieving or dahil nakatulong ako sa wedding reception or birthday nila.
Hindi ko din makakalimutan yung mga kasama ko dito as opisina… yung mga officemates ko at mga workers natin. Syempre sa tagal ng panahon na naming nagkakasama, ang turing na namin ay pamilya na.
Thankful din ako sa binigay sa akin na pagkakataon ng Franciscan Pastoral Team na nagtiwala sila sa akin at sa pagtratrabaho ko dito.
Ano po yung sentimyento ninyo pag magretire na po kayo sa trabaho?
Mixed emotions ako ngayon – magkahalong saya at lungkot.
Masaya kung mag-reretire ka kasi you will face a new chapter of your life. I look forward sa mga magagandang plano na gagawin during retirement. I will spend more time with my family, my loved ones, my friends… the people I care about. At magagawa ko din yung mga gusto kong gawin sa buhay ko na hindi ko pa nagagawa.
Pero malungkot din kasi iiwanan ko na yung trabaho ko na minahal ko ng ganon katagal at binigay ko yung oras at dedikasyon ko. Talagang malungkot yung bahagi na yan.
Ngayong bagong taon, marami din yung mga taong naghaharap sa pagbabago… ano pong payo ang mabibigay po ninyo sa kanila?
I would say na maging matatag tayo at maging positive tayo sa pagharap natin sa buhay… lalo na ngayon sa nararanasan natin at sa mga problema at challenges na darating sa buhay natin. Sana ma-experience natin yung positivity na pagtanggap sa buhay para medyo gumaan yung pakiramdam natin… at hindi tayo yung dadalhin ng mga problema. Take things day by day.
At yung pananampalataya natin sa Panginoon, yun yung magbubuhat sa atin… kakapit talaga tayo sa Diyos para tayo’y matulungan sa sitwasyon natin ngayon. May pandemic man o wala, kailangan natin ang magandang relasyon natin sa Diyos.
When it comes to family, mas lalo pa nating ipadama yung pagmamahal at pang-unawa sa mga mahal natin sa buhay. We should also try to support ang bawa’t isa lalo na during these pandemic times.
Idagdag ko rin yung self-discipline, or control sa sarili, try to be patient and calm in dealing with other people.
Thank you so much, Alice for all those years of loyal service. May God shine His light on you always as you embark on your new endeavors!
St. Anthony of the Desert
Feast Day: January 17
by Cesar Inducil
From ancient times, deserts have been regarded as places of both trial and encounter. For many of the ancient Israelites, the desert was a special place and it was no different for Jesus. The desert was where He was tempted by the devil and where He would regularly commune with His Father. For the early Christians following in His footsteps, the desert was also seen as a very important and special place.
This movement in Christianity towards running to the desert — to find God in the silence and solitude — began with St. Anthony of the Desert. Anthony is recognized as the very first Christian monk, who, at the end of the second century, retired to the deserts of Egypt for a life belonging exclusively to God alone. For many of us today who read about his life — which was written by St. Athanasius and was a major bestseller for many of the Church Fathers — this 1800-year-old story about a desert hermit may seem too distant and too holy for modern times. Anthony does have a something he can teach us today though, especially during this time of pandemic.
The most important lesson of Anthony for our time is how to deal with acedia and to find peace in silence and solitude. Acedia (known today as boredom), for the Church Fathers, is the temptation of the noonday devil. St. John Cassian, a later follower of Anthony, describes it in this way: ‘Boredom, the fathers found, captures the monk at noon. It puts him in a state of worry such that he can no longer put up with his room nor the people that surround him. It gives him a disgust in the reading of Scripture and the desire to yawn and eat. And once his stomach is full, the demon of boredom inspires this monk to want to leave his room to gossip with someone, as if the conversation was the only means of getting rid of his boredom. If he does not succeed in making the monk leave his room, the demon works on distracting the monk during reading or prayer. The goal of this distraction is to render his spirit idle and sterile.’ Doesn’t this centuries-old text sound familiar?
Silence and solitude were just as difficult for Anthony back then as they are for us today. He too would get bored when trying to pray. He too would mess up. What sets him apart from us was that at the end of each day — rather than dwell on his mistakes and shortcomings — Anthony would say to himself ‘Each day, I begin anew.’
This, for us, is precious wisdom. Regardless of what happened to us yesterday, each new today gives a new beginning… a fresh start to get up and with the grace of God, try again!
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