Parish Updates

In celebration of the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord on Tuesday, February 2, there will be a blessing of candles in all the Masses. Pls. see poster for details.

In this week’s Parish Bulletin….

A Legacy of Faith and Prayer
by Carla Silverio-Malibiran

I am truly grateful and honored to be asked to write about my Mom — Melon Silverio’s life and legacy — with the theme, “Gifted to Give.” This affirms that she not only influenced my life, but also had a positive impact on others as well — such that she is dearly remembered – even five years after her death. As a teenager, I was aware that my Mom was always active in some civic project — feeding programs, fundraising for CRIBS, regularly bringing toiletries to jail, accompanied by a priest; relocating and rebuilding communities of displaced Aetas during a Mt. Pinatubo eruption; participating in multiple relief efforts for typhoon victims, scholarships, etc. — there was always something.

I vividly remember one afternoon she spent signing a whole stack of solicitation letters for a project. I leafed through the letters and I freaked out. “Mom! Do you even know half of these people!?” I was young and embarrassed at the idea of asking strangers. I started sorting the letters to the intended recipients — based on whom she knew and didn’t know – and began to throw away the latter bunch. She stopped signing and got angry. I still recall her saying “Even if I give all my money and ask from all my friends, it is never enough because there are so many people in need. Imagine all the lives they can help if they give? If they don’t want to give, then all they have to do is throw away my letter. Wala naman mawawala eh, just paper. Why will I be embarrassed, it’s not for me??” Mom was no saint, but she always joked that it was her dream to be one. People who knew Mom, especially the one during my teenage years would find this to be a real funny joke as it’s just so far out from reality. However, the Mom I knew growing up was remarkably different from the Mom I knew in the last years of her life. As she continued her service to others — through the years — she also grew in prayer. Intense prayer. Her devotion to the Rosary, Mama Mary, Jesus and God was like no other.

Many, many years back, I came home to find a big beautiful arrangement of white flowers on the dining table. I asked her where it was from, and she said, “There’s a lady that I see every day at Mass. One day she came up to me and asked to pray for her. So I did. I prayed 1,000 Hail Marys for her in one sitting, whatever her intention was. I recently saw her in church and the lady somehow knew that I prayed for her.” Upon hearing that she prayed 1,000 Hail Marys for someone that she was not close to made me reflect on Mom’s generous giving spirit.

Everything was about prayer. Her response to everything was always prayer — whether it be in petition or thanksgiving. She showed her love for us through prayer. Through her, we learned the value of prayer and the power of praying with fervor, conviction, persistence, consistency, humility and faith. To trust and accept the will of God.

With the on-going pandemic, her legacy of prayer and charity is what keeps our family going. Prayer solves all problems (possibly not in the way we want them solved) and it is in giving that we receive. We could not have asked for a better Mom who was wise enough to equip us with what we truly need to survive these crucial times: love for God and love for others.

Unexpected Blessings
by John and Mela Tantoco

After we tied the knot in December 2019, we were looking forward to always being together. We did not expect “always” to be literal — then COVID arrived. From a fast-paced life of late nights-out with friends and busy days in the office, COVID suddenly ground our world to a halt, and we were unexpectedly confined to the four corners of our home.

Our first year of marriage was not the exciting, fun-filled year we had planned. Family trips were cancelled; the tail end of our honeymoon was a stress-filled endeavor to get home before borders closed; weddings of friends were moved or scaled down, and the list goes on. We felt robbed of life events we eagerly anticipated and expected to enjoy together. But as the months passed, we realized that this new life gave us something in short supply: QUALITY TIME.

With the hustle and bustle of life suddenly gone, we found ourselves going days on end with only each other for company; our days, weeks, and months were filled with nice, home-cooked meals paired with wonderful conversation. Being with each other 24/7 allowed us to replace the routinary “how-was-your-day” conversation with more meaningful ones that allowed us to discover a different level of understanding and love for each other. By the grace of God, we are now expecting our biggest blessing — our first child! Late at night before we sleep and the world is quiet, we can feel our baby’s little feet moving against the palms of our hands. We wonder what we could have done to ever deserve such a blessing in our lives.

In the most unexpected of ways, 2020 was a period of recalibration and re-orientation. We stand in awe of how a year fraught with anxiety and uncertainty also brought great JOY! God quieted our lives for us to see what is truly important — love for one another, love for our families, and love for those around us. Everyday, we thank Him for giving us time to return to the things that really matter, and for giving us our greatest blessing — our daughter.

The pandemic has been a difficult experience, and we do not know when it will end. But the Bible says, “blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord and whose hope is in the Lord.” With the hope and love of God, we are certain that COVID is an obstacle we shall overcome.

Read more encouraging stories like these
from this week’s Parish Bulletin…