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Last Sunday, the 5th Sunday of Lent, we joined some parishes across the country in observance of the covering crosses, statues and images to prepare us for the impending passion of Jesus. Evidently, we get a glimpse, a preview of what’s to come that is, the drama of human salvation visible in the church environment. As we move closer to holy week, I hope that our local religious customs and practices will continue to draw us to the compelling mystery of the passion of Christ. Again, if you’re following the daily Lenten readings, (Monday) the story of Suzanna, raised strictly in the law of Moses (in today’s world, Catolico Cerrado) is highly inspirational to those who struggle with fidelity to the Lord and the church’s teachings. Suzanna said, “she would rather die than break and go against the Lord.” She was vindicated through the wisdom of a young fellow named Daniel. (Wednesday) The three young men (Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego) in Daniel 3, ignored the summons of the king. Instead, they remained faithful and worshipped their (our) God. Nebuchadnezzar was livid. As a punishment, he had them burned in fiery furnace set to the maximum level. In the midst of the fire, though, the three young men were still alive and actually walking and dancing (my addition). Not only that, Nebuchadnezzar saw four men and the fourth looked like the Son of God. He was converted. On Friday, Jeremiah said, “The Lord God is with me, a mighty hero.”


The on-going interviews may seem to be a stretch for me as a lone- ranger priest down here in Douglas but the one-on-one conversation with the confirmandi is, to a large degree, an investment not for me but for the church, the bigger institution in which all of us are mere servants and stewards. Almost all of them are able to articulate their confirmation saints, choice of a godparent and the completed service hours. Your chosen saint must inevitably speak to your life in the here and now and humbly imitate him/her. I told them how appreciative I am of the enormous efforts placed in the research, an added responsibility, so to speak, on top of their school work and other activities (sports and family-related). I was particularly struck by the creativity of their service projects especially those who devoted hours painting the nails of the elderly in a nursing facility and volunteered in the parish in various capacities.

This series of interview reminds me of the prophet Daniel that wisdom can come from the youth. I expected that in the course of my platica con ellos, at least one of them will say something profoundly moving. As Catholics, we are dutybound to show by example that apart from the worldly lifestyle, there’s another way to live (moral option), and it can be done.

Welcome to Douglas!

Finally, I was able to hike the ‘D’ Hill last Sunday afternoon joined by Mr. Carlos Tobon, the photographer. Were it not because of my ankle pain, it would have been an easy climb. I was afraid to take a selfie as the terrain was rough and steep. Uphill was more challenging than the downward (halfway paved) slope.  



Let’s pray for the eternal repose of the souls of the parishioners who recently passed away, Maria Dolores Estrada, Linda Bojorquez, John Gustavo Acosta and offer condolences, sympathy and consolation to the grieving families, relatives and friends. Rest assured, they are included in the prayers of the community.   

Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord and let perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace. May their souls and the souls of all the faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in peace. Amen. 




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