Exactly a year ago when I delivered this birthday piece to my Seminaryo community.
My first year in the Seminaryo has been quite eventful and when I respond to the question how is your theologate? The answer “I am happy here” is simply an understatement.
I searched my heart why it is so, and let me, through this speech, count the ways the reason why.
First, I’ve been reunited with my FIN confreres who were once my seminary companions in Canlubang.
It was something I wished and prayed for when I returned back to the seminary—that there would be a chance for me to be with them again. With my being in the theologate last year, this dream has become a reality.
Second, I am blessed with a community that may be far from perfect, but endeavors to make room for everyone. Hence, having been thrust into such a big community last year, I found myself at a loss with names of confreres, but the familial atmosphere of the community made it easy for me to address each confrere a brother.
And then, it dawned on me, calling each one a brother is made possible by the father of the house, whose shining example of discipline, faithfulness, and love is at times more powerful than his vocal chords.
Fr. Pepe’s presence in the community is the third reason why I am happy here; and with his another term this year, with all conviction, I am proud to say I’m a lot happier than before.
Fourth, though I was not able to meet them in person, my theological studies enabled me to brush elbows with luminaries such as the Italian monsignor Romano Guardini, Cardinal Yves Congar, Scriptures expert Fr. Raymond Brown, Pope Emeritus Benedid XVI, among many others, who gently taught me to not just believe in order to understand, but also, endeavor to love what may be difficult to believe.
But more than them, I’ve been enriched by my interaction with the people I’ve met in the ministries be it the Wednesday catechism class or the weekend apostolate. These people have efficiently taught me that it’s possible to believe in, appreciate and love God without really knowing why Moses was not allowed to enter the Promised Land or accurately figuring out the Christology of the St. Mark.
The list goes on. But let me just give you the ultimate reason why I’m happy here. Perhaps ¡t is because of the presence of a God that comforts me when I am disturbed, who nonetheless disturbs me as well when I’m comfortable, w hose presence is so mightily powerful to disregard, who continuously showers me with His unconditional love and graces even if I am the last person to merit it.
I promised a short speech, and I’ll be true to my word. Thanks for your prayers and greetings. Have a great day.