Greetings from Christ the King Mission Seminary! It is now past eleven in the evening of when I decided to sit down in my computer and let my hand, heart and mind work together to tell something very inspiring for a young missionary of the Divine Word.
These past few days, we have been so busy preparing for a very big event in the seminary. No, this is not only our seminary affair. This is an affair of the Church. Our very own Provincial of the Central Province, Fr. Leopoldo Paul Jaucian, SVD was appointed by Pope Benedict XVI as the new bishop of the Diocese of Bangued, Abra. He replaces Bishop Artemio Rillera, who is now bishop of San Fernando, La Union. He will become the seventh bishop from the Society of the Divine Word in the Philippines.
All in the community – old and young confreres were very excited as the day of his Episcopal ordination gets nearer and nearer. We asked our seminarians to stay (it is vacation time) to witness this once-in-a-lifetime experience of Bishop Pol. As one confrere said, “We already wanted our seminarians to attend priestly ordinations so that they will be encouraged to become SVD priests. Now, we also asked them to witness Episcopal ordinations so that they will not only be encouraged to become priests but also to become bishops!”
Just this Sunday morning, after my stint at ABS-CBN Healing Eucharist, the seminarians and I, together with the Servants of the Divine Word, Friends of St. Jude, SVD priests and our co-missionaries worked hand in hand in the preparation – liturgy, decors, surroundings, vestments, food, etc. Our dear seminarians enthusiastically prepared the room for the clergy from Bangued, went from one building to another, brought chairs and tables from here to there and attended to the last minute changes. To put it simply, we were all exhausted after the day.
Surprisingly, the presence of Fr. Pol this evening gave all of us a renewed strength. Everybody became energetic. He came over to see the preparations and also spent some chitchat with us. I could see the joy radiating from the faces of everyone inside the chapel. Even with his new clerical status, Fr. Pol remained very down to earth. “Ang bait-bait niya Frats,” one seminarian told me. I agree. I also approached him and he indeed remained to be the person that I know. Siya pa rin ang Fr. Pol na kilala ko – smiling, joyful and very accommodating, aside from being very humble. I asked him if I could take pictures of him with his parents and elder brother and he gamely posed for one shot.
Tomorrow will be a big day. Few hours from now, Fr. Pol will become one of the youngest bishops in the Philippines.
More to come…