As a young boy in the Philippines, I used to cut off the ends of turrones de kasoy and give it out as communion to my brothers. Who would have thought that that was a sign of things to come?
In the spring of 1994, I attended a discernment retreat at St.Bernard’s Abbey in Cullman, Ala. Who would have thought that I would leave that place intent on applying to the Jesuits? August 14, 1994, I set foot at St. Charles College for the very first time in my life. Who would have thought that 11 years later I would be ordained a Jesuit priest?
Someone once said that we always experience things twice: once in our minds, and the second time in reality. I envisioned my life as a Jesuit to be challenging yet affirming, eye-opening yet consoling, limited yet empowering. My experiences over these past 25 years have been all of this and so much more. Nothing could have ever prepared me for the varied ways in which God has surprised me. Because of this, I feel as if I am soaring without wings. And no matter how you look at it, it is only through God’s abundant grace that I am able to live this life, and for this I am forever grateful.
These words would forever ring true: “At, yayamang ako’y binigyan mo ng biyaya na ito’y aking nasain at ihain sa iyo, marapatin mo na rin sanang hulugan ako ng masaganang biyaya upang ito’y matupad ko.” “As you have freely given me the desire to make this offering, so also may you give me the abundant grace to fulfill it.” (from the Jesuit Vow Formula)