Walking for Life

Last Saturday January 21, 2012 I was blessed to take a stand and defend life. I along with over 100 Seminarians from both Mount Angel Seminary and Saint Patrick’s Seminary with over 50,000 people walked through the City of San Francisco in a peaceful and quiet protest to the “Culture of Death” in today’s society. We walked for life. We walked for those who do not have the chance to walk and the chance to breath and live as we do. We walked to end abortion. Not only, did we walk for an end to abortion, but we walked so that ALL life from conception to natural death be defended and given the rights and dignity it deserves.

A very important aspect of our Catholic faith is Social Justice to do just that defend the rights and dignity of human beings. We are called to spread God’s love and Christ’s light and peace to all the world but also to care for the unborn, the poor, the unemployed, the homeless, the imprisoned, the immigrant, the elderly, and the dying. It is in this that we can understand more deeper the mission of Christ and his Church. Action through witness and labor!

At the Mass before the walk at San Francisco’s Saint Mary’s Cathedral the Archbishop said something very profound which stayed with me that day till now. He said “We are to plant trees, knowing we will never sit under them.” My action as a Christian and as a Catholic is this to carry on the mission planting seeds for future, knowing I will probably never see it brought to fruition. By this walk and statement, I know and I hope that one day abortion will no longer be and life will be respected and dignified. This also was very prevalent when we encountered the counter protesters (Pro-Abortion People) as they swore and cursed at us, flipped us off, and blasphemed God through their actions. I was “moved with pity” is the best way to explain my experience of these people. They were so angry, and for what? All I could do was witness to Jesus, smile, and plant a tree of God’s love to them. Pray for the end to abortion and pray for peace in life.

San Francisco City Center where nearly 50,000 people gathered to defend ALL Life

Hawaii Seminarians Frank Villanueva, EJ Resinto, and Romple Emwalu Walk for Life 2012

 A Pro-Life Prayer

(from “In the Palm of His Hand” prayer book) 

Redeemer in the Womb

Lord Jesus Christ, You took our human nature upon Yourself. You shared our life and death, our childhood and adulthood. You also shared our time in the womb. While still God, while worshiped and adored by the angels, while Almighty and filling every part of the universe, You dwelt for nine months in the womb of Mary. You were our Redeemer in the womb, our God who was a preborn child.

Lord Jesus, we ask You to bless and protect the children who today are in their mothers’ womb. Save them from the dangers of abortion. Give their mothers grace to sacrifice themselves, in body and soul, for their children. Help all people to recognize in the preborn child a brother, a sister, saved by You, our Redeemer in the womb. Amen.

 

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Wrapping up & Unwrapping

A lot has happened in the last month or so. It has been a plethora of emotions and I would like to take this opportunity to bring to a wrap up my blog of “40 days” and unwrap the next half of my priestly formation. So, what has happened in the last four weeks? Well, on this sunny but cool Saturday morning in the Bay Area of California, not only do I sip on my cup of coffee in my new room at Saint Patrick’s Seminary but I reflect on all the events of the last month and need to pinch myself to make sure that it was not a dream, but, it really did happen.

Graduation from Mount Angel Seminary December 13, 2011

On the 13th of December I was presented with my Bachelor’s Degree in Philosophy from Mount Angel Seminary. A cool and crisp December morning in which the most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass was celebrated by our President Rector. I gave thanks to God for all the blessings he gave and entrusted the next half of formation to him and his Blessed Mother. I was surrounded by by confers and friends at this liturgy, as well as some surprise visitors from Saint Patrick’s to officially welcome me to the community. The afternoon was spent with camaraderie, food, laughs, and packing.

I said my final goodbye to Oregon on Saturday December 17 as I headed to my island home for Christmas. I enjoyed spending most of my time with my parents, family, and friends over the holiday. The highlight of Christmas is the annual “Misa de Gallo” a novena of pre-dawn Masses before Christmas. Christmas, as usual, was very quiet at home with a very simple meal of fried chicken and pinakbet with my mom and dad.

Christmas Eve Mass with the Members of the Immaculate Conception Children's (now grown up) Choir

Misa de Gallo at Holy Cross Parish, Kalaheo Kauai

The days after Christmas were quite busy because to add on to the Christmas season we also celebrated the ordination to the Priesthood of fellow confer Anthony Rapozo at the Co-Cathedral in Honolulu by Bishop Larry Silva. The festiveness of the event on the Solemnity of the Holy Family touched me deeply and was a reality of what I will be doing in just a few years, please God. Father Rapozo said his first Mass at our home parish Immaculate Conception on the Vigil of Mary, Mother of God. Everything was beautiful and solemn. I had to honor of MCing Father’s first Mass. The evening continued with a traditional Portuguese Bean Soup dinner.

with Sister Florence and Father Rapozo after Mass on New Year's Day

 

 

 

 

Parishioner's of Immaculate Conception Church

 

 

 

 

 

After a day of rest, I left Kauai to begin the second part of formation in California. But first, it was the annual retreat at Christ the King Retreat Center in Sacramento, CA. It was a week of prayer and rest. I spent a lot of time in prayer, reflecting on the holidays, my vocation, my family, and the graces God has given me. As one can imagine, I was also physically tired and so this was an opportune time to catch up on needed rest for theology studies are dawning.

All these events and experiences of the past month, as I said earlier, was a plethora of emotions. Saying goodbye and hello in the same breath. Wrapping up and unwrapping the gifts of the Holy Spirit. This week, the Church celebrated National Vocations Awareness Week. After, prayer and requests, I have decided to keep this blog on a constant “unwrapping,” to promote and foster vocations to the Priesthood and Religious Life, as well as this year for the “New Evangelization” which our Holy Father will declare this year. Take a walk with me and my Lord as I discern his will for me. Pray for Vocations and nurture them too. Oremus Pro Ivicem! (Let’s pray for one another!)