Saturday, April 13, 2024

Tag: July 31, 2009

Confessions of a clergyman

WE OFTEN see them every Sunday, standing behind the altar and celebrating the Mass.

But have you ever wondered how a priest spends the rest of the week, once he gives his final blessing and utters the words “the Mass is ended”?

A priest’s duty does not end with the Sunday service. The Eucharistic celebration is central to his life as an alter Christus, a visible representation of Christ. But much is expected of him.

The vocation demands constant and visible presence, from Sundays when he celebrates Mass until the wee hours of the morning when an emergency calls for his service.

“If there is a person who should make you feel the presence of Christ, it should be the priest,” said Fr. Manuel Lamprea, Jr., parish priest of the Immaculate Conception Parish in Batac, Ilocos Norte.

Unexpected enlightenment

STANDING beside a bedridden old man while compressing his artificial breathing mask wasn’t my idea of spending that sunny July afternoon. While other students in the campus were enjoying the great weather outside, I was stuck inside a cold hospital room, monitoring the old man.

He could not turn, speak, or open his eyes fully. His grave condition made it difficult for him to even breathe on his own will. In the field where life and death is a day to day matter, I was ironically afraid that he might lose his life anytime soon. But after seeing how his nurses dealt with his condition with utmost care, I felt assured that this man was in good hands. At that point, I once again began to wonder if I was in the right path like them.

Pope stresses charity in new encyclical

“CHARITY is at the heart of Church’s social doctrine.”

This was Pope Benedict XVI’s reminder in his new Encyclical Caritas in Veritate (“Charity in Truth”) delivered last July 7 in Vatican City.

The document stressed the need for real human development, insisting on progress in the moral and spiritual realms.

“Charity with this close link of truth is the principal driving force behind the authentic development of every person and of all humanity,” the Pope said.

According to the Holy Father, charity had long been emptied and misconstrued, its meaning often misinterpreted, disconnected from ethical living, and undervaluated. With these alarming issues obscuring the true meaning of charity, he prescribed “truth” as a cure for these problems.

Oras

TILA malalakas na hataw ng tambol ang tibok ng aking puso sa kaba. Malamig ang panahon pero pinagpapawisan ako at maging ang mga kamay ko ay walang tigil sa panginginig. Para bang bumabaliktad ang aking sikmura at masusuka ako.

Lalong bumilis ang pintig ng aking puso nang makita ko ang mahabang kamay ng orasan na papalapit sa numerong 12. Limang minuto na lang pala bago mag alas-otso.

Umalingawngaw ang tunog ng bell sa buong koridor. Habang nagsisipasukan na sa kanilang silid-aralan ang ibang estudyante, nanatili akong nakatayo sa labas ng aming kuwarto.

“Tan, tara na. Magsisimula na ang eksam,” sabi ng matalik kong kaibigang si Bert.

Bago pumasok ay bumulong muna ako ng maikling panalangin. Bahala na, sabi ko sa sarili ko. Suntok sa buwan ang gagawin kong pagpasok sa loob.

Digmaan

Kagabi’y sumuko ako sa pag-irog.

Nagtatakbuhan ang mga binatilyo

Na hinahabol ng tabak at balisong,

Magkahawak-kamay tayo.

Sinisinta ang kumikislap na liwanag

Ng mga bituing nakasilip sa langit,

Nilalasap ang ating katahimikan

Matapos malagpasan ang hinihintay

Na pag-uusig sa pintig ng damdamin,

Sa tapang ng dibdib at pananalig.

Nabalisa ang aking buong pagkatao,

Napahawak nang husto sa kamay mo.

Sa kanto, nakatakda nang lumipad

Ang mga ipinukol na kahoy at bato,

Ang ‘di masawatang pagbigkas

Ng malulutong na mura at sumpa

Ng sindak, ng ganti, ng kamatayan.

Nahaharap tayo sa gulo at galaw

Ng isang kakatwang munting digmaan

Ay ganap na ganap ang aking pagsuko—

Hindi pagkatalo ang nais ipabatid

Kung hindi lubos na pagpapaubaya.

Kuwentong Uste ko

ROYAL, Pontifical and Catholic University of the Philippines. Nakita ko ito sa folder ng kaklase ko. Sabi ko, “UST ba ‘yun?”. Nagliparan ang grupo ng mga bubuyog papunta sa kumikinang na bumbilya sa itaas ng aking ulo. Parang may bumulong sa aking mga tainga na UST daw ang magiging daan upang matupad ko ang aking pangarap.

Simple lang naman ang aking pangarap. Ang mabigyan ng litrato ang aking nanay at tatay kung saan nakasuot ako ng tela’t sumbrerong itim habang may hawak na ni-rolyong papel. Ngunit naisip ko rin, saan kaya ako magsisimula para matupad iyon? Muli na namang nagliparan ang mga gamu-gamo. Nagising ang diwa ko habang hawak ko ang folder ng aking kaklase. Nakatingin ako sa ibabang bahagi ng folder kung saan nakalagay ang address, website, telephone at kung anu-ano pang impormasyon tungkol sa UST.

UST sa gitna ng iskandalo sa PT board exam

BAGO pa man ang kontrobersiyal na Nursing board exam leakage noong 2006, ginulantang na ang UST ng katulad na anomalya sa Physical Therapy (PT) licensure exam noong 1996, kung saan nagkaroon ng pagdududa sa ilang bahagi ng pagsusulit na umano’y pumabor sa UST.

Nag-ugat ang kontrobersiya nang lumabas ang mga paratang na may mga ibinebentang kopya ng mga tanong sa board exam sa halagang P7,000 pataas. Isang mag-aaral pa mula sa Fatima Medical Science Foundation ang nagsabing may isang Tomasinong nagbigay ng tips na lumabas naman sa eksamen.

Umigting ang mga akusasyon ng dayaan nang makuha ng UST ang una hanggang ika-90 puwesto sa ikatlong bahagi ng eksamen na PT Application. Animnapu sa mga ito’y nakakuha pa ng tamang sagot sa lahat ng katanungan.

Dominicans out of ‘UST Ethiopia’

THE DOMINICAN order has withdrawn “temporarily” from administering the first Catholic university in Ethiopia, citing “several complications” with Ethiopian bishops.

The bishops’ conference of Ethiopia is now in-charge of the Ethiopian Catholic University of Saint Thomas Aquinas (Ecusta) 10 months after its opening in September last year.

The Varsitarian had reported that Ecusta was supposed to be owned by the Ethiopian bishops’ conference, but run by the Dominicans. The former sought help from Dominican Master General Fr. Carlos Azpiroz Costa, O.P. to establish the university six years ago.

In a letter early this month updating members of the Order of Preachers on activities of the Dominican headquarters, Fr. Edward Ruane, O.P., vicar of the Master General, announced that the Dominicans had withdrawn from the project.

CINEMALAYA Cinco

FOR THE first time, a comedy won the grand prize in the the Cinemalaya Film Festival, the annual showcase of independent movies. Last Supper No. 3, a farce about what its filmmakers, Veronica Velasco and Jinky Laurel, claim is a true incident, an extended legal wrangling over a lost Last Supper print, beat more popular favorites, including Astig, a cinema-verite-style tale of Manila’s seamy underbelly which, during the awards night on July 26, had early on been winning the most awards, such as best director (Giuseppe Sampedro), best sound, and best supporting actor (Arnold Reyes). Some considered Last Supper’s triumph as an upset.

Thomasians in the indie film scene

DESPITE the absence of a film education program, UST has produced a number of filmmakers who have contributed to the vibrancy of the Philippine independent cinema, such as Gil M. Portes, who predated indie filmmaking by some 30 years (his first movie, Tiket Mama, Tiket Ale, Sa Linggo ang Bola, starring Gina Pareno and Eddie Garcia, was independently produced in 1976; so was his internationally acclaimed Munting Tinig in 2002), Michiko Yamamoto (writer of the award-winning Magnifico, Ang Pagdadalaga ni Maximo Oliveros, and Endo), and of course, Brillante Mendoza, who was named best director in this year’s Cannes international film festival and was honored by the Cinemalaya this year with the special screening of his Serbis, which became last year the first Filipino movie in a quarter of a century to break into the Cannes competition.

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