Fr Aba Florida celebrates 25 years in the priesthood
NOV 16, 2021. The Parish of the Immaculate Conception hosted the 25th Sacerdotal Anniversary of its 11th Parish Priest, Fr Domingo “Aba” Florida with a concelebrated mass at 4:00 in the afternoon in the presence of Caceres Archbishop Rolando J Tria-Tirona, OCDD and Daet Bishop Rex Andrew Alarcon,DD. It was attended by 25 witnesses personally chosen by the celebrant, officers and members of the Parish Pastoral Council, and parishioners. In his 25 years as a priest, the Immaculate Conception Parish is the first of his assignment as Parish Priest. In the previous years, he had served the Archdiocese through administrative tasks.
The homilist is one of his classmates, Fr Louie Occiano. He shares: Fr Aba is obviously a happy priest. “For every priest should be a happy ambassador of God to His people and at the same time, he is an ambassador of God’s healing to the people.” For 25 years, Fr Aba and his classmates had been “serving a hospital of souls, called the church. At the same time, our priests are also wounded healers. “Our priesthood does not spare us from our own personal woundedness…but this woundedness should be placed in the service of others.” Aside from being a happy ambassador of God, Fr Louie acknowledges that Fr Aba has that remarkable trait of wisdom. He continues: “As a prophet, we have to defend the truth.” Though the gospel remains the same, the New Evangelization challenges us to “look for new ways of proclaiming the Word of God. And you have been so creative in using all forms of media.” The homilist’s final point is “Our Priesthood is but a gift or relationship, uniting God’s flock.” So it is, that after 25 years, Fr Aba remains a faithful servant of God.
In his Word of Thanks, Fr Aba expressed his gratitude to the many people and diverse groups he crossed path and journeyed with in his 25 years in the Ministry. He aptly says: “To those who responded to the call of God, He enriches that person not with material wealth but with good people. Today, I would like to remember and give thanks to God through my witnesses…” Each witness represented a place of assignment from Garchitorena to The Metropolitan Cathedral to the Preparatory Seminary in San Jose to the Archbishop’s Residence and finally to the Immaculate Conception Parish. Some witnesses stood for the different sectors and Religious Organizations he was privileged to work with. Add to this, every priest finds support and experiences the loving care of his own family. Fr Aba is no exception. His family was present during this memorable occasion, sharing with him their time and resources. He ends by saying: “Today, as I count my blessings, I find joy in my priesthood. I am encouraged to be better and most of all to be holy.”