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Memories of Faith

My personal memories of faith come to mind on the day I write this column, All Saints’ Day. My late parents took us to the Sta. Rosa de Lima Church in Pasaco, and we would visit our beloved dead at the Catholic Cemetery, where they are now both buried. This is a tradition we have kept in my family. When my children were younger, we would all gather with other relatives at the graveyard where my parents-in-law are buried in St. Nino Memorial Park. My wife would personally prepare the bouquet of flowers and candles we would bring for our beloved dead, and it would be a night of praying together and feasting on food especially prepared by “Titos” and “Titas” of my children. The siblings would enjoy walking around the park and checking out friends and classmates whose families were also present at the cemetery.

As a retired senior citizen, All Saints Day and All Souls Day bear a more profound and personal significance to me. The priest earlier at mass today mentions in his homily that this day reminds us of the Communion of Saints- the ones in heaven who enjoy eternal bliss who are saints with a capital “S”, and the faithful on earth who strive to live life in a good and righteous way, the saints with the small “s”. The celebration of the lives of men and women who have reached heaven reminds me of the ultimate goal of my life as a Christian, and that I have their intercession and inspiration to guide me in my journey of faith. I hold particular gratitude in my heart to the Jesuit priests of Ateneo de Naga who have helped form my faith. I remember with fondness the late Jesuits in my high school years-our High School Principal Fr. Hugan Dobler SJ, Fr. Del Tufo SJ, and Fr. James O’Brien SJ who were part of my faith’s nourishment. All Souls’ Day, on the other hand, symbolizes to me a continuing relationship with the souls of loved ones who have gone ahead, especially those whose souls are still being purified, and that my prayers for them is an expression of my love and concern for them in their path toward heaven.

These first two days in the month of November, rightly placed in our Catholic calendar before the Christmas season, provides us all with guidance and direcrtion as we navigate our Christian life, with all the complexities of this present day and age. I wish everyone a meaningful respite from the hurry and bustle of everyday and a prayerful celebration with loved ones.


“Each heartfelt prayer, each Church meeting attended, each worthy friend, each righteous decision, each act of service performed all precede the goal of eternal life”



“For God so loved the world that He gacve His only Son, that whoever believes in HIm shall not perish but have eternal life”

JOHN 3:16


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