Thanksgiving Message “God does not call us so we can do great things for Him; rather, He calls us so that he could

do great things for us.” This was one of the points for reflection that was given to us during our pre-Diaconate Ordination retreat last year. Indeed, today the Lord has given us the greatest gift we have received so far. But this gift does not come one time big time for in the eleven to twelve years we have spent in formation, He has given us little gifts that have helped bring us to this point in our vocation journey, small gifts that have prepared us to receive this great gift of ordination. Hence, would like to thank the many bearers of God’s gifts to us. [Family.] We would like to thank our respective families. We thank especially our moms and dads for their patient and faithful love that has made known to us a God who loves patiently and faithfully. We hope to share this same love with the spiritual family that we have been called to nurture as we begin ordained ministry. To our families and relatives, when the time comes that you begin to miss us and see less of us because of the demands of ministry, let us allow ourselves to be consoled by the thought that perhaps more than physical proximity, it is the intimacy in our hearts and memories that will continue to bond us as family. [Apostolate.] We would also like to thank the people we have met and worked with in our different apostolic engagements—the different chapels in Sapang Palay, Payatas, and Montalban; the different families and communities we lived with in Tondo, Muntinlupa, Bukidnon, Culion and Zamboanga during our Urban Poor and Mission Trials; the management and staff of the different factories we worked in during our Labor Trial, and the medical staff and patients of the different medical facilities we were assigned to for our Hospital Trial; the different student organizations in and outside Ateneo; the schools and parishes, offices and organizations which are part of our Jesuit ministries in Naga, Iloilo, Cebu, Davao, and, Cambodia. The many and varied experiences of success and failure in ministry are invaluable lessons we bring with us as we engage in ordained ministry. Pasensya na po sa mga kakulangan namin at kapalpakan at paumanhin po sa mga nasaktan namin. We just had to go through them to learn our lesson, and hopefully we did learn our lessons well. [Academics.] To all our Juniorate teachers, we thank you for drilling us on the basics of language and communication. To our Philosophy teachers, the prime movers of the Unmoved Mover in our search for Being, thank you for teaching us to unceasingly question our experience of being. Honestly, I hardly understand what I have just said. And yes, to our Theology professors, thank you! Now we can say that indeed there is a God . . . not simply by faith but with a faith that seeks understanding. The oral and written exams we had to take, especially the comprehensive exam (Question pa lang hindi na namin maintindihan!), have impressed on us two things which we take with us as we seriously engage ourselves in ministry: our contingent nature and our utter dependence on God. [Formators.] And yes, not to forget, our superiors and formators. Don’t we just love them? To all our superiors and formators, our spiritual directors and retreat guides, thank you for being patient with us when we were stubborn, encouraging when we doubted our

To all the scholastics and brothers of Loyola House under the leadership of Neo Saicon. we would like to end by begging for a few more favors. But this unholy desire was not to be so. Thank you for letting go of us! When ordination seemed to take forever. First. workers and staff from our houses and centers. traveling from different parts of the country and the world to be with us. and so many more – thank you for all your prayers and support. friends from the different choirs involved in our music ministry. diocesan and religious clergy. and for taking time to share this moment with us. In the end. Thank you too to the Church of the Gesu Committee for providing the support that the scholastics needed as they prepared for today’s celebration. and Fr. making sure that they have a comfortable place to stay in and preparing for this beautiful liturgy. we thought you were just too attached to us. . and affirming when we were right. We thank the Loyola House of Studies community and the University Dorms Administration for opening up their premises to provide a warm welcome for all our guests. arranging your schedules. We would like to especially thank Fr. But we still thank the Lord for giving us a Jesuit pope and for allowing the local Church to keep you a little while longer. We thank the 50 voices that comprise our choir. former classmates and officemates. today’s celebration is not about us six newly-ordained priests. our present rector. Please pray that we will continue to strive and persevere to be the good Jesuit priests you hope us to be. rather. Second. please remind us that the only privilege that the only privilege we are entitled to is to be of service to God and his people. . friends from various religious congregations and charismatic communities. thank you for taking care of all the details from picking up our relatives at the airport.vocation. We are grateful to each and every one of you – dear relatives and friends. when we start expecting and demanding privileges. Jett for shouldering the cost. While you were in Rome during the conclave. Jojo Magadia. You may spoil us . We would like to especially thank Fr. we would like to thank all those who worked hard to make this a meaningful and stress-free celebration. we secretly hoped to go to Rome to be ordained by the Pope. partners from various Jesuit institutions and companions in ministry. . even if in a limited and imperfect way. in this very place. but not too much. our current provincial. students during regency. And so we pause for a moment to thank the Lord for this graced moment. Just as it is by God’s graciousness and your generous affection and support that has gotten us to this point in our vocation journey. And when the day comes when we start feeling entitled to preferential treatment. Hindi pala. firm when we were wrong. [Ordination. please do not spoil us too much. It means a lot to us that you are here.] Finally. Tim Ofrasio for another Ofrasian Creation—our chasuble--and Fr. Joe Quilongquilong. Finally we thank our ordaining prelate. please continue praying for us. His Emminence Most Reverend Jose Antonio Cardinal Tagle. it is about our Gracious God who is doing something great for all of us at this very moment.

Please all rise for a hymn to our Blessed Mother. we ask you to join us in honoring Mary our pratroness and advocate.Finally. . Like her. may we truly magnify the Lord for this graced moment and keep all these things in our hearts.

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