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Fr. Bel R. San Luis, SVD
Fr. Bel R. San Luis, SVD
Word Alive He was born on November 19, 1944 in Laoag City, Ilocos Norte. His father is Francisco San Luis, and his mother is named Encarnacion, second of four siblings. He finished his Master’s degree at the Divine Word Seminary, and sucessfully obtained a Master’s degree in Mass Communications in Leicester, England. He is currently practicing his vocation as a priest, at the Christ the King Parish located at E. Rodriguez Sr. Avenue in Quezon City.

Pope Francis: Mission to every people

The story is told about an American army chaplain who had just preached a homily at a Mass for American servicemen in a cathedral in Europe. The theme of the homily was: “Be proud of your Catholic faith; don’t be ashamed to practice it in public.” * * * After the Mass, a sailor, obviously moved by the homily, approached the chaplain and asked to go to confession. The chaplain agreed and the sailor knelt down right on the sidewalk in front of the cathedral. “Never mind kneeling,” said the chaplain. “People will be staring at us.” * * * “The heck with them, Father,” the sailor said. “Didn’t you say, ‘don’t be afraid to practice your faith in public?’” The sailor’s spirit of faith might be exaggerated but he surely knew how to practice …

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How can we be missionaries?

One Sunday morning after saying Mass at the Sacred Heart Church in Kamuning some years ago, a couple approached me, their baby cuddled by the wife. “Father, we’re from this parish,” they greeted. “We’re lay missionaries working in New Guinea and we’re on vacation.” I found it inspiring that a Filipino lay couple could make the sacrifice of leaving a comfortable home and country to devote some years in the “bush mission.” * * * Tomorrow is World Mission Sunday. Before ascending to heaven, Jesus Christ said: “Go out into the whole world and proclaim the Good News to every nation.” (Mk 16,15). * * * Many have the misconception that spreading God’s Word belongs only to religious missionaries. The truth is: every Christian, by virtue of baptism, IS a missionary and the example of …

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Drugs caused family downfall

Let me relate the story of Vic (not his real name), a seminarian, who poured out his family problem to me regarding his brother who was hooked on drugs. * * * “When my brother Jun (not his real name) was high on “shabu,” he  would terrorize our family. My father and brother had been quarreling for some time now, especially when Jun was reprimanded by our Dad,” seminarian Vic confided. “When angry, my brother would just throw any object he got hold of or fire his gun in the air.” * * * “One morning Jun had a heated argument with our father,” he narrated. Tipped by a cousin, I asked permission from my superior to go home, worried that my brother would use his gun.” “I saw my brother standing at the dining …

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Restorative justice vs punitive

During the days of the Civil War in America, a guard was caught sleeping on duty. For that, he was sentenced to death. When Pres. Abraham, Lincoln learned about it, he himself talked with the guard and ordered the penalty to be commuted.   * * * His generals complained, but the President’s decision remained. Because of the compassionate gesture, the soldier did his best from then on, and proved to be an exceptionally diligent and conscientious soldier.   * * * The story is as timely and relevant as today’s headlines about summary executions and extra-judicial killings. Police authorities’ usual claim is that they killed the drug users and drug pushers because they fought back (“nanlaban”). In many instances, however, the culprits were seen on CCTV raising their hands in a gesture of surrender.   * * * The claim …

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Keep praying; don’t give up

A poor, elderly woman named Gloria often could be heard praying aloud by a a godless, professed atheist man in the next apartment. Gloria had no money to buy her food supply. After she had eaten the last slice of bread, she knelt down again and prayed in a loud voice, “Oh Lord, please let there be food for tomorrow, even if it’s just a loaf of bread.” * * * Hearing her prayer through the thin wall, the man in the next apartment decided to mock her faith. He took a loaf of bread, laid it at her door and hurried back to his apartment. From his room, he heard Gloria’s prayer of thanksgiving: “Oh Lord, I thank you that you didn’t fail me.” * * * With a triumphant grin on his face, he …

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A ‘huge disappointment’?

Former President Fidel V. Ramos wrote in his Sunday column in the Manila Bulletin that he found the Duterte government a “huge disappointment and let down” in the first 100 days in office.   * * * The former President hit the nail on the head when he wrote that “Team Philippines” was losing badly as the government focuses on the war on drugs at the expense of issues such as poverty, living costs, foreign investments, and jobs.   * * * President Ramos added that “Duterte could have hit the ground running “instead (of) being stuck in unending controversies about extra-judicial killings or drug suspects and in his ability at using cuss-words and insults instead of civilized language.”   * * * What the President should do is to reflect on the sharp remark made by former President …

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‘The best teacher I ever had’

Let me relate this heartwarming, poignant story in connection with the recent Teachers’ Day. As Mrs. Thompson stood in front of her fifth grade class on the very first day of school, she told the children that she loved them all the same.   * * * But that was impossible, because there in the front row, slumped in his seat, was a little boy named Teddy Stoddard. Mrs. Thompson had watched Teddy the year before and noticed that he didn’t play well with the other children, that his clothes were always messy.   * * * It got to the point where Mrs. Thompson would actually take delight in marking his papers with a broad red pen, making bold X’s and then putting a big “F” at the top of his papers     * * * At the school …

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God loves the grateful

I remember a young man who entered the seminary. He went through high school and college but found after much discernment that he was not cut out for the priesthood. * * * Outside he pursued his studies in graduate school. Eventually, he worked in a big company and was making good in his profession. Looking back, he did not forget the good education, discipline, and training he received. * * * As an act of gratitude, he donated occasionally some amounts with the note: “I received a lot of good things while studying in the seminary. I’m sure there are seminarians who have the priestly vocation but are in need of financial assistance. I’m offering this little amount--my way of thanking the seminary for making me what I am today.” * * * Here’s a …

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‘Model Parish’ marks fruitful 75 years

The Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish (SHJP), which celebrated its Diamond Jubilee last October 1,“started from a very humble beginning,” wrote Danny Payawal, parish historian and former president of the Parish Pastoral Council of SHP. * * * Without a church or chapel, the early settlers of Barrio Obrero or Kamuning in Quezon City had to walk to the nearby Christ the King Mission Seminary on E. Rodriguez Avenue to attend Mass. * * * In the late 1940’s, the Kamuning residents were able to arrange and hold the first Mass in their area. It was an ‘open-air’ Mass on Christmas Eve, December 24, 1940, in the vicinity of the present Kamuning public market. * * * Feeling the great need for a permanent church building, the residents embarked on numerous fundraising projects. On June 1, …

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Angels of God

Today, October 2, is the feast of Guardian Angels and last September 29, that of Archangels Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael. In his book The Next 500 Stories, Fr. Frank Mihalic, SVD, relates this true story: * * * Dr. W.S. Mitchell was a specialist in nervous diseases. He had just finished a long tiring day in his office in suburban Philadelphia when he was awakened by a knocking at his door. * * * He made his way down the steps in the middle of the night and on his doorstep he found a little girl poorly dressed and deeply distressed. She pleaded with him to come to her mother who was seriously ill. Although it was snowing heavily, he decided to follow the child to her home; and he found the mother in bed with …

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