For this issue’s #CoolCatholics, I’m going to introduce to you one of my closest friends. Kuya or “koya” James Arela, as I call him, has been my coffee buddy for more than 10 years. I guess it’s just because we both love coffee and at the same time we both like talking about mission work and how we could get to share more of Christ’s love to all.
BEING a missionary in my Catholic community for 8 years, I got to know and get close to people who are just so in love with Jesus and the mission. But seldom do I meet men, yes, young men, who are so in love with our Mother Mary and just can’t help but always talk about her.
LATELY, I’ve been through a lot of pondering. How is it to really forgive and how is it to really forget? From my years of missionary work, I have witnessed a lot of falling into sin and standing up again.
One pretty Catholic lady who captured my attention was my friend and sister in the community named Sanilyn. When I first met her, I told myself, I have to write about her and share her life to the world! Now, since I am doing this section, I guess, it’s Sani’s time to shine! Every time I get a chance to talk to Sani, I learn a few things. Despite facing a lot of life’s challenges, she became a woman who has won my admiration. Sani is someone who always strives to live out the best life in order to please the Father. So, I asked her a few questions that I always ask the people I feature and some personal questions about her as well. Here’s more about Sani.
One cool Catholic that I know is one of my closest friends, Dr. Jane Juanico. Doc Jane and I served together in our youth community back in our “younger” days. I have seen her grow from a young lady who dreamt of being a doctor to someone who has made that dream a reality. But more than that, I have seen Doc Jane fulfill that dream by relying on prayer. After everything, she really believed that when you are with God, everything will fall into its perfect place.
Tuwang-tuwa ako nang ma-meet ko si Msgr. Paul Tighe. Siya ang social media manager ni Pope Francis sa Vatican, meaning, isa siya sa mga taga tweet ni Pope sa account na @Pontifex. Pumunta siya dito kamakailan sa Pilipinas para maging keynote speaker sa nakaraang Catholic Social Media Summit v2.0 noong November 23-24, 2013 sa Colegio de San Juan de Letran. Bilang parte ng YouthPinoy, na nag-organize ng event na ito, nagkaroon ako ng pribilehiyo na makausap siya. Siya ay isa sa mga coolest Catholics na kilala ko.
Ang dami talagang #CoolCatholics! Isa sa mga taong nakakapag inspire sa akin ngayon ay isang brother na kasama ko sa CFC Singles for Christ community, si Rommel Gojo. Si Brother or Kuya Rommel ay hindi lang isang magaling na lider ng community kundi sobrang mabait na kaibigan and of course, isang napakagaling na musician.
September has such a Marian vibe to it — with Mama Mary’s birthday last September 8; the Feast of the Most Holy Name of the Blessed Virgin Mary last September 12; and yet another special day on September 15, the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows. This month, I remember how close the Virgin Mary has been to me and how she has been with me every step of the way.
The first time I met Marivie Dalman, she was full of life! Full of Life in the sense that I have never seen her sit and calm down. She was always all over the place, preparing food for a meeting, while working on her computer, while talking and giving advice to her daughter on the phone, while checking up on me (we used to sit beside each other at the office), while arranging the schedule of her husband, while organizing their prayer meeting, while… and the list goes on and on! Man, she multitasks like a pro and she is absolutely awesome in everything she does. A wife, mother, friend, sister and everything else you can think of, she is that! She even organizes her own contemplative retreat (quietly of course)! That is why maybe she has been called the Martha among all the Marys out there. She works and serves with all her heart, making sure when Christ comes, everything is ready.
Full of hope and openness, I arrived in Rio de Janeiro to attend the World Youth Day (WYD) and of course, to see Pope Francis. Never did I expect that the Brazil experience would be more than seeing Pope Francis. It was while walking along Copacabana beach when I heard a little whisper, becoming so loud telling me.. “It’s not only about seeing Francis, it’s about seeing My people.”