Fr. Mike Sandalo of the Barnabite Fathers in Tagaytay asked for a small write up regarding our feelings of our being awarded as couple affiliate to the Barnabites which he intends to publish in their newsletter. We both wrote separate notes regarding this unexpected appreciation of our contribution to the service of our community in Barangay San Jose in Tagaytay City.
First of all let me just say that my wife Alma and I are truly grateful for your having bestowed upon us the honour of being the first couple affiliate of the Barnabites in the Philippines. It was granted on a day when we had a maddening schedule and almost missed the Barnabites Presbyteral Ordination. God really worked his magic and saw to it that the things we had to do for that day fell into an orderly sequence and allowed us to attend this special occasion which granted deaconates and ordinations to priesthood to some of our friends in the seminary.
As we sat through the rites we didn’t have the least notion that we will be the recipients of a great blessing. When the grant of the affiliation was announced I was not quick to realize the grandness of the event. I had the feeling that my wife was as bemused as I was. The feeling was more of being astounded and bewildered for we knew not that an award was to be given and, also, wondered what made us deserving of such an accolade. We rose from the pews a bit slowly as we were ushered towards the altar to be Father Joselito Ortega, and
The most felt emotion was one of surprise when we realized that we were being given recognition for the assistance in the good works initiated by the nuns and the priests in our neighbourhood. I didn’t think that what we had done was that exceptional to merit praise. There was also a bit of embarrassment because we felt that we should have done more to deserve the recognition and that the degree of difficulty of the effort we exerted should have been higher.
What now comes to my mind is how much more help is needed, what other things can we do. Perhaps you can tell us about what you expect of your affiliates so that we can better serve. Are there conventions that we must follow as Barnabite affiliates? A code of conduct? A set of things that we must achieve?
At the end of the day what we now feel is one of humble gratitude for being given the gift of service to our Lord. We have shared this opportunity with our friends and relatives who have been more than generous with their contributions. The Lord made it so easy. We are truly blessed.