Sunday, May 14, 2006

NOT the Solution

"You are only 18? And you want to get married?", I asked as part of the Pre-Marriage interviews I conduct. "Why?"

"We love each other, Father", replied the 18 year old teen-ager who wanted to get married.

"Your boyfriend is only 19 years old!", I said, my voice hardly audible.

Their filled out forms say that both have stopped studying. They have known each other for only four months. Occupation? There was a blank space in the form.

"Have you ever had a job?", I asked.


"How about your boyfriend?"

More silence.

I looked at her. She looked down. Her eyes avoiding me.

Now I know why.

"Since when ...?"

"I am three months pregnant, Father." She said, almost in a whisper. Then the tears came.

At the corner of my eye, I saw her parents looking in through the window of the office. Concerned and worried looks in their faces.

"My father insists that we get married. I brought shame to our family." She cried.

"The only solution is marriage." She said, looking outside the window.

Marriage is NOT the solution. Forcing these two unprepared and emotionally immature young people to marriage is not solving the problem of pregnancy. It is putting them literally in the lion's den.

But how many marriages break up after only a few years -- and sometimes, months, only -- because it is believed that marriage is the only solution to an unexpected pregnancy?

Parable 2

Juan continues to violently defend himself from what Juana told him: that he has halitosis! He says, "Why is it that Juana has to focus on that one particular thing? Can she not see that I have other positive features?"

Juan enumerates the good qualities that he has: he has good looks, nice smile, good posture. He continues, "The problem with people is that they only see the negative thing, but do not appreciate the good qualities that I have!"

Juan continues to ignore that one negative comment that Juana and her friends have observed. And in the meantime, his bad breath has become even worse than ever!

"True, we do have good points and have done good things. True, too, that we have some bad points that need to be pruned if we want to grow as persons. Accepting the good as well as the bad in us is the only way to perfection."

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine grower. He takes away every branch in me that does not bear fruit, and every one that does he prunes so that it bears more fruit." (Jn. 15)

Saturday, May 13, 2006

A Parable

Everybody is complaining about it; everybody is talking about it. Juan has bad breath! His friends know about. His co-workers are disturbed about it. Juan's bad breath has a way of irritating almost everybody. But nobody dares tell Juan about it. He has an influence in the workplace. He has a temper and a sensitive nature. So everybody talks about it, but nobody tells Juan about it.

Except for Juana, a co-worker. She hears about the complains and the talks about Juan's oral condition. She knows that it is affecting the workplace especially when Juan starts to talk near a colleague or a superior. What if he begins to talk to a customer and a client? Her friends urge her to tell Juan about it.

So Juana tells Juan about it.

Juan reacts violently.

He calls his friends and tells what Juana has told him. His friends, who do not want Juan to get "hurt" start to gang up on Juana. They spread lies and talk about her. Juan and his friends think that by destroying Juana's reputation, what she told about Juan's bad breath may turn out to be untrue! Soon, many begin to treat Juana like she has the leprosy. They start to avoid her.

On the other hand, Juana's friends can not believe that this is happening to their friend. They start to avoid Juan and his friends, too.

The workplace is now divided.

In the meantime, Juan's halitosis is still there; it is getting worse than ever!

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Parish Events: April-May 2006

The Parish celebrated the following for April and the early days of May:

21 April 2006, Friday
The Parish Staff and some lay volunteer workers had an excursion at the flowing river of Brgy. Ambalangan Dalin, San Fabian.

23 April 2006, Sunday
WABI participants' visit to the Parish of St. Fabian
The World Alive Biblical Institute participants of the three week seminar on the Biblical Apostolate came for a brief visit to the Parish of St. Fabian. They were accompanied by Msgr. Renato P. Mayugba, DD, the Biblical Apostolate Coordinator of the Archdiocese.

28-30 April, Friday-Sunday
Parish Renewal Experience (PREX)
PREX class 13 sponsored this PREX Weekend.

1 May, Monday
Msgr. Renato P. Mayugba, DD celebrated the 4,30 PM Mass as he arrived in the Parish of St. Fabian, Pope and Martyr. Msgr. Renato P. Mayugba, DD is the auxilliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan and has made the Parish as his episcopal residence. The Parish is truly privileged and honored to have Bishop Rene with us.

4 May, Thursday. 9,00 AM
Misa de Gracia
A mass was celebrated at the Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary Parish, Manaoag, Pangasinan to celebrate the parish's yearly thanksgiving in honor of Mary, our Lady of Manaoag, the patroness of the Archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan. The mass was presided by the parish priest, Fr. Oliver E. Mendoza. The parish choir and the different lay ministers assisted in the celebration of the mass.

9-12 May, Tuesday-Friday.
Archdiocesan Youth Day. Urbiztondo, Pangasinan.
The Parish Youth Apostolate took part in the annual celebration of the Archdiocesan Youth Day in St. Pius Parish, Urbiztondo, Pangasinan.