Sunday, February 7, 2016

Starstruck by Father Jerry Orbos

I was starstruck as I looked at awe at this person whom I had only seen on tv and heard on the radio and even read in the newspaper. No, he’s not an actor but is a celebrity in his own right. Father Jerry Orbos SVD was the guest priest/presider on the 3rd night of the novena to Our Lady of Lourdes, held at the National shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes parish in quezon city.  I even choked up and held back a tear as I saw him walking down the aisle during the entrance procession.

It was a long day and I had expected to be sleepy during that night’s mass, but on the contrary Father Jerry kept us all awake with his usual humor and charismatic way of talking. I felt that I was attending a mini-recollection, with father talking directly to us as our father god would, telling us directly what we all wanted to hear. and there was that time when we closed our eyes in prayer and I couldn’t hold back my tears.

I could tell though that father was tired, choosing to sit after his homily and his voice, though deep and soothing was kind of hard to hear at times. After the procession while looking for benjo, who had asked me to buy him some bottled water, I noticed some church-goers who were excitedly grouping together and taking pictures. Upon getting a closer look, I saw that in the middle of the group was Father Jerry, courteously signing the books that he wrote which the church-goers had purchased while smiling for the several cameras for his eager fans.

He did look tired and I stood a few steps away just admiring him. I didn’t bring any extra money to buy his book, nor did I bring a camera to take his picture, so I did the next best thing, to enjoy just glancing at him and trying to get close.  I did get to “mano” him when he went out and asked who was selling his books. I was talking to Ate Mely at the time, who is one of the volunteers who sells fiesta souvenirs including Father’s books and I pointed to Ate Mely and the two other volunteers near her. He thanked them for helping him sell his books.  After a few more greetings and thank yous to other people, he then got into his awaiting car and headed home.

How blessed I feel to have listened to Father Jerry in person and to even get close to him. He had so many memorable quotes that day but if there is one that I can leave to those who happen to read this, it’s just this simple one: “Stop hurting others. Period.”

To read more on Father Jerry... here's his post in today's Philippine Daily Inquirer:


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