I was still in college when I first started to became fascinated by Sta. Cruz Church. My long break in between classes enabled me to explore the nearby environs surrounding Far Eastern University (the University where I graduated) until I reached the busy area of Sta. Cruz. As I look around, my attention was caught by this old Spanish-built church. I was captivated by its exquisite appeal. At that moment, I felt differently as I headed for the main door. Inside, I instantly appreciated the inviting silence and the solemnity of the sanctuary moving me to pray to the Blessed Sacrament exposed.
My visits to Sta. Cruz Church became more frequent. I usually sat silently at the back pews. From afar, I’ve observed how the SSS-religious practice the liturgy at Sta. Cruz Church. From that distance, I was so mystified with the way they pray and chant the psalms. Never did I know that I’ll be a part of their evening prayer until I was assigned there in a mission that God has given me.
It was May 4, 2012 when I become a member of the Sta. Cruz community as a seminarian-on-pastoral-exposure. The fascinating, bewildering, and mystifying experience that I treasured about Sta. Cruz Church way back my college days became clearer and fully apprehended.
For a year, I was given a chance to experience the kind of life that I will embrace in the future as a religious-Sacramentino . My everyday experiences in my pastoral exposure have shaped my spirituality and made me understand not only my limitations, but also, I was given a chance to bring out the best of my potentials through the assignments entrusted to me by the Superior and the Parish Priest. As I fulfill my ministry, there were times when I feel so overjoyed, as I heard words of compliments from the parishioners, inspiring me to serve more with all the innate talents that God has bestowed on me.
I was so blessed to be assigned in this community because the religious members treated me as a mature religious. They gave me a chance to journey and to grow with them; they gave me a voice to express the love of God; they gave me eyes to see the beauty of vocation; and they gave me an ear to listen attentively to the voice of God.
My pastoral exposure gave me a glimpse of the life that I am about to fully-embrace in the future-- a life of sacrifice and devotion… a life of completely offering myself to God and a life of dedicated service for others. With these beautiful reasons, my pastoral exposure in Sta. Cruz community will be treasured forever in my heart.