18th December, 2015. 9:33pm
Taking some time off work to express my deepest sadness. Last December 16th, I found out that our parish priest for 19 years, Rev. Fr. Mariano “Jun” Bartolome have already been transferred to another parish. I didn’t know it will make me sad until the start of Simbang Gabi (Misa de Gallo).
I guess because he was the priest I grew up with. His Homilies are always fun. I couldn’t remember a single mass where I fell asleep where he was the one officiating it. Simbang Gabi are always something to look forward to. I miss his Sagrada clap, his annual Simbang Gabi theme. He was the only priest I know who can find religious meanings into pop songs and incorporate them into what the readings are all about. For a little parish church, he had done so much.
And this isn’t even why I got sad when I found out he’s already in another parish church. It was because our family knew him well. My grandma and grandpa were servants of the church, and he knew them well. He blessed them when they died. I’m pretty sure that if both of them are alive, they would feel so sad that he left.
This morning, when the Bishop officiated the mass, I wondered how it would be like if he was still our parish priest. Then I realized, I will never hear his mass again every year. I actually tried searching for him on Twitter but of course, he wasn’t there.
Sagrada Familia Parish Church may have lost a great priest but San Jose de Navotas have gained one cool, kind, and good-looking priest. I may be feeling sad that he’s not our parish priest anymore, but I’m glad he got transferred into a bigger church. All the best of luck, Father! You will be missed!