Dear Sacred Heart Family and Friends,
“I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart, and I will glorify your name forever.” Psalm 86:12
eople for 25 years in my priesthood. I am constantly amazed by the Lord’s goodness, by the outpouring of His grace and the working of His providence. As I continue to grow in the priesthood, I realize, more and more, that we are held in love, no matter what. To love Christ, to know Christ, and to serve Christ. It is humbling to know that Jesus uses my hands and voice to bring His presence and mercy to His people through the sacraments, especially through the celebration of the Mass and confession. It shows that God is not far away from the needs of His people. Most humbling are the ways I have been invited to share people’s lives, not because of me, but because I am a priest. So many joyful celebrations of Baptisms, Weddings, First Holy Communions and Confirmations. What a pleasure to be included in times of such great happiness. What an honor too, to be present in times of challenge and sadness: anointing the sick and the dying; praying with people as they died; presiding at the funerals, and loved ones.
I wish to thank those who made the celebration of my 25th Anniversary of Priestly Ordination such a joyful and faith-filled occasion. I thank Bishop Emeritus Felipe Estevez for the Mass of Thanksgiving. I was honored by Bishop Estevez’s presence as the main celebrant at the Mass and grateful for his ministry, support, fraternity, and friendship. I thank all of you for coming and celebrating with me the importance of the gift of priesthood to the church. I thank Fr. Alex Carandang, Deacon Jeff Burgess, Deacon Scott, the Parish staff, especially Linda Cavallo, our business manager and volunteers, Susan Pritchett and Shaun Burgess and our school principal, Dr. Archie Yumul. I thank all our parish ministries, especially the Filipino Ministry, Spanish Ministry, Knights of Columbus, Council of Catholic Women and all the volunteers who prepared the food and decorated the parish center. Special thanks also go to all the organizers and performers of cultural dances during the reception.
St. John Paul II once said: “Remember the past with gratitude. Live the present with enthusiasm. Look forward to the future with confidence.” As I look back on twenty-five years of priestly ministry, I am full of gratitude for all the gifts God has bestowed upon me.
Lastly, thank you all for the prayers you said for me and for all the priests. God bless all of you.
In Christ & Mary Immaculate,
Fr. James CMI