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TREASURED MEMORIES WITH COLUMBAN MISSIONARIES (TM WITH CM)

by Anonymous last modified Nov 04, 2019 05:16 AM

Gloria is married to Leonardo Fallorina of Candelaria, Zambales. They have four children, all girls. She has been back from Japan (to the Philippines) since 2000. In her golden years, she is still actively engaged in church works in Valenzuela City, Bulacan.

TREASURED MEMORIES WITH COLUMBAN MISSIONARIES (TM WITH CM)

by Gloria Fallorina

gloria

Gloria is married to Leonardo Fallorina of Candelaria, Zambales. They have four children, all girls. She has been back from Japan (to the Philippines) since 2000. In her golden years, she is still actively engaged in church works in Valenzuela City, Bulacan. 

 

Adjustment in a foreign land was not easy, as I learned when I arrived in Japan on December 5, 1995.   Language was one of my biggest problems, and there was only one Person who could understand me completely, God.

Once I got settled, I sought a church where I could feel at home. I remembered what God said, "If you seek Me, surely you will find Me.” True enough, I was able to locate the beautiful Chibadera Catholic Church, which magnificently stands on top of a hill!

I saw a tall, Caucasian man climbing the concrete stairs to the church whom I easily recognized as a priest because of the Roman collar he was wearing. I greeted him, "Good morning, Father. My name is Gloria. I am a Filipina catechist, and I am looking for a church where I can serve." He approached me with a smile on his face and a big hug as if I was his long-lost child. "Certainly, you are very much welcome, Gloria. God and I have been waiting for you for a long time. Now look at that, you are here now. We are more than happy to welcome you at Chibadera Church,” he said. He was Columban Fr. Cyril Murphy, the parish priest.

On one occasion, I went to see Fr. Cyril an hour before the Mass, but he was not around. Instead, I met a young lad whom I thought was Fr. Cyril’s younger brother. I asked him what color of the vestment to prepare for the Mass. With a chuckle, he said, “Pink!” He immediately followed with, “White,” after seeing my irritation. To my surprise, the priest who entered the altar for the Mass was that young man. He was Columban Fr. Tim Mulroy.

 

gloria2

The author (1st row standing at the center) with Father Tim (seated front row at the center), Father Cyril (last row standing at the center) and the Filipino Community, Chibadera Catholic Church, Japan, 1999


The Filipino community in our area had frequent dialogues with Father Tim. Every now and then we would come together to make plans and discuss things for the church. Father Tim was always good in eliciting what was in our hearts. Because he wanted to know us better, we learned to be transparent and to be true to our core values. In time, he came to know our dreams and longings, our joys and sorrows, our strengths and weaknesses and our sufferings. He taught us many things about simplicity in action. We didn’t realize he was molding us to become missionaries in our own capacities.

The grace-filled guidance of the two indefatigable Columban Missionaries became our powerful source of inspiration, strength and hope as we journeyed in a world full of many challenges. Fathers Cyril and Tim touched our lives and empowered us to build treasured memories.

To all the Columban Missionaries, please accept my profound gratitude for everything. I pray that wherever you may go, you will continue building, empowering, guiding and touching lives of people.

You are always in my thoughts and prayers.

The Chibadera Catholic community loves you so much.

 

gloria3

The Foreign Community of Chibadera Catholic Church on a Concert-for-a-Cause, 1999

 

(This is a revised edition of the article which first appeared on "misyononline.com" November-December 2018 issue.)

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