I am with you always until the end of this world - Jesus (Matthew 28:20).

Preach the Word in season and out of season reproving, rebuking or advising always with patience and providing instructions (2 Timothy 4:2).

Do not fear, Mary, for God has looked kindly on you (Luke 1:30).

Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly. - G. K. Chesterton

Monday, June 1, 2009

My Tribute to our Parish Pastor: Rev. Fr. Leonardo R. Bagos

In a few days our Parish Priest whom we fondly called Fr. Nards will be leaving us to go to his new place of assignment here in the Diocese of Imus. How time flies. It is as if just yesterday when he first set foot in our Parish (Saint Joseph’s Parish, Carmona Cavite) but the reality of it all is that his six years term will be over in a few days.

I would like to write here the many positive improvements that he instituted in the parish. First is the positive change that is very visible and that is the church’s edifice. When He took over the church was in the infancy stage of its construction now it’s done already. I credit him for tirelessly thinking of ways on how to raise funds for the church’s completion.

It seems impossible to me that he was able to achieve it considering that nowadays money is hard to come by due to the economic crisis. But he persisted, he never waivered in his firm faith in God that He will be able to realize his vision of a beautiful church.

The next visible positive change is the very orderly process of Communion wherein communicants would orderly fall in line per pews. He meticulously instructed the parishioners how to fall in line and how to properly receive Christ with respect and reverence.

There were a lot more positive changes that he instituted to name just a few: Clean and green church environment, inventory of the church’s properties. He put in place an excellent sound system to ensure that the Word of God is clearly heard.

But for me one of the few that would be forever etched in my mind is how he made sure that proper respect and reverence is given to the Eucharistic celebration and to the Body of Christ itself. For example during Communion whenever there’s a communicant who does not say Amen after he says: “The Body of Christ.” He would politely ask short and probing questions to the communicant once he finds out that the communicants doesn’t know how sacred the Consecrated Host that they’re about to receive. He would just place his hand over their heads and pray over them instead of giving them the Body of Christ. Every now and then he would also give short catechesis before he gives his final blessings and it often focuses on the proper respect and reverence to the Body of Christ.

Just like Jesus during His three years public ministry, Father Nards had also his own share of persecutors in the parish. If Jesus had the Pharisees and the Scribes; Father Nards had a few parishioners who wanted to embarrass and malign him. It pained him I’m sure of it, however being an Alter Christus and knowing him to have a soft and forgiving heart I am very sure that he had already forgiven them and even prayed for them too.

Now that you will soon leave the parish, I’d like to say that I will miss the friendship, the occasional exchange of ideas, the discipline and the frequent instructions for the Lay Ministers.

My prayers will forever be with you Padre. God bless you always!

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