St. Alphonsus Collegiate Formation House
By June Peter Calmita
From Two dorms to one, from big chapel to a simple prayer room. From twenty six reduced to twelve. Truly many are called but few are chosen. Seminary life is not easy; it is full of surprises. Sometimes good sometimes bad. But I instill in my mind that following Christ is not easy. One must carry his own cross. This is the impression of almost all seminarians when we go back to “our home”, the St. Alphonsus Collegiate Formation House.
May 31 at exactly 3 p.m. I arrived from my hometown. While I was unloading my bags from the taxi, I was welcomed by AJ, my brother in the seminary and Tita Daisy. At 6 pm everyone had arrived. Over dinner, everyone’s reaction was “mingaw na kaayo ang seminary. Mogawas nalang ko.” We felt melancholic. Yes, everything became new for us. Only twelve were left. Less noise. More spaces. However, even if we are so few but when we cooperate and work, it feels like we’re more that twelve.
But all of these negative feelings and questions were answered by the homily of our formator Rev. Fr. Glenn Tito Pascual, CSsR during the Holy Spirit mass. He said, “Even if we are few but the quality is doubled. The Catholic Faith started only with the twelve apostles, but the Catholics all over the world now are more than a billion. I pray that the twelve of you will bear much fruit, and that fruit will be useful to many like the apostles.” That struck a chord in all of us. Yes, we are only twelve, but nothing is impossible with God. Only we have to pray.
As we begin this new formation year we look forward to the future with hope to have a productive output for ourselves and for the Congregation, and to be a blessing by proclaiming plentiful redemption and reaching out to our needy brothers and sisters, especially through our apostolic engagement. May our prayers strengthen and empower us as we carry our crosses, endure our pains and sufferings, and persevere in this life we practice to live.