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Personal Epiphany by Alex Corpus Hermoso

January 28, 2015 · 



by Alex Corpus Hermoso

Like most believers and faithful to the Catholic Church, me and my wife also wish that we could meet the Pope and even thought of flying to Tacloban for the experience since going to Luneta seem dreadful for my wife’s health condition. The chance of getting close to Pope Francis dimmed when we found it to be impossible to get a place in Tacloban. Suddenly with a hint of hope we were offered the chance to see Pope Francis, the People’s Pope. My wife, Cathy and I feel blessed for the honor and privilege to have been chosen to join the Parish delegates to the Encounter of Pope Francis with Families at the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila on the 16th of January 2015. We will represent our Parish, San Roque at the Subic Bay Freeport Zone. We did not ask for it, we never applied for it, we never even thought of it as possible.

We feel that it is the work of the Holy Spirit when our Parish Priest, Fr. Audie Mozo suddenly offered the honor to my wife after she had just donated “rosaries” for the victims of typhoon Yolanda.  It was providential I thought as I was watching and listening to my wife explaining to Fr. Audie what her medical condition is. Cathy is afflicted with Poly Arteritis Nodosa, a non-contagious rare disease of arteries otherwise described as “rosary beads” because of the chain of nodes that grows inside the arteries causing serious thrombosis that blocks blood circulation in different organs and body systems and therefore could be very fatal. There is no known cause and no known cure except for the extended use of steroids that causes other health problems just to control it. Injecting anti-cancer drugs similar to chemotherapy may be used to stop further development. Fr. Audie within minutes informed the officer in charge of the event to include our names and was approved. Again I thought it was really a blessing and a coincidental miracle to think that my wife offered “rosaries” but we both never thought of the “rosary beads” growing in her arteries. Feeling elated and so blessed we went back to visit the Blessed Sacrament to give thanks. Only then that we were struck to understand after reflecting on the “rosary related experience” that it is indeed the work of the Holy Spirit doing miracle for us.

A month before that, my wife with her friends conducted a feeding activity for the neglected and abandoned elderly women cared for by the Sisters of Charity known otherwise as the Sisters of Blessed Mother Theresa of Calcutta. She personally prepared food for them. It was an act of mercy and compassion. Her experience all the more gave her the passion to be for other people in need. It is not much to offer she said but her deeds is more than enough if only replicated by more individuals. Again she never thought of the theme of the Papal Visit before doing it.  It is act of the Holy Spirit. I know that my wife will naturally seek more engagement where mercy and compassion can be experienced.

On the outset, the renewed focus of my work as the Programme Director of the Preda Human Rights Center is to have more activities with Families as called for by Pope Francis during his discussions at the Synod of Bishops. I have personally responded to the call and in fact I have just written up a proposal to conduct more activities to engage in strengthening the family being the integral part and pillar of Christian doctrine. My work involves dealing with chaotic families as a result of child and women abuse inside the family. Part of my work is with dysfunctional families of the abused children to try to reconcile them after justice is served and forgiveness is possible. The honor to be with the Pope in his encounter with families is an enormous opportunity to frame my mind and spirit to the shared vision, mission and objectives to work for family integration. It will inspire me more to work with the family apostolate.

I know that families are disintegrating, marriages are diminishing, separations and divorce is increasing. I see that the cyber technology is separating people from relationships resulting to individualistic lifestyle. Cyber technology is gradually replacing human physical and emotional relationships that are reduced to digital contacts. I have seen families not talking to each other at their dining tables, physically together as they are but engrossed with their own tablets and cellphones. Each maintaining contacts with friends and peers though cyber technology. Family conversations are becoming rare.

It is really more fitting for me being the Project’s Programme Director to attend the Family encounter with the Pope and listen to his message of hope for the families. I pray that all in my family will share in the same mission.

alex corpus hermoso


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