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CAGAYAN DE ORO AREA( MindaNews/ 24 Might)– This Pentecost weekend, we lost pair of giants, sts. actually, of the Catholic Religion in Mindanao. Sis Agnes, a Carmelite Nun in Zamboanga City, and Father Brown Eliseo “Jun” Mercado, Jr., OMI, former president of Notre Dame College in Cotabato Area, were actually quite different individuals as well as possessed various goals. However together, they exemplified the very best of the Catholic Chapel in our terrific island and nation, in reality the planet.

Sis Agnes, as a prayer soldier, and Fr. Jun, as an enthusiast for peace as well as compensation, is actually why we are always provided second chances– to restore our society, to produce it a lot better, kinder and extra merely.

Sister Agnes may have rarely left her abbey but she was actually a good friend as well as adviser, an influencer in today-speak to the highly effective, coming from President Cory and Noynoy Aquino to Vice Head Of State Leni Robredo. The latter explained Sister Agnes, when she obtained the news of her fatality to COVID-19: “She was my variety 1 request enthusiast. Whenever work brings me to Zamboanga, I would explore her at the Carmelite Monastery and also our experts will devote hours speaking … Our loss is actually without a doubt heaven’s gain. We are grieving however we understand that Sibling Agnes has lastly gone residence to where she actually belongs.”

Fr. Karel San Juan, Ateneo de Zamboanga Educational institution head of state, remembered in his funeral discourse for Sibling Agnes some of her last messages: “The prayer is maintaining us.”

Depending on to Fr. Karel: “These couple of words of Sis Agnes struck me then. Our requests were preserving them. Our prayers were maintaining her, as she looked at her own tests. I was happened because these previous full weeks, it was our depend on hope strongly for her and her community, when all this time around, all these months, and also years, she and the sis had been actually wishing our team. It was our depend on be actually prayer enthusiasts praying for our petition soldiers.”

“Their requests had been maintaining our company. Their prayers had been actually motivating our team throughout numerous times of necessity and also weakness. Their prayers have actually gone along with lots of people, originating from different profession, coming from the ordinary people, to church leaders, to leading authorities officials. Their petitions maintained us. When we were confused and also our company needed to have quality of function, clarity of significance in lifestyle, quality of selections to be made. When our company were afraid, and also we required somebody to pray for adored ones that were sick as well as suffering. When our team just needed to have an individual to speak with, to listen closely to us, to our puzzled mood, our disorderly state of sensations, someone individual, somebody who will certainly not evaluate, someone that will point out, carry out not worry, you are not the exception, I am actually along with you. The lord is along with you. Mary is actually mother to you …”

Fr. Karel explains the passing away of Sis Agnes and also fellow religious women Siblings Ann as well as Bernie as distressing: “Our company have actually shed prayer soldiers. Greater than this, our company have shed close friends, phenomenal in their genuineness as well as confidence, genuine and generous, consistent in their caring.”

This is how I felt when I observed the updates regarding Fr. Jun on Pentecost Sunday afternoon: “Why leave this immediately? We still have a great deal to perform with each other!”

I am thus pleased with the work I made with Fr. Jun under Ciel Habito’s leadership, with Samira Gutoc, Marian Priest Roces, Fr Albert Alejo, and also others to produce Mindanao 2020. This was in 2009, the first time I met and also collaborated with him– although his fame as well as credibility and reputation anticipated that as well as I was actually currently a fan after that. For that work, I recall just how Fr. Jun arranged our dialogue along with Nur Misuari, observed the amount of he was actually recognized due to the male.

I also remember exactly how I was glad when Fr. Jun survived mind surgery in 2016. I explored him in the OMI residence in Loyola Levels and our team were actually thus thrilled that our experts will still have the capacity to cooperate for many more years. Our company supported different prospects then, Fr Jun for VP Binay, me for Legislator Poe, however our company were each delighted as well as paniced that our fellow Mindanawon Duterte was right now president.

When the pandemic is over, I was actually wishing our team will meet again in Mendiola during our classes in the San Beda Grad Institution of Law where Administrator Fr. Rannie Aquino has actually gotten the most ideal thoughts in regulation and plan, or even maybe in Cotabato Area for a seminar on peace issues or advancement in education. I wished that a person day we could stroll consecutively in the streets of Rome along with the OFWs our company both adored. I was actually expecting to walk the Camino de Santiago along with Fr. Jun or even maybe even check out the South of France where OMI owner Fr. Eugène de Mazenod originated from. As serious a male he was actually, this priest was actually likewise fun to be with, a real intellectual, a male with real insight of most of the globe’s societies.

Our company shared lots of interests– peace in Mindanao, endurance and also common respect of the religions in our property, civils rights and eco-friendly justice, education, administration, most of all our passion for the Religion.

Our company both had wonderful respect for cutting edge actions– the Moro National Liberation Face and the Moro Islamic Freedom Front (MILF), in addition to the National Democratic Face (NDF), the second embeded in our adventures in the anti-Marcos struggle. This held true even as both people were actually tough advocates of non-violence and tranquility.

Fr. Jun assisted my do work in the tranquility procedure with both the MILF and also the NDF and also current team up with young people activists and the Lumad Bakwit institutions. Fr. Jun was an excellent neighbor to everybody, training Fratelli Tutti with the example of his relationships with Muslims and also Lumad, national democrat and also social democrat, and all the politicians in Cotabato and also the nation.

As I have actually been finishing with the Carmelite nuns in Zamboanga, I had hoped very hard for the final couple of full weeks for Fr. Jun and Sr. Agnes, as well as the other Carmelite religious women.

God heard all our requests and cured with finality Sister Agnes and Fr. Jun– with eternal rest! As well as consider that, our God decided on Pentecost Sunday to take each of you to heaven– you that talked different tongues, you who worked with males and females of different confidences, you that embodied the Sense of truth, peace and passion in our treasured island.

As a fellow Mindanawon, I thank you Sister Agnes (and Sis Ann and also Bernie) and Fr. Jun! Thanks Oblates and Carmelites for these saints! Thank you Catholic Church for the present of these bro as well as sisters!

Website: tonylavina.com, Facebook: deantonylavs, Twitter: tonylavs

(Antonio “Tony” La Viña of Cagayan de Oro Metropolitan area is actually former Administrator of the Ateneo School of Government. He shows Constitutional regulation in Regulation colleges in Manila and Mindanao.)

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