Filipino missionary priest shares Christmas message to FilCom in Phitsanulok

PHITSANULOK, Thailand – The Filipino missionary priest of Saint Nicholas Church in Phitsanulok delivered a heartfelt Christmas message during the Saint Nicholas Church Foreign Community (SNCFC) early Christmas celebration on Saturday, December 16, at Mayflower Grand Hotel calling for SNCFC members to be living witnesses of hope, peace, joy and love in their families, workplaces, and communities.

Addressing the organization members and guests at the gala, Rev. Fr. Ronnie Torres, OMI said “this season reminds all of us that the true Christmas message is sharing our blessings and giving love especially with the poor and the most abandoned of our community in their many faces.”

Read: St. Nick church Filcom in Phitsanulok celebrates Christmas in style

He said the successful outreach program conducted by the SNCFC at Chiang Khan province  was a simulation of what God has first done for us when HE gave HIS only son as a gift so that we may have life.

Christmas message
Rev. Fr. Ronnie Torres, OMI arrives at the Mayflower Grand Hotel for the SNCFC Runway Christmas gala. With him in this photo is Mrs. Fedelita Mamba, SNCFC member.

“We recognize the many humps and bumps along our way, the many challenges that bugged us and our loved ones, our communities and own countries that made us strong and better individuals. Despite all these encounters,  we remain hopeful because our greatest hope has come to us, in our midst and within our hearts – our saviour and Lord Jesus Christ, the ultimate reason of this celebration,” Fr. Ronnie said in his Christmas message.

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Father Ronnie also commended the SNCFC  officers and members for their collective efforts in sustaining the spiritual foundation, camaraderie and harmony not only among Filipinos, but among the foreigners in Phitsanulok and the neighbouring communities.

Quoting Pope Frances’ statement during his recent visit in Myanmar, Father Ronnie admonished the SNCFC members to share the hope of salvation through Jesus Christ by extending our hands to those who need them – “without exclusion”.

“May our community be constantly hopeful – for a better relationship among us, for a fruitful year for us and our families, for the choicest blessings from God which we need as we continue to participate in the mission of His Son by serving one another through the church and through our daily endeavours,” he said.

This is the full text of Father Ronnie’s Christmas message:

Officers and Members of the Saint Nicholas Church Foreign Community, Visitors and Friends, a very merry Christmas and a prosperous new year ahead of us.

 As Justine Beiber said “Christmas is the most beautiful of the year!” Yes it really is, because Christmas is the time to celebrate the birth of our Savior the Lord Jesus Christ and give thanks to the Almighty God for all the choicest blessings we have received throughout the year.

This season reminds all of us that the true spirit of Christmas is sharing our blessings and giving love especially with the poor and the most abandoned of our community in their many faces, which you have already done successfully in Chiangkhan few days ago. All these gestures are simulations of what God has first done for us – because of so much love, He gave His only son as a gift so that we may have life.

We are blessed here in Phitsanulok that we have a big catholic community who are sharing the same tradition of  celebrating Christmas. Today, we have started the unique Filipino tradition – the Misa de Aguinaldo or Misa de Gallo as our way of preparing ourselves to accept the Lord in our hearts as we celebrate His birth.

With much appreciation, I would like to commend the SNCFC community – officers and members for your vibrant collective efforts to sustain the spiritual foundation, camaraderie and harmony not only among Filipinos, but among the foreigners here in Phitsanulok and the neighbouring communities.

Looking in retrospect for what has been this year, we have so much to thank God for.  We recognize the many humps and bumps along our way, the many challenges that bugged us and our loved ones, our communities and own countries that made us strong and better individuals. Despite all these encounters,  we remain hopeful because our greatest hope has come to us, in our midst and within our hearts – our saviour and Lord Jesus Christ, the ultimate reason of this celebration.

As members of the SNCFC, we have the charge to share this hope by extending our hands those who need them – “without exclusion” – as Pope Francis said during his apostolic visit to Myanmar.

My prayers for all of you is that, may our community be constantly hopeful – hopeful for a better relationship among us, hopeful for a fruitful year for us and our families, hopeful for the choicest blessings from God which we need as we continue to participate in the mission of His Son by serving one another through the church and through our daily endeavours.

May we always be living witnesses of hope, peace, joy and love in our families, workplaces, and communities.

A very merry Christmas and a happy new year to all!

Fr. Ronnie L. Torres, OMI

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lonerzone

lonerzone

lonerzone is a full time Foreign Language Teacher in Phitsanulok. He reads, writes and travels for self-enrichment.
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