Sounding the Horn of Jubilation
Ever since the appearance of Bro. Obeth Apin in The Splendor of the Church the program and its host received a lot of congratulatory words from the faithful of Sorsogon and from friends accross the nation and even some from abroad. First of all, our gratitude must be directed to God, who is the only one who can convert the heart of men and the only one who can transform the heart of a lion into a lamb.
However, the reason for rejoicing even for just a single soul returning to the Mother Church must be a balm to the heart of each Filipino Catholics because we are used to hear or see a fellow Catholic who had left the faith of our fathers and rarely see one who has returned and shout it on mountain top. We at Defensores Fidei Foundation http://www.defensoresfidei.com/ experienced the same joy for Sis. Shirley Montreal, for Bro. Jojo and many others who crossed the Tiber. This sense of jubilation is not original of us but coming from the Greatest Father of all who, in the Parable of the Prodigal Son, looked at the window and seeing His returning son showered him with Paternal embrace and kisses.
Thus, with the Queen-Mother and all the clouds of witnesses [Hebrews 12:1] I say: “MY SOUL PROCLAIMS THE GLORY OF THE LORD, MY HEART REJOICES IN GOD MY SAVIOR. FOR HE HAS LOOKED WITH FAVOR ON HIS LOWLY SERVANT!” [cf. Luke 1:46-48]
Also, I want to thank those who had sent their heartfelt message of joy and thanksgiving for the wonders that the Lord has done.
A Knight in Battle Gear
On the other hand, being a minister of God and a bearer of His gospel I have to keep in mind that I am a soldier of Christ – His warrior and knight. A knight doesn’t just sit on his laurel and victory but someone who immediately proceed to another stage of the struggle until he reached his ultimate destination: JERUSALEM – The Mother Zion, The Mother Church and The Heavenly City!
Just like the countless missionaries working in different mission fields in the world, just like the innumerable faithful priests and nuns working in the vineyard of the Lord and just like the indefatigable Catholic apologists in the world I must not rest until the Holy Mother Church will truly shine before the eyes of every people and nation as THE SPLENDOR OF GOD!
Revelation 21:9-11 One of the seven angels who held the seven bowls filled with the seven last plagues came and said to me, “Come here. I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.” He took me in spirit to a great, high mountain and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God. It gleamed with the splendor of God. Its radiance was like that of a precious stone, like jasper, clear as crystal.
As a Somascan religious this is of primary importance to me because regularly we recite the spirit-filled prayer composed by our father and founder, ST. JEROME EMILIANI: “Lord Jesus, sweet father of us all. In your infinite goodness restore the whole Church to the holiness of life during the times of the Apostles. Hear us O Lord because You are kind and merciful…”
A shepherd on a narrow path
A shepherd is not satisfied on the fact that his sheep is ninety-nine. He climbs the hills to find the missing. He surveys the surroundings and exert every effort to seek the lost. Once they are complete he will once again cross the narrow path and climb the same hill to seek a greener pasture for his flock. He will survey the surroundings again to check and better defend them from any attacks. THIS WE MUST DO UNTIL THE GREAT SHEPHERD RETURN, AT LAST!
THE GREETINGS: [My response is written in blue]
As a sign of gratitude to our greeters who sent their messages through e-mail I hereby post here their words without giving their full names because it will be very difficult for me to ask their permission one by one. Hope they will not be angry. If ever there will be complain I will be very willing to offer apologies and immediately remove their statement. Here they are:
Check out Fr. Abe’s blog. We have another ADD convert to Catholicism. A former ADD Pastor who was trained in Apalit Pampanga and a card carrying Pastor now a Catholic. A product of Fr. Abe’s dedication to his Splendor of the Truth TV and radio programs in Sorsogon.Keep it up Fr. Abe. from Henry S.
wow, tHANKS the Lord and FR.Abe,THIS IS GREat news from PRINZ LUV
CONGRATS FATHER! The Holy Spirit does work in mysterious ways! May God continue to bless and use you as instrument for His works. from Filipino Catholic
That’s great! I think maybe they have the same testimony with Sis. Shirley Monreal why he left ADD. Prayer works! I have read Fr. Abe’s blog and it is God’s blessing to have a priest like him, he defends the church against the accusations of other religions. One thing that amazed me is he can still managed the radio and TV station in Sorsogon despite of the region’s economic condition. In Sorsogon, there are only two TV stations, one is AITV 5, which where he operates and Channel 11 which is owned also by the local Diocese but right now is operated by ABC 5, other major stations are received from Legaspi, Albay. Media is one of the effective tool to spread the truth, I hope that we have also our own free TV station here in Manila. The National Telecommunications Commission granted Channel 35 (Which near Channel 37 of ADD and Channel 39 of Quiboloy), to be used by the Church under the operation of Delta broadcasting System of El Shaddai but unfortunately, it is still inactive until now and let’s pray for its operation. Your brother in Christ and in the truth, James B.
ALL GLORY BE TO THE LORD JESUS, WHOSE SPIRIT IS THE ONLY ONE WHO CAN CHANGE MINDS AND CONVERT HEARTS TO GOD OUR FATHER! Mr. Apin already left the ADD even before we met. He left them for doctrinal reasons after realizing that the major doctrines that they were previously proclaiming had been changed by Soriano to suit to his or his relatives personal needs. The contribution of our apologetic program, The Splendor of the Church, was to inspire him to come out into the open and proclaim to the people of Sorsogon that he had indeed left the ADD and that now he has returned to the Catholic Church but still on the process of studying its history and doctrines. The guy is voluntering to be trained as a Catholic apologist. Like Shirley the Lord will perform wonders out of this guy. Yes, there are two TV stations in Sorsogon. One is AITV5 which is running for the past 7 years and Channel 11 of the Diocese of Sorsogon, that opened only about 2 or 3 months ago, run by ABC 5. Our AITV5 refused to deal with the big media corporations because to have a partner is to have a master. AITV5 is an educational media arm of the Aemilianum College and is not commercial. Our reporters, researchers, cameramen, technicians and staff are 99% students of Electronics Engineering, Mass Com, Information Technology, Education, etc. We don’t want the media moguls to dictate our programs and we will not allow their anti-Catholic programs penetrate our station. Three of our Somascan priests are also helping the Diocesan media, serving as radio hosts of the call in radio program at DZGN-Spirit FM: Hello, Father! They are Fr. Augusto Dingal, CRS, Fr. Lino Juta, CRS and Fr. Abe, CRS. Let us pray that more Catholic TV & radio stations will be successfully opened in the entire archipelago. Fr. Abe, CRS
Kudos to Father Abe! Congrats po for this conversion. God must be well-pleased! I agree with bro. James and Sir Henry.. Keep it up Fr. Abe! We’re proud of you and happy too. You are always on my prayers, the DFF and Apologia and our apologetics work.Hope to see you soon. God bless po sa inyo. Your sis,Lou
To Fr. Abe: Congrats! What’s your secret? from Cristina M.
Sis. Cristina, GRACE AND PEACE! Here is the secret! St. John the Beloved called the attention of St. Peter and shouted: ‘IT IS THE LORD!’ [John 21:7]. The proclamation must be focused on the Lord, not on the person of the apologist and the apostolate must be motivated by deep love of the Lord and of His Church. Yes, IT IS THE LORD! Fr. Abe, CRS
Amen, Fr. Abe.Thanks for the inspiring message. I always get inspired by your posts. God bless you and Mary keep you! Claire N.
Kudos to Father Abe! Congrats po for this conversion. God must be well-pleased! I agree with bro. James and Sir Henry.. Keep it up Fr. Abe! We’re proud of you and happy too. You are always on my prayers, the DFF and Apologia and our apologetics work.Hope to see you soon. God bless po sa inyo. from Sis, Lou
Dear Fr. Abe,Defensores Fidei is indeed blessed to have you in our little ‘sheepfold.’You know one of my DFF pipe dreams is to have a Philippine and/or Asian editionedition of Marcus Grodi’s “Journey Home.”Surely, the return to Holy Mother Church of Sis. Shirley and now this ADDPreacher ought to be included in this future series… from Tom B.
Praise the Lord. Indeed, if I would have the chance to meet the former manggagawa, I would be very glad to and perhaps we can share each others’ testimonies. I am definitely intrigued. It was for the same reasons as to why I left that sect: the ever-changing doctrines that for through the years have beguiled countless members. I have endured countless tribulations, and I personally believe it is now time for me to work more actively for the glory of God. By the way, his name is kinda familiar.St Catherine of Siena, pray for us.UIOGD,Shirley
Fr. Abe, Its a great work you have in Sorsogon, I have read the book published by these Born Again Christians featuring Gary V. and co. it was given to me by my wife hoping that I would convert to their faith, the book was nothing compared to Surprised by Truth and which I also gave her to read, their conversion stories were purely experiential and they seldom refer to the bible verses unlike the Surprised by Truth there were so many references to the bible why they convert to the Catholic Church they have seen that the Catholic teachings and practices are in the bible and they will say that the Holy Spirit guided them to the truth some refererred to history of the Church which they traced back to the apostles. Maybe these Born Again Christians did not know someone who came back to the Catholic Faith a revert for short. We really need to publish our local version of Surprised by Truth or Journey Home. Fr. Abe, I might be visiting the Bicol region this year, my wife is from Legazpi City her parents were still Catholic. Maybe I could visit you. How long is it to travel from Lagazpi to your location? Yours in Christ, Rosel
Dear Bro. Rosel, GRACE AND PEACE! Our school, Aemilianum College [pronounced Emilianum] is an hour away from Legazpi City. Hope to see you soon here in Sorsogon. If you want we can tape an interview with you or you can appear with me on our TV for apologetic discussion or simply narrate your apologetic apostolates. What do you think? Fr. Abe, CRS
Fr. Abe, Thats a nice idea! Maybe I can share my experiences to you listeners in Sorsogon. We are planning this December during the Christmas break, we will be in Bicol for two weeks. Thanks Fr. Abe may your work in Sorsogon bear many fruits! May God bless us! Always in Christ,Rosel
Dear Father Abe,Like Sir Tom, you are indeed a (great) blessing to us. I’d like to ask your permission to include your blog site to my own website. Is it ok?You’re always in my prayers po. God bless you and your fruitful apostolate in your place! Claire
Thanks be to God! He should really be writing about itand let ADD members and the others who read it. Somepeople now are thinking that there are just twochoices left, one is INC and the other is ADD. This isreally something to be written about.Thanks,Rogie
May God be upon him who has found the path back to God’s flock. May the Holy Spirit dwell with Father Abe and continue to be God’s instrument to call more of God’s lost sheep back home. The Angels and the Saints of heaven are all rejoicing with God our heavenly king, because one of his sons who was lost is now in communion with His kingdom. More blessings to you Father Abe! from Patrick C.
Magandang araw po sa inyo Father Abe. Una sa lahat gusto ko kayong pasalamatan sa patuloy na paglilingkod ninyo sa bayan ng Diyos sa pamamagitan ng inyong programang Splendor of the Church. Sana ay dumami pa ang mga tao na nagtuturo ng mga doktrina ng ating simbahan sa paraang vernakular at madaling maunawaan ng mga tao. Upang sa gayon ay lalong tumibay sa pananampalataya ang mga kapatid natin sa Iglesia. Sana ay magpatuloy pa ang inyong mabuting gawain. Maraming Salamat. from Franz Luigi L.
Check out this link folks, Bro. Obeth narrates the reasons why he converted to the Catholic Faith. Medyo bitin lang yun story. ABANGAN ANG SUSUNOD NA KABANATA.hehehe. .Fr. Abe has a good way to excite us..hehehe. from Filipino Catholics