UNLIKE Sen. Manny Pacquiao who flaunts biblical verses before his colleagues in the Senate, this young and debonair priest from Bohol makes his homilies palatable to the churchgoers during liturgical readings on Sundays.
His book, “Hashtags for Seekers,” launched on Easter Sunday at St. Francis Xavier Church mirrors Fr. Harold Anthony S. Parilla’s familiarity with the Living Word unpacked in eloquence, crisp and lovable language.
Fr. Parilla, a summa cum laude from the Ateneo de Manila University and a holder of licentiate in canon law obtained from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, speaks the English language with simplicity yet elegant which, most often than not, penetrates and warms the hearts of his flock every time he takes on the Church’s lectern.
“Hashtags for Seekers” is a hodgepodge of reflections of Fr. Parilla’s creative mind inspired by contemporary yet age-old teachings and messages from the Holy Bible.
Luis Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle, his former mentor, described Fr. Parilla as messenger of attractive rather than intrusive, condemning homilies.
In fact, Tagle’s foreword in Parilla’s book sounded like fatherly wisdom, citing his former student as one of the “finest” in his 40 years of teaching in the seminary.
Having heard a few of his homilies, Fr. Harold, as his tenfold of followers would fondly call him, one could immediately relate the messages as one that is consoling, exalting, discerning and most often, penetrating.
One fine example of his musing: “Here is the paradox of Christian life – it is in losing that we truly earn. It is in embracing the pain we truly gain.”
Here’s another one to ponder: “As we grow older, we become more sensitive to the comments of others. When we get offended, it takes a while before we recover. That is not glory, that is pride.”
But sadly and with all candidness, not all priests these days are sources of customary providence, nor that of good wisdom, or even that of inspirational messages.
Case in point: an errant priest had once served the faithful in uptown Cagayan de Oro with plenty of presumptuous words–arrogantly delivered, rude and grossly undignified.
And there he is–wandering his conflicting thought and ideas, trying to figure out how to deliver his message across before the flock’s collective respect gets out of hand.
Good riddance, this priest no longer a mainstay, but a transient, an ad interim persona in Cagayan de Oro.
If there are scalawags in the police and military, the priestly profession has, too. Arrogance and abuses committed by priests are no longer kept under their convent’s rugs.
Latest reports reveal that sexual abuse allegations and abuse of authority against Catholic priests in the country are on the rise by the day.
No less than the retired Archbishop Oscar Cruz, who heads the Catholic Church’s National Tribunal of Appeals, has openly denounced complaints of arrogance, sexual abuse and abuse of authority including allegations of pedophilia.
The laity, especially in urban areas, have become alert and courageous in denouncing the wrongdoings committed by the men in robes.
Hail to the good men for others, shame on the corrupt, arrogant and abusive members of the clergy.