Canonical Visit

Starting today, Fr. Julius Sanchez, SDB the Provincial Superior of the Salesian Province of Mary Help of Christians, Philippine South (FIS) will conduct his canonical visit to Don Bosco Lawaan. Taking note of the name of the Lighthouse on a Hill, I cannot yet determine the proper title. Fr. Ronel said it would be Don Bosco Formation Center, but more recently Fr. Fidel had quoted the name Don Bosco Missionary Formation Center. We cannot tell yet until all the planning has been done this summer.

As for Fr. Julius, a priest notorious for his comical homilies, he will be chatting with all of the Salesians and possibly all candidates, and that’s a long list of rendiconto. In every Salesian house, the visit of the Provincial marks days of blessings. He is the living Don Bosco in the province.

I have known Fr. Julius since I was in grade school. We were still living in Pasil when he was assigned at the parish. He organized a piano and guitar school for those interested. My mother enrolled me but I was still too young. She bargained before Fr. Julius and he was quoted saying, “wa man mi nagtudlo ug ABC…” I was admitted anyway. After three months, I was left as the remaining student of the parish with the others giving up on the lessons.

Fr. Julius is famous in Pasil. Laughing all the way through the homily, you couldn’t just forget him. His is a combination of entertainment and substance.

On the episcopal ordination of then Fr. Patricio “Pat” Buzon, Fr. Julius was elected as the next provincial. I could still remember his acceptance speech as he stood before the Salesian community at Don Bosco Technology Center. He was overwhelmed by the situation and he wept. I can’t tell if he was weeping for joy or weeping for shock.

From February 8 to 12, he will be staying with us. I am very happy that the formation house has become the focus of the province. Living through a transitional formation plan I can finally breathe now that great changes are happening. As he said early this morning, the changes he wanted must start with the people and then we can build anything we ought to build. I am happy I’ll be taking part in the change.



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