Fr. Johnny Klingler writes from the Philippines. He will be there for the next two months teaching English:
“Just a little news… I arrived in Manila on Wednesday at 11:30 p.m. Fr. Vincent Sri Herinati, superior of the community, was there to welcome me. It was a very long journey. I finally got to bed at 2:00 a.m., Holy Thursday. I left Chicago on Tuesday at 3:30 p.m! I could only sleep about three hours due to jet lag and it being so hot . I was happy to have a fan in my room as the temp was 83 degrees.
“I went to the ‘Church of the Revolution’ for the Holy Thursday liturgy. It is so called because after the peaceful change of government the new president, Corazon Aquino, had it built in Thanksgiving. I went with Fr. Al Back, Formation Director and Fra. Jonathan Schneriders from Brazil who is studying the native language, Tagalog. It was a beautiful Mass, lovely singing and procession. We stood for 2 1/2 hours not knowing that you had to be there at least 45 minutes before it began to get a seat. I was grateful that the church was air conditioned. The temperature during the day is in the 90s and humid I am usually sweating here!
“Good Friday services took place at one of our SCJ parishes which is located close to the large garbage dump in a very poor area. Many of the people scratch a living from it by looking for recycle material that they can sell. I read that 45% of the people of the Philippines live on $2.00 a day. I went with Fr. Vincent Sri, who is pastor of the parish, and a visiting Holy Cross brother. I sat on a bench in the very small church. It was simply celebrated with a children’s choir. The entire service was said and sung in Tagalog. The people were so friendly and welcomed you with a blessing: taking your hand and putting it on their forehead with a bow. I in turn placed my hand of their head or shoulder.
“Fr. Heiner Wilmer, the provincial of the German Province, arrived on Holy Saturday afternoon from Cagayan de Oro after visiting one of his priests. We are friends from my days in Rome. He had to get up at 3:00 a.m. Easter morning to catch a plane for Vietnam where he will give a retreat to our community. We celebrated Easter Mass with Fr. Al and then went out pizza.
“Today, Easter Sunday morning, most of the community is out for Easter Sunday Mass. I look forward to our Easter meal. I am happy that I can enjoy the food. I especially like their coffee and fruit, and thank God I like rice!
“I will leave for Cagayan de Oro on the island of Mindanao on Tuesday. It is a 1 1/2 hour flight. The summer school will begin on Monday, April 16th.”