Mother’s Day in the Philippines

Fr. Johnny heading out for a day at the park with his English students.

Fr. Johnny Klingler, SCJ, continues his blog posts from the Philippines where he is teaching English: 

Today, May 13th, is Mother’s Day. I celebrated the Sunday liturgy at 7:00 a.m. The air was pleasant and mild just before the heat would take over. We prayed for our mothers, living and dead, and in thanksgiving for the gift of a loving mother. It is quiet at the present time as the community is small due to vacation time for the students and Frs. Francis and Bene are at the novitiate. Fr. Andrew left last week for India where he is giving a retreat. Fr. Richie, student formation director, and I, will be the only priests here for the next few days.

Last week I, Frs. Francis, Bene and Richie went to the 14th anniversary of the Kasanag Daughters Foundation. It is an institution providing shelter and professional assistance to young girls who are victims of sexual abuse. Presently there are 21 girls in residence. It was founded by Fr. Eduardo Agüero. It is managed by the SCJ community of Cagayan de Oro. The celebration began with a beautiful Mass. The girls all spoke individually to their mothers expressing their love. Their talks were full of emotion and tears. I was very touched. What a blessed ministry. A delicious meal was served. A special treat was ice cream cones for dessert.

The fourth week of our English classes went well. Besides teaching my regular group, I give special attention to three students in the afternoon. I help each one individually with his pronunciation. For example, words beginning with jo, yo or wo need special attention.

Fr. Johnny on the “Monkey Bridge.”

We went on a field trip Friday morning to a beautiful park in the mountains which overlooks the city of Cagayan de Oro and the ocean. One of the things to do is to cross “The Monkey Bridge.” It was quite an adventure. You walk on a swinging bridge by holding onto two cables with each hand and stepping on metal slates 9 inches by 1 1/2 inches with a distance of 1 foot to 1 1/2 foot between them. I had to climb a tree trunk to get to the first landing and from my perspective the walk looked rather short. However, when I got to the end of the first stage, I saw I had a long way to go. Thank God, I didn’t fall as I finally came to the end, soaking in sweat. That evening the professed community went out for pizza, which is always a special treat.

The week flew by and tomorrow we will begin the fifth week of the six-week English course.

Finally, I want to correct something that I wrote in my last blog, I told of having lunch with Pat Houterman. I made a mistake regarding his work and position. Please note that Pat is the Academic Director of High Scope, a school consisting of an early childhood program, elementary school, middle school and high school. There are over 1,000 students with 10 other High Scope units across Indonesia.

Fr. Johnny with students at the park near Cagayan de Oro

One response to “Mother’s Day in the Philippines

  1. Heiner Wilmer

    Hi, John, great pictures and a wonderful insight into the beauty of the Philippines and your stay at our community. Best regards from Neustadt, Heiner

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