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Take a moment

By: Jullie Y. Daza

SOME priests can’t help bearing the look of eternity. They’re there when you were newly born, a five-day-old thing at baptism. They’re there when your parents built their first house and then you had your coming-out party. They’re there when you stand before God and the one you love, forever wedded in bliss or something else. They’ll be there when you receive the last sacraments, unless they’ve gone ahead (in which case, are you destined to meet beyond the pearly gates?).

When the popular preacher, communicator, and wedding minister Jerry Orbos, SVD, turned a year older last Sunday at a dinner attended by 600 of his admirers and “Moments” angels (more on that later), it was almost like witnessing and being part of a Jerry Orbos cult following. With 11 other priests celebrating the mass, the birthday boy praised God, thanked Him for his 64 years, 37 of them as His servant. The good-looking, bedimpled Father Jerry, born of Pangasinan stock like his famous brothers Oscar (of Cory’s cabinet) and Tim (of the present MMDA), is now based in San Jose, Batangas, where he dreams of and prays for a sanctuary dedicated to the Blessed Mother.

It’s nice to write about a priest whose message is “God is a God of joy, a God of happiness! He wants us to be happy, not miserable.” He teaches that prayer is simply a way of touching God and telling Him what we need, what we want, and then leaving it in His hands, “It’s there, what more can be done?”

No wonder he counts on a loyal following of “angels,” volunteers, and 20 of the most active members of his Moments Foundation, whose main task is to raise funds for the Society of the Divine Word (SVD). Missionaries are “paid” an allowance that’s not fit to be called a wage, yet their mission can be out-of-this-world difficult, including spreading God’s word, conducting pilgrimages (to the Holy Land or Batanes, Taiwan or Ilocos), and sharing blessings with the needy, all on a nonexistent budget.

Fr. Jerry can count on the likes of San Juan Mayor Guia Gomez, her son Senator JV Ejercito and his 17-year-old son Emilio, Millie Reyes of The Plaza, Dr. Nemy Platon of Batangas and Moments Foundation, comedian Michael Angelo Lobrin, Beth Tagle and her son George, Deedee Siytangco, who were all present at the party at Wack Wack, to continue publishing his unpreachy books centered on the theme Moments – as in Shared Moments, Light Moments, Just a Moment, Meaningful Senior Moments. I have a feeling the next one will be Prayerful Moments.

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