By Fr. Tirso Villaverde


..."Pinoy priests gather in Houston "

...continued from Home Page

The research focused on the first generation immigrant—those who were born in the Philippines and immigrated here—so more work needs to be done to study the second and third generation Filipino population—those who are more commonly referred to as “Fil Ams” born and raised here in the U.S.

Dr. Cherry’s research showed that the Filipino immigrant population—focusing on the Catholic contingency—is more than likely to be involved not only in church related matters but also in civic and other community matters. One of the interesting things of his story is the fact that he himself is not Filipino. He is married to a Filipina so he has been exposed to the Filipino life, culture, and reality. But, he is an Anglo doing research on a cultural group that is not his own. Still, his findings simply pointed to the trend that Filipino immigrants understand getting involved as a natural part of their lives.

Hard work

Further, the fact that there is such involvement, it has also encouraged the children of such immigrants to be similarly involved. Of course, I am not doing justice to Dr. Cherry’s research or the reporting of his findings but this is an encouraging and hopeful message for all of us priests who serve in the U.S. We oftentimes think that there is such a lack of volunteerism that it leads some of us to frustration. If Dr. Cherry’s research is any consolation, there ought to be hope in knowing that the contribution of Filipinos everywhere is a very significant and substantial part of life here.

Added to this is also the contribution and ministry of Filipino priests who have either immigrated here or even born and raised here. The NAFP-USA serves as a way to give voice to the hard work and dedication of so many Filipino priests serving the Catholic Church in this part of the world. It was a great privilege and honor to have attended the first three national assemblies.

The next gathering of the NAFP-USA will be in three years in New Jersey/New York. At the assembly in Houston, I was elected to be the representative of Region Six—Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin. This means that I not only will represent the Filipino priests in those three states in the discussions and planning regarding the next assembly but I am entrusted with the responsibility of building up the connection between the priests of the region.

The term is for three years but I was informed in so many ways that chances will be good that my brother priests will re-elect me for another term. For better or for worse, this will more than likely lead me to being the Regional Rep until 2023 when the NAFP-USA will be coming to Chicago. As anyone can imagine, this might prove to be no small task. Therefore, I ask for people’s prayers in this endeavor but also to make it known that eventually the contribution of the entire Filipino Catholic community of Region Six will be called upon to help make the Fifth NAFP-USA a great success.

May everyone have a blessed Advent and an even more blessed Christmas!


Simbang Gabi 2017 Schedule for Archdiocese of Chicago and Diocese of Joliet (click here)


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