FR. ERICSON JOSUE is one of few Catholic priests I admire.Besides being bright and hardworking, he is humble and sensitive.We have known each other since our early teens (when he was still so lanky while I was then too fat), and I have always held him in high regard.
While other priests were busy attending parties, grooming expensive dogs, and constructing an ostentatious swimming pool in the Bishop’s Palace, Ericson had been busy writing books.Only in his early thirties, this son of Pasuquin has already published his second research output.“Out of the Depths”, which came out last December,tackles the phenomenal rise and eventual decline of Aglipayanism.
Well-meaning scholars must be given support and due recognition, and so I encourage my students and friends to read the book, if only to generate intelligent and enlightened discourse, a rarity in the Church (and government) these days.
Here, allow me to share excerpts of an interview conducted by students with Professor Fides Bernardo A. Bitanga, who teaches Sociology of Religion in the Mariano Marcos State University.Bitanga is also the new Editor-in-Chief of Sabangan, a social sciences publication in MMSU.
Using the sociological lens, the blog tackles the complex issues that surround the construction of a mall in downtown Laoag.
My students’ zest in posting entries there is fueled not only of their aspirations for high marks, but more so of their desire to generate intelligent and enlightened discussion on the implications of the mall project to development.
My mother’s reaction:You were very disrespectful to the bishops.You should respect them because they have sacrificed their lives.I am not going to buy any copy of the Ilocos Times anymore.
Herdy’s Riknakem:1) I don’t think I was disrespectful.I was just offering honest observations; 2) Bishops live very comfortable lives.But yes, everybody has a cross to bear; 3) Thank you for bearing with me; 4) Okay, Mom, if you don’t feel like buying a copy, you can check the online version instead.
BISHOP SERGIO UTLEG sent me an email asking if I could meet him personally regarding my previous column [“Slap the Bishops: Support the Reproductive Health Bill (IT, Nov. 10-16)].
Initially, I was bent to shun the proposed meeting because I don’t exactly love being in awkward situations.Convinced, however, that what the bishop has to say deserves my ear, I obliged.
I thought of inviting the bishop to our place for dinner, but my mom, a daily communicant and church volunteer, strongly opposed.It was one of the rare moments she was not proud of me, she panicked at the prospect of the bishop discovering that I am her son.
So, on Wednesday evening, I asked my friend Angelica Salas to accompany me to the Bishop’s Palace to meet His Excellency.Putting her best foot forward, my usually vivacious Mareng Angge transformed into a “mayuming katekista” the soonest we stepped on palace grounds.
A blue barong-clad Utleg welcomed us at the Palace lobby and led us to his office.And when we were seated, he looked at my eyes and flashed a toothy smile for a few seconds that seemed to me like eternity.He began the conversation by asking why I wrote of him as a bishop “best known today not for anything spiritual”. He said he was curious to know, and wondered if it was because he is often seen bicycling. Continue reading “Kissing the hand but avoiding the ring”