Fil-Am Catholics make lifestyle changes to follow Pope Francis

SAN FRANCISCO – During his first mass in the Philippines at the Manila Cathedral, Pope Francis reminded members of the Philippine clergy to serve the poor and keep their vows of poverty. The pontiff pointed out, “Only by becoming poor ourselves, stripping away our complacency, will we be able to identify with the least of our brothers and sisters .”

He also encouraged priests to promote church teachings on issues that may be contentious. Pope Francis said, “Proclaim the beauty and truth of the Christian message to a society which is tempted by confusing presentations of sexuality, marriage, and family. As you know, these realities are increasingly under attack from powerful forces that threaten to disfigure god’s plan for creation.

The pope also took the time to meet with sickly priests and nuns, who were moved by his gesture.

Pope Francis’ messages on simplicity, humility and love for all while in the Philippines, are heard loud and clear on the other side of the world — at St. Patrick’s Church in San Francisco, where majority of the parishioners and clergy are Filipino. They said they’re inspired to make changes in their own lives, because of how the Holy Father lives his life.

“He lives simply. He doesn’t even live in the papal palace. He takes ordinary cars wherever he goes. He makes me feel guilty, actually,” quipped Fr. Robert Andrey, parish priest of St. Patrick’s Church.

Amy Mohler, member of the Sacred Heart group of St. Patrick’s Church said she also chose not to drive a fancy car because she was inspired to live simpler by the pope. She added, “I live in a simple place. I don’t shop. I’d rather be in Church. The Church is my home.”

These Filipino-American Catholics said they’ve also learned to be more forgiving, more accepting of all kinds of people, regardless of race, color, religion and gender — because of the pope.

“Accept people for what they are, whatever religion they have,” said Estela Sullivan, also a member of the Sacred Heart Group.

Another group member, Corazon Salcedo San Jose remarked, “I don’t judge them on their beliefs, on situations they are in, what kind of relationships they have. You don’t have to judge.”

For Pope Francis, the Filipino culture has indeed been shaped by faith. He said Filipinos everywhere are known for their love of God and devotion to the Church’s teachings.

These FilAm Catholics also said they’ve learned to walk the talk because of Pope Francis…not just to talk about change and doing good. But to actually make it happen, in their own lives, and the lives of people around them.

You may contact Henni Espinosa at henni_espinosa@abs-cbn.com for more information.

2 Comments on this post.

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  • kikay Pang0
    16 January 2015 at 6:24 pm - Reply

    All religion have sole purpose …convince the poor and collect their tax free money

  • noz
    18 January 2015 at 11:33 am - Reply

    the RCC do not by forced imposed the believers for alms, compared to other christians or non christians religions, whereby its mandatory to offer certain percentages of the gross salaries, are tax deductible. the obligatory contributions concept of the non RCC can have an impact of guilty trip for the RCC parishioners, that’s why alms collections are voluntary.

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