LAST Sunday, at St. Joseph Church, the lector announced something like this:

"For those properly disposed to receive Holy Communion, please observe the order and traffic for Holy Communion; row by row, starting from the front. Pls. wait for the communion ushers to assist you!"

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Fr. Jay Alipio! He left his mark here!

I first met this deep-thinking priest when he was the parish priest of Our Lady of Lourdes Church at Kisad Road! This respected priest, who delivers highly intellectual, thought-provoking homilies, lived and served in the United States of America for many years, prior to coming back to the Philippines.

It was indeed a privilege to meet Fr. Jay. He once got me to share my thoughts to some co-parishioners on how to communicate more effectively as a reader/lector. It was a blessing to have been asked by Fr. Jay to help out.

Fr. Jay never ran out of "things to do" and "things to share". He was good in setting up ministries and getting people involved.

From Lourdes Church, he was transferred to St. Joseph's Church in Pacdal!

When I would attend mass in the States, I would always admire how churchgoers would not rush from all directions to receive the Lord in the communion line. They would always be very orderly...row by row. Deep inside, I silently wished we could do the same in our own parishes!

I remember Fr. Jay repeating those "reminder" lines at Lourdes Chapel. Sometimes, I would notice a tinge and tone of frustration, when some people would not follow, but he would always persevere!

That Sunday, when I heard the announcement about the request for the orderly lines for Communion, I smiled! My silent wish happened because of the initiative and perseverance of Fr. Jay and all those who shared his vision.

He had a goal. He believed in it. And he took action! Not just once! He took action repeatedly and consistently!

And, he persevered!

He left a legacy in both churches. I am sure that the parishioners in his current assignment at Immaculate Conception Church, have realized by now how persevering their parish priest is!

Philippians 3:13 says, "I am focusing my energies on this one thing. Forgetting the past, and looking forward to what lies ahead, I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God through Christ Jesus, is calling us up to heaven."

My Dearest Co-Goal Setters, Co-Dreamers, I have learned to believe that the difference between what one person achieves and another, depends more in the goals they choose for themselves, rather than in the difference in their abilities.

The sizes of their goals make a big difference, too.

"Dream and believe!" may sound more like a line from a Disney movie, than an encouraging line for everyone, myself included!

Yes. Dream and believe. Act on your dreams. Many do! The difference between those who achieve their dreams and those who don't is the word "Perseverance". As they say, "When the going gets tough, the tough get going!"

When asked to talk about "Perseverance", I often, emphatically stomp my fist on the lectern three times, as I confidently say,

"PERSEVERE! PERSEVERE! PERSEVERE!"

These three words, said with conviction, credibility, and passion, by Winston Churchill, raised the morale of the British troops, and helped them win the war against the Germans.

Overcome challenges thru perseverance!

Galatians 6:9 says, "Let us not grow weary in doing good, for in due season, we shall reap, if we do not lose heart."

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