The Ordination to the Priesthood of Deacon Jack Green, Deacon Jessie Balorio, Deacon Chris del Rosario and Deacon Galbert Albino will take place on 30 November 2018 at St Patrick’s Cathedral, Parramatta.
In this interview Deacon Galbert spoke to Catholic Outlook about his upcoming ordination.
Catholic Outlook: What comes to mind when thinking you will become a priest on 30 November?
Galbert Albino: It is always the desire of my heart to work in the vineyard of the Lord as a priest, but I have to admit at the same time that this sense of unworthiness still lingers on my head. My heart is joyful thinking about it and it is not just my joy but also the joy of the entire Church for giving the four of us to work in His vineyard.
CO: How important will that day be for you, your family and friends?
GA: It will be an unforgettable moment for me, also to my family and friends when that day comes. A day that I will forever cherish for God’s goodness has shown to me and my family for choosing me to be his priest though not worthy.
CO: How has your parish placement been? What experiences have you had?
GA: My parish administrator has been supporting me all throughout my journey. The people welcomed me when I arrived in my pastoral placement in [St Anthony of Padua Parish] Toongabbie and they are very supportive of me in nurturing my vocation.
Their prayers and devotion inspired me to continue working hard in the service of the people of God.
CO: What has been a highlight of parish placement?
GA: The reception of the first-class relic of St Anthony of Padua became a highlight for me in my entire pastoral work in Toongabbie because I am able to engage with people from different walks of life whose great devotion to St Anthony was overwhelming.
CO: Why did you decide to become a priest?
GA: I found that priesthood is my real vocation because I feel that it is through this kind of life that satisfied the desire of my heart. To serve God through his people is always a challenging experience but it makes my heart contents.
CO: What sort of support do you have around you that you can turn to when priestly duties might seem overwhelming?
GA: I have a circle of friends whom I can always rely on aside from my family. I have close friends who belong to the clergy here and abroad, and I have some childhood close friends that I am still in contact with. However, most of all I can always turn to our Blessed Mother Mary in prayer and devotion.
CO: Can you describe seminary life?
GA: It is a training ground where seminarians are deeply nurtured with their vocation; in prayer life, academic and pastoral work as it is being integrated from the human aspect of a person as, I believe, is the key foundation of the seminary formation. Through this training, I have grown mature in dealing my own life, conforming myself into the person of Jesus Christ towards others.
CO: Is there one or two aspects of priestly life that you are looking forward to?
GA: To celebrate the Holy Eucharist, for me, is the most important aspect in the priestly life. It is the only sacrament that I always look forward to because, for me, it tells us the great love of God for us.
Jesus becomes bread for us to nourish us with our spiritual needs and to give us strength to continue to walk on our journey to holiness of life.
Other sacraments flow out from this.
CO: Where will your first Mass be? What do you think that will be like?
GA: My first Mass will be celebrated in St Anthony of Padua, Toonggabbie, where I am stationed in my ministerial work as a deacon. It would be a simple celebration only. It would be good that I would also share the joy of my priestly vocation with my parishioners because they too are part of my journey.
CO: Who would you like to thank for helping you get to this point?
GA: I would like to thank the formation staff for all their support in my priestly journey in Holy Spirit Seminary and the formators of my previous seminary as well, San Carlos Seminary College in Cebu. Pope Paul VI minor seminary formators too in my home diocese, I am grateful that I come this far in my journey.
Of course, my family and friends who always there for me in my ups and downs. Without their support, in prayers and guidance, I would probably not be able to achieve this important part of my journey.
CO: Any other final thoughts or comments you would like to share Catholic Outlook readers?
GA: God calls us to be part of his redemptive work here on earth. With this, I don’t only mean priesthood.
Of course, there are other vocations that we, as people of God, are being called to.
Others are called to form a family life, while others are becoming a religious or consecrated single life in order to accomplish the task that God has given to them. We should not be afraid to take His call for us rather, we should learn to trust Him even though sometimes we don’t understand His ways. We have to understand, like our parents, God always knows what is best for us.
Deacon Galbert Albino will be Ordained to the Priesthood on 30 November 2018.