Letter to Among

Dear Among:

Atcheng Bising recently delivered a hagiography – yours – and we can all forgive her decision to go for the big words. And her failure to grasp the power of understated words. Her grounding is neither in the letters nor in the humanities, but in the natural sciences.

Collectively, though, we agree, fully and wholeheartedly, with her general drift.  You rock, man. Welcome to the parish.

What are the things refreshing and amazing about our new priest? As one of the Brownings said, let me count the ways.

Number one.  The breadth of your literacy.

My God, who still reads Guy de Maupassant? Functional illiterates like myself cannot even pronounce his name, even when we want to invoke one of literature’s greatest short story writers. Victor Hugo? Les Miserables is, to many, a nice print on a tee, over-commercialized like Che with his beret. We don’t realize that it took Hugo 17 painful years to get Les Miserables finally published.

Truth to tell, we are more interested in knowing about the blood-drenched rise of the Jacobins than Hugo’s and Maupassant’s elegant writing.

Number two.  You are the perfect mutatis mutandis. Not the old meaning, mind you, but the modern usage. This means one who can immerse deep into popular culture and technology trends and come out as an awesome aggregator.  Your homilies, like the Aeta with the eclectic taste in movies   and the deft reference to “people hearing without listening “of Simon and Garfunkel were both apt and to the point. The gadgets, definitely, are dumbing us down.

Number three. You steer clear of politics.

I am a great admirer of Gustavo Gutierrez.  I read and reread the Sermon on the Mount. Homilies, however, should be about the bedrock teaching of caring for the neighbor in a straightforward kind of way, with no political and angry undertones. Which, you do. Which you do on Sundays through stories about humanity and caring that truly resonate.

Again, you rock man. We love the homilies.

Pasalamat ke pu keng panyatang yu.

A parishioner

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