Inspiring philanthropist Steve Maraboli once wrote, “The more I understand the mind and human experience, the more I suspect that there is no such thing as unhappiness; there is only ungratefulness.” After almost one year at St. Nicholas and St. William Parish, I have nothing in my mind and human experience but gratitude.
I arrived at St. Nicholas and St. William to get a behind-the-scenes experience and first-hand look at priestly life, the life I am seriously considering making my own. As a former banker in the Philippines, to be busy is not new to me. Life here in the parish is so busy that Fr. John sometimes forgets to put on his microphone before Mass, Fr. Robain settles with snacking and reheating food instead of daily cooking, and Fr. Anthony’s white hair is growing in numbers. However, unlike in the bank, my encounters with our priests and the parish experience are teeming with joy. Here, life is busy but replete with beauty and meaning.
The nervous Quizzer that attended his first tent mass at St. William’s has grown to become more relaxed and spontaneous when privileged to give reflections on Thursdays. He has even started to enjoy the rather tedious task of arranging chairs on Saturdays. The evening sessions with RCIA, daily serving at Mass, funeral and baptismal liturgies, free croissants and doughnuts, home visitations, spontaneous lunches with churchgoers, but also the weekday pressures and regular meetings with the vocation office: all of these experiences and more created a collage of a busy parish life.
Amid the fast-paced Silicon Valley days of Los Altos, St. Nicholas and St. William’s community showed me the beauty of finding God in the midst of a rather hectic schedule. The priests, the staff, the parishioners, and even a few people I met on the street provided me an experience of home, taming my fears and worries in a place I initially considered foreign. In so many ways, they have helped me find my beautiful center, who is God, the sanctuary of my personhood, thus, fueling my passion even more to desire priesthood.
“Goodbye” comes from the term “Godbwye” a contraction of the phrase “God be with ye.” As I temporarily bid my “goodbye,” I will always bring with me the God I encountered with all of you. I will never forget that St. Nicholas and St. William is everything but unhappiness; busy but beautiful. For this, I am left with awe and let my heart beat with gratitude to all of you! In Davao Philippines where I come from, we say “Daghang Salamat mga igsoon”.
Quizzer Xenon Besinio
Please hold Quizzer in your prayers as he continues his priestly preparation at St John Vianney Parish (San Jose) this summer and enrolls at Mundelein Seminary in Chicago in the fall.