By: Maria Nicole Angelica H. Jorvina

Last November 13, 2015, our school – LIFE FORMATION MISSION ACADEMY of Manila, Philippines was blessed to be visited by Our Patriarch Craig Bates together with Sister Cathy, his wife.  Bsp. Michael Davidson, Fr Jim House and his wife, Sister Katrina, together with other Bishops, Priests and Deacons of our Church were also there that day!  It was the second time that The Patriarch visited our school but it still meant so much to us! We were all very excited and we wanted to make the day extra special!  All the students and teachers were so busy that day in the preparation but it was also a lot fun!  We prepared a Program where we presented different cultural dances and sang beautiful Filipino songs.  This was to give our visitors a taste of the Filipino culture. There was so much joy in us because deep in our hearts we were so happy to have The Patriarch with us even with his busy schedules.

After the Program, I was given the chance to interview The Patriarch for our school Magazine – Tribune. Our theme was: Born to know God’s Path. So, we ask The Patriarch what message can he give us about

“knowing God’s Path”.   I was so inspired listening to the Patriarch’s message for us.  He said, “The way to know God’s path… is to know God first and to have a relationship with HIM.”  This means that having a relationship with God is the first thing we must do before anything else.  If we know HIM, everything else will follow.

I also learned from The Patriarch that we can know God through PRAYER, in the EUCHARIST, in the SCRIPTURES, in WORSHIPPING HIM, in EACH OTHER, and in THE POOR.  And that GOD said you can find me most in the HUNGRY, in the NAKED and in the THIRSTY.  So it means when we minister to the POOR, we are ministering to JESUS Himself.  I also learned that KNOWING GOD — should be our life! Because Life would mean NOTHING without HIM!  GOD’S path is revealed to us when we know HIM and when HE is always beside us.  We must also be reminded that we may not see GOD but, HE is always by our side.

The visit of The Patriarch was such a blessing! His answers during the interview really inspired me. He also added that you can know GOD through the people around you.  For me, this statement should always be remembered even by someone as young as me.  Because in our age and time, hurting someone’s feeling has been a NO BIG DEAL! But with this teaching, i learned that if we hurt others, we hurt JESUS Himself!  Another thing that The Patriarch said that struck me was – that we can know GOD through PRAYER.  That Prayer is something very important because this is how we are communicating to Our GOD. This is how we can build our relationship with Our FATHER. As young as I am, I MUST have a prayerful heart and a heart yearning for HIS WORD!

The Patriarch’s visit was such a great blessing to us and our school! He has inspired all of us! All the students and faculties were very glad to see him!  I hope that he comes back to visit us once again the next time he comes to the Philippines!