NEW YORK — Julian Jagudilla, OFM, who was ordained in May, gave the homily at a June 7 Mass commemorating the 25th anniversary of Ugnayan, the Filipino faith community at St. Francis of Assisi Church here.
The Mass was celebrated by Jerome Massimino, OFM, pastor; he was assisted by Alcuin Coyle, OFM, and Alan Thomas, OFM.
Julian’s homily elicited laughter from the Filipino community when he said that “God is from the Philippines,” and that both God and the Filipinos share the same qualities of “mabongga,” which means grand, and “mapagmahal,” which means loving.
The celebration continued at San Damiano Hall in the Province’s adjacent office building, where parishioners dined, danced and socialized.
The program was highlighted by recognition of Ugnayan’s founding leaders and acknowledgment of the friars who have ministered to the community. The June 7 event was one of two recent anniversary events held by the Manhattan Filipino community to recognize the group. A spring dance was held May 10 in San Damiano Hall.
Julian said he was excited to serve in the homilist capacity, one of his first roles since the May 24 ordination. He recently shared the following thoughts with HNP Today about the conclusion of the formal phase of his formation.
Q&A with Julian
HNP Today: What motivated you to become ordained?
Julian: Two things come to mind when I think of what motivated me to pursue ordination: service and fraternity. The more I think of them, the more I see the connection. The first motivating factor is service to God’s people, Church in many and different ways. I worked as a pastoral associate in a parish in the Chinatown section of New York City. I was director of religious education and coordinator of RCIA and many other lay ministries, but I felt that there is something more that I can offer God’s people.
I began to feel an attraction to sacramental ministry as the reason I decided to become a priest. It was this attraction to God’s people that led me to think of fraternity. Fraternity in the Franciscan sense means relationship. Hence, it was my desire to serve that drew me to be in relationship with God’s people. I am hoping and praying that I will grow in my understanding of this attraction.
HNP Today: Are there any specific people or programs/events that have made a strong positive impact on you during your formation process?
Julian: Honestly, there were many friars who had a very positive impact on me, especially during my time in formation. They were my formation directors and my ministry supervisors in all the places that I was assigned. I can think of three positive influences that these holy friars had on me. Patience. I know that I was not easy to deal with in formation, but they were patient with me. Coming from a different culture, at times I can sense the challenge. Fraternal support, including their presence as my companions on the journey, and prayers. And lastly, trust. They trusted me, considering all my talents and abilities, as well as my inadequacies and shortcomings. They believed that I will be a good friar and minister.