New Priest to Serve Area
Fr. Nilo Macapinlac is the new Roman Catholic Priest serving Sacred Heart Parish at Wetaskiwin, Our Lady of Seven Sorrows Parish at Hobbema, and St. Theresa's Parish at Ma-Me-O Beach.
Father Nilo Macapinlac is the newly appointed priest serving the Roman Catholic parishes at Wetaskiwin, Hobbema and Ma-Me-O Beach. He was installed as priest of these parishes at a feast remembering the passion of John the Baptist on August 29th. Over a thousand people were present, including the newly installed Superintendent of Schools for the St. Thomas Aquinas Roman Catholic Separate Regional Division, the Philippine Consul General, brother priests from the Camrose Deanery of Priests, and an uncle from California. Four roasted pigs were consumed, along with all the trimmings.
Fr. Macapinlac, born in the Philippines, came to Canada in 2003 and attended St. Joseph's Seminary and the Newman Theological College for two years for inculturation and a refresher. On August 6th of 2005, Archbishop Collins ordained him as a Deacon at St. Theresa's Parish in the Mill Woods area of Edmonton, the largest parish in Alberta with 13 Roman Catholic Separate Schools within it. He was ordained as a priest in a ceremony at St. Joseph's Seminary on November 21st of 2005. On May 2nd of 2007, Archbishop Smith appointed him as priest to the three parishes and missions at Vegreville, Viking, and Holden. Fr. Macapinlac says, “The Ukrainian parishes there were very busy, so I felt that I needed a helicopter, but I didn't get it.”
Leading a pilgrimage to Rome to meet the Pope is an imminent item on Fr. Macapinlac's schedule during this Year of Faith.
January will begin the Year of Christian Unity, which matches one of Fr. Macapinlac's goals here, to walk as brothers and sisters with all the children of God in a bond of love in obedience to Jesus when He said, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:14 – 15 NIV) He understands that the Spirit of God wants us to be united as one in the Spirit, and also considers this to be in the spirit of Vatican II. He has already met with a number of the local ministers in beginning shared efforts to develop greater unity in the local Christian community. Seeing himself as a servant leader, a shepherd serving the various ministries of the church, he will work with the emphasis of the Edmonton Diocese on new evangelization, faith formation, and promotion of vocations. He sees evangelization as reaching out to the whole person, sharing the Good News that Jesus Christ wants a personal intimate relationship with every person, a relationship that touches their mind and heart, and leads to practising the faith, and he says, “There is nothing more beautiful than to share the Gospel and tell others about Jesus' friendship.”
Fr. Macapinlac speaks easily, naturally and joyfully of Jesus Christ, of the greatest paradox of His death on the cross giving us eternal life and as the basis of Christian unity, of Jesus' total giving of Himself on the cross and His request that we give ourselves totally to Him, of Jesus' call to a personal and intimate relationship with Himself and how this relationship is the foundation for how we treat others and minister to others as servant leaders and wounded healers. He speaks of loving God and loving our neighbour as ourselves, noting that we cannot love others if we do not love ourselves. He speaks of humans as created in the image of God as the crown of creation, and of believers' inexhaustible riches in Christ with nothing else comparable to eternal life. He notes that God still sees us with mercy, which means that the most evil person still has the possibility of turning back to God in repentance, like the prodigal son. His faith, his message, could be welcomed in any Christian church or gathering because he thinks and lives in the common ground of relationship with God through Jesus Christ based on Scripture and recognizes our unity in Christ.