December 7, 2022

Kadpay is a seven-year-old girl who is brimming with energy every time she is in church. But for several Sundays now, she has been absent.
The Feast of the Baptism of the Lord last Jan. 9 was a celebration of faith in the Basic Ecclesial Community (BEC) and a Sunday for Kadpay at home.
Kadpay and her team of other children used to come to church every Sunday. Their constant presence in church is inspirational but sometimes annoying because of their innocent noise.
Kadpay and her peers usually meet me even along the rice paddies. It was a welcoming gesture of a home. Recently, I have not seen Kadpay in the church. I later found out of her regular visit to the hospital for treatments.
The church where Kadpay attends is located at the end of the barangay. She has to take a long walk from the barangay’s turning point. Despite the trek along the rice paddies which can be challenging at times because of the mud and danger, she and other parishioners fulfill the Sunday apostolate because people are waiting for the Word of God and the Holy Eucharist. They long for Jesus in the sacraments.
The church, which was inaugurated in 2015 by vicariate administrator Rev.Fr. Joseph Requino, was named after San Lorenzo Ruiz.
In 2019, through the kindness and generosity of people and the management of the BEC, the beautiful sanctuary was completed. The BEC remains active through the participation of the youth. Music indeed is giving life to the community and it animates the people especially the youth.
The BEC was once a passive and dying community but through God’s inspirational ways, the BEC is thriving and doing its mission among the poor. This is why children love to enter the church, make noise, cry, laugh, and learn discipline. They feel secure inside the church. This is why Kadpay finds joy in the church.
I was later informed that Kadpay, the first of three children, has a brain tumor.
Last Jan. 9, after the holy mass, the congregation requested for the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick for Kadpay.
I hardly recognized Kadpay when I went to see her in their house. Her face was swollen. She was weak and pale and needed assistance to sit and stand. Along the conversation with her parents, she said with a soft voice, “Mama, I am hungry. I want to eat.”
The congregation filled the house and her mother tried to refresh her memory by asking the names of the people around her. She said their names right. The mother pointed at me and she responded in a tiny voice, “Padi!”
I am happy that she can still recognize people. When asked to pose for a picture with me, she tried to force herself a quick smile.
We administered the anointing of the sick. We felt the depth of the prayer of the community and their desire for Kadpay’s healing.
I was teary eyed while imagining Kadpay running inside and outside the church. I am reminded of that vibrant little girl and suddenly in a condition where her speech and movement are limited.
I ask you dear friends to pray for Kadpay and her family. Who knows, her healing will be one of the miracles of 2022.
Today, we celebrate the Feast of Sto. Niño. Jesus grew in love. In love, he called little children to bless them, to embrace them, and to put his hands on them. Let us be inspired by Jesus to love children at home, in the school, in the communities.
Let us have children be baptized. Their fundamental right is to become children of God through baptism before anything else. Nobody can deprive them of their basic right. Anyone who denies them of baptism is going against the will of Jesus, “Let the children come to me and do not stop them.”
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