Born: Metro Manila, Philippines

Joined the Missionaries: 2004

What drew you to the Missionaries of the Precious Blood?
The charism. The call to ministry and community. The movement of the Spirit.

What is your current assignment?
Teaching at Catholic Theological Union (CTU), and serving as board member of the Precious Blood Ministry of Reconciliaition (PBMR), both in Chicago.

What is the most challenging aspect of your assignment?
The aspect of multi-tasking and keeping a healthy balance of the various demands of academia. Like any other ministry, having to deal with some rather “unique” personalities may be challenging.

What is the most rewarding aspect of your assignment?
The ministry of teaching itself; the humbling experience of beholding how the Spirit of Wisdom works mysteriously in and through it. Students who are true seekers. And the creativity and sense of purpose of theological research and writing.

What did you do before joining the Missionaries?
I was working on my doctoral dissertation at the Catholic University of Nijmegen in the Netherlands.

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
Watching films that the rest of the world is watching, writing my film review column for the National Catholic Reporter, writing short stories, digital filmmaking, tinkering with vintage manual typewriters, walking and taking public transport in busy cities. Sampling exotic dishes at obscure eating places ala “Lonely Planet.” Core yoga and swimming.

Aside from St. Gaspar, who are some of your favorite Saints?
Santa Teresa de Avila, Spanish mystic and Church doctor. She was a trailblazing visionary who was gifted with wisdom, fortitude, and awe-inspiring imagination.  My ambition is to read her works in Spanish, so help me God!

What is your favorite prayer?
Veni Creator Spiritus

What is your favorite:
Book: Too many but I’ll mention three novels: Haruki Murakami’s “Kafka on the Shore” (I love surrealism), Victor Hugo’s “Les Miserables” (it changed my life), and Philippine national hero Jose Rizal’s “Noli Me Tangere” (it has deep resonances with my identity).
Food:  Japanese, Iberian, Filipino, and ribs at the world-renowned “Red Pig Inn,” Ottawa, Ohio.
Movie:  Oh boy, I’ll need several pages for this but I’ll mention three: the fairly recent Japanese film “Departures,” the Kubrick scifi classic “2001: A Space Oddyssey,” and the gold standard for all food films and one of Pope Francis’ favorites, “Babette’s Feast.”
Holiday:  Christmas
TV Show:  My TV has not been connected for a while now; I’ve been using it as a DVD monitor. But I do catch up with two shows on Amazon or Netflix streaming- “Top Chef” and “Mad Men” (which, unfortunately, just said adieu).

How much money would you earn on Jeopardy?
In US Dollars or Philippine Pesos?

Would you rather go skydiving or snorkeling?
I’ve gone snorkeling a number of times so skydiving!

Missionaries of the Precious Blood