An update

By Ariel Presbitero

Ariel Presbitero, originally of Binangonan, Rizal, was a Columban Lay Missionary assigned to Brazil (1993-2000) and Peru (2000-2006). When he moved to the United States after his mission assignment in Peru, he was not expecting to find work with the Columbans. But the Columbans there needed someone who had all his qualifications and experience and who also understands the Columban charism to help the Lay Mission up and running again.  Ariel worked with the Columban Missionaries - USA under different capacities, the last of which were Companion in Mission and Coordinator of the Columban Lay Mission. He writes this story. --- Mavic Mercene, Staff Member, CLM-Philippines. 

I have written this year ender newsletter before Marivic Hidalgo-Mercene of the CLM Philippines emailed and asked me to write about an update about myself after the Columbans.  I would like to share with you part of that newsletter that I wrote few days before Christmas a couple of weeks ago.  I will not share that in full but you may have noticed that there was an epilogue of this short report reflection like my recent visit with my grandmother in the summer. A very short visit but a meaningful one because she is already 94 years old and hoping to live longer for the whole family to stay together and enjoy each other’s company. I guess I will start from there but the beginning of an end with my commitment with the Columbans. 


Now it is Christmas again, weather had changed as well as the new plans for the coming year, I am hopeful that change will open new opportunity for the better. Responses from my job applications were very slow perhaps it was not the right job for me yet. May be I need to try to look harder for other possibility or just wait until the beginning of the New Year.  Every day is like a scavenger hunt until I finally find the perfect place for me to thrive where all my energy and skills are invested.  Whatever it is, only I should say I trust.

           Arriving back in the US last summer was not the same because I already had this in mind of leaving my job for good.  Unhappy as I was to make such a major decision at this point considering the economic condition of the country but on the other hand, happy because I felt that this is the time to leave.  Change is good and one has to grow with it including the many challenges it will bring. I left my job to venture into the unknown. Leaving seems to be easy as I thought but giving up something that has been part of you, was challenging in some way. So I left Texas towards the end of September, to drive back to California. Coming back was a mixture of excitement and uncertainty. It felt like coming home because California is definitely home for me for many years.  It is not really a strange place to begin with. Excitement because I will be seeing old friends anew and reconnect with the innumerable places that is familiar and beautiful that had been missed for over a year; uncertainty because I really don't know what lies ahead for me. Not knowing for certain shook my nerves a bit but one thing I repeatedly utter is to trust God. Much better if I found something; but if not, time will tell to thrive in the waiting that will soon to happen. So be it like Amen to all that is happening. I embrace it with humble heart with a big hope that something good will come.

The year had passed a tremendous cycle and life is totally different. I feel that as you grow older time flies in a flash speeder than expected. The many events that happened throughout the year I feel so blessed for the many comings and goings. The people that I met in this entire journey and the wonderful memories of these encounters I felt so loved and so special. Life is no doubt a journey: the travels that I had made; the unpleasant carbon footprint that I unconsciously contributed, and places that I have been were all good. I may not travel that much as before for the coming year but I know that new encounters will happen and this will give me more reason and energy to face life with a different perspective like a new vision and a renewal of creating new ties with other people, with nature and with God. Life is not over yet as this year come to pass.  My hope and wish for everybody is to have a brighter tomorrow when the shadow of darkness threatens to overcome life. Challenge will be there.  Difficulty is definitely an integral element in all these encounters.  But in spite of it all, I am optimistic that something good will happen when everybody put their trust and belief in the goodness as it unfolds in the midst of trials and pain. I can reiterate saying that no matter what year and life that was there are still lessons of the good and bad. You are good and so everyone else in the world especially friends who have been so supportive and helpful in the many transitions and changes in my life. I am so grateful for that. I don’t know how to repay so much kindness that I am receiving right now. Such a great blessing not to forget but instead to be thankful is a wonderful grace at this moment in time. 

           The year 2013 can be challenging with uncertainty of the future.  I may continue doing the part time job until I finally find a full time and regular one. I applied for the Mental Health Fellowship Program in California in the second quarter of the year, so I’m praying that they will accept my applications. If accepted, I may postpone my planned trip to the Philippines later in the year.  I have few trips in mind but I will reserve that in my next newsletter to you. You may have wanted to go as well if you have known it.  Something to look forward to and explore new places to add in to my bucket list is definitely exciting

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