April 3, Sunday, on the eve of his 16th Sacerdotal anniversary, Fr. Luke took time out from his busy schedule to be with the people of Cruz Compound for a simple lunch and fellowship. Through the efforts of Ate Claudia Valenzuela and the PPC, this became a reality.
The celebration began with a special community prayer for Fr. Luke during the 10:00AM Mass. Representatives from various sectors of the parish - the elderly, married couples, parish worker, parish member and the young, offered their special intentions for Fr. Luke's continued well-being and spiritual stewardship of the parish. In turn, he made his silent wishes as he blew the five candles of the representatives.
At 11:30AM, Fr. Luke and some members of the PPC, trooped to Cruz Compound for an afternoon of togetherness, fun and enjoyment. The afternoon began with Father Luke having lunch with families and representatives of Cruz Compound in a native barrio fiesta setting where the food was served on banana leaves and everyone using their hands.
After the hearty lunch, there was a Getting-to-know-Fr. Luke game where the residents participated in. Several multiple choice questions were asked of the contestants about Fr. Luke. Through this fun activity, the people had a chance to get to know more about their parish priest and provided the warm-up to the more serious getting-to-know-Cruz Compound pulong pulong that transpired.
In this short afternoon, Fr. Luke and the PPC were able to get the pulse of the people - their concerns, their aspirations, their thoughts. In turn Fr. Luke imparted the church's concern for the welfare of those in Cruz Compound and the services that the church can offer to them. He hoped that this will be the start of a deeper evangelization in Cruz Compound.
Mr. Cruz, the patriarch of the Cruz clan, gave his response and in it, he expressed his thoughts on the need for more participication of Cruz Compound in the activities of the church and that we all needed each other for the spiritual development of the community. He also asked the support of all to make this a reality.
The afternoon ended with the closing prayer led by Ate Claudia and the blessing from Fr. Luke.