The Valley Catholic June 20, 2017 - Page 6

6 IN THE DIOCESE June 20, 2017 | The Valley Catholic Priests throughout the Diocese Celebrating Milestone Anniversaries Scattered across the Diocese of San Jose, several priests are celebrating an- niversaries of their ordination to the priesthood. Bishop Emeritus Pierre DuMaine marks 60 years as a priest this year. Meanwhile Father Edward Samy is celebrating 50 years. Father John Hur- ley, CSP, marks 40 years as does Father Steven Brown. And Father Andres Ligot marks 25 years as a priest. Here’s some insight into each of them, written by them. Father Edward Samy The first thought that comes to my mind when I think of the 50 years of priesthood is a sense of gratitude to God’s providence that has led me through these years. There were events in my life that were frightening and assignments that were threaten- ing. Looking back I realize not only did God lead me through those but let me learn from them and come out stronger in the end. In the Pontifical Atenaeum, Pune, the seminary I went to, there was an- other tradition. Every year as the day of Ordination approached we read about the Ordination ceremony dur- ing dinner time. One quotation from the Ordination ceremony had a real impression on me and that has been my guiding principle throughout my priestly life: “Understand what you do and imitate what you celebrate.” One thing I enjoyed most in my life was the rich experience of getting to know and ministering to parishioners and people from variety of social, eco- nomic and cultural backgrounds and realizing that in giving we receive too. And of course nothing could exceed the power of the Eucharist and the Word of God . These and the faith and prayers of family and people gave me the strength I needed in my life as a priest. For all these all I could do is to be grateful to God and to God’s people and sing with the Psalmist “What shall I return to the Lord for all His goodness to me. I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the Lord.” (Ps. 116: 12-13). Father Steven Brown Forty years of blessings and never- dreamed-of experiences of God’s people and places, is what my life has been as a priest. My never dull, always stretching, for- ever rewarding ministry among God’s people began with the blessing of being part of a newly forming community of Saint Julie, as a deacon 1976-77; the greatest blessing of all my years of stud- ies, was my final one in Rome after my Ordination, studying Spirituality in Ital- ian 1977-78; and then being welcomed and learning from Saint John Vianney community for six years 1978-84 how to be a priest. That was followed by five years of blessings 1984-89 honing those skills and beginning Spanish under the guidance of Saint Catherine’s Community in Morgan Hill, from which I petitioned and received permission from Bishop Pierre DuMaine to work with Maryknoll Missionaries. With my Spanish skills Maryknoll assigned me to seven years of blessings living and ministering in Swahili, in Tanzania, East Africa, in the Serengeti (home of the largest concentration of wild game animals in the world. (There were 2.5 million wildebeest in our parish territory). I was blessed and challenged to grow through so many experiences of extreme poverty, faith, and generosity; sweet blessing was the warm welcom- ing community of Sacred Heart for six months January-June ’97 transition upon my return from Tanzania, and while beginning lessons in Spanish again in preparation for an assignment to anoth- er seven years of blessings (1997-2004) walking with and being encouraged by the forgotten, faithful Spanish speaking folks of Star Of The Sea community in Aviso on the periphery of Silicon Valley. Then 2004-2014 were ten years of multi-cultural blessing in Vietnamese, Filipino, Spanish, and English, from the 7,000 plus families of Santa Maria Gore- tti Community; and now the surprising blessing of coming full circle from my first assignment in 1978 to my final one in 2014 at Saint John Vianney Commu- nity, where I am still being blessed by those who taught me how be a priest to begin with, such a treat to return and share the blessings of my life of experi- ences as we continue to build together God’s Kingdom among us. Every place I have served has been filled with wonderful people as well as great challenges. The Holy Spirit has always come through (when I have al- lowed it) with new life, and wisdom. I’ve always been blessed and given life by steadfast and loving parishioners, many who have become life-long friends, and all of whom have blessed me with their prayers and presence in my life. As Mama Maria says: “My soul pro- claims the greatness of the Lord, my Spirit rejoices in God my Savior” for these forty years of priestly ministry. Father Andres Ligot The Very Rev. Andres “Andy” Can- toria Ligot was born on November 30, 1965 in Laoag City, the Philippines. The fifth child of his parents Ismael (+) and Eulalia (+) His vocation to the Priest- hood was cultivated early in his life mainly upon the influence of his uncle, Bishop Victorino C. Ligot, the brother of his late father. Father Andy started teaching Phi- losophy and Sociology at the Manila Central University after graduation from College. When he finished his Master of Arts in Philosophy from the University of Santo Tomas in Manila, he flew to Spain to start his seminary formation at the Colegio Eclesiastico Internacional Bidasoa, an International Seminary in Pamplona, Navarra (Spain) entrusted to Priests of the Prelature of the Holy Cross and Opus Dei. He obtained a full university scholar- ship from the Fundación Banco de Vasco- nia de España. He finished his Bachelor of Sacred Theology and Masters in Theology (Magna Cum