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Farming Gives Way to Priesthood

This farmer dreamt of passing on his farmland to his son who when the time comes would be an agriculturist. But Ruperto C. Santos would not fulfill his father's dream for he was nurturing his own. And this was to be a priest. He had set his eyes on a bigger harvest and the field, his father's lands, had to give in. He had to respond to a more urgent call.

Ruperto C. Santos was born on October 30, 1957 in San Rafael, Bulacan. His parents, Norberto and Aurelia and his siblings were all against his entering the priesthood. But to Ruperto the deep desire to be of service to God could only find fulfillment on his being a priest.

When Ruperto's friend who was then a seminarian (now priest) asked him to go with him to the Immaculate Conception Seminary where he was enrolled, Ruperto had not planned to take the exams for seminarians. However, he took the tests which lasted for three days. Since he was not aware that he will be spending days in the seminary, he had not brought extra clothes and it was his friend who lent him al the clothes he needed.

When he passed the exams, the next thing he did was enrol in high school at the Immaculate Conception. He was doing well in the seminary when Auxiliary Bishop of Manila Bienvenido M. Lopez whom he had known, learned that he was at Immaculate Conception. Bishop Lopez offered to finance his studies. Although he had spent barely three months in the seminary, when he accepted the offer he had to transfer to the Minor Seminary in Guadalupe.

From his experiences he learned a lot. During his Theology, Rev. Santos together with his fellow seminarians would visit the National Mental Hospital, orphanages and witnessing the plight of people in such institutions strengthened his commitment to be a priest. Because of these visits, it has become the ambition of Rev. Santos to work in an orphanage or in a parish where there is a parochial school in which children will be his primary responsibility.

When he served the Deaconal Period at Immaculate Conception Parish in Pasig under Bishop Manuel SobreviƱas he had the opportunity to feel how it really means to be a priest.

As his ordination nears, what Rev. Ruperto C. Santos feels is excitement that after 12 years of studying in the seminary he is now ready to serve the flock. For when Christ called him, His call needed a response and he answered it with a yes or "oo" which for him means "obey and offer." He will obey the will of God and offer his life for Him.

Rev. Ruperto C. Santos' father did not succeed in urging him to take up agriculture, Mang Norberto knows his son cannot give the best fertilizers for his field, but he'll be proud to tell everyone that his son, though not an expert in agriculture, is an expert in a much larger field and will be sowing a different kind of seed. He knows that the people need his son more than his land.

(This essay is part of an article on Mons. Stude and his fellow ordinandi that was published by Jesselynn G. de la Cruz and Regina S. Kuizon [now a member of the Religious of the Good Shepherd] in Cor Manila on 28 August 1983 [p.10]).

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Diocese of Balanga
(Bataan, Philippines)

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