“Go and Do Likewise”
A brass band was playing music, generating a fiesta vibe outside the Nuestra Señora dela Annunciata Church in Bosoboso, Antipolo City. Well-wishers were eagerly chatting and exchanging stories, their bright radiant faces exuding with excitement and joy as they gradually filled the church. This was the day when Rev. Andrew was going to be ordained as a priest.
At 9:00am on December 2, 2023, the liturgical procession began with the angelic voices of the Annunciata choir in the background. Most Reverend Ruperto Cruz Santos, DD, Bishop of Antipolo and CBCP Bishop Promoter of Stella Maris-Philippines was the main presider of the Holy Mass, with Camillian Fathers as concelebrants.
During the homily, Bishop Santos said that the “priesthood mirrors what God does for us, to us, and with us.”
First, God is faithful that He fulfilled His promise to save mankind through the immaculate conception of Mother Mary, who, through her, was born Jesus Christ. Because of God’s love, He sends “laborers for his harvest” through the priests. A priest is a blessing from God, a proof of God’ love for his people. Thus, Fr. Andrew is a blessing.
Second, God needs priests who will carry out His will and shepherd the flock to His kingdom. Fr. Andrew’s ordination is a time to serve and to save, to carry the red cross as he ministers to the elderly and the infirm.
Lastly, “God is with us [priests].” He always accompanies priests and never abandons them. Priesthood is not a walk in the park, there will always be humps and bumps along the way. In times of hardships and trials, God is always present to support them. He lifts them up when they are down.
A “blessed and grace-filled” event, said Bishop Santos when he layed on of his hands and conferred upon Andrew Yeongmin Kang the Sacred Order of Presbyters.
Fr. Andrew’s parents, relatives and friends from both Korean and Filipino communities, fellow Camillians led by the Provincial Council, Korean priests and Annunciata parishioners were present to share this special moment with him.
After the Mass, Fr. Andrew conveyed his message of thanks to all the people who stood by his side throughout his priesthood journey–his parents; his Ninong Peter and Fr. Jungju “Juya” Seo; his formators, Fr. Evan Paul Villanueva, Fr. Ivo Anselmi, Fr. Placido de Jose, Fr. Angel Crisostomo, Fr. Mike Gimena, and Fr. Rodolfo Cancino, Jr.; all the Camillian Religious, seminarians, Lay Camillian Family in the Province; and all benefactors, collaborators and friends.
Fr. Evan, the provincial superior, also relayed his message followed by Fr. Cido, provincial secretary, who announced the new assignments of Fr. Andrew: Assistant chaplain in Southern Philippines Medical Center, Davao City and Regional Vocation Director in Mindanao.
Fr. Andrew joined the Korean Sisters when they rendered a Korean song dedicated to him.
He is the second Korean Camillian priest in the Philippine Province; the first one was Fr. Juya. The middle of three siblings, he received his education from Sanbuk Elementary School, Sanbuk Middle School, and Munchang High School. He also went to Catholic Sangji College.
Fr. Juya, who was a Camillian novice at that time, introduced to young Andrew the Camillian Order. He was fascinated when he learned about the Camillian charism and mission.
“I believe that I was drawn to the Camillian way of life because of my upbringing that I have got from my parents who have been working for persons with disabilities. So I made a decision to join the Camillians right after graduating from high school at the age of 18, and I finally came to the Philippines to join the Order at 22.”
He attended St. Camillus College Seminary, Casiciaco Recoletos Seminary, and Ateneo de Manila University (Loyola School of Theology).
His motto as a Camillian priest is from Luke 10:37, “Go and do likewise.” These are the words of Jesus encouraging the person he was talking to to show mercy and compassion toward his neighbors after he told him the Parable of the Good Samaritan.
Fr. Andrew celebrated his Thanksgiving Mass in Jeomchon Catholic Church, Mungyeong-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do, South Korea on December 9, 2023.
Chuka-hamnida, Fr. Andrew!
“Go and Do Likewise”