The words of the iconic Filippino peace song by Gary Granada Sa Dulang ng Ama clearly struck a sensitive chord in the heart of Bishop Antonio Ablon during yesterday’ service of licensing him as the new Chaplain of St. Catherine’s Anglican Church in Stuttgart.
It rang out loud and clear from an augmented choir to the accompaniment of organ and trumpet. We in Stuttgart are blessed with an excellent organist, Stephen Brown, and his professional connections to the world of musicals in Stuttgart.
The multicultural congregation which had turned out in good number and was joined by a sizeable contingent of Filipinos from the city of Karlsruhe who volubly contributed its part to try to raise the roof of the church during the singing of familiar and much-loved hymns. Visitors among them Pfarrer Christop Sturm and members of our sister congregation, the Old Catholics with whom we share the building, also Revd Gabriella Costabel, representing the Church in Wuerttemberg, could only be swept along by the joyous congregational responses.
The Archdeacon Leslie Nathaniel preached a well-received sermon on The Good Shepherd. In fact, Bishop Antonio in his response picked up on his calling to shepherd God’s flock, which for him included “taking on the smell” of the sheep and meant he wanted to meet people in their homes, not just in church and on church occasions.
Outside the congregation was greeted by a blue autumnal sky with a warming sun for the reception with bubbly and Brezeln. Those who preferred a seat were treated to coffee and home-made cakes in the adjoining meeting room. All the enthusiastic hard work to make this day memorable for all was rewarded. We pray for the ministry of +Antonio in our church.
(More photos will follow when there is time to process them. Further contributions can be sent to email@example.com Ed.)