• The Pasig Review

When a Church worker dies…

From the Desk

The last six months have been tough. The pandemic wreaked havoc in our lives and disrupted the normal routines we do every day. However, what made this pandemic worse is that we saw the passing of many people whom we are so close to yet seemed so far and distant because of the community quarantines.

Many personalities also left us in the past months quite recently was the Vlogger Lloyd Cadena. His death created a sudden rise on his following and many social media users honored his life by creating well-meaning posts celebrating his accomplishments and a life well lived. Facebook tributes flooded every newsfeed about this social influencer citing his kindness to his mother and his generosity to his neighbors. One thing is for sure, friends, fans and family will never forget Lloyd Cadena – a Vlogger extraordinaire.

But what happens when a Church worker dies? A life that was surrendered long enough to have died in service to the Church. Yesterday, a lowly Church volunteer died, her name was “Puff”. She regularly sings and serves at the Immaculate Conception Cathedral of Pasig. Almost everyone knows her by this peculiar name but only the chosen can actually call her by her real name, “Jennifer”. Her service started out during the World Youth Day 1995 as an animator and youth minister and since then bounced from one ministry to the other meeting friends; acquiring memories.

But what happens when a Church worker dies? The sudden news of Puff’s passing created murmurs and prayer brigades. Despite the silence of her family at the time of her death, the community already knows every single detail because who could ever forget Puff? The all-smiling little lady that volunteers and engages without any second thoughts. The Church community knows her and had a special bond with her because she’s always there at the corner working silently and enthusiastically to the needs of both the Community and the organizations she happily serves. The moment when her death was confirmed, handful of prayers and tributes stormed the newsfeeds of Facebook – apparently the only way people can convey their condolences because of the “new normal”. Puff lives in Pasig but tributes poured from Pampanga to Bicol and apparently even in the far reaches of world! Then people started to remember how Puff touched so many lives because of her long outstanding volunteering gigs all the years. It therefore made sense that Puff is a Volunteer Extraordinaire!

At times we start to wonder how a Church worker like Puff is so happy despite the fact that she turned her back from the happiness of the world; married life, a successful professional life and even the “single and ready to mingle” life. Kasi masaya siya! Tapos! This could be the easiest answer but the secret still remains. How can they maintain the serenity of a happy life? The Lord forces no one to share His life filled with hardships and obedience. When the rich young man of the Gospel turned his back on the Lord, Christ was not angry but He was sorry. He was sorry because the young man whom He has given His Divine Heart cannot love Him in return. We are all commanded to love God, but to fall in love with God is something else. Puff is something else.

What is their secret? They are in love. Puff is in love. This kind of love is to leave the comforts of the world and go away from the secured corners of the home. Puff fell in love with the Church and to Christ. Poets have lived and died describing the glory of loving a friend, a son, a partner; what more it must be to have found love from the Son of God? A Church worker like Puff saw in her years the best and worst of times, the sacrifices of keeping the stones of the Church united despite her weaknesses as a human being but in every pain that Puff felt in her life there is always joy for that is the gift and the grandest miracle of falling in love with Christ.

So what happens when a Church worker dies? No one really knows but one thing is for sure, Christ will be there as always, guiding and pointing you to the direction of your real home, a home where the eternal lights dare not go.

Puff is a volunteer of The Pasig Review.

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