If Claret is alive today, knowing him well and all that he did, he would be using today’s platforms to attain his objectives of knowing God and letting others know Him, loving God and make others love Him more, serve God and bring others to serve Him better, to praise God and lead others to praise Him too.
I never dreamt of becoming a missionary. But maybe God dreamt that I would be one, so I am who I am today. Late that I have discovered my missionary vocation when I got involved in the youth ministry of my parish, St. Michael the Archangel in Oas, Albay, Philippines. It intensified when I started visiting far flung areas, saw the needs of the people (material, sacramental, ministers) and through the giving of youth encounter programs here and there, in the different vicarates of the Diocese. I was in my last year of my career in Computer Engineering when I had to change chips. My mind, which was so full of 0s and 1s, numbers, computers, and busy in coding, ended up in decoding the message of God and encoding a missionary spirit in me. I ended giving up my computer dream to find myself today still in the computer world, what a change! …but on a calibrated level, fine-tuned like the printers, for a better purpose, for a better use, for a better cause.
During my initial formation, I had been wondering why on earth I have had to study engineering, computer stuffs, if the Lord wanted me to be one of his servants. I could have started Philosophy right after high school like the rest. But now I know why, I have had to know the basics first, suffer calculus and thermodynamics, be rooted, be prepared. It was in preparation for the continuation of the dream of Claret – to proclaim the Word of God in whatever timely, urgent, and effective, in whatever means possible. If he is alive today, he would be freaking out using the technology today for evangelization.
My basic knowledge in the field of technology combined with God’s given talent in the arts and my devotion to Mary led me to my current ministry today – the use of digital technology in listening, in the proclamation and propagation of the Word. Like Claret’s passion in his time and in his known world, I too dare to make God known, loved, served and be praised in the cyberworld today.
I can say that I have a strong identification with my founder Anthony John Adjutor, not only because I am only a few inches taller than him and for my width, but for his passion in using his artistic hands, in working incessantly for the greater glory of God and for the Congregation, in using whatever means possible to set the whole world afire. Of course, I have my limitations and weaknesses. I may not be a good preacher like him but, my God’s given talents are used just like the way he used his.
That identification got stronger with the Claretian Year project of which I was tasked to design and do the layout. Reading his autobiography and the history of the Congregation ten to fifteen times these past couple of months led me to be more familiar of his way of life, the Congregation I belong to and the people whom he had met and made impact in their lives. He made an impact in mine too. He had influenced my life. And because of that, I will make sure that this “influencer” of the 19th century and his ways of influencing the people of his time, be well known in the digital world today and make sure that his example will be relevant in our time. Claret’s example urges me to be an influencer today as he was in the past.
Claret wove single threads into textiles; put together individual people to associations, groups, academy, congregations. I today, as his follower, will strive to continue to put pixels together to form digital religious arts and build networks for the same and sole purpose: for the greater glory of God and the salvation of souls.
Louie III Guades Ricahuerta,
Born: Oas, Albay, Philippines, on May 1rst 1980.
Studies: BS Computer Engineering at AMA Computer University and Aquinas University of Legazpi (Philippines); AB Philosophy at St. Anthony Mary Claret College (Philippines); STB and MA Pastoral Ministry at the Loyola School Of Theology (Philippines) and Theological Faculty of Granada (Spain).
First Profession: May 6th 2007, at Ormoc City.
Final Profession: October 24th 2011, at Zamboanga City.
Presbyteral Ordination: December 8th 2012.
Assignments: in Risen Christ Paris and School in Tungawan (Philippines); Youth Ministry and TICs Provincial Commission Head and ASCLA East Youth Ministry Coordination; since 2016 Information Services – General Secretariat in Rome (Italy).
Digital creations: Websites of the Forge in daily life (2010), General Claretian Formation (2010), Portal Biblico (2012), 109 CMF Martyrs (2017), Claret.org (2018); Layouts: NUNC, Claretian Mission (2017 to 2019) and the Claretian Year.