Meet the seminarians of the IEC Chapel

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Seminarians stationed in the IEC Chapel for 12 hours everyday during the whole congress (From right to left: Brother Lance Patrick Inad, brother Samuel Paconla and brother Jemiel Marc Pardo. (Photo by Ana Perucho)

CEBU City, Jan. 30, 2016 – In the hustle and bustle of the 51st International Eucharistic Congress (IEC), the Adoration Chapel of the IEC Pavilion serves as the reserved space for silent contemplation and adoration with the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament.  Unknown to the thousands who went there to pray, adore and confess their sins are three young unnamed seminarians stationed to serve the priests and pilgrims coming to the IEC Chapel every minute of the day throughout the duration of the congress.

They were unnamed, until CBCP News interviewed them for this article.  Only then did we know how completely rewarding their experience really is.

Samuel Paconla, one of the seminarians at first “thought [this] was a burden cause our other classmates are in vacation while we are here working.”  He later realized that as the hours and days passed they “didn’t want this encounter to end.”

”It was a nice experience to serve God every hour, and meeting new people while at it,” he added in Filipino.


Where the Lord is

While on service at the chapel, one of the seminarians recounted that he realized people look for the presence of Christ in their lives.

“[Many] people are still searching for our Lord, we have to pause for a moment and see [that] what we are looking for is in the tabernacle, the real presence of our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament,” Lance Patrick Inad, another seminarian stationed in the IEC Chapel expressed.

“The thing we like most is that we are always with our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament,” he added.

Jemiel Marc Pardo, the third seminarian stationed in the IEC chapel also shared the grace of serving in their post.

“I encountered our Lord, the comforting presence of our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament and in it I felt my burdens lighten,” he said.


Duties in watching the Lord

We have to be here earlier than seven [in the morning], regardless if we lack sleep, we have to be here the whole day, we serve every hour and we have shifts,” Lance Inad said.

They witness people come and go to confess or stay for adoration. They guide them throughout their visit to the chapel.

“What was challenging was directing people to confession acting as traffic police, some personalities were challenging,” Bro. Inad shared.

Bro. Inad also retold an amusing moment: “a Spanish lady asked me for a Spanish confessor and I replied to her ‘I do not speak Spanish’ – In Spanish! And there she was laughing at me,” he narrated jokingly.

“Most people come to confess after talks, people consistently come and go in the chapel to adore the Lord too,” Bro. Paconla said.


A wonderful experience serving the Lord

When asked about the whole experience the three answered with such enthusiasm.

“Everyday there is something happening, something new – we are happy that everything falls in place, we see so many bishops and high-ranking officials from the Church,” Bro. Inad said.

“For us it’s a wonderful experience to serve God, I learned that in the Christian community we are all brothers and sisters in Christ so anywhere we live, any nation, any state, we are all one in the eyes of God,” Bro. Paconla added.

“Every thing was a memorable experience. Its a great experience to meet new people from other places and meeting a lot of bishops and clergy,” Bro. Pardo concluded.  (Chrixy Paguirigan / CBCP News)

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