What's New in Me

Help Me to Become Priest



My Profile

Name: Marcelino Arcilla Rapayla Jr.

Place of Birth: Ibo Lapu-Lapu City

Age: 36

Address: Ibo Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu

Contact number: 0917-3620-369

Email add: jomar_cool@yahoo.com; mrapayla@lear.com

Home Parish: Shrine of Our Lady of Rule

Educational Attainment: 2nd year in Bachelor of Arts in Industrial Psychology

Employment: Currently connected in Lear Corporation for 17 years in service

Other Activities: Apostolate (catechism) in youth of "Gasa sa Gugma" (Missionary of Charity) with the guidance of Sister Helen, MC.

Plead for Your Support

I'm planning to leave my current job and continue fulfilling my vocation for priesthood.  Since I did not finish my college, the rector of San Carlos Seminary of Archdiocese of Cebu in Juan Luna Ave., Mabolo, Cebu City (Tel. # 032-2328503 / 032-2341514) which is my spiritual adviser at the same time Msgr. Rogelio Fuentes, told me "to finish my college first prior to take up Theology and Philosophy." I'm not financially capable to support my study, that is why I beseech you, my dear friend(s) and would-be benefactor(s) - to not only adopt me prayerfully and spiritually, thus becoming my spiritual sponsor(s), but if you feel God inspiring you to help me monetarily, then it would be a double-blessing for me and you as well, who would be investing a Heavenly treasure.

 My Short Biography

I'm the first son of a simple and pious laborer-farmer, born in Lipata, Ibo Lapu-Lapu City, Philippines, on 21ST day of April 1972. My parents are Marcelino Rapayla Sr. and Aurea Arcilla both were not able to finish their grade school.

I was six years old when I started my grade school. I grew up as homebody kid but, I matured quite early because soon I learned to understand the word "poverty." I stopped my studies and became a scavenger at the age of eleven, helping my mother scavenge some recyclable items (used bond paper, newspapers, plastic, cutting chips of steel and electric wire) from different garbage sources. There are times when we could only have one meal in a day. We could only eat good meat when we I got leftover from the garbage (we just wash it and re-cook). I went back to school after one year absent of my studies and completed my high school in 1989.

Why I Wish to become a Priest?

I guess my first thought of becoming a Priest was when I was in grade school. I didn't exactly know what priesthood means but I really like and wanted to wear that white uniform. I am a devotee to Sr. Sto. Niño (a child image of Jesus), and I regularly attended mass on Sabbath day. In our sitio (a small community within the barangay), I led all young children in our community bringing with us the statue of Sr. Sto. Niño, and the Virgin Mary to neighboring households for a visit and rosary.

My first inkling that God called me was when I was in my senior high school. One day during our Religion class, we had seminarian visitors who talked about priesthood life. I was really struck by the lyrics of the song "Here I am" which they played.  "I, who made the stars of night, I will make their darkness bright. Who will bear my light to them? Whom shall I send? In that instance I felt a passionate desire to follow him, and be that instrument that will bear His light upon His people.

For me, being person in a religious community is to continue to walk the steps of Jesus on Earth. Becoming a priest is just like Mary's sister - Martha who chose the right path which is to sit beside the Lord at his feet and listen to Him speak. That is what I want to be, to live life with a purpose, to do something great for God and to answer His call and say, "Here I am, Lord!" 

Despite that my parents doesn't have enough source of income to educate me to college, still I believe that God will make way and even poverty would not be a hindrance. The determination is still alive in my heart waiting for the right time for it to be realized.

After I graduated from high school I was employed at UTAP (United Technologies Automotive Philippines, Inc.) and now known as Lear Automotive (EEDS) Philippines, Inc.  Being the eldest of five, I took the responsibility of supporting my family and tried to make both ends meet w/ my small income. I am financially responsible for the studies (elementary & high school) of my brothers and sisters. In addition to providing for their schooling, I also took care of their daily allowance, and school projects. I'm also obliged to provide all of the basic necessities at home.

I only had the chance to pursue my college education in 1994 by attending night school. However during hard times, I am forced to stop my schooling since I have to prioritize the needs of my family. I could only enroll back on the next semester when I already have enough funds. 

My deep love of God is a big boost despite all these sacrifices and inspired me to do something with my life that will make a difference. In 1999 I became an active member of the Charismatic community, SCI (Servant Community International) in Virgin De Regla Parish, Lapu‑Lapu City with spiritual guidance of Rev. Fr. Rudy Ibale, MSC. This membership involves me in various ministerial activities such as visiting the sick, people in prison and all those who need spiritual healing.  Aside from that, I also exercise these ministries through designing Internet websites (http://journey.20fr.com) to provide wonderful and uplifting spiritual messages for those who need support. I also send inspirational emails through group mailing lists with approximately 100 persons receiving weekly inspirational and uplifting information.  I also posted these weekly updates in my Bulletin Board at work to share this information w/ LEAR colleagues.  I spearheaded the composition of a solicitation letter entitled "Tabang Kauban" that was now commonly practiced through out Lear Cebu Operation which asked for prayers and monetary support to help those associates and their loved ones in times of need.

I have been able to compile a collection of experiences from year 1999 to 2003 into a book entitled "Life is a Beautiful Journey" with the purpose of uplifting the hearts and minds of others. The book aims to inspire them and to share their gifts, touch other lives and bring light to those who are in the dark.

Being a search-inner I experienced the community life of the Society of Divine Word, and I had known the charisma of different congregations like Xavierian Missionaries, Piarist Priest, Missionaries of Sacred Heart, Carmelite Priest, PACEM, and Oblates of Virgin Mary. However, since I'm already 36 years old and was not able to finish college, my application to these congregations has never been successful. Last 2003, through recommendation of my email mate priest friends Fr. Richard Perko (Florida) & Fr. Andrew Mulvaney (New York), I was invited by Fr. John Tetlow from the Diocese of St. Augustine, Jacksonville, Florida for an interview with the Diocesan Board and then check the psychological profile but unfortunately I was denied in the US embassy during my appearance.

I felt disappointed considering all the efforts I have done, wherein I gradually lost my prayer life. That is then the time I started going with friends going bar hopping, taking drugs & engaging with relationship in both sexes. I thought I would find happiness with all these things but there is still emptiness inside me. Then I realized that only God could fill in this empty life. Now, I know deep in my heart what my mission is and that is to follow and serve Him which for me to be fully happy. One of my lessons I've learned from my past experiences is to be patient because maybe it could be that my time has not come yet.

I believe that every human life has a God-given purpose and I am still waiting for mine. I am willing to sacrifice and be faithful to follow the steps of Jesus in volunteering to serve others as I have served my family. I want my life to be significant and pleasing before God and that is to bear the light of Jesus to the world filled with darkness.