A 72-year old man is spiritually strong and devoted in serving his fellowmen. Fr. Ben Macajes, SVD. is notable for being a missionary in all over the world and has been a priest for 41 years. The Good News of our Lord Jesus Christ has brought to several nations unconditionally by this exceptional man.
He entered seminary when he was in his 4th year college taking up Civil Engineering. Though it was not quite a relevant course for him, he felt that it was a calling from GOD to serve Him. He then pursued this vocation. At the age of 30, he was ordained at Rizal Park in Luneta wherein 178 priests were ordained coming from the Philippines, Tokyo, Singapore, Sydney, and New Zealand. It was Pope Paul VI who ordained them and witnessed by more than two million people. And it was indeed a big crowd at that time since it was the first visit of the Pope in the Philippines.
As a missionary, he has been touching the lives of people from Argentina for 12 years. He also worked in Paraguay, Brazil, Chile, even Columbia, Panama, and Mexico. After Argentina, he was transferred to work in Australia for more than 15 years. He had been spreading the Good News to Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Cambria, and other drought areas of Australia. Then he was asked to go to New Zealand and preach the people for more than 2 years.
“I went back to the Philippines, since while I’m still strong I also want to serve my own country after serving Argentina, Australia, and New Zealand. Because anyway I’m already done enough in other countries so I think it is now the time to serve my countrymen. Besides, my grandnephews and nieces told me that if we saw and bob each other at the street, we might not know each other. Thus, I think the time has come to be back in the Philippines”, said Fr. Ben.
Fr. Ben Macajes is currently the rector at SVD Community, St. Therese Chapel of Liceo del Verbo Divino, Tacloban City.
Notwithstanding of all the success he achieved, he’s still a down-to-earth individual since he remains modest. Fr. Ben’s principle in life that he also wants to share to everyone is to be honest to one self. “Instead of pretending to be what we are not, we should accept ourselves for what we are. If we accept ourselves of what we are, we can accept therefore of what they are. So that’s why we do not condemn them or criticize them because that is what they are”, he further emphasize.
“I am different by being me. I am what I am, as you are what you are, and they are what they are”, when asked what makes him different as an individual.
Moreover, Fr. Ben Macajes, SVD believes in this bible verse that we must ponder on, what the Lord said, “Do unto others what you want others to do unto you, and do not do unto others what you do not want others to do unto you (Matthew 7:12)”.
As a Catholic Missionary, there objective is to remind people of God’s love for them. Especially, nowadays almost everyone in the world are being reached by missionaries (by Christians, Muslims, or Hindus) in which they have their own religion and have beliefs in God in their own ways. Consequently, they strongly hold their vision to remind people and bring them again to Christ.
- Mary Grace V. Fabillar, AB Communication Student Intern of Leyte Normal University