Albert Francis E. Domingo, MD

my flight of ideas

Religion and My Life

Posted on | August 15, 2004 | 1 Comment

[Note: This was originally posted on my first blog at]

It is 10:00 am on a Sunday morning. For the past fourteen years of my life, I have been using this time on a weekly slot to take a bath, brush my teeth, shine my shoes… and wear my cassock.

My what?!

Sutana, in Filipino, is what a cassock is also called. It is the white vestment worn by altar servers (sacristans in the local dialect). For the unfamiliar non-Catholics in this nation co-Chaired by the CBCP and Malacañang, altar servers are “young” boys who serve beside the priest-celebrant in holy mass. They (we) attend to the ceremonial liturgical functions, the most widely known of which is to ring the altar bells during the start of the mass, consecration (“Take this, all of you…”) and just before holy communion.

Now don’t take the above narrative as angsty or bashing of my personal experience in Roman Catholic liturgy. In case I haven’t made it clear, I still am an altar server, up to this very day and hour. In fact, I’m being pressured by the clock to stop writing for the meantime and start changing into my Sunday garments, because the mass is at 11:00 am.

On the contrary, this close experience with God has been a stabilizing factor in my life throught these years. Entering U.P. – a University notoriously known for its wildly non-sectarian nature – has in fact strengthened my faith, focusing what used to be repetitive ceremonies of worship into meaningful communication with the Supreme Being. Funny that I should mention this, but even my pre-med course – Molecular Biology – contributed to the deepening of my spirituality.

It simply makes molecular sense that there is a supreme being, a God above all of us. I mean look at the ways chemical bonds are formed, DNA is copied, cells die at programmed cues (apoptosis), and it all points to an unfathomable controller.

Anyway, before I start sounding like the scientist equivalent of El Shaddai’s Mike Velarde, the entire theme I would like to present is that religion, or faith perhaps, has ways of being reinforced in yourself, much like the often-quoted “God works in mysterious ways.”

I thought about writing this entry because recently, our Parish Church had a changing of the guard. The Parish Priest since 1997 was transferred, and in came a new one. My hopes are on the new pastor, because unpleasant politics hounded the former Parish Priest. (The time the events were playing, my faith was really challenged – because I saw firsthand how laymen politics could corrupt the white vestments of a Church minister.)

However, I do know that I cannot be an altar server forever. I’m looking forward to joining the Ministry of Lectors and Commentators – those people who deliver the readings before the Gospel.

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One Response to “Religion and My Life”

  1. Photoblogger
    January 24th, 2011 @ 6:55 pm

    Wonderful post, I too had my share of faltering faith. Being in my course has helped me in a lot in understanding and coming to realization that pass all these philosophies, theoretical sciences and physics, I begin to realize that the more i know the more I don’t know.

    Like you I am disgusted by the staining of the white vestments of the Church leaders. I do continue to pray for them for among the people, they have a great challenge in their life to consistently lead and be an example for the People.

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