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Home WHO WE ARE Assumptionists Profiles Fr. RONALD SIBUGAN, A.A.



Interviewer - Would you share with us how your family life and early education eventually led you to the discernment of your religious vocation?

Fr. Ronald - I was born in the Philippines, where my parents still live, the oldest of six children. I have a sister married with a daughter, another one in high school and another in college. Growing up, I was always drawn to youth work and felt called to priesthood. However, because I was the oldest, I was needed to care for may family. I eventually went to the University of the Philippines and earned a degree in computer engineering. After working for a year in Taiwan, I experienced God's call even stronger. While there I was involved with the local parish, especially the English Mass and was a member of the university choir. I love to sing! An SVD priest helped me in the vocation discernment process before returning to the Philippines where I met a SSS priest. There I began working on a master's degree in computer science for one semester.

- How did this discernment experience lead you to the Assumptionists?

- After ending my studies in graduate school, I began working with indigent people, teaching them the catechism and math. I came to realize most profoundly, God's call through them. They were very poor, having no electricity, no water and living under very meager conditions. It was then that I met a seminarian who told me of a vocation retreat taking place in Manila sponsored by the Augustinians of the Assumption. It was there that I met Fr. Peter Precourt, A.A.

- Where did your formation in the congregation and subsequent studies take you from there?

- Akin to the call of Abraham, I was called to a new country. For me it was the United States. It was an experience of culture shock as I moved to Sturbridge, MA where I began an ESL program. During my two years there, I experienced the support of my brothers by living Fr. d'Alzon's spirit and way of life. The community's prayer life was of the utmost importance to me. While there, I also studied theology at Assumption College. My formation continued when I moved to the Assumptionist Center in Brighton, MA. There I developed a love for St. Augustine through his writings on conversion. Like Fr. d'Alzon, I wanted to be a disciple of the Lord working with zeal for the sake of the Kingdom of God. While education in all its forms attracted me, I was still and continue to be drawn to youth and young adults, talking with them about God and love for His Church.

- As an Assumptionist brother, what have been some of your other ministerial experiences?

- I enjoyed working with Fr. John Franck. A.A., this Region's Vocation Director, as well as ministering to the elderly residents at the Jeanne Jugan Residence in Somerville, MA. While at St.Anne's - St. Patrick's in Sturbridge, I helped with the liturgy and worked on the parish bazaar. Because of my love for God's youth, my experience as a counselor at  Camp Fatima, a summer camp for boys sponsored by the diocese of Maschester in Gilmanton, NH, will always be a special memory for me. Last year I did a CPE program at St Vincent's Hospital in Worcester, which enabled me to do hospital ministry.

- Where have these experiences brought you to today, as you look toward the future as an Assumptionist?

- I am now studying for my M. Theology at St. John's Seminary in Brighton, MA. I would like to be involved with young families and/or do vocation/formation work in the future.

- Do you have hobbies, interests etc. that nourish your spirit and life as an Assumptionist?

- As I said, I love to sing. I also enjoy sports and cheer for the Celtics. But most of all, I enjoy 'hanging out' with the brothers and students here at the Center.

- As we celebrate this Bicentennial Year of Fr. d'Alzon's Birth, what would you like to see in the future for the congregation?

- I believe that Fr. d'Alzon's spirit and broad appreciation of the whole Assumption family has a great deal to contribute to the Church today. We need them, we can learn from them and are grateful to be in relationship with them. Here in Brighton, we strive to realize this mission.

- Any final words?

- Yes, I will never forget a funny (now) but potentially dangerous experience I had when I first moved to Brighton. While attempting to move an air conditioner, already placed in my bedroom window on the fourth floor, it began to slip outward. While holding on to it by the cord for 20 minutes, I finally managed to reach a phone by way of a near-by cane and get help from Fr. Donald. As you can imagine, this experience will be etched in my memory forever and continues to be told over and over in the community. Just ask Fr. Donald!

- What are your future plans?

- With God's help and the affirmation of the congregation, I hope to make my final vows next year and ordination to the diaconate in two years followed by ordination to the priesthood.


Note: Since this interview was conducted, Fr. Ronald, AA was ordained a priest on May 2, 2015 in the Chapel of the Holy Spirit at Assumption College in Worcester, MA.

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