Goodbye Father Manuel! Till we meet again in heaven.
By Elena Yu （虞靜芳）
Translated to English by Fray Joel Dequilla, OAR (戴健福神父)
On the morning of August 25, 2021, before the clock struck at 7 we headed towards St. Joseph Parish. The sun was shining bright and the warm summer heat can already be felt through the streaks of early morning sun. On this day, we held a Memorial Mass for Father Manuel Maria Mansoa Pierola, OAR (貝立民神父) who served in this Church for 33 years（1971-1997 and 1998-2005）. Through this Mass, we hope everyone will unite in praying for the soul of Father Manuel who had been called by the Lord. May the Lord show him mercy and forgiveness, so that he can enter into heaven safely and smoothly.
Around 110 people comprising of Catholic faithful from various Parishes, together with some former students of Father Manuel at Wenzao Ursuline University of Languages (文藻外語大學), and former legislator Jiang Qiwen (江綺雯 ), gathered inside the Church and under the outer makeshift tent. Before the Holy Mass, we started with the Holy Rosary to ask Mama Mary’s intercession for the repose of the soul of Fr. Manuel. Then, Elena Yu（虞靜芳） used some Power Point slides and a four-minute short film to show Father Manuel’s record of service in Kaohsiung. Every parishioner present was moved to reminisce, but also felt a tinge of nostalgia…
Father Manuel, in an article published during the 50th Anniversary of the Founding of St. Joseph Parish wrote down four suggestions addressed to all the faithful the following: 1. Catechism classes should be open to street children. 2. Inclusive care for different races and foreign workers. 3. If there are only one or two Catholic faithful in a family, still he/she should help his/her family to be Christ-centered. 4. The Parish is part of a wider Church, so it is necessary to accept the guidance of the Diocese and strive to participate in the activities of the Diocese. We must also care for our bishop, so that the parishes and diocese can truly be united as one big family.
These four suggestions should be reconsidered after 15 years. People still feel that Father Manuel’s ideal blueprint for the pastoral evangelization of the parish at that time are timeless and new, given the difficulties of pastoral evangelization in a non-Catholic country. It is also imperative for the faithful to voluntarily accept ministerial responsibilities in the parish, actively support the initiatives of the parish priest and work closely with him, in order to expand and prosper the parish under the protection of God’s blessings.
During the Mass, Archbishop Peter Liu delivered a powerful homily on the Gospel of John (Jn 12: 23-26). First, he said that after the pain and the death is the joy of eternal life, so the faithful need not be afraid of death, but should cherish the hope of eternal life and joy. Archbishop Liu also expressed his gratitude to the Order of Augustinian Recollects for the various sacrifices made by the OAR priests in the work of evangelization in the Diocese of Kaoshiung. At the same time, he mentioned the ingenuity and talent of Saint Augustine who was lost for a while when he was young. Fortunately, with the help of Bishop Ambrose and the incessant prayers of Augustine’s mother Monica, the prodigal son turned his life around and became a famous master of theology. Furthermore, the Bishop recounted the image of Fr. Manuel visiting his parishioners riding a scooter around Xiaogang District. Bishop Liu jokingly referred to the metal pieces left on the knees and other joints of Father Manuel after various surgeries on his multiple vehicular accidents as MIT (made in Taiwan) souvenirs. These souvenirs prove that Fr. Manuel cared much for his parishioners.
Finally, Bishop Liu points to the Gospel “unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain; but if it dies, it produces much fruit” (Jn 12:24). He encouraged the faithful present to imitate Jesus Christ, to strive to serve well, and to live one’s faith so that people may see the beauty of Christianity.
After the Mass, Wang Sujin, the current Parish Pastoral Council’s President delivered a heartfelt eulogy for Fr. Manuel. In the early days when Father Manuel served as a Parish Priest, there was an attached “St. Joseph Kindergarten” to the Church. Wang Shujin witnessed Father Manuel’s warm and care for the children. If he knew that the child’s family had financial difficulties and no money to pay for tuition, he quickly decided that the child “continued to study free of charge”, which moved the families of young children to be grateful. Mrs. Wang reminisced the past as if Father Pierola’s image and words were like a film being rewound in her heart, which made her choked full of emotions, and the audience were moved as well with nostalgia. After the speech, everyone stood up and sang a beautiful song full of hope entitled “We meet in the Lord“-“We meet in the Lord, we live together and remember each other, we meet in the Lord, and we will be together again one day in the future. .. …”.
Yes, Father Pierola’s passing away really made us sad. But our faith helps us to accept this unacceptable fact. With the joy and hope of Jesus’ resurrection and eternal life, we know that one day we will be reunited in our heavenly home. Goodbye, Father Pierola!
主曆 2021 年 8 月 25 日的早晨不到七點出門前往聖堂，陽光一如過往的夏天，在 早晨即已發揮威力，熾熱的溫度、耀眼的光度展開新的一日。這一天，我們要為 1970 年開始直到 2006 年，在本堂服務的貝立民神父舉行一台追思彌撒，希望藉著這台彌 撒，大家同心合意為蒙主恩召的貝神父的靈魂祈禱，懇求上主垂憐寬赦施恩，讓他平 安順利安返天家。
自四面八方來的信友，加上貝神父在文藻大學任教時的一些學生以及前立法委員 江綺雯委員，總共一百一十多位聚集在聖堂裡及外側帳篷下。首先以「榮福五端玫瑰 經」為貝神父展開誦禱，祈求聖母瑪利亞轉求，幫助貝神父靈魂安息。接著釋經員虞 姊妹用投影片及四分鐘短片，簡介貝神父在高雄服務的記錄歷程，使在座的每位教友 不禁陷入緬懷追思，又有些感傷不捨情緒中…… 最後還看到貝神父在堂區 50 周年主 保堂刊，寫下給全體信友的四點建議：1.道理班學生招募要開放給街上孩子。2.關心 不同種族及工作者，不要排斥。3.教友家庭中若只有一二位教友，仍應幫助自己的家 庭以基督為中心。4.堂區是教會ㄧ份子，因此要接受教區指導並參加教區的活動。更 要關心我們的主教，使堂區教區真正聯合為一個大家庭。
這四點建議在 15 年後再來省思， 還是讓人覺得貝神父當時對堂區牧靈福傳的理 想藍圖，可謂歷久彌新，更可驗證在不是天主教國家的牧靈福傳，是困難重重的。更 需要信友自動自發接受堂區服務事工，積極努力支持堂區司鐸的工作且與他密切合作
彌撒中的福音(若十二 23-26)講道，從劉總主教口中出來的訓勉鏗鏘有力。他首 論死亡離別苦痛之後就是永生喜樂，因此信仰落入生活應該對死亡不再懼怕，而應懷 抱盼望永生福樂。論到重整聖奧思定修會在高雄教區的牧靈福傳，劉總主教心懷感恩 會士們為傳揚福音所做的各種犧牲奉獻。同時他提到會祖聖奧思定的聰明才智天賦， 不過在年輕時放蕩迷失一段時間。好在聖安博主教提攜與慈母莫尼加長期持續耐心祈 禱，終於讓浪子回頭幡然悔悟，成為著名的神學大師。另外提及貝神父騎著小型摩托 車穿梭在小港區的親訪教友身影，以及貝神父多次車禍手術後留在膝蓋關節的金屬片
，成為貝神父在台灣為主工作時的一個 MIT 紀念品，也顯示出當時貝神父，為照顧堂
最後，劉總主教以今日福音「一粒麥子如果不落在地裏死了，仍然是一粒；如果 死了，就結出許多子粒來。」勸勉在座信友得效法耶穌基督精神，在堂區裡「捨我其 誰」努力做好服務事工；在生活中實踐信仰，讓人看見基督信仰美好。
。在貝神父擔任本堂司鐸早期，堂區附設「聖若瑟幼稚園」， 她親眼見證貝神父對幼 童的噓寒問暖關懷備至，若貝神父知道幼童家庭經濟困難無錢繳費，當即決定該名幼 童「免費就讀」， 因此讓幼童家庭感恩在心。王姊妹娓娓道來過往的點滴，貝神父的 身影話語如影片倒帶，全都勾上心頭，因此情不自禁哽咽起來，在座聽者也是感動懷 念萬分。終了，全體起立為貝神父獻唱這首充滿著盼望的美麗聖歌「我們相約在主裡
是的，貝神父離開人世，確實讓我們傷心不捨。但是教會的信仰，幫助我們接受 這難以接受的事實。靠著耶穌復活永生的喜樂盼望，我們知道終有一天，我們會團聚 在天上的家。再見!貝神父
Elena 虞 書於主曆 2021.8.25.
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