Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of September 8, 2003
Ordination gives hope to local Oblates
Filipino becomes youngest Oblate priest
By RAMON GONZALEZ
"We are so thankful that he has been ordained and can continue the work of the Oblates."
- Fr. Camille Piche
Schmidt also described the new priest as "a people person" with "a kind heart" but with firm convictions. "He sticks to his beliefs. He wouldn't change what he believes in just to please someone."
Laudenorio loves children and it shows. During a Confirmation ceremony for over 100 children from six schools, "he knew the names of every single child," Schmidt noted.
Laudenorio said his goal as a priest is to work with inner city youth or to teach high school or university. Youth ministry is another possibility. But he expects to remain at St. Albert Parish, this time as associate pastor, for at least another year.
Born the oldest of four children in a Catholic family in Mindanao, an area with a significant Muslim population, Laudenorio was exposed to the faith from an early age by his devoted parents.
"Prayer was always at the centre of my family life," he recalled. He studied in Catholic schools, served as an altar boy in his parish, joined the Columbian Squires and, as a teenager, taught catechism to younger children.
Like most people in Mindanao, Laudenorio couldn't escape the influence of the Oblates, who run schools, radio stations and other mass media in the region. He soon became drawn to their life of service. "Their presence is felt in the area," he noted. "They are very vocal."
After high school, he attended Notre Dame of Marbel Catholic University where he graduated with a degree in education. He worked as a math and science teacher in a Mindanao high school. At one point in his early 20s he considered getting married but didn't as he felt the call to the Oblate priesthood getting more powerful.
"I didn't walk away from that relationship with a broken heart but with the understanding that I was loved by her and by God," he recalled. The woman is now married.
In 1995 the Laudenorio family moved to Edmonton but Jose stayed behind taking care of the family estate following his father's death. He arrived in the city in 1997 and soon joined the Oblates. His mother, Persidra, had already talked to the Oblates about her son's desire to join their ranks.
Following a year of novitiate in Illinois, Laudenorio returned to St. Albert to complete his theology studies at Newman Theological College. He came to St. Albert Parish in October last year.
"I've had a great experience with the people in this parish," he said. "I feel I'm with people who dream dreams with me."
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