How a Filipino bishop lost, then rediscovered his faith

How a Filipino bishop lost, then rediscovered his faith

Auxiliary Bishop Midyphil Billones of Cebu Archdiocese. SAMMY NAVAJA

By Roy Lagarde

Manila, Philippines

Everyone has a moment of doubt, a moment when one questions one’s faith, a moment that comes unexpectedly.

Even men of the cloth have their own moments of questions, moments of crisis, moments of looking into what they are going to do with life’s challenges.

Bishop Midyphil Billones, auxiliary prelate of Cebu Archdiocese, admitted that he too almost lost the faith, but then rediscovered it in a most unexpected place: in the midst Manila’s traffic jam.

A “great crisis” in his life came when his 74-year-old mother became ill a few years back. His only prayer was for an “extension” of her life. It was not granted.

The future bishop was not just ready to lose his mother. His father passed away earlier, ten years after, his sister, and only sibling, also died.

“It was really painful when my mother died,” said the soft-spoken bishop. “Because of that, I stopped praying, especially the rosary,” he said.

“I stopped praying the rosary because Mary left my mom,” he added. “She turned her back on me,” he said, sobbing.

Then a priest of the Jaro Archdiocese in the central Philippine, Father Billones said he continued his duties as seminary rector even if he was falling away from his faith.

He said he was “doubting” his priestly vocation because of grief and depression. “I felt so distant from the Lord and also from Mama Mary,” he said.

One time, when he was in Manila, he was caught in bad traffic jam. The driver of the car he was riding opted for a “short cut,” only to find out that the road was blocked. They were trapped. READ FULL STORY