Marck Lester Esto: “Exemplary Young Leader of the Millennium” Nominee

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I feel so happy and proud that my cousin has been nominated for the 4th Asia Pacific Luminare Awards as “Exemplary Young Leader of the Millennium”.

The Asia Pacific Luminare Awards is an international organization based in Vietnam. It aims to recognize the achievement of individuals and companies in various fields in the Asia-Pacific region. Its fourth awarding ceremony will be held at the Grand Ballroom of the Okada Manila (Manila’s Grand Icon) on 31Mar2021.

Lester is the Executive Director of a cause in Sto. Domingo, Albay in the Philippines. He leads “Project Tarabangon”, a youth organization aiming to help those who are greatly affected by all kinds of crisis. More info about the project and how to support them can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/projecttarabangonph/

I am praying he wins this prestigious award for the betterment of his organization and its beneficiaries. I can already feel the huge impact this award would make towards his beloved Domingueños.

Let us serve Christ and the Church in all circumstances!

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My Name means “God is Gracious”

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A reader from South Africa sent me a WhatsApp message today. She named their boy child “Jonel” and tomorrow will be his baptism.

In their country, the name “Jonel” is rare and she would like to know if the name had some special meanings she is not aware of. All she knows was that the name is one of many derivations from the Biblical name “John”.

My parents never told me how they came up with my name and I never asked. So, knowing the same thing she knew, I began searching online, and to my surprise, I discovered the meaning of my name. “Jonel” means “God is Gracious” which originated from the Hebrew language.

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The info comes from sites that offer no detailed explanation. But there is a high probability that the information is correct because the common name of God in Hebrew is “El” (last letters of my name), “Elohim”, and “Eloah”. “Yahweh” is the proper name. (Catholic Encyclopaedia)

I will need to do further research and I will update this post in the future as needed.

Let us serve Christ and the Church in all circumstances!

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The Two Vianneys of My Life

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Saint John Vianney and my son Jonel Vianney

Saint John Vianney has been my hero since my childhood. He was a holy priest in a small county in France called “Ars”. He lived a simple life and found no pleasure in foods and other earthly pleasures. He heard confession more than 12 hours a day and he could read the hearts and mind of the penitents. Many sinners were converted during his ministry. This was the reason why he was called “The Cure of Ars”. He died 1859 and canonized by Pope Pius XI in 1925. He is a patron of confessors and the patron of parish priests.

At one point in my life I wanted to follow his footsteps and desired to be a priest. However, I was called instead to bring up a family of my own with souls to protect and guide. My wife and I got married in 2014 and shortly after that our first child, a boy, was conceived. I told my wife about Saint John Vianney and how he changed my life for good. It did not take much to convince her and she willfully agreed to honor God by naming our son with a name of one of his holy saints.

So this is our son, “Uno” (his nickname). He is five years of age now. He is struggling socially with Autism Spectrum Syndrome but he is improving day by day. Thanks to my wife’s untiring efforts and the intercessions of Saint John Vianney.

Saint John Vianney, please continue to pray for our Uno and all of us!

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