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Mill Hill Formation Philippines: An Unusual Farewell

When the days of Covid-19 are the days you have to move on but can’t move out

Yesterday, August, 6, 2020, on the Feast of the Transfiguration here at the Formation House, Iloilo, was a remarkable day as we launched officially the new academic year as well as bade farewell to Fr. Domingo Arnaiz after faithfully serving the formation house as Rector of the for the past seven years.

On the one hand, we were glad to officially welcome our three new students who will be starting their Basic Formation year after the orientation week. They are Von Jovi Dela Torre (from Mandurriao), Thomas Harrold Nemiada (from Casay) and Stephen S. Castigador (Calinog). The occasion was graced with the celebration of Holy Mass presided over by Fr. Domingo Arnaiz. Present were other members, Fr. Benny Quinto, Fr. Abner Dimo, Fr. Alfredo Marmolejo, Jr, Fr. Tony Emeka, Fr. Edson Paguntalan and the newly ordained Fr. John Blas Estrevencion. Also present were members of the Friends of Mill Hill and of course the Mensa Domini Sisters.

On the other hand, this was also a Thanksgiving Mass to God for the seven years of loving service of Fr. Domingo Arnaiz as rector of the Formation house. The last days of Fr. Domingo in the Formation house as we already know have been within these strange times of the Covid-19 Pandemic.

With the restriction of movement, we spent our summer together in the Formation house and I realized although the lockdown, to many, has been a very boring time, it could also be a time of bringing out the best in people.

Fr. Domingo is one of those who made the best of this lockdown time. With the presence of Fr. Domingo during this time, I really considered it a blessing for the formation house. For those who don’t know Fr. Domingo, he is really gifted in paint and music but for the first time, Fr. Domingo made a beautiful three-dimensional portrait of our Founder, Herbert Cardinal Vaughan at the middle of the Formation house garden. He also made another three-dimensional painting at the entrance of the Formation house and many other beautiful works of art. It was the most beautiful way someone could move on, when he can’t move out, by doing great things that will make him forever remembered by all who go through this Formation house.

Fr. Domingo Arnaiz, thank you for faithful service you offered to the Society for the past seven years by serving as Rector of the Formation house in Mandurriao, Iloilo. May God bless you and may He send his Angels ahead of you as you look forward to taking up your new mission in New York.

Tony Emeka mhm