By Msgr. Perfecto Vazquez
On Friday, Nov. 3, there was a solemn and beautiful celebration at St. Nicholas of Tolentine for Candidates for the Permanent Diaconate. The Mass was celebrated by Auxiliary Bishop James Massa who spoke so eloquently about the importance of the Word of God.
In that celebration, 13 men were received for the Candidacy Formation – Class of 2021.
Another 19 men were admitted into the Ministry of Reader – Candidacy Class of 2019.
As spiritual director of the new Reader, Gilberto Laboy, it was my joy and duty to support the great future deacon.
Deacon Raul Ruiz promised to pick me up at 6:30 p.m. so we could arrive at St. Nicholas of Tolentine at 7 p.m. I suggested we leave from St. Teresa’s, Woodside, at 6:15 p.m., but we didn’t get started until a few minutes before 6:30 p.m.
Because of heavy traffic on the Grand Central Parkway, we went through Queens Blvd. on Union Turnpike, and turned west instead of east. I thought we were in the wrong direction, but Deacon Ruiz assured me it was correct until he realized the mistake; we reached Woodhaven Blvd. and then we tried to change direction.
After asking two or three persons on the street for help without receiving any cooperation, Deacon Ruiz, his wife Angelina and I met a young man who became our angel.
Watching us change direction, a young man realizes we are lost. He comes running over and offers his
unconditional help. He enters in his phone the address of St. Nicholas of Tolentine. (I always carry with me the correct address of my destination).
He gets into our car and asks us if we speak Spanish. Of course, we do. He is from Bolivia and his name is Kevin. I thought he was only going to show us the proper direction to our destination. When I realized he was going to accompany us there, I asked him, “How are you going to come back to your house?
He said, “I will take the bus.”
When we arrived at St. Nicholas, we parked our car in the street rather than wait for the parking lot.
Coincidently, the bus for Kevin arrived at the same time. We were in the church during the singing of the entrance hymn of the Mass and Kevin was on the bus for his ride home.
We thank God for the experience and the goodness of this young man, an angel to us. We would love to have the opportunity to meet Kevin again to express our appreciation for his caring attitude. It is going to be a joy to meet again our angel on Earth, a new friend.
Meanwhile, we thank our Father in Heaven for sending us His angels for our protection and our guidance here on Earth.
Msgr. Perfecto Vazquez, a retired priest of the Brooklyn Diocese, lives at St. Teresa’s rectory, Woodside. He also serves as the chaplain to the diocesan Cursillo movement.