Fr. Rodel Abanto
I am the 9th in a family of eight brothers and three sisters. I was born October 17, 1963 in Jose Panganiban, Camarines Norte in Bicol Region- Region V, Philippines. Both of my parents & 3 brothers have passed away. We are eight remaining siblings. Our eldest sister is a Retired Religious Sister. Among the brothers, my youngest brother is also a priest who is the Associate Pastor in St. Peter’s Church in Calgary.
The priesthood was my childhood dream. When I was a kid my parents would always take me to church together with other siblings. Every time I looked at the priest, I always said to myself, “I will become like him someday.”
I entered the Seminary after my high school and I was admitted in Christ the King Mission Seminary, a religious missionary congregation, Societas Verbi divini (SVD) known as Divine Word Missionaries. I was ordained as a Religious Missionary Priest, December 7, 1991 together with my 12 classmate-priests. I was sent to my first mission assignment in the Northern part of the Philippines, coastal towns and then to mountain parishes. I would hike going to the different communities crossing the same river many times and really there is was fulfillment in doing this mission. After 24 years as a missionary priest, I applied here in the Diocese of Calgary and was assigned in St. Luke’s Parish for two years and then was transferred to Ascension Parish for three years.
Now, my new mission is given to me to serve as Associate Pastor of Holy Family Parish here in Medicine Hat. I will do my very best with God’s grace and the love and the acceptance of the parishioners to continue the mission of Christ in proclaiming the gospel. Christ’s mission is my mission.
“I can do all things through Him who strengthen me.” Philippians 4:13