Fr Angelo, we want to praise and thank God for you.
Fr Angelo, you are a very special gift to pilgrims. We have been very privileged to be in your care these last 9 days. You are the fulfilment of our daily pilgrim prayer because you personify the grace God has given us to see Him in sacred sites. Ancient stones spoke to us through you.
We came to Holy Land to renew our spiritual selves. Your homilies unlocked the door to our hearts. One of the most important lesson we take home on this pilgrimage is that we can, and must, forgive ourselves. You managed to open our hearts to set us free. We arrived 9 days ago with a ‘Gallicantu’ heart. You have on this pilgrimage quieten down the many roosters that had been crowing in us. In you, and through you, we found the mercy of forgiveness. .
Throughout this pilgrimage you kept growing – you grew as a father-figure to all of us. A father figure that fed us encouragement and empowerment. You have bankrupted us by bringing us shopping but you have enriched us to become fishers of men. You have made us poor in pocket but you have also made us poor in spirit.
We cannot thank you enough for the special arrangements that you made especially for the mass at the manger and the mass inside the tomb. It is not an exaggeration to say that these masses were only possible because Fr Angelo was our pilgrim guide. You are a nice, somewhat humble, Franciscan who through this pilgrimage has made the bible come alive for each of us. We will never forget you and will always be in maximum gratitude for you.
We also want to thank you for your generosity. You flew from Italy leaving all your work behind to be our spiritual guide. You refuse for us to pay for your fare. For this we must say “thank you” – you are Fr Maximum Charity.
We are now ready to go home as graduates of the fifth gospel. We humbly request your prayerful wishes that we will go home to live our faith especially in our mission call to “feed the sheep”. We owe a debt to the Holy Land for the experience this land has given us. Truly spiritual milk and honey flowed. To repay this debt we will become ambassadors of the fifth gospel. We will always encourage people to come to Holy Land.
To conclude we want to affirm you Fr Angelo. We ‘cried’ when you told us the story that you got 10 to hum because you sang so badly that your SD wanted to you to shut up. As your pilgrims, we give you a 10 for being a pilgrim guide and we pray and hope that you will never shut up as a pilgrim guide. Any pilgrim who comes to Holy Land and not experienced Fr Angelo has an incomplete package. We want to affirm you that YOU are this special.
Thank you and God bless you Fr Angelo.