HomeCommentaryA Hermit's Companion

A Hermit’s Companion

Editor’s note: A poem posted by Redemptorist priest Amado “Picx” Picardal on his social media account marked the 47th year of his religious life. On the same day, May 29, 2024, the Redemptorist Province of Cebu announced the death of Fr. Picx, just a few hours after he posted the poem.

Today is the 47th anniversary of my religious profession of the vows of chastity, poverty & obedience as a Redemptorist. This took place four years before my presbyteral ordination (April 24, 1981).

Three more years to go before my golden jubilee of profession. I thank the Lord for the grace and strength to remain faithful to the solemn promise I made through the years.

I am celebrating this in silence & solitude with my dog. Here’s a poem I wrote for Bruno, which took several days to make (I don’t think AI can accurately generate my sentiments).

Every morning upon waking up

I call out your name from my window

and you’d come running & wait outside my door wagging your tail

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expecting a pat on the head & a fistful of kibble.

As I sit in the dark gazing at the distant sea below while waiting for the sun to emerge

you’d sit at my feet & join me at Lauds – praising the Creator

for another new day.

While building the hermitage

made of stone, cordwood & bottles

I call your name and you’d come

to inspect the work of my hands

& scratch the pile of sand & bottles.

In the evening as I sit alone

gazing at the stars & waning moon

you’d come & sit at my feet

to join me in thanking the Creator

for the day that is over and

praying to see another dawn.

I hope, companion in my solitude, that you’ll always be with me

till the end of our days.

Whoever will go first, I know

one of us won’t be consoled

while gazing at the grave.

Bruno, I’m grateful for your presence in the twilight of my life as I prepare for my final journey to eternity to meet face-to-face the One I love

to whom I sacrificed my whole life.

I hope dogs are also welcome in the heavenly home.

Fr. Amado Picardal is a Redemptorist priest and human rights and peace advocate. He was executive secretary of the CBCP Episcopal Committee on Basic Ecclesial Communities. He also served as co-executive secretary of the Commission of Justice, Peace, and Integrity of Creation of the Union of Superiors General in Rome.

Fr. Picx and Bruno, his dog.

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