An interview with Fr Randy Figuracion, SDB
Editor’s Note: Ms. Jennifer Cordova, our Social Communications correspondent interviews Fr. Randy on his new book.
Cebu, FIS Province, The Philippines, 24 January 2020 -- Fr. Randolph A. Figuracion, SDB, fondly called “Fr. Randy”, a priest for 22 years, is currently the Parish Priest and Rector of the Archdiocesan Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes, Punta Princesa Cebu City and the main anchor of the weekly radio program “Panagambitay” of DYRF 1215. He is a gift to the Salesian Congregation. Possessing a charismatic personality, he is a singer-composer and also an author. His 2nd book entitled “Faith Stories and Struggles” is finally out. We had chanced upon him and we were fortunate enough that he gladly granted this interview.
What is the book all about?
The title of the book is “Faith Stories and Struggles”; I wrote this to mark my 22nd priestly anniversary last December 8, 2019. This is a compilation of my Sundays Reflection from 2006 to 2010 which some were published in Cebu Daily Newspaper. The main objectives are 3 R’s: To develop a Reading Culture, Reflective Mind, and Raise funds for the seminary.
Does it have a theme?
The concept of the book is that, when faith is lived it actually permeates and influences our daily walk in life. The book is divided into four sections with different themes on Commitments in Life, Character Building, Choices and Growth, Counting our Blessings.
Is this book a sequel of the previous book you published?
Yes, this is a sequel of my first book which is “Kindling the Fire” which was published in 2005.
For whom is this book written? Who were the audience you had in mind?
This book is written for the general public because the technique of reading this book is not like reading a novel but this is a tool for reflection and meditation so read the book one article per day because the purpose of the book is to give depth to your day.
Is this book dedicated to someone?
This book is dedicated to my Mom who always listens to my stories and my struggles.
How was the experience of writing the book? What did it make you feel?
I thought of writing this in order to develop a reading culture not only to my parishioner but to any individual young and old alike, and to have a reflective mind because I believe that if you reflect, you give depth to your life especially reflecting on your own experiences. Although the book is a collection of my articles from 2006 to 2010, the lessons are still relevant and applicable to an ordinary person because they are very simple stories from life experiences, not just on my personal life but a reflection on what’s happening in the country and its burning issues that both the youth and adults can relate.
What are the most prominent insights you gained while writing the book?
That God is there, he wants to be called “Emmanuel” because he walks with us. That is why design the book cover depicts a journey, like the Emmaus Story where Jesus walks with us along the way but behind there is the road, the mountains and hills which is symbolic as it represents the ups and downs, our struggles in our daily walk of life but God is there which gives us courage.
What place does writing books and reflections have in your Salesian Ministry?
It’s something that challenges me because I have to make reflections, I have to give depth to my life at the same time share it to others especially the young people so that they can also reflect on their own experiences and find God in their experiences.
How does a priest in his busy schedule find time to write?
I sit down and write. Usually I do this early in the morning or late at night.
Would you consider this as part of your Journaling?
Yes. It’s how I also mark the milestones of my life.
Are you planning to write more books in the future?
Yes, in fact I’m preparing for my next book. This time it is a collection of my reflections from 2011 to 2018. I am also planning that for my 25 anniversary of priesthood, I will be writing a book dedicated to my Dad – the life lessons I have learned from him when he was still with us.
The book will be launched on January 24, 2020 in commemoration of the feast of St. Francis de Sales, patron saint of writers. Copies of these are limited; it is available at the Religious Store of the Archdiocesan Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes and selected Salesian Houses.