Friday, March 12, 2010

A Tribute to Rev. Philip-Michael F. Tangorra

Photos courtesy of Fr. Philip-Michael F. Tangorra

He's quite a character with a vibrant personality. His love for music fascinates me for it encompasses a wide range of favorites. From rock-n-roll to classical, with old romantic ones in between that my own dad cherishes such as Frank Sinatra's, Bing Crosby's, Perry Como's, I say, it's a riot. I have found a music fanatic! And how wonderful that is! My family is a music lover, but not one bit close to his taste and style.

He's a lover of words. "Distinct and exalted eminential glory" are only a few words he used to spice up his responses to queries on Facebook. You have to read his reflections to find out that he's got a pretty good hold of the English language and uses it quite well to bring the Gospel to life.

If you have not met Rev. Philip-Michael F. Tangorra, invite him to befriend you.

My questions for Fr. Philip and his responses:

1. When did you first recognize God's call to become a priest?

First Holy Communion I realized that I needed to take my spiritual life seriously and avoid sinful behaviors this lead to an endless series of events that kept calling me closer to Christ until ultimately in Music Conservatory I realized that it was definitely the priesthood I was being called to.

2. What is your most memorable experience as a priest?

Saying Masses, first confession that I heard. My First Mass was a quite little Mass said solely with my family present. My Mass of Thanksgiving was very significant later that day with all the priests and friends that helped me arrive to that moment in my life. Your Ordination and first two Masses after all bring special graces to those who attend them and it was so very special to have had those three Masses with all those I love, most especially my Grandparents and priest-friends without whom I would not have become one of them. Friends even traveled from around the world to be there for me.

3. What is your favorite passage in the bible?

Don't have one! Too many things to choose from. Yet, as my priestly motto I have taken the opening words of my favorite Eucharistic hymn, "Ave Verum Corpus". I feel it perfectly expresses my spirituality which is deeply Eucharist, Marian (as the second strophe is "natum de Maria virgine") and as it is one of the greatest texts in all sacred music it definitely speaks to the great role that sacred music and the liturgy have played in my vocation.

4. Who is the most influential person in your life?

This is difficult to respond to as in different ways many people have been very influential. Some people are defintelty my family, friends, priests, different saints, most especially Pope Benedict XVI but also some people that may be a little shocking such as the fact that I have been greatly influenced by different 'pop' icons for their hopefully positive attributes.

5. What are your hobbies?

MUSIC! I miss all the music I used to be a part of. It really is a certain type of death in me as I have to give myself currently to studies of theology and am not able to express myself musically nearly as much as I wish I could.

Bonus question: What advice can you give to young men discerning priesthood?

Say "YES!" Its just like not asking a girl out on a date that you have a crush on. If you never ask her out you will never know if it would have worked and if you missed out on the greatest joy that was meant for you in your life.

Much mahalo, Fr. Phil!


Tina said...

Thank you very much, Easter, for an insightful and delightful piece on a wonderful Priest.

Tracy said...

Easter, this is an excellent tribute, very well done!!