Fr. Rodrigo Ulloa recently returned to the U.S. to serve with us in vocations ministry. The following is a touching note written to the people he served in China.
In the past six years you were my home and I thank you for your warm hospitality all throughout. You taught me a language deeply rooted in characters as well as stories, you introduced me to an ancient culture grounded in family meals, you let me live with your people whom I greatly respect. Thank you for being patient with me especially when I was learning how to speak, for introducing me to wonderful places where I felt welcomed and safe. There are no words to describe the first time I was understood saying Mass in Mandarin but not before breaking through the fear of pronouncing that second rising tone which I still struggle with. How fondly I remember celebrating Chinese New Years, Christmas and Holy week, events that touched my faith in such a way that made me a better person, a better disciple and a better priest. I never expected to make the marvelous discoveries I had, namely, to learn that God exists and extends beyond the narrow confines of culture and history. With a profound appreciation of God “天主” among the people I worked with, I leave China as a better equipped missioner to take a new challenge in our Maryknoll mother house in Ossining, New York, to work for our vocations department for a 3 year term, perhaps more. Dear friends of Dalian, Shenyang, Jilin, Changchun and Fushun, keep me in your prayers and when you stop in the big apple, let’s meet.