Bohol’s Choice Cuts
By Loy M. Palapos
January 11, 2014
JULIAN CALACAT LUPOT
“PRAYER IS MY STRENGTH”
Many are called but only a few are chosen. Among the vocations all over the world, total commitment to be a Disciple of God is the most distinct. Not only does it entail self-depravation of mundane pleasures, it means a life of involvement in apostolate that is seldom understood from the layman’s point-of-view. When a vocation transcends the physical, then it is an utmost surrender to the Almighty.
Many are called but only a few are chosen, because those who make the choice may be vulnerable to the temptations that lurk in any turn and twist. The Mephistophelian angle can never be ignored; that’s why those who survive the ordeals are only a chosen few.
Father Julian Calacat Lupot belongs to that rare breed of Christian advocates who survived the onslaught of tempestuous and devilish machinations any man is heir to. That he made it, inspite the obstacles and the satanic intrusions, could be credited to his resolve in his Christian faith and the power of prayer. “Prayer is my strength,” he always professes.
When Julian Lupot came to the HRD (Human Source Development) Office of AGC (Alturas Group of Companies), he was a good-looking specimen of manhood. When I was informed that he was on his regency, I thought I could play the devil’s advocate. Not a few glances directed to his direction manifested sexual interest, even among employees of the Company. Apparently a hyper-throbbing target for the opposite sex, he may succumb to the feminine blitzkrieg, and renounce his intention to be a Priest. When he was transferred to Colonnade Supermarket in Cebu, the more I thought that his days of clinging to his initial vows were numbered. When he went back to the Seminary unscathed, I was the most unbelieving. But there he was, resplendent in his crusade, unperturbed by the caprices of those femme fatales who would have found in him a prize-catch to be unshared in what Adam and Eve blasphemed. He was ordained Priest in 2004. And I was one of the happiest that he succeeded in his vision of what life he would lead. Father Julian C. Lupot, the Vicar of the Saint Joseph Cathedral Parish is one of the few who have been chosen.
Julian was born in Hagbuaya, Calape, Bohol on September 3, 1976. Now, in his thirties, he has experienced the baptism of fire and brimstone in his desire to serve the Lord. His father, Julian Huraño Lupot, Sr., is from Calape. His mother, Dolorosa Calacat, is from Catigbian. Both were Public School Teachers. He is a public school teacher. Julian is the seventh of nine children. Fr. Julius C. Lupot, Jr. is the eldest in the family. He is presently on study-leave. Jocelyn Llorente is a BSEED graduate and is in the business world. Jonas went to IHMS to be a Priest. He finished his Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy; and enrolled at PMI-Bohol, finished Bachelor of Science in Marine Transportation (BSMT) and became a seaman for 16 years. He is now connected with BACS (Bohol Association of Catholic Schools). Juliet L. Legaspi is a BSC-Accounting graduate, and is the cashier at the IHMS.
Judith L. Paeste teaches at St. Therese School. Judelyn L. Elle graduated from UB with a BSN degree and is a Nurse at Ramiro Community Hospital. Joy Dolor L. Espejo is also a BSC-Accounting graduate and is employed at the Bohol Provincial Accounting Office. The youngest John Bosco finished BS Electronics and is now based in Ireland.
At Hagbuaya Elementary School, where he stayed until 1984, he impressed his mentors in Mathematics, where he excelled all of his student days. The hyperactive lad was a Boy Scout. As a Platoon Leader, he represented Bohol in the 8th National Jamboree held in Santa Barbara, Iloilo.
Priesthood has always been his chosen vocation. This inclination heightened when his brother, Julius Lupot, Jr., was ordained Priest in 1987. In 1988, he entered the Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary for his secondary studies. His batch was the last to graduate, for the Seminary’s high school department closed in 1992. One perceived reason was that the parents sent their children to the seminary for the discipline, but not necessarily to become priests. This was corroborated when not one in a batch proceeded to priesthood. But in 2010, it opened again to enrollees deciding the priestly vocation.
At IHMS Julian finished his AB-Philosophy in 1996. This exposure to the nuances of a private enterprise which brought him in contact with all sorts of people was an experience that convinced him more that he was for the Church.
From his regency, he went back to IHMS, and was assigned in the St. Michael the Archangel Parish of Clarin, Bohol. This time it was real inter-relationship with people from all walks of life. The monthly 3-day recollection, and individual allegiances with the Parish Priest and Vocation Director, Fr. Nol Docabo, tightened his decision to proceed with his vocation. It was a 5-year study in Theology at the Divine Word School in Theology in Tagaytay City that clenched his resolve. All facets of this phase he imbibed with total concentration. There was no turning back.
In the final phase, the 30-day Retreat, they were six in the group. Three left, and the other three took their vows. He was ordained a Deacon on June 30, 2003, and his Presbyteral Ordination was on March 2, 2004.
Fr. Lupot was assigned Assistant Parish Priest at the Holy Trinity Parish of Loay, Bohol. In June 2004, Fr. Fernando Po left for the USA and he took the position of Parish Priest. Then he moved to Tagbilaran City as Parish Vicar of St. Joseph Cathedral in 2009. His main job was at Sta. Cruz Parish Mansasa in 2005.
When Msgr. Jeffrey Malanog streamlined the organizational structure of the Diocese to three functional Departments: Household, Priest Home and Clinic, and Maintenance and Projects, Fr. Lupot was assigned to the third. Even before this, he already had a thorough exposure in his pastoral responsibilities, especially on the spiritual needs of the people. He acknowledges that the administration of the functions of the Church may be taught in school, but it is only in his actual contact with the community that there was adequate comprehension of his responsibilities.
How is Fr. Julian C. Lupot ten years from now? He will still be preaching the word of God. At present his concentration is in BEC (Basic Ecclesial Community). He knows the next 10 years would be crucial in his apostasy. Regarding Priests who have earned negative remarks from a critical public, he unhesitatingly alluded his non-affirmation. “I was looking for an ideal priest, but today, since I also experience seeing non-models, I am sad, but I understand them more. But it does not mean that I will follow them.”
A Priest is the devil’s favorite to haunt and taunt. That’s why they should have a kind of discipline, resolve, and fortitude beyond the ordinary mortal. In the case of Fr. Julian C. Lupot, the next 10 years would embolden his spirit for the vocation he has chosen. “Prayer is my strength.” This total submission to His will, and unbridled desire to serve his Church up to his last breath, elevate him to the level of the few who are chosen.