FR. JUVELAN SAMIA, SDB

Inspiring the Youth to Live Pure

By Clyde Ericson Nolasco
January 1, 2020

Fr. Juvelan is one of the younger priests in the Archdiocese of Manila. He is only 34 years old.

Ordained in 2016, the 34-year old Salesian juggles his time as spiritual moderator of the Elementary Unit of Don Bosco Makati, animator of the Salesian Youth Movement of Luzon, member of the Salesian Commission on Social Communication and Vocation Promotion Team and a supporter of the Live Pure Movement.


FAMILY-INSPIRED VOCATION
Young Juvelan wasn’t a sacristan or part of any organization in his parish but his family’s regular attendance in liturgical services at Sts. Peter and Paul Parish in Poblacion, Makati inspired him to become a devout Catholic. Knowing that his father is a Bosconian and his uncles active in the Don Bosco Youth Center in the 1960s as well as being a student of San Felipe Parochial School, Boni, Mandaluyong for Grade School and Don Bosco Mandaluyong for High School also helped in making him consider entering the priesthood.

Young Juvelan wasn’t a sacristan or part of any organization in his parish but his family’s regular attendance in liturgical services inspired him to become a devout Catholic.

INSPIRING IMMERSION
The summer before his fourth year of high school, the aspiration to become a priest became more explicit. After joining a week-long immersion camp in Mambukal, Negros Island where he lived in a community of sugarcane farmers, he was overwhelmed with the experience he gained from living in a rural set up, having lived all his life in an urban area.

Aboard the ship on his way back home, he approached their group’s priest and expressed his desire to become a priest, to serve the marginalized.


OBEDIENT SON
In spite of his arduous aspiration to be a priest, his parents, especially his father, did not agree with him. His father, being practical, suggested that it might be a better idea to finish a degree first before entering the seminary. His father thought that it might be wise to have a backup plan in case Juvelan would realize that priesthood isn’t his vocation. All along, Juvelan knew that this was his father’s way to change his mind, because he was their only child and the sole bearer of their family’s name. The young Juvelan knew that his father thought he would lose interest in entering the seminary if he went to college instead.

Being an obedient son, Juvelan enrolled in the University of the Philippines (U.P. DIliman). Although his father died while he was in his 2nd year in UP, he graduated with a degree in Speech Communications.


INDEFATIGABLE SALESIAN
After fulfilling his father’s wish, Juvelan entered the seminary, joining the Salesians of Don Bosco.

Initially, he was thinking of joining the Jesuits, whose charism is on social justice, in order for him to achieve his aspiration to serve the least, the last and the lost.

But truly God works in mysterious ways. Juvelan was not given by any chance to meet a Jesuit that might help him pursue his dream to help the poor. Although he planned to enter Ateneo for college, he lacked the funds to even take the entrance exams.

But Juvelan pursued his calling and joined the Salesians of Don Bosco.

After fulfilling his father’s wish, Juvelan entered the seminary, joining the Salesians of Don Bosco.

SPIRITUAL DIRECTOR
Today, Fr Juvelan is the Spiritual Moderator of the Elementary Unit of Don Bosco Makati.

In between deadlines for schoolwork, he meets the Salesian Youth Movement as the animator of the group in Luzon. He makes sure that the Salesian Youth follow the thrust of the congregation.


LIVE PURE
As a supporter, Fr Juvelan would sometimes be seen as the cover priest of the Live Pure Movement. Live Pure aims to promote a pure and chaste life to our young ones through catechisms and gatherings. Fr Juvelan participates in the Live Pure’s formation programs, preaching that to live pure is to dedicate one’s heart solely to God.

When asked for his message to those who are ministering to the youth, he replied:

“Be happy! Young people are captivated by the joy of the evangelizer.”

He further explained that the joy he was pertaining to is joy marked by moderate but consistent cheerfulness. Joy that comes from a calm, satisfied and content life; joy that is consistent and of moderate cheerfulness, which is taught in Salesian spirituality.

“Be happy! Young people are captivated by the joy of the evangelizer.”

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