Goodbye, Fr. Mike
For someone who has not made any significant contribution to the growth of Bertie County Catholic community, I don't deserve any attention if I talk about its activities.
However, I feel obligated to pay tribute to the memories of the person whose persistence drove Filipinos at the county closer together.
Fr. Mike Langell, a Caucasian cleric in his late 60s had a reputation of introducing his homilies with an interesting story. I first became fascinated by his technique during his new year's eve mass that it made me crave for more. He was so down-to-earth that he touched the lives of the faithful with no one being aware of it.
It was late when I became interested about the pastor who united and reinforced the formation of very few Sunday mass attendees. But it was fascinating to note that the "rural missioner" had a wonderful life prior to being assigned at Bertie. A graduate of Athenaeum of Ohio in 1964 and a holder of a master of divinity from St. Meinrad School of Theology in 1971, Fr. Mike humbly continued his search for truth by attending workshops and sessions on evangelization, the Enneagram, preaching, pastoral counseling and small faith communities.
As a priest, he served in small communities and in universities within Mexico, Texas, Tennessee, Georgia, and North Carolina. While he developed many creative talents, including an interest in baseball and football, Fr. Mike never departed from his missionary pledge with all his best effort.
As a newcomer to the county, his achievements created very little impact upon me, until I realized he made much more than I knew him.
Now that he is gone, he will surely be missed. But he has planted a seed that the world will grow in remembrance of the man, who no matter how humble, has moved hearts and has produced a cohesive community of faithful.
Maraming salamat po, Fr. Mike.