“Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!” -—from the film, “The Wizard of Oz”
Most people are familiar with the scene in the film, “The Wizard of Oz,” in which Dorothy’s dog, Toto, pulls the curtain back, exposing the “great and terrible” Wizard of Oz to be an ordinary man from Omaha, NE, named Oscar Diggs. It turns out that the Wizard was an illusion, created by a lot of special effects, distractions, and impressive-sounding talk. Until the unveiling, all in Oz were kept in control, persuaded by an illusion.
Gratitude is the key sentiment by Fr. Francisco “Paco” Gordillo as he looks back on the many experiences and inspirations that culminated in his ordination to the priesthood on Wed., Aug. 5. Out of his experiences came many friends, and in addition to his family, it has been through friendships that he especially found encouragement and support through his vocational journey.
“I have so many friends who are very supportive and have inspired me in so many ways,” Fr. Gordillo reflected. “I am so grateful to God…throughout my entire journey, He has brought many good people into my life.”
A long-time dream of Fr. Augustine Njuu, AJ, was to found a school in Tanzania that would not only educate the young people of his home country, but also to help them translate ‘head knowledge’ into practical skills and authentic, virtuous leadership. After years of preparation, his dream was realized in 2007 with the opening of Star Academy, a co-educational Roman Catholic high school in Arusha, Tanzania. His founding work and ongoing direction of the school recently earned him the distinction of ‘Local Hero’ by Springfield-based Heroes Coffee company.
“This had been my dream for many years,” Fr. Njuu said of opening Star Academy, adding that he knew “the hand of God was there” through the years of patient planning and garnering support locally, nationally, and internationally for the institution.
“When people put their efforts together, miracles happen,” Fr. Niuu said.