Rev. Bernadette A. Morales
To many, providing spiritual care can be among the hardest tasks that one could be entrusted with. As you embrace the challenge of developing Christian values within members of the faith community, on you is also an order to “live the life”, “to walk the talk” — to set an example of the person who want others to become.
Pastor Bernadette Amistoso-Morales, known to all as “Pastor Bernie”, can be among those who have successfully demonstrated strength and integrity as a preacher and faith-formator.
“As a pastor, you’re constantly challenged. The fact that you are proclaiming a message of hope in a world that is becoming hopeless, the challenge is to how to be able to share Christ and make Jesus real. In this time where people are unbelieving of His presence, you have the task not just to preach but to make Him real and authentic in the lives of the people. You must have a certain sense of authenticity in what you are doing,” Pastor Bernie shares.
Being a preacher was not on her list of what she wanted to be as a professional. At first, she dreamt of becoming a teacher. Later, she shifted gears and eyed a career in broadcasting. But developments in her life led her away from both; instead, she took up nursing at then Saint Paul College-Manila in 1987 and graduated in 1991. “My parents wanted me to take up nursing and I kinda thought it wasn’t a bad idea. Somewhere along the way, I liked it and pursued it until I was able to graduate,” Pastor Bernie explained.
And she pursued being a nurse as a medical-surgical nurse at the Makati Medical Center. At least for three years. On her third year as a nurse, an offer came for her to work in a church as a mission director. This was the same time when she was preparing to work abroad.
“I prayed about it. It wasn’t a practicable decision then; I was preparing to go abroad at that time. But it was very clear in my heart what I wanted to do at that time, and I thought it was only for that season, mubalik nalang ko sa nursing (I can go back to nursing). But it never happened. It’s been 17 years since that time,” Pastor Bernie recalls with a smile.
She took on the challenge of mission work, and later studied at Union Theological Seminary towards a master’s degree in divinity.
The same faith she had in embracing what came her carried her through a phase in her life that brought her to Silliman.
Pastor Bernie was already working at the Cosmopolitan Church in Manila when in 2007, she received an invitation from the Pastoral Committee of the Silliman University Church to be a pastor in the University.
“But that time, I was still in the middle of my contract (with Cosmopolitan Church). I remember telling the Church that I can't accept the invitation. But should the invitation still be open after my contract ends, I might be open to accept it,” she narrated.
When her contract ended, the position was still vacant. “It was like a conformation for me that I was meant to be here! In 2009, I joined Silliman.”
Pastor Bernie is married to Greg. “I have a very supportive spouse. He knows my limits, when I need help, when I can’t be bothered, and when I can’t. There’s a certain respect.” They are blessed with two children, Caris Samuel and Rebecca Diane.
Being a mother, a wife and a preacher, Pastor Bernie said: “I really pray for strength, I consider it as my source for my ability to attend all my needs in life.”
Appointed Minister to the University, Pastor Bernie shares a piece of advice: “For the people in the Silliman University community, I tell them not to trust themselves too much, and not to rely on what they know and what they think they know. I encourage my fellow Sillimanians to give God more room in their lives.”
Let's know Pastor Bernie more:
Describe yourself in three words.
Simple-hearted, reflective, kind.
What is your mantra in life?
Let God be God.
What makes you laugh/cry?
Laugh- Greg! Cry- very sad stories of children.
What’s your favorite time/day of the week and why?
Monday- The freshness of the week.
What do you love doing when not working?
Cleaning the home.
What is your favorite hangout place in the University?
Front stairs of SU Church
What makes you blush?
If you were an actor/actress, who would you be?
I can’t think of anyone this moment.
Tell us a fact about yourself?
I am a quiet person and I used to be a Medical-Surgical Nurse.
What’s your favorite game growing up?
Volleyball and soccer.
What is your idea of a relaxing day?
Sleeping and reading a good book.
What one thing would people be interested to know about you?
That I am not as serious as everyone thinks.
What song best describes the YOU and the life you have now?
What is the first thing you do right after waking up in the morning?
Have my quiet time with God.
What’s your idea of a family?
Love, respect and forgiveness.