P. James Llano Espuerta, MSC – Delegate Philippines

James Espuerta, MSC

Province: Philippines
Country: Philippines
Date of Birth: September 24, 1970
First Vows: June 2, 1993
Ordination: April 30, 1999
Speaks: Tagalog, English
Understands: Tagalog, English

Ministerial and Pastoral Experience:
April 1999-October 2001 – Assistant Parish Priest Holy Redeemer Parish Butuan City
November 2001-May 2003 – Parish Priest St. Aloysius Gonzaga Parish San Luis, Agusan del Sur
June 2003-May 2012 – Formator MSC Sacred Heart Theologate New Manila, Quezon City
June 2012-June 2014 – Assistant Parish Priest St. Francis of Assisi and Sta. Quiteria Parish Caloocan City
July 2014-July 2018 – Parish Priest Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish Bantug, Muñoz, Nueva Ecija
August 2018-July 2023 – Formator MSC Sacred Heart Theologate New Manila, Quezon City
August 2023-present – Safeguarding Office (full time) while taking my residence at CFA (Communication
Foundation for Asia), Sta. Mesa, Manila

Details of Present Ministry:
After I got ordained in 1999, I was assigned as parish vicar for two years then, in November 2001 as Parish Priest at San Luis de Gonzaga Parish in Agusan del Sur (Mindanao). It was a very memorable ministry for me being a young priest assigned in that part of our Mindanao Mission since it is a highly militarized area being considered by the Philippine Government a “red zone” area where the concern of “insurgency” is very much felt. Although it was a very short assignment for me, only 1 year and 5 months but generally if I recall, it was my most challenging missionary experience even until the present. It was unfortunate that I was pulled out from that ministry for a new assignment in formation work. Relatively very short ministry, but so far, I can consider it my most “meaningful pastoral experience” I ever had in my 24 years of ministry being an MSC doing mission at the “peripheries” with the tribal people, the marginalized and most especially being very vulnerable for exploitation and harassment.
In 2003, I started to assume my formation work as formator at the Scholasticate; my first 2 years as dean of studies while at the same time taking a 2 year- formation course, then as Rector until 2012. Because of some issues related to Canon Law, particularly in religious life, my Provincial asked me to study canon law at the University of Santo Tomas. By God’s grace, I got my licentiate in Canon Law in 2012, just few a months before a new assignment was given to me…” for a break only”. I was given a parish assignment as parish vicar for two years, then transferred to another parish as parish priest for 4 years. Then, in 2018 I was transferred back to formation work at the Scholasticate, as Rector. Just recently in April 2023 during our Provincial Chapter my new assignment was announced, actually not a new assignment but to “release me” from formation work to focus my other task in the Province being the present in-charge of our Safeguarding Office and also as member of the Provincial Council. It was arranged that my residence will be at CFA (Communication foundation for Asia) as part of the MSC team and to nourish MSC community life at CFA. Thus, my official assignment as announced is “CFA resident”.
Being the present in-charge of the Safeguarding office, with the help of a committee, the focus of our programs since 2021 is more on giving orientation to all MSCs in their field of ministries together with our lay mission partners. Some programs by the office are still to be implemented in coordination with the other commissions of the Province, the Initial and Ongoing as part of the regular activities of the commissions. For the meantime as in-charge of the office, I avail myself for training and studies to equip myself for this very important ministry in our congregation, i.e. Safe Environment ministry. At present I am enrolled in an online course at San Beda University taking up Master of Legal Studies in Utriusque Juris and by October 2023 the Diploma Course in Safeguarding at the Gregorian University.

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