Written by Bauang PIO   

Rev. Fr. Erasmus Ferdinand B. Soriano was installed as the pastor of St. Paul’s Church located on the corner of Washington Boulevard and Bronson Avenue, Los Angeles City on August 26, 2017, 5:00 PM.

Fr. Eras as fondly called by the Bauangenios is the second son of the late Antonino Soriano, a retired Department of Education supervisor. He was born at Central East, Bauang, La Union. He was incardinated at LA last Aug. 4, 2016 with the permission of the late Bishop Rodolfo Beltran of the Diocese of San Fernando. Before he left for the USA, he served as the parish priest of St. Joseph the Worker Parish, Santiago, Bauang, La Union from 2003-2008. His first assignment there was at St. John the Baptist Parish, Baldwin Park, CA, second assignment at St. Thomas Moore Parish, Alhambra, CA.

He graduated cum laude at Saint Louis College with the degree Bachelor of Science in Commerce, Major in Accounting, his elementary at Bauang Community School, and high school at Sacred Heart School. After graduation, he worked as an accounting clerk at Cresta del Mar Resort Hotel and later transferred to Fernandez Enterprises as auditor.

In 1986, he was diagnosed of a rheumatic heart disease which affected his job and spent the next two years coping up with this health crisis. Sensing that medicines as prescribed by his doctors could not alleviate his condition, he decided to seek spiritual nourishment at the nearby Mary Mediatrix convent and constantly prayed over by nuns headed by their prioress Mother Mary Alexis. He made a covenant with the Lord Almighty that if and when he is healed, he would serve Him by becoming a priest.
True enough, when his condition improved, he entered the Holy Apostle’s Seminary in Manila, a seminary for late vocations. It was not easy entering a seminary with all the financial constraints, trials and tribulations but he was so lucky enough that benefactors came coming in to help and guide him.
He was ordained a deacon in November 21, 1992 and four months after, to the priesthood. He was the first Bauangenio to be ordained as a priest at the Sts. Peter and Paul Parish. During his ordination, his nephew, Carlo was born and he was given the monicker “Ordinandi.”

St. Paul’s Church is a church of distinction and charm. Its exterior is described by architects as Italian Romanesque. Its parishioners are of various ethnic and national origins with English, Spanish and Korean as their languages.

Msgr. Patrick Harmelt established the church in the summer of 1917. In December of 1917, Fr. Lucey completed a small brick church and a frame rectory. He died on December 27, 1917 after celebrating his first mass. Fr. Leo Foin succeeded as the second pastor in the spring of 1918. In the same year, the newly consecrated Bishop John C. Catwell assigned Fr. Thomas Blackwell from Fullerton to be the third pastor. He served the parish for 41 years. He was responsible for making St Peter’s Church for what it is now. A school and a convent were the first major projects undertaken by him. In 1922, a one-storey school was constructed, realizing the importance of a strong and religious education to the fast growing parish.

Mayor Eulogio Clarence Martin P. de Guzman III, who happened to be in Los Angeles for an official visit, attended the mass during Fr. Eras’ installation. He congratulated him for his challenging yet fulfilling and meaningful assignment.

Bauangenios, both living in LA and in Bauang are so proud of what Fr. Eras has achieved. With the fervent and constant prayers of Bauangenios, he will surely continue serving the Lord faithfully for the rest of his life. LINK

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