Our 2015 Global Fellows

Emmanuel C. Alparce (Father Noli)

The Rev. Emmanuel C. Alparce is a Roman Catholic priest. In the 16 years that he has been a priest, Father Noli, as he is fondly called, has been involved with not the just regular sacramental work and tasks of a priest but also with the many issues that affect the human person and society. He strongly adheres to the words spoken by St. Irineus centuries ago that “The glory of God is man fully alive.”

On the day he was ordained a priest, Father Noli was appointed by his bishop to be the executive director of his diocese’s Social Action Center. In the Philippines, this is the arm of the Catholic Church that responds to the very real concerns of the human person like poverty and hunger, abuse of women and children, human rights, justice and peace, gender equality, sustainable agriculture, insurgency and armed rebellion, good governance, drug addiction, electoral reforms, protection of the environment,
climate change and many more. His work in this office led him to explore and eventually embrace biotechnology as an effective means to mitigate hunger and poverty and improve the lives of millions of farmers in his country. In 2014, Father Noli was appointed by the Philippine Secretary of Agriculture to sit as a Member of the Technical Committee on Information, Education and Communication of the Department of Agriculture’s Biotechnology Program on Agriculture and Fisheries. He was also appointed as the chairman of this Technical Committee in 2002-2004. In 2001, he was selected to participate in the International Visitor Program of the U.S. State Department to study biotechnology, agriculture and food safety in the United States.

Father Noli is a “late-vocation” priest. Before becoming a priest, he obtained a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of the Philippines at Los Baños and worked for several years as a journalist/newspaper reporter and deputy chief of staff to a congressman. He loves to raise and breed dogs and birds and has the gift of a “green thumb” that makes almost any plant he puts on the ground grow.