have I ever been, a Buddhist.”
“I was born in the Philippines, but grew up in Columbia, Missouri,” explains the thirty-six-year-old priest, pronouncing it “Missourah” with a native’s drawl. “I’m kind of a political refugee,” he adds with a chuckle. “When my grandfather was a senator in the Philippines, martial law was declared” by the dictator Ferdinand Marcos. “My grandfather was one of his biggest opponents.” Luckily, his grandfather was in France when martial law was declared in 1972.
Canoy’s family moved to Missouri when his parents, both oncologists, received job offers there. Chas played varsity golf in high school and enrolled at Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business. Yet even while setting his sights on a business career, he also took philosophy classes and mulled the priesthood.
“After one year, I felt zero desire for the priesthood so I thought ‘All right! I guess that means I’m called to marriage.’” He never married—but he did earn a bachelor’s degree in marketing in 1994 and stepped right into a job at General Mills.
“Great job, company car, stock options,” he says with a hint of wistfulness.