‘Be saints next door,’ Archbishop tells seminary alumni
By Fr. Nathaniel Gentizon
December 4, 2019
A ranking Catholic official has challenged Iloilo seminary alumni to be what Pope Francis called “saints next door”.
Speaking during Mass for the 150th Foundation Anniversary of Saint Vincent Ferrer Seminary on Dec. 1, Archbishop Jose Palma of Cebu said that the path to holiness consists of daily acts of charity.
“Thanks be to God! There are many ‘angkans ni Vicente’ who have become loving husbands, caring fathers and active members of religious organizations in the Church,” he said in his homily at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Candles, Jaro, Iloilo.
Palma believes that this anniversary celebration must be placed within the context of the 500th Anniversary of Christianity in the Philippines themed “Gifted to Give”.
He said, “the gift that we receive should be the gift that we give. What we have received from the seminary in our formation must be also shared with others.”
Relating to the theme “Respicere” which means “to look back again”, he considers the anniversary celebration as an opportune time to look forward to the future.
“We look back in order to look forward to the future. We welcome the future because we know that there is something good that we can share and give,” added Palma, who is also an alumnus of SVFS.
The Mass was presided over by the Archbishop Jose Romeo Lazo of Jaro with retired archbishops Angel Lagdameo and Fernando Capalla, who is one of the seminary’s 16 alumni bishops.
Founded in 1869, Saint Vincent Ferrer Seminary is the fifth oldest seminary in the country and has been the foundation of education for most priests in Iloilo and alumni or “Angkans.” Its 150th anniversary was celebrated from Nov. 24 – 30.