Palo prelate wants faithful catechized on ‘Year of the Clergy’

Palo prelate wants faithful catechized on ‘Year of the Clergy’

Half of the entire clergy of Archdiocese of Palo during their retreat in Cebu recently FR. GOLDIE KENN ZABALA/RCAP

TACLOBAN City – As the Catholic Church in the country commences the celebration of the Year of the Clergy and Consecrated Persons (YCCP), Palo Archbishop John Du called on the clergy to begin catechizing the faithful on the essence of this year’s observance.

Unlike the Year of the Parish, which was launched through an archdiocesan activity, the YCCP launching today, Dec. 3, is by parish.

“I have decided that the opening ceremonies be held in the local parishes,” said Du in a circular addressed to all priests in the archdiocese.

Vision for 2018

The prelate instructed all the clergy in the Palo Archdiocese to conduct the opening ceremony on a Sunday Mass, one which usually has the most number of attendees.

He likewise encouraged the religious communities and consecrated persons serving in the parish to join in the said opening event.

While the YCCP’s national theme is “Renewed Servant-Leaders for the New Evangelization,” in the archdiocese, the theme in the Waray-Waray dialect is “Hatag han Diyos, Halad han Tawo, Pagbag-o han Bungto.” In Cebuano, which is spoken in the western part of the archdiocese, the theme is “Hatag sa Diyos, Halad sa Tawo, Pagbag-o sa Lungsod.”

The celebration of the Year of the Clergy and Consecrated Persons this year is part of the CBCP-initiated nine-year preparation for the 500th year of evangelization of the Philippines in 2021.

Not immune

A written explanation produced by the archdiocesan Pastoral Action Secretariat (PAS) underscored the importance of the renewal of priests and the religious. “Although it cannot be denied that this portion of the Church is numerically miniscule, the fact remains that the renewal of the Church depends in large measure on the clergy and religious or consecrated persons.”

It added: “Since the clergy and the consecrated persons are not immune to the twin errors of a dichotomy of faith and inadequate discipleship of Christ, this particular year is dedicated to their integral renewal of values, mind-sets, behavior, and lifestyle.”

According to Fr. Chris Arthur Militante, spokesperson of the Archdiocese of Palo, there will always be priests and consecrated persons who fall short of the demands of the faith and “discipleship of Christ.”

“There always has been throughout history and still will be more. The Canon Law is the Church’s tool to address this. But some cannot discredit the many who live their lives to that of Christ,” he said, however.

Continued prayers

Militante is optimistic that the “presence of the clergy and the consecrated men and women helps us to experience heaven on earth by their way of life.”

“By their example, we pray that the laity will be drawn more to the things of heaven (those that endure) rather than things fleeting,” explained the priest.

He asked for continued prayers for the renewal of priests and religious to possess the same zeal as the early shepherds who offered themselves for Philippine evangelization. CBCPNews