Seminarians told: Priesthood begins with ‘small steps’
Seminarians of St. Francis Xavier Regional Major Seminary of Mindanao take another step in their formation as they are installed in minor ministries and undergo the rite of investiture. Davao Archbishop Romulo Valles said this is one of their “small steps” towards becoming priests someday. BRENDA MILAN
DAVAO City — The journey towards priesthood begins with small steps.
This is what the Archbishop of Davao and the president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) said to describe the installation of minor ministries of the St. Francis Xavier Regional Major Seminary of Mindanao (REMASE).
“Somehow you have showed your ‘yes’ to the Lord. This is a journey that we are celebrating today. The grace of God who called you,” said Davao Archbishop Romulo G. Valles, adding that they have somehow seen the future life of the priests.
Officiating the REMASE-organized event at the San Pedro Cathedral in this city, July 1, a week before he was elected CBCP president, the prelate officiated the Mass and rites of installation of new ministers—lectors coming from the theology 1 seminarians and acolytes coming from the theology 2 seminarians.
Some 39 seminarians from different dioceses in Mindanao were installed as lectors and 22 seminarians as acolytes that day.
Sixteen pre-theology year seminarians also took part in the celebration where they had the ceremonial wearing of cassock or vestments.
Honor and responsibility
“It is a privilege that REMASE is here in the Archdiocese of Davao. Not all areas have their own seminary and with gratitude and pride, the seat of the major seminary of Mindanao is here in Davao,” Valles said in his homily.
But the prelate is quick to point out that with this pride comes great responsibility to help the seminary.
“In the real sense, it is a gift that right in the midst of Davao City is the flesh of formation. That in REMASE, there would come from the priests of Mindanao, serving Mindanao,” Valles said.
He also added that the seminarians have traveled “the road less traveled” when they chose to become like Christ who carried His cross.
Dreams of priesthood
Valles also lauded the priests-formators of the seminarians and the families that support their sons in their desire to become priests someday.
REMASE rector Msgr. Abel Apigo called the installation “a timely event” as the Church celebrates the “Year of the Parish as communion of communities” where the seminarians are about to serve.
REMASE has been serving Mindanao by forming priests from 21 dioceses for more than 50 years since the PME fathers established the said institution in Davao City. CBCPNews