United laity, great for local Church

United laity, great for local Church
Laity Week assembly of lay mandated organizations and charismatic groups of Baguio. Together they explored the diocesan vision for BECs and the various pastoral programs. FR. ROSITO PEDRO, JR.

BAGUIO City – For a priest, the enthusiastic participation of lay mandated organizations and charismatic groups during the diocesan celebration of National Laity Week held at the CRC Hall, Bishop’s House in this city was an “eye-opener” on the great contribution of lay persons when they strive to be united with the Church in carrying out her mission.

“It is in this ‘Year of the Parish as a Communion of Communities’ when, for the first time in our diocese, we had together all mandated organizations and charismatic groups for ‘Laity Week’. For me, this was an eye-opener on how rich we are in human resources for the implementation of the Church’s programs,” remarked Fr. Rosito Pedro, Jr., Vicar for the Laity of the Diocese of Baguio, in an interview with CBCP News.

Alignment of vision and collaboration

According to the priest, the Diocese of Baguio “is doing its best” to organize the Diocesan Council for the Laity, which was part of the thrust of 2016 with Baguio Bishop Emeritus Carlito Cenzon, CICM.

The aim to encourage lay mandated organizations and charismatic groups to be more closely united with diocesan programs continues under the current head of the diocese, Bishop Victor B. Bendico, D.D., explained Pedro.

In this year’s celebration of Laity Week, lay organizations and covenanted communities, in collaboration with their officers, were oriented about the diocesan pastoral programs on LIFORSA (Liturgy, Formation, and Social Action) as well as the diocesan vision to form Basic Ecclesial Communities (BECs).

“The experience during the orientation assembly encouraged us to see how the laity can collaborate and participate with our pastoral initiatives and programs and also learn to collaborate among themselves in spite of their different groupings,” said the Vicar for Laity.

“On a personal note, I can say it was a joyful experience of interaction with the various lay groups,” the priest added.

Strength in unity

National Laity Week in the Diocese of Baguio started Sept. 24, with the Holy Mass headed by the Vicar General, Fr. Benedict Castañeda, as main celebrant, and Fr. Rosito Pedro, Jr. and social action director Fr. Manuel Flores, Jr. as concelebrants.

A Holy Mass presided over by Pedro concluded the event on Sept. 30.

During the homily, the Vicar for the Laity posted this challenge to all present: “How do we reach out to each other? How do we build community inviting each other to go together for the mission?”

“In unity, there is strength and that through this strength, there will always be success!” the priest also emphasized. CBCPNews