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Bishop: God’s grace brings ‘dynamism’ into priestly, religious life

Bishop: God’s grace brings ‘dynamism’ into priestly, religious life

Bishop-elect Abel Apigo of Mati presides over the closing Mass of the 26th National Convention of the Canon Law Society of the Philippines in Davao City, March 1, 2018. SCREEN GRAB/DXGN SPIRIT FM-DAVAO

By CBCP News

March 1, 2018

MANILA, Philippines

Just as water keeps plants alive, priests and consecrated persons’ constant “connectedness to the stream of grace” will keep their vocations “full of life and dynamism”, a newly appointed bishop said.

And this current of grace, said Bishop-elect Abel Apigo of Mati, must flow into God’s ocean and be translated into “fidelity of our service to Him”.

“Even in stormy weather, even in drought or dry season, we continue to give meaning and to give life,” he said in his homily at the closing Mass of this year’s Canon Law Society of the Philippines’ convention in Davao City on March 1.

“And it is precisely because the constant flow of water will ensure life in our priestly and religious ministry,” he stressed.

A seminary formator himself, Apigo went further by pointing out that priestly and religious life is an ongoing stage of formation.

As emphasized in the “New Ratio”, a detailed set of guidelines and norms for priestly formation, he said that formation never stops.

“We continue to hone our skills in view of serving God’s people better,” according to him. “We never stop learning. We never stop journeying to conversion for the sake of God’s people.”

All these, he added, are aimed “to rekindle the gift” received at ordination and religious vows and share it to others.

“I hope that you continue to bring Jesus Christ to other people… that canon law is translated into pastoral charity, service for the local Church, service to our brothers and sisters in the diocese,” Apigo added.

“In the end, what ensures fidelity in the priesthood, what can rekindle the fire is primarily the Eucharist. We go back to our source, to our stream,” he also said.

Pope Francis has appointed Apigo, 49, as the second bishop of Mati in Davao Oriental.

Upon his appointment, the bishop-elect has been serving as the episcopal vicar for the clergy of the Archdiocese of Davao and Rector of the St. Francis Xavier Regional Major Seminary.

Apigo’s episcopal ordination will be held at the Davao metropolitan cathedral on April 24. He will be installed at the Mati cathedral on the following day.