It’s what you do than what you say, priests told

It’s what you do than what you say, priests told

Archbishop Marlo Peralta of Nueva Segovia delivers his homily during Mass for the imposition of the pallium upon Archbishop Ricardo Baccay at the Tuguegarao Cathedral on January 14. PHOTO COURTESY OF PAUL PETER VALDEPEÑAS

By Roy Lagarde

January 15, 2021

Manila, Philippines

Catholics pay more attention to what their pastors do than what they say, a church official said.

Archbishop Marlo Peralta of Nueva Segovia said all priests are called to witness Christ through their lives and the faithful have a right to expect this of their pastors.

While preaching is an important element in evangelism, he said that the “more effective” way to do their ministry “is by believing and practicing what we teach”.

“In other words people do not give so much attention to what we say as to our life of witness,” Peralta said.

“We may be able to explain very well articles of the faith but what they seek in us more than ever is our life of witness,” he said.

The church leader was speaking during Mass for the imposition of the pallium upon Archbishop Ricardo Baccay at the Tuguegarao Cathedral on January 14.

In his homily, he discussed the three important functions of an archbishop: to teach, sanctify, and to rule.

Regarding the ministry of sanctifying, he said pastors need to lead their flock to the path of holiness, which should start with “our rootedness in Christ”.

“It is very important that we recognize this first step that we cultivate our personal relationship with Christ for it can bear fruit in our ministry,” Peralta said.

The ministry of ruling, according to him, is all about “kindness, mercy and compassion”.

“We are asked to lead our Church, the faithful and also our priests with mercy and compassion,” he added.

Pope Francis entrusted to Peralta the imposition of the sacred bond of white wool on Baccay, who was installed as archbishop of Tuguegarao a year ago.

Due to Covid-19 restrictions, organizers allowed a limited attendance of mostly priests, nuns and some local government officials.

Also present were Baccay’s predecessors in the Tuguegarao archdiocese— retired archbishops Sergio Utleg and Diosdado Talamayan.

Bishop David William Antonio of Ilagan and Bishop Prudencio Andaya of Tabuk also graced the occasion.

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