San Fernando archdiocese’s seminary celebrates 70 years

San Fernando archdiocese’s seminary celebrates 70 years

Archbishop Florentino Lavarias of San Fernando celebrates Mass to mark the 70th founding anniversary of the Mother of Good Counsel Seminary July 4. PHOTO FROM MGCS

By CBCP News

July 7, 2020

San Fernando City, Pampanga

Seventy years ago, the San Fernando archdiocese’s seminary was established in the small town of Guagua in Pampanga province.

The Mother of Good Counsel Seminary celebrated that anniversary July 4 with a Thanksgiving Mass officiated by Archbishop Florentino Lavarias.

The liturgical service was streamed on the archdiocese’s Facebook page to allow virtual participation.

In his message, the archbishop expressed commitment to continue and sustain the good works begun by their predecessors.

“We will continue to form young candidates to the diocesan presbyteral ministry who will be servant leaders of the church,” Archbishop Lavarias said.

To achieve this, MGCS rector Fr. Victor Nicdao said the seminary has adopted ways of formation to address the demands of the changing times while remaining rooted to the Gospel values.

“Amid the onslaught of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Mother of Good Counsel Seminary continues to celebrate His life and mission, strengthened in faith, renewed in hope and sent in love,” he said.

On July 4, 1950, Bishop Cesar Maria Guerrero realized his vision of putting up a diocesan seminary in Guagua.

Originally, the seminary was named “Mater Boni Consilii,” the Latin translation of The Mother of Good Counsel, because of the bishop’s devotion to the Blessed Mother.

In 1952, the seminary was transferred to the nearby town of Apalit for a much better location, and where it operated for 10 years.

In 1962, Archbishop Emilio Cinense sustained the vision and eventually found a more suitable place for the seminary in its present location in the city of San Fernando.

During his term as San Fernando archbishop, Archbishop Oscar Cruz expanded the seminary with the establishment of a major seminary.

When Archbishop Paciano Aniceto took over the post, he committed himself to making sure that the seminary became truly the heart of the archdiocese.

More than 70 percent of the archdiocese’s 150 priests today have been trained at the MGCS. The seminary has also produced at least eight bishops.