Support group for ‘future priests’ launched in Baguio
Our Lady of Atonement Cathedral Parish Priest Fr Felimon William addressing the initial group of OLAC-ASAP
BAGUIO – As a concrete initiative for the Year of the Clergy and Consecrated Persons (YCCP), declared by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines’ (CBCP) for 2018, the faithful of the Cathedral Parish in this diocese formed an organization to support future priests and to raise awareness about the priestly vocation.
Launched this year, Our Lady of the Atonement Cathedral Parish Association of Seminarians and Partners (OLAC-ASAP), aims to involve the people of the diocese to actively promote and support vocations to the priesthood.
“…To promote, strengthen, and support vocations, there must be a dynamic and vibrant move to inspire the young and the seminarians to become priests. This necessitates the creation of a group to raise awareness of the priestly vocation and to support future priests by journeying with them by providing support in all ways that may be necessary,” Fr. Felimon William, parish priest of Our Lady of the Atonement Cathedral told CBCPNews, explaining the urgent need to form OLAC-ASAP.
Full support needed
According to the priest, while the need for priests is increasing, vocations to the priesthood is dwindling.
“Furthermore, if there are vocations, they sometimes lack the support of the community. Thus, among those who hardly cope with the expenses some get weary and leave the seminary,” said William.
He also noted how the promotion of the priestly vocation has usually been limited to parents of seminarians, supportive parish priests, and a few parishioners.
In a decree issued Nov. 26 at the diocesan launching of the YCCP on the Solemnity of Christ the King, Baguio Bishop Victor B. Bendico exhorted the lay faithful “to give their full support to the clergy and religious men and women in the diocese by praying and showing their active genuine support in any form that will strengthen healthy collaboration and genuine interaction.”
William also shared OLAC-ASAP’s four main objectives:
- To promote awareness among the people and strengthen the desire of priestly vocations among seminarians in the Diocese of Baguio;
- To accompany by guiding, caring for, and attending to the needs of seminarians in their priestly formation;
- To recruit members as lay partners in the OLAC-ASAP; and
- To contribute to the financial obligations of seminarians in the seminary.
The parish priest invites the faithful to become members of OLAC-ASAP by:
- First, filling out an OLAC-ASAP membership form and attend the seminars;
- Second, by praying the Prayer for Vocations regularly;
- Third, by making a monthly, quarterly, or yearly pledge, in cash or in kind; to be submitted to Ike Espiritu (cp# 0947822220) or Elba Bautista (cp# 09399078580) or depositing one’s pledge via Metrobank, Account name – DOB OLOTAC; Account number: 4163-4161-87208.
After depositing the pledge, interested parties are requested to call or text the above-named for the pledge to be credited accordingly. A notification can also be sent to the parish email account: firstname.lastname@example.org
“The call for this endeavor is urgent. It cannot be delayed. It must be done ‘ASAP’. Hence, OLAC-ASAP!” emphasized the priest. CBCPNews