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Tagle blesses new seminary building, home for elderly priests in Lipa

MANILA, Oct. 1, 2014— Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle ushered in a welcome change in the Archdiocese of Lipa as the local church dedicated the new seminary building to elderly and sick priests, who also received a new home in the compound.

Tagle blessed on Sept. 8 the Annex of the St. Joseph Seniorate for elderly and sick priests, which is located in the St. Francis de Sales Theological Seminary compound in Brgy. Marawoy, Lipa City.

‘Heart of the seminary’

The occasion coincided with the centenary (1914-2014) of priestly formation in the archdiocese, currently headed by Lipa Archbishop Ramon Arguelles.

Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle led blesses the new facility on Sept. 8, 2014 at the St. Francis de Sales Theological Seminary compound in Brgy. Marawoy, Lipa City. The structure includes the seminary’s new chapel and main building housing the seminarians and priest-formators. (Photo: Archdiocese of Lipa)

During the holy mass, Cardinal Tagle discussed why the chapel is so critical to the life of a seminary.

“If the seminary is the heart of the diocese, in a very true way, the chapel of the seminary is the heart of the seminary. Here in this chapel, the drama of being a seminarian and a priest is written everyday, is being carved in the heart of every seminarian — which only God knows about,” he said in the vernacular.

In his message, Manila Archbishop Emeritus Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales said that in 1931, a theological seminary was opened in Lipa named Seminario de San Alfonso de Ligorio.

Thus, he said, the St. Francis de Sales Theological Seminary is a sort of “re-claiming” what the archdiocese had been previously bestowed.

He also said the construction of the seminary is still far from over. The academic building is yet to be constructed.

Chito’s mobile

Towards the end of the Eucharistic celebration, a plaque of appreciation was given to the Congregation of Missions (Vincentian Fathers) for pioneering the priestly formation in the archdiocese with Lipa’s first bishop, Giuseppe Petrelli.

After the mass, Tagle rode in a golf cart, driven by Rosales, who called it “Chito’s Mobile” in jest, to the nearby St. Joseph Seniorate for the blessing of the annex.

This happened simultaneously with Bishops Evangelista, Vergara, and Bacani blessing the seminary residence which consists of 50 rooms allotted for seminarians, eight rooms for priest-formators, conference and recreation halls, refectory, common priests’ room, lavatory, and guest rooms.

Concelebrants include Cardinal Rosales, Bishops Emilio Marquez of Lucena, Reynaldo Evangelista of Imus, Mylo Hubert Vergara of Pasig, Novaliches Bishop-Emeritus Teodoro Bacani, Lipa Auxiliary Bishop-Emeritus Salvador Quizon, and about fifty diocesan and religious priests.

Among those in attendance were Vice President Jejomar Binay, former Batangas Rep. Hermilando Mandanas and Mr. Danny Dolor who led the ribbon cutting ceremony and the unveiling of the marker.

A holy mass was celebrated on Sept. 8, 2014 to mark the blessing of the Annex of the St. Joseph Seniorate and the St. Francis de Sales Theological Seminary compound in Brgy. Marawoy, Lipa City. (Photo: SFSTS)

The seminary was also duly recognized and was granted accreditation for the Master of Arts in Pastoral Ministry Program (MAPM) and Master of Arts in Theological Studies (MA-TS) by the Commission on Higher Education last Sept. 4.

The programs also aim to address the needs of Catholic schools for teachers with Master’s degrees in religious and value education, as well as on-going formation and updating of religious in the region. (Sem. John Aldrin A. Ilao /Rev. Fr. Angel Marcelo M. Pastor)

Baclaran kids star in month-long celebration

PARAÑAQUE City, Oct. 1, 2014—October being the month especially dedicated to children, the National Shrine of Our Mother of Perpetual Help (Baclaran Church), is set to come out with a host of activities which aims to pay tribute to whom Rizal once called as the “hope of the fatherland”.

Baclaran children, mostly from depressed areas nearby, perform a doxology as part of the shrine's "Flores de María" celebration while the famous icon of Our Mother of Perpetual Help "watches" them from behind. (Photo: Raymond A. Sebastián)

Queenamor Monserrat, an engineer who donates her free hours catechizing poor children, many of whom are neglected and abandoned by their parents, shared the annual event, which is organized in coordination with its Redemptorist Catechetical Commission, is one that the Baclaran Shrine regularly observes.

“This is to emphasize the importance of children in our society, especially the children in the Redemptorist [community],” she said.

Monserrat explained this celebration is also in keeping with the Presidential Proclamation No. 267 [which] declared the month of October of every year as “National Children’s Month”.

Themed “Batang Layko, Si Kristo Like (A)ko”, Baclaran Church’s Children’s Month event schedule is as follows:

October 4 (Saturday)
10:00 a.m. – Practice for Launching

October 5 (Sunday)
1:30 p.m. – Mini Symposium with Kids
2:30 p.m. – Children’s Mass
3:30 pm- Ribbon Cutting of Children’s Exhibit

October 12 (Sunday)
1:30 p.m. – Catechesis
2:30 p.m. – Children’s Mass
3:30 p.m. – Battle Round “The Voice of RedempKids”

October 18 (Saturday)
6:00 a.m. – Outreach Program with above Grade 5 level kids

October 19 (Sunday)
1:30 p.m. – Catechesis
2:30 p.m. – Children’s Mass
3:30 p.m. – Shrine Clean-Up Project

October 26 (Sunday)
1:30 p.m. – Catechesis
2:30 p.m. – Children’s Mass
3:30 p.m. – Final Round “The Voice of RedempKids”
& Culmination Program

According to the Council of the Welfare (CWC) website, the National Children’s Month seeks to “emphasize the importance of the role of the child within the Filipino family and in nation building”.

Section 13, Article II of the Philippine Constitution “recognizes the vital role of the youth in the nation building and shall promote and protect their physical, moral, spiritual, intellectual and social well-being. It shall inculcate in the youth, patriotism and nationalism, and encourage their involvement in public and civic affairs”. (Raymond A. Sebastián)