MANILA, June 18, 2015 – The Seminario de Jesus Nazareno, of the Diocese of Borongan, the only minor seminary in the island of Samar, celebrated its Golden Jubilee on June 16, 2015 with the theme “Jesus increased in wisdom and in years, and in divine and human favor” (Luke 2:52).
The Apostolic nuncio Archbishop Giuseppe Pinto, in his message, read by Rev. Fr. Neil Tenefrancia, Chancellor of the Diocese of Borongan, blessed the seminary as “the heart of the diocese”, “a seedbed of vocation blessing the Diocese of Borongan.”
The highlight of the celebration was a Eucharistic Celebration presided over by its first rector, Bishop Emeritus Angel Hobayan, of the Diocese of Catarman, and concelebrated by Naval Bishop Filomeno G. Bactol, DD, and Borongan Bishop Crispin B. Varquez, DD.
‘Crucified in parishes’
The homilist Msgr. Lope C. Robredillo, an alumnus and former formator of the seminary, traced the history of the seminary, from the founding of the seminary on June 16, 1965 by Msgr. Vicente Reyes, the first bishop of Borongan, from Quiapo.
According to him, it was founded with the spirituality of the crucified Christ, with Jesus the Nazarene as a model for seminarians.
Robredillo challenged the seminarians to be ready “to be crucified”, imitating the image of Christ; with the priests themselves ready to be crucified in their parishes and; bishops in their dioceses.
Obstacles to following Jesus
The priest stressed that the image of Christ goes against the prevailing “culture of excellence” and “culture of competition” that give rise to jealousy, envy, vain, and pride, obstacles in following Jesus. He further added that priesthood means living a simple life and being content with “a ministry of mercy and compassion”.
Hobayan thanked the seminary for inviting him to preside over the Eucharistic Celebration. Coming back after 50 years, he said, he saw great change and growth in the seminary, particularly through its graduates of highly-respected priests, educated professionals, and responsible people in society.
The celebration was attended by bishops, guest priests, the Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Palo, Msgr. Rex Ramirez, rector of Sacred Heart Seminary of Palo, Fr. Erlito Maraya, priests from the diocese of Borongan, lay representatives of the different parishes, Boronganons, seminarians, and their parents. (Vanessa M. Puno/ CBCPNews)