5 ‘Yolanda’ survivors among Palo’s new priests

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Palo Archbishop John Du urges the new priests in the Archdiocese to be “alter Christus”, and bearers of Christ as they enter people’s lives and the parishes they will be assigned to. (Photo: Eileen N. Ballesteros)

PALO, Leyte, Dec. 9, 2015 – Five Yolanda survivors are added to the roster of clerics in the Archdiocese of Palo today, bringing the total number of active priests in the diocese to around 150.

Ordained at the Palo Metropolitan Cathedral to the presbyterial rank were Reverends Jan Ian Brylle D. Callera, Dino Evan B. De Paz, Fritz Francis P. Del Pilar, Dexter Ian M. Rivera and James Sean A. Sital.

All of them were under the tutelage of Cebu Auxiliary Bishop Oscar Jaime Llaneta Florencio while yet a vice-rector at the Sacred Heart Seminary, then rector of the St. John the Evangelist School of Theology (SJEST), both located in this town.

Florencio disclosed that this group of new priests had already shown their dedication even during their earlier years of formation in the theologate which heightened his expectation for this particular ordination, in spite of the trials they went through, including the super typhoon Yolanda.

Palo Archbishop John Forrosuelo Du and Florencio led hundreds of faithful of the archdiocese in welcoming the new priests.

Fr. Lito Maraya, current rector of SJEST, recalled his experience of braving super typhoon Yolanda together with the newly-ordained priests, among whom two sought him, thinking that he was in danger.

“I really believe that what we all went through when the super typhoon struck the seminary must have made them better in the way they looked at life in that life-changing experience,” the priest recalled.

“We are all grateful that God has given us a lease on life, which I believe must have changed their outlook in life,” he stated.

He described the five newly ordained clerics as good people, sincere and willing to do more for the church, hoping that “they will continue to nurture that idealism.” (Eileen Nazareno-Ballesteros / CBCP News)

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