STA. MARIA, Bulacan, June 15, 2015 — The Immaculate Conception Major Seminary (ICMAS) in Guiguinto, Bulacan, Diocese of Malolos conducted a pilgrimage at the La Purissima Concepcion Parish in Sta. Maria, Bulacan on June 13, commending the seminary’s coming school year to the Blessed Virgin through a prayer of consecration.
Marking the beginning of the seminary’s formation year 2015-2016, the administration, seminarians and even the non-teaching personnel of the seminary offered a celebration of the Holy Mass, entrusting the seminary to the maternal care of Our Lady on the feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Fr. Ronaldo Tuazon, spiritual director of the Graduate School of Theology, presided over the celebration of the Holy Eucharist. He invited the community to ask the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary for the seminary this school year.
Rev. Fr. Fernando Cenon, Prefect of Discipline of the Philosophy Department, enjoined the seminarians during his homily to look upon the example of the Blessed Virgin Mary as a disciple as they undergo the formation to the priesthood. “The Blessed Virgin Mary has no other mission but to bring us to Jesus,” he said in Filipino.
“Have a joyful heart in the seminary,” Fr. Cenon added. “Following Jesus is coupled with joyfulness,” he further exclaimed in Filipino.
He gave Mary as an example of joyfulness to the seminarians. “Mary said in the Gospel, my spirit rejoices in God; joy is the fruit of following the Lord like Mary. Let us not remove joyfulness from this formation year,” he added in Filipino.
The ICMAS community, led by the seminary formation team head, Fr. Emmanuel I. Cruz, ICMAS rector, recited the Prayer of Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of the MaryAt the end of the Holy Mass.
After the Holy Mass at the La Purissima Conception Parish, the ICMAS community headed to Groto Vista Resort in San Jose del Monte City, Bulacan, where the conclusion of the welcome rites for the ICMAS freshmen was held. The community took the opportunity for bonding and recreation before they formally begin the classes on June 15, 2015.
The pilgrimage and outing of ICMAS community was preceded by a retreat which focused on the theme, “collaborative ministry”, following last year’s theme, “stewardship”.
Fr. Emmanuel I. Cruz, ICMAS Rector said priesthood is never a despotic, monarchical or a solo-player kind of leadership that is why seminarians must learn to work with others.
“Priesthood is a ministry of collaboration, with the bishop, with fellow priests, and the laity,” he explain.
Collaborative ministry is founded in the works of Jesus. “Jesus himself called a community of disciples to live with and learn from him, and to be sent…” he added
“The way to live and do mission in the Church is by way of co-responsibility, shared responsibility, and collaborative ministry among the people and the clergy,” Cruz explained.
The priest also explained that collaborative ministry begins in the seminary. “Seminary formation is collaborative formation, a team work,” he said. (Arvin Ray C. Jimenez/CBCPNews)