MANILA, March 21, 2011?Nearly 200 priests from various dioceses across the country gathered for the second national clergy discernment to reflect on their respective roles as prophets â€œof the Church of the poorâ€.
Comprising 111 priests from 42 dioceses, including the Military Ordinariate and 56 others from 34 religious congregations, the national assembly aimed to re-visit the Second Plenary Council of the Philippines (PCP-II), two decades since it took place by reflecting on the priestsâ€™ prophetic roles given â€œthe new faces of the Church of the Poorâ€.
The national gathering was a follow-up of the first assembly of diocesan and religious priests held in October 2009, in response to the CBCPâ€™s call to â€œform circles of discernmentâ€ in order to examine if Philippine priests have been prophetic so that integral evangelization could further realize the vision of being â€œChurch of the Poor.â€
Jaro Archbishop Angel N. Lagdameoâ€™s gave the keynote speech titled â€œPCP II Perspective on Church of the Poor and the Priestâ€™s Prophetic Missionâ€.
Msgr. Manny Gabriel, one of the convenors, divided the assembly into 12 workshops, in what he termed as â€œpastoral circleâ€, where participants shared their experiences, analyzed and came up with pastoral actions on the â€œvarying faces of poverty and marginalization in the ministries and lives of priests.â€
Resource persons include Fr. Florentino Atilano Fajardo, CM and Dr. Joseph Carabeo on Homeless Families and Families Living under the Bridge, with Fr. Kenneth Centeno, CM as facilitator; Sr. Eva Maamo, SPC and Fr. Pedro Montallana, OFM on Marginalized Indigenous Families, with Fr. Sergio Maniba as facilitator; Bishop Edwin de la PeÃ±a and Sr. Elsa Compuesto, MSM on Marginali, with Msgr. Rey Monsanto as facilitator; Fr. Mario Agunod and Msgr. Albert Rabe on Marginalization of Farmers and Fisherfolks, with Fr. Rudy Abao, MSC as facilitator; Bishop Gerardo Alminaza and Fr. Jose Dizon on Marginalization of Workers, with Fr. Jesus Dumaual, MSC as facilitator; Fr. Manny Suarez and Fr. Delfo Canceran, OP on Marginalization of Informal Settlers, with Fr. Charley Ricafort, MI as facilitator; Fr. Edwin Corros, CS and an OFW family on Marginalization of Migrants and their Families, with Fr. Fullente Suarez as facilitator; Bishop Roberto Mallari and Center for Trade Union and Human Rights on the Marginalized Youth, with Fr. Rene Mercader, MSC as facilitator; Dr. Victoria Apuan of AMRSP Women Gender Commission on Marginalization of Victims of Domestic and Sexual Abuse [Women Issues), with Dr. Emelina Villegas, ICM as facilitator; Fr. Ambrocio Nonato C. Legaspi on Marginalization of Special Children/Person with Disabilities, with Fr. Luigi Gianbattista, SC as facilitator; Kalikasan Peopleâ€™s Network for the Environment on Impact of Climate Change on Marginalization of Peoples, with Fr. Ernie Pesimo as facilitator; and Fr. Wilfredo Dulay, MI on Raising the Missionary Consciousness of the Philippine Church, with Fr. Socrates Mesiona, MSP as facilitator.
Aside from Msgr. Manny Gabriel, Fr. Roberto Rivera, SJ also guided the participants in using â€œsocial analysisâ€. Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo provided the Scriptural foundations, Living Tradition and Social teachings of the Church.
The group came up with pastoral action on the last day of assembly. A team headed by Jaro Auxiliary Bishop Gerardo Alminaza will soon come up with a statement of this second discernment.
Iba Bishop Florentino Lavarias, chairman of the commission on clergy of the CBCP, presided over the closing liturgy with the participants dedicating themselves to the Blessed Mother in the mission of being prophets in the Church of the Poor.
Novaliches Bishop-emeritus Teodoro Bacani, Cabanatuan Bishop Sofronio Bancud, Manila Auxiliary Bishop Bernardino Cortez, Imus Bishop Luis Antonio Tagle, Kalookan Bishop Deogracias IÃ±iguez, and Taytay Bishop Edgardo Juanich expressed solidarity with the clergy during their brief visits.
Other activities, like a forum on the situation at Middle East and North Africa, pleas for signatures to help stop mining at Palawan, signatures for a letter to be sent to President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III on the labor problem in Cebuâ€™s VECO, were also included during the four-day gathering.
The national assembly was held at the Lay Formation Center (LayForce) of San Carlos Pastoral Complex from March 14-17. (Fr. Nonie Dolor/CBCPNews)