NAGA City, March 27, 2015 – As if to prod them on, a prelate’s graduation message to some 24 seminarians was about the true source of courage – God.
“What gives us courage to move forward is this: we are enveloped in the love of God,” said Caceres Archbishop Rolando Tria Tirona during the 25th Commencement Exercises of the Holy Rosary Major Seminary on March 15.
“God does not want us to suffer and to fail,” the prelate added.
In his homily, Tirona explained that the [graduation] emphasizes contrasting realities in one’s life as seminarians and as a people of God.
According to the head of the Archdiocese of Caceres, the contrasting realities of infidelity and fidelity; captivity and liberation; contrasting experiences of light and darkness; sinfulness and Divine mercy and forgiveness show only one thing: God’s love.
The Carmelite prelate also added that in spite of many contrasting realities in the life of a seminarian, after prayerful discernment, he still responds faithfully to the call of God.
Not just academic
Tirona also explained that the formation of a seminarian is not just academic, nor is formation only at the philosophical or theological level.
According to him, the formation of a seminarian is a training towards the kind of life and the kind of person God wants him to be.
“Being intimate with Jesus is non-negotiable,” he added.
14 of the seminarians were from the Philosophy Department and 10 from the Theology Department.
Bagging all the awards at the Philosophy Department is Virac Seminarian Michael John Salvante. The following are the awards he received: Excellence in Research Writing and Defense; Excellence in Oral Comprehensive Examination in Philosophy; Jose Ma. Panganiban Award in Publications; and the Service Award.
At the Theology Department, Legazpi Seminarian Anthony Pabon received the Rector’s Award for Excellence in Thesis Presentation and Defense, while Caceres Seminarian Daniel Vegas was conferred with the Rector’s Award for Excellence in the Comprehensive Examination in Theology and the Service Award.
Virac Bishop Manolo delos Santos concelebrated the Mass with Tirona, together with several seminary formators and members of the clergy. (Mylene Velasco/Caceres News/CBCPNews)