MANILA, March 14, 2014—Around 300 priest- alumni of the Divine Word Seminary in Tagaytay packed the Seminary chapel during the Eucharistic Mass presided by Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle in celebration of the seminary’s golden jubilee of foundation on March 12.
The two-day celebration also honored outstanding alumni who have distinguished themselves in various capacities through their significant contribution in the Church and country.
In his homily, Tagle recalled with fondness his many years of teaching in DWST, and noted how his teaching ministry impacted his life as a priest.
He expounded on the theme of thanksgiving for the overflowing grace received in the past 50 years, sprinkling his reflection with anecdotes about his teaching ministry that drew laughter among clergy and the faithful.
In conclusion, the cardinal expressed hopes that the community that gathered to celebrate in thanksgiving “would become like a body that is a living sacrifice of praise offered to God, pleasing sacrifice because it is a body of faith, of love, of mission.”
Erected in 1963, DWST has since produced thousands of alumni among SVD and other religious congregations and dioceses in the country twelve of whom have become bishops.
They are Bishop Arturo Bastes, SVD of Sorsogon; Bishop Joel Baylon of Legazpi; Bishop Edwin dela Peña , MSP of Marawi; Archbishop John Du of Palo, Leyte; Bishop Buenaventura Famadico of San Pablo; Archbishop John Hung, SVD of Taipei, Taiwan; Bishop Leopoldo Jaucian, SVD of Bangued; Bishop Antonio Palang of San Jose, Occidental Mindoro; Bishop Oscar Solis of Los Angeles, California; Bishop Crispin Varquez of Borongan. Two other bishops, Vicente Manuel and Artemio Rillera, both SVDs have already died.
The semi-centennial celebration was graced by special guest John Allen, Jr. a senior Vatican analyst of CNN who keynoted a speech during a symposium for the alumni on the same day.
Allen spoke extensively about the papacy of Pope Francis and noted how his life and communication style gives the church a new image.
He pointed out three things that he said are keys to understanding the person of the pope—leadership as service, social gospel and the practice of mercy.
The Vatican journalist also discussed hot button issues confronting the Church in the 21st century, such as the reform of the curia, the sex abuse scandal in the church, and the role of women, among other things. (CBCPNews)