‘Encourage youth to enter priesthood’ – priest to faithful

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Fr. Sonny U. de Armas, rector of the Immaculate Conception Minor Seminary, reflected on how families can encourage the youth to enter the seminary and become priests during a Chrism Mass at the Immaculate Conception Seminary Complex, Guiguinto, Bulacan, March 24, 2016. (Photo: Kendrick Ivan B. Panganiban)

GUIGUINTO, Bulacan, March 25, 2016 – During the celebration of the Mass of the Lord’s Supper at the Immaculate Conception Seminary Complex, Guiguinto, Bulacan, Fr. Sonny U. de Armas, rector of the Immaculate Conception Minor Seminary, reflected on how families can encourage the youth to enter the seminary and become priests.

“…Because the Church is in great need of priests, you, pilgrims now present with us, have a responsibility to help in encouraging the youth of today in the Church to enter the seminary,” said the priest.

Armas said the faithful could be more proactive in the matter by helping young men understand their calling.

Challenge to families

He said: “In encouraging young men to become priests, it is either we support them by giving our all for them or we do not, and by it we are unable to help in the growth of the Church.”

“It is therefore the challenge for all families today”, Armas explained, “to become disciples of Christ in allowing His call to be heard by the youth of the Church.”

In his homily, delivered to hundreds of pilgrims attending the seminary’s annual visita iglesia , he also shared his reflections on the significance of the sacrament celebrated on Maundy Thursday.

“In this celebration of the Lord’s Supper, it is good to reflect not only on the Eucharist but [on] one important sacrament of the Church established on this day, the sacrament of the ordination to the priesthood.”

Priests’ role

Expounding on this thought, he compared the role of a priest to other professionals by mentioning that people usually come to engineers, doctors, and lawyers when there is a specific need for which they can offer their services.

However, he said, “If you are going to ask [about] the role of the priest, he is needed by the faithful from the moment a person is born until he passes from this world.”

Armas outlined the faithful’s need for the sacraments at each major crossroad of life: baptism as a child; confirmation in the faith; sacrament of matrimony as an adult; anointing of the sick as one gets ill or dies.

The priest’s service is needed in order for the faithful to receive the means of salvation, he stressed.

Eucharistic vigils

According to Armas, this is in line with Christ’s own ministry in which Jesus showed His “utmost love” for those who followed Him as seen in the re-enactment of Jesus’ washing of the feet of the disciples during the Mass of the Lord’s Supper.

The Immaculate Conception Seminary, composed of the minor and major seminaries with the Carmelite Monastery of the Holy Family also opened its doors to pilgrims for the annual visita iglesia on Holy Thursday.

There are five chapels in the complex in which each department of the seminary has the Blessed Sacrament opened to the veneration of faithful for the whole evening of Holy Thursday until to Good Friday. (Kendrick Ivan B. Panganiban / CBCP News)

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