Faithful told: Be a source of unity in your parish

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In this Year of the Parish, Bishop of Dipolog Severo Caermare said the parish community is like different voices and different instruments headed by the parish priest as conductor. He officiated the Holy Mass in celebration of the feast of St. Francis Xavier in Davao City, Dec. 3, 2016. (PhotoL Brenda P. Milan)

DAVAO City, Dec. 19, 2016 —“Can we make ourselves a guide to unity?”

This is the question asked by the rector of St. Francis Xavier Regional Major Seminary of Mindanao (REMASE) as the community celebrated on Dec. 3 its patron saint’s feast in this year’s Year of Parishes and Faith Communities.

During the Metro Xavier Community fiesta, Msgr. Abel Apigo asked the faithful, including the priests and seminarians to reflect on how they can become symbols of unity in the parishes and communities.

Likening the different religious communities of Metro Xavier in Catalunan Grande in this city to a rainbow, the rector said the different colors of the rainbow blend well, adding that together they produce harmony which is pleasing to the eyes.

Inspired by St. Francis Xavier

“The different communities form a kind of harmony or unity that desires to bring out the image of Jesus Christ. This harmony is inspired by the great missionary St. Francis Xavier,” added the priest.

The Metro Xavier community is composed of:

  • St. Francis Xavier Pre-College Seminary;
  • College Seminary;
  • Pre-Theology Year;
  • the Regional Major Seminary Community;
  • Sacred Heart Brothers;
  • Order of St. Benedict (OSB) Society of Divine Vocation;
  • Society of Divine Word (SVD);
  • Apostles of Jesus Crucified (AJC); and
  • the Marist Community

On Dec. 2, the different communities gave a short presentation depicting the life of the people and the priests in the parishes and BECs and how they go about the different challenges of parish life and community life.

“Brothers and sisters, in the many challenges that we encounter in the families, in the Gagmay’ng Kristohanong Katilingban (GKKs), and in the parishes like disunity and the erosion of moral values, let us continue to move on,” said Apigo.

Different voices in harmony

In a Holy Mass officiated by Dipolog Bishop Severo Caermare on Dec. 3, he likened the parish priest to a choir master who leads the instrumentalists in harmonizing different voices and instruments.

He added that the call of unity is for all, saying everyone has to do his part in unifying the entire parish community.

“Love is a mission. It is love that prompted the Father to send the Son,” said the prelate, referring to God the Father and Jesus Christ.

In a thanksgiving message, REMASE vice rector Fr. Rene Retardo, on the other hand, said the Metro Xavier Community will continue to serve in humility to promote unity in the parish communities. (John Frances C. Fuentes / CBCP News)

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