ZAMBOANGA City, June 2, 2016 – A new priest’s recent thanksgiving Mass reminded families how they are the nest for vocations where God’s call to men and women can grow.
“The vocation of these two were started by you and nurtured by you,” said Fr. Moises Cuevas, rector of the Zamboanga Cathedral, homilist during the thanksgiving Mass of Fr. Mark Ivan Monjardin, one of the newly-ordained ministers of Zamboanga archdiocese.
According to the priest, the vocation to the priesthood does not come directly from God but from the priests’ respective families.
“From you have come these two young men who felt they were called by God and answered this call,” explained Dela Cruz.
During a short message, Monjardin said he and his batchmate became priests “through the mercy and grace of God and not because they are intelligent or what.”
“I can only boast of God’s mercy,” he said, adding that his family has helped him, especially during those times of trial.
“When I doubted my self, you never doubted me,” Monjardin said, referring to his parents and family.
During Monjardin’s ordination earlier in the day, May 23 at the Immaculate Conception Cathedral in this city, Zamboanga Archbishop Romulo T. Dela Cruz said he is hoping more young men will answer the call of God to serve Him through the priestly life.
The prelate exhorted the newly-ordinated priests to be the “co-workers of bishops”, who should be attending not to their own concerns but to Christ’s work.
He added the new priests should take the Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ as their example who came to serve and not to be served.
Far from perfect
Despite such a lofty model, Cuevas said it is unfair to expect perfection from priests.
”Priests are not perfect. We will never be perfect.”
“If we fail, we condemn ourselves. We don’t need your condemnation,” said Cuevas, pointing out the human nature and priestly nature of priests, especially at the height of the controversial accusations of President-elect Rodrigo Duterte against the Catholic Church.
The thanksgiving mass was held at the Holy Rosary of Manaoag Parish and earlier that day, Fr. Monjardin received the sacrament of ordination through the laying on of hands of Archbishop Romulo T. Dela Cruz to his head together with fellow ordinandee Fr. Oscarlito Bisnar, Jr. at the Zamboanga Cathedral.
The two new priests of the Archdiocese of Zamboanga are both graduates of St. Francis Xavier Regional Major Seminary of Mindanao located in Catalunan Grande, Davao City. (John Frances C. Fuentes/CBCPNews)