DAVAO City, July 21, 2015—Serving the Church will entail a lot of persecution and challenges, so ministers, which includes all who serve in the Church, should develop a high tolerance to pain and suffering as they respond to people’s needs.
This was the message of the Davao Archbishop Romulo G. Valles to newly-installed seminarian lectors and acolytes of the St. Francis Xavier Regional Major Seminary, which used to be the only seminary in Mindanao.
During the Mass and rite of installation held at the San Pedro Cathedral here last July 4, the prelate called on the seminarian lectors and acolytes to be constant in prayer and be more tolerant of frustrations and difficulties.
Service and prayer
Lectors are tasked to spread the Good News being readers of the Word of God while acolytes assist the priests and deacons in the celebration of the Holy Eucharist.
“Service and constant prayer are inseparable. They are non-negotiables in our faith,” said Valles in his homily, adding that the Eucharist is one of the non-negotiables in their ministry and in their faith.
Valles said the seminarians should also “be in love” with the Eucharist, so they will be ready to minister.
“Your dreams, mind should be one with the Church. You should love the Church the way Jesus did,” he said.
To serve those in despair
“The ministers are there to serve and not to be served. As a minister, you should serve the Church,” Valles added, recounting the washing of the feet of the 12 apostles, which according to him is a powerful image.
“You should serve the people, those who are in despair,” he told the 32 lectors who are first year students of Theology and there are 27 acolytes coming from the second year Theology of St. Francis Xavier Regional Major Seminary in Catalunan Grande, Davao City.
The archbishop also thanked the Foreign Missionaries of Quebec, better known as the PME Fathers, for their contribution in building the local church of Davao.
“It’s an honor recalling the work of the PME Fathers. That’s why we [did] the ceremony here in the cathedral,” Valles told the bishops, priests, seminarians, and the Mass-goers present.
The rector of the seminary, Msgr. Abel Apigo, said the institution of lectors and acolytes is a way of promoting priestly vocations as there were college seminarians coming from different dioceses present during the Mass.
Meanwhile, the archbishop also led the investiture of the 23 seminarians of the Pre-Theology Year who received the vestment or sotana, which he blessed during the rite of investiture. (John Frances C. Fuentes/CBCP News)