KIDAPAWAN City, Feb. 23, 2016—Mindanao’s diocesan priests gathered here for their annual convention which is now on its 40th year.
The Diocese of Kidapawa hosted some 500 Diocesan Clergy of Mindanao (DCM) from 21 dioceses in Mindanao from February 15 to 17.
Auxiliary Bishop of Cotabato Jose Collins Bagaforo officiated the opening Mass at the Mary Mediatrix of All Grace Cathedral with Orlando Cardinal Quevedo, Archbishop of Cotabato as homilist.
Families nourished by Jesus
In his homily, the cardinal said the Holy Eucharist nourishes the families who are under the care of diocesan priests in their parishes and in Basic Ecclesial Communities (BEC).
“No family is strong without nourishment from the Eucharist,” Quevedo said.
The cardinal also said, like the lay faithful, every priest comes from their respective families and he hopes that their families are also nourished by the Eucharist, especially that they have offered their sons to serve the Lord through the celebration of the Holy Eucharist.
The cardinal led the diocesan priests in pondering on the theme: “DCM: Reflecting on the Family as nourished by the Word and the Eucharist”.
The Archbishop of Cotabato also asked the priests if they remain true to their priestly duty or if they are celebrating the Eucharist as a routine.
40 years a priest
“Let us be true to our vocation. Be true to God who calls us and true to our people,” said Bishop Patricio Buzon, SDB, the bishop of Kabankalan, who served as speaker during the conference on the second day at the JC Complex in Kidapawan City.
The bishop also encouraged the priests to be humble and to submit themselves to assist programs of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) that aim to help them in their ongoing formation as priests.
For 40 years, the Diocesan Clergy of Mindanao Convention has been gathering priests from all parts of Mindanao every year and they have been growing in number and growing in age together.
“We enjoy the whole convention. We grow together as priests,” said Msgr. Abel Apigo, the president of the Diocesan Clergy of Mindanao upon welcoming the more than 400 delegates during the opening Mass.
Apigo lauded the number of diocesan priests attending the yearly convention, especially those who have been with DCM since it started—those who have been in the ministry for more than 40 years and those who have reached their 50th year.
He also congratulated those priests who have been ordained recently like those priests who received the sacrament of holy orders in 2015. (John Frances C. Fuentes / CBCP News)