GUIGUINTO, Bulacan, June 19, 2015 — “Learn to live in poverty.”
This is what Malolos Bishop Jose Oliveros, DD told seminarians of the Immaculate Conception Seminary (ICS) in Guiguinto, Bulacan during a celebration of the Holy Eucharist in honor of the Holy Spirit to commence the start of the ICS formation year on June 15.
In his homily, he urged the seminarians to commit to a life of poverty in solidarity with the Church in the Philippines which is currently celebrating the Year of the Poor.
Tips for living out poverty
He said seminarians “should live in simplicity”, looking only after basic necessities, while foregoing excessive wants.
“You do not live a life of the rich in the seminary. We live in poverty because are serving the Church of the Poor,” Oliveros said.
Further, the prelate gave a practical tip on how to live out poverty, something he himself practiced while in seminary formation: “Eat what is served before you. It is a symbol of poverty.” Oliveros also told seminarians they should appreciate what they are served, refraining from being too picky about what they eat.
Forming future priests
“Remember what the Lord had said, ‘Blessed are the poor in spirit, theirs is the kingdom of heaven’. We must number ourselves among the poor, so that we may be worthy and be blessed in God’s kingdom,” he said.
At the end of the Mass, Fr. Sonny de Armas, rector of the minor seminary reported that currently, there are 46 seminarians enrolled in the minor seminary. Fr. Manny Cruz, on the other hand, noted an increase in the number of seminarians in the major seminary. There are 24 seminarians in the Pre-college Department; 103 in the Philosophy Department; and 46 in the Graduate School of Theology.
Oliveros also expressed gratefulness to the seminary formation team for responding to the task he assigned to them: teaching and forming future priests.
Aside from the Diocese of Malolos, ICS serves seven other dioceses in terms of seminary formation, namely the Dioceses of Antipolo, Balanga, Cabanatuan, Cubao, Kalookan, Novaliches, and Pasig. (Arvin Ray C. Jimenez/CBCPNews)