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Pinoy priests in Rome thank supporters of ‘papal school’

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ROME, Italy, Dec. 11, 2014—Filipino priests undertaking further studies in the Italian capital are all out in expressing gratitude to everyone who had donated for the repair of what they affectionately call their “Home in Rome”—the Pontificio Collegio Filippino (Pontifical Filipino College).

In his interview over Church-run Radyo Veritas, the Collegio’s rector, Fr. Gregory Ramon Gaston, shared that the institution’s pipelines and heating system need upgrading, and its dilapidated walls and cracked floors are also in need of renovation. The priest also lamented that the high cost of construction in Europe is “a major concern”.

CBCP News previously reported that the subsidy Collegio receives from residents’ lodging fees and donations from guests are “only enough for its daily operations”.

The Collegio, officially known as the Pontifical College Seminary of Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage, has produced more than 500 alumni, many of whom are now bishops, archbishops, and papal nuncios who go on to become professors, members of the Diocesan Curia, and serve in specialized ministries such as communications and school systems.

Among its “illustrious” graduates are Papal Nuncio to Korea Archbishop Osvaldo Padilla of Cebu City, and brother of Tanzania Archbishop Francisco Padilla; Archbishop Bernardito Auza, papal observer to the United Nations (UN), and Congo Archbishop Adolfo Tito Yllana.

To date, the Collegio has 28 priests from the Philippines enrolled, and 10 others from countries like the Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, and Zimbabwe.

“It takes two to four years for Filipino priests to obtain their ecclesiastical degrees, and after completing their formation, they return to their home dioceses to work with the bishops and to train future priests in seminaries,” Gaston said, noting how much the Collegio supports the life of the Church.

Inaugurated in 1959, the institution, a four-storey structure, is located at 490 Via Aurelia in Rome.

In a media release, Manila Archbishop Luís Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle calls on the faithful to support the global fundraising drive to start major repairs on the Collegio.

“The restoration of the Collegio will help preserve the environment of excellence it has established through the years – a quality that will redound to the entire Catholic community,” the prelate stressed. (Raymond A. Sebastián/CBCP News)


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