‘Year of the Poor’-inspired seminarians gathering held in Iloilo

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JARO, Iloilo City, Oct. 25, 2015 – Major Seminarians came together in this city for the 10th Gathering of Theology Seminarians in the Visayas with the CBCP’s Year of the Poor-inspired theme “Pauperes Introduc Huc” (“Bring in the poor here”, Luke 14:21).

Some 243 seminarians participated in the gathering. Photo by Fr. Mickey Cardenas

Dubbed as the GTSV 10, at least 243 seminarians and 21 priest-formators from the St. John the Evangelist School of Theology (SJEST) of the Archdiocese of Palo, Sancta Maria Mater et Regina Seminarium (SMMRS) of the Archdiocese of Capiz, Seminario Mayor de San Carlos (SMSC) of the Archdiocese of Cebu and St. Joseph Regional Seminary (SJRS) of the Archdiocese of Jaro in Iloilo gathered on October 19 to 23 for the biennial event that serves as an excellent occasion for theology seminarians to deepen their commitment to their calling.

According to GTSV 10 Chairman, Bunnie Reydel Ambao, the theme of the 10th theology seminarians gathering was first conceptualized in the formator-seminarians meeting held in Cebu on October 24, 2014 at Seminario Mayor de San Carlos.

“The theme ‘Pauperes Introduc Huc’ was chosen because the gathering is held in the Year of the Poor,” Ambao said.

Explaining the origin of the theme, GTSV 10 Secretariat Joaper Geraneo said, “‘Pauperes Introduc Huc’ came from the parable of the great banquet in which the master ordered his servants to “bring in the poor, crippled, the blind and the lame.”

“In view also of the International Eucharistic Congress that will be held in Cebu in January 2016,” Geraneo elaborated, “the Rectors of the Visayas Theolgy Seminaries wanted to integrate the concept of a dinner that would give an allusion to the Eucharistic banquet.”

The main conference of GTSV 10 was delivered by Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick S. Pabillo, Chairman of the CBCP Council on Public Affairs, who exhorted the seminarians to recognize and evangelize the poor in our midst under the light of the Sacred Scriptures and the Social Teaching of the Church.

The seminarians had an opportunity for a close encounter with the poor on October 22 with a lunch held in the houses of the community of informal settlers near St. Joseph Regional Seminary. After the short encounter, the delegates held small-group discussions under the supervision of the seminary counselors.

One of the highlights of GTSV 10 was a sharing from a seminarian from Leyte who related their experience during typhoon “Yolanda”. Moved by his account, as a gesture of solidarity, the seminarian and priest delegates donated books to augment the library collection of the damaged Palo seminary.

The GTSV 10 also served as an avenue for the seminarians to be exposed to the rich culture of the Visayas with various cultural visits that covered the historical churches in Iloilo starting from Sta. Barbara Church, Molo Church, winding down to the Miag-ao World Heritage Church.

On the last day of the GTSV 10 last October 23, the bishops, priests and seminarians gathered at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Candles to celebrate the closing Mass. (Fr. Mickey Cardenas/CBCP News)

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