A “Symposium On The Priesthood and The Gospel of Mercy” held at the Santuario De San Paolo in Casa Milan, Q.C. last June 13, 2016 was a perfect way to start the last day of the Eucharistic Days of Mercy in the Diocese of Novaliches.
The Symposium was a gathering of experts beginning with Saint Vincent School of Theology’s Dean Rev. Fr. Daniel Pilario, CM, SThD who discussed “Jesus’ Message Of God’s Mercy And Compassion: Towards A Joyful Living Out Of Our Priesthood.” He cited the challenges of priestly life as well as the politics of form that sometimes plague members of the clergy.
Loyola School of Theology’s Professor of Systematic Theology and Mission Studies Rev Fr. James Kroeger, MM, SThD took the floor with “The Priest In Pope Francis’ Vision Of A Church That Goes Forth To The Peripheries: Rekindling Our Sense And Love Of Mission.” He liberally quoted Pope Francis and came up with ten inspirational insights on priests and the priesthood, which revolved anchoring the priesthood in Christ to become merciful, humble, joyful, and credible models of the Gospel who are able to harness and care for the needs of the people.
Meanwhile, Immaculate Conception Major Seminary’s Rector Rev. Fr. Emmanuel Cruz, SThD passionately tackled various incidents wherein the priest becomes nurtured or the one nurturing through the topic, “Nurtured and Nurturing: The Priest And The Sacrament Of The Holy Eucharist He Celebrates.”
The Diocese of Pasig’s Most Rev. Mylo Hubert Vergara, DD, SThD spoke on the importance of priestly fraternity with his topic, “The Pastoral Ministry Of Mercy And Compassion To Priests And Among Priests: The Grace of Shepherding The Shepherds.”
Diocese of Novaliches’ Vicar General For Administration Msgr. Jesus Romulo C. Ranada, SThD wrapped up the Symposium with a synthesis on the salient points, vital opportunities and present challenges of the four topics covered. While Sr. Amelia David, ICM, M.A. Ed., formally closed the day-long event with her tribute to Bishop Tobias in a well-delivered commentary entitled, “The Priest in Bishop Tony: Celebrating Fifty Long and Fruitful Years in the Ministry.”
Prior to the talks, Diocese of Novaliches’ Vicar General For The Clergy Rev. Fr. Noel Azupardo gave the Introduction on the Symposium while Vicar General For Pastoral Affairs Rev. Fr. Antonio E. Labiao, Jr. led the Invocation. Rev. Fr. Jimmy Lara, as Moderator for the Symposium, gave a rundown on the programme, which was interspersed with personal reflection and group sharing.
Archbishop Emeritus and former Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) President Most Rev. Oscar Cruz, D.D. dropped by in the morning of the Symposium to personally greet Bishop Tobias. While other bishops came after the Symposium to concelebrate the Holy Mass for the Bishop’s birthday.
The Eucharistic Days of Mercy was a three day event in honor of the 50th Sacerdotal Anniversary and the 75th Birthday of the Most Rev. Antonio R. Tobias, D.D. that locally echoes the 51st International Eucharistic Congress in the Diocese of Novaliches. (~Lulu Reclusado-Nario)