His Excellency Bishop Antonio Tobias, DD encouraged the Youth of the Diocese to give consecrated life a thought during his homily on Maundy Thursday at the Cathedral Shrine and Parish of the Good Shepherd.
“God may be calling you to be a priest or religious. Give those choices a thought and not marriage alone and always,” Bishop Tobias said after making an appeal to his Clergy to treasure the priesthood and not to let it go to waste.
Citing a bishop’s job to care for priests and the religious, the prelate also reminded the Clergy of their own responsibilities: to confirm the Faith of the flock entrusted to them by God by reaching out to the peripheries of their parish boundaries such as schools, within or outside the family, hospitals, marketplace, and even churches of different faith. He also emphasized that priests should have the initiative to find these people and and not just sit around waiting for them to come to the Church.
Bishop Tobias also asked priests “to open their hearts and the doors of the diocese to priests and religious in need of space.” He admitted that despite his best efforts, he has yet to find a way for them to open up to each other about their inner struggles and failures as priests.
Acknowledging the collaborative efforts made among parishes, the Clergy and lay people, the Bishop was also happy to recall how this gave way to the completion of the construction of the Tahanang Pari in Sacred Heart Village and the ongoing construction of the Kristong Hari Parish Shrine of the Youth in Commonwealth Avenue, QC.
He also cited how the Catechetical Ministry has already extended its service even to the public schools. In line with this, he begged the Clergy and Religious to take time to teach Christian Living Education, Catechism or Values Education in the Diocesan or parochial schools, in non-sectarian private schools and public schools from K-12 and below starting this school year since the catechists are already in charge of teaching Catechism in elementary public school.
Aside from bringing them back to God, he emphasized the need for the presence of the Church through the Priests and the Religious among the young people in schools that would somehow encourage them to consider a Religious vocation.
Bishop Tobias ended his homily by extending his thanks to every one and wished everyone to grow in holiness and for God to be with them always. (~Shirly Benedictos)