Saturday, December 15, 2012

Exams for Incoming Seminarians

Rector's Circular 8-2012

Memorial of St. John of the Cross
14 December 2012
Circular Letter 08-2012

Dear Fathers, Parents, Guardians, Seminarians and Friends,

It is the time of the year to celebrate the coming of the Lord.  Advent prepares us to celebrate Christmas with renewed and deeper appreciation for that great mystery that happened more than two thousand years ago when God gave us his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.  It should lead us to a better understanding of the history of salvation bringing a sense of awe and wonder. It should also lead us to a new longing for Christ.  “Like the deer that yearns for running streams, so my soul is yearning for you, my God. My soul is thirsting for God, the God of my life” (Ps 42,1f).

Advent is also a time to reflect on the final coming of Jesus Christ in glory.  The second coming is connected with the mystery of the incarnation, in fact it is its fulfillment.  We Christians are a waiting people, but unlike in the Old Testament, we are waiting for the fullness of his kingdom.  We and the whole world are still badly in need of liberation and redemption.  Therefore the Advent Season is always a time of great joy!

As your seminarian-sons go home, allow me to share with you some reasons of our great joy this blessed season:
·         The Installation of the Most Rev. Renato P. Mayugba, as the 6th Bishop of Laoag. The community has a pilgrimage-outing in Ilocos Sur and Ilocos Norte and sang the Te Deum during the Rites at the Cathedral last December 11, 2012.
·         The drafting of a constitution for the organization of the Mary Help of Christians College Seminary – Parents Association (MHCCS-PA) which will be ratified on December 15, 2012 after the Christmas Party.
·         The Visit of the Relic of St. Therese of the Child Jesus to our Seminary on January 13-14, 2013.
·         Our stage-play on the life of St. John the Evangelist this February 2013.  Fr. Dexter Z. CariƱo will direct this play which is very timely because of the Golden Jubilee of Lingayen-Dagupan as an Archdiocese. 

Our Prayer Session next month is on January 27, and in the afternoon our beloved human formation director, Ate Eda Castillo will have a conference for all families of our seminarians. This is part of our Spiritual Formation Program designed by our Spiritual Director, Fr. Jasper R. Hebron.  The formation to the priesthood is not only for the candidate but also involves the entire family of the seminarian.  Please do not miss this event!

Finally, allow me to greet you, in behalf of the Archbishop and the Seminary Administration, a very happy Christmas and blessed, peaceful new year! 

God bless us.  May Mary, Help of Christians, always pray for us.

Very truly yours in Christ,

Fr. Mario Dominic C. Sanchez

Friday, November 23, 2012

Rector's Circular 7-2012

Memorial of St. Columban
23 November 2012
Circular Letter 07-2012

Dear Fathers, Parents, Guardians, Seminarians and Friends,

Thank you for attending the Prayer Session last Sunday, November 18, 2012.  The Holy Hour for Vocations and the Eucharistic Celebration are our community celebrations of our “faith.”  Please continue to pray for vocations with us, and join us again for the next Prayer Session on December 15 (Saturday) at 9:30 AM.  It will also be our Family Christmas Party.  Please bring with you your entire family, including grandparents and small children.  We shall have games and prizes!

Allow me to summarize the points that we have discussed during our meeting last Sunday.  The first is about our formation in the seminary.  I invited you to look at the most important and central value for all our programs, projects and labors.  When we improve the facilities, do sacrifices, make changes – all of these are geared to improve and promote a well-integrated formation for our seminarians, future priests of the Church, as envisioned by our Vision-Mission in the seminary and our Holy Mother Church.  If we forget about this then our efforts become misdirected. 

Secondly, our discussion about the grades of your seminarian-sons.  We congratulate the Dean’s Listers.  Grades do not make a person.  They should never be considered as the gauge of a person’s worth or even give him a sense of identity.  Rather these grades reflect the mental capacity, hard work and discipline, proper time management and the quality of our teachers and academic program in the seminary.  Somehow, we need intellectually equipped seminarians so that they can be ready for their further studies in Theology.  In college, the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) and the Episcopal Commission on Seminaries advise us that our students must get to know and master all the basics, especially in the area of our specialization which is Philosophy.

The third is about our schedule.  Here is our complete schedule for the second semester:

November     24-26              Home Visit/Christ the King
December     8                      Talent Show:  Christmas with Mary
                        10-11              Bishop Rene’s Installation in Laoag (Community Outing)
                        13                    Benefactors’ Night
                        14                    Community Christmas Party
                        15                    Prayer Session (Host: Juniors; Celebrant: Msgr. Manuel Bravo);
                                                Family Christmas Party; Christmas Break after Party
                        27                    Rev. Jofer’s Sacerdotal Ordination
January         6                      Arrival from Christmas Break
                        14 -17             Midterm Examinations
                        26                    Human Formation
                        27                    Prayer Session (Host: Sophomores; Celebrant: Fr. Joseph Fernandez)
                                                Conference for Families by Ate Eda,  Family Day
February       1-3                  Home Visit
                        4                      Metropolitan Clergy Day
                        11-12              Blessed John Paul II Philosophy Week
                        13                    Dress Rehearsal for the play, San Juan Evangelista
                        14-16              Play Dates
                        16                    Celebration of the Golden Jubilee of the RCALD
                        17                    Prayer Session (Host: Freshmen; Celebrant: Bishop Rene Mayugba);
                                                AM – Vocation Day, PM – Presentation  of the play
                                                for Family and Friends
                        22                    Comprehensive Exams for Seniors
                        23                    Human Formation
March            1-3                  Home Visit
                        8                      Thesis Defense
                        11-14              Final Examinations for Seniors
                        15 -18             Home Visit for Seniors
                        19 -21             Retreat for Seniors; 5 PM- Arrival
                        18 -21             Final Examinations for Undergraduates
                        22                    Despedida
                        23                    Graduation (Host: Juniors; Celebrant: Most Rev. Socrates B. Villegas)
                        24                    Summer Vacation Begins
Let me combine the fourth and fifth points.  Please know that as Rector I am also holding the positions of Dean of Studies and Procurator.  Because of these responsibilities, I have journeyed with you in the past months also with details about our projects and budget.  I also mentioned two fundraising drives.   One for you, the BIGAS and the Friends of MHCCS for financial donations, and two, the “Helping Hearts” which is for our friends and benefactors who would support us with one thousand peso donation every semester. My intention of informing and involving you (in) all these is transparency.  I believe that as stewards, we have to consider co-responsibility seriously.
For this reason (and many other reasons), our team of formators has decided to create the “Mary Help of Christians College Seminary Parents Association” or MHCCS-PA.  We propose that we shall create an Ad-Hoc Committee to draft a Constitution (December), elect the first set of officers (January) and induct them (February).  Their “advisory” role will be very crucial especially in matter of finances and formation concerns.  I thank you very much for giving a unanimous consent to this proposal during our meeting.
God bless us.  May Mary, Help of Christians, always pray for us.

Very truly yours in Christ,

Fr. Mario Dominic C. Sanchez

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Rector's Circular 6-2012

 Memorial of Our Lady of Fatima
13 October 2012
Circular Letter 06-2012

Dear Fathers, Parents, Guardians, Seminarians and Friends,

Today we officially end our first semester of the current school year.  We celebrated yesterday by the Talent Show of our Seminarians aptly entitled, “Gifts.”  Truly we thank God for the gift of 67 vocations that God has given to the Church.  We appreciate their giftedness and we promise our prayers and support for their perseverance in the seminary formation.

We also launched our new fund-raising drive called “Helping Hearts of the Mary Help of Christians College Seminary” or MHCCS-HH.  Yesterday more 50 pledges came from our generous guests who promised to support our formation programs by giving one thousand pesos every semester.  This will help us, not only in the maintenance of our facilities, but moreso for the formation programs that are our top priorities in the seminary.

Our seminarians are expected to return to the seminary on November 2, and the first activity for your family is the November 18 Prayer Session.  The Holy Hour starts at 9:30AM as usual and it will be followed by the Holy Eucharist to be sponsored by the Sophomore Class.  There will be a Spiritual Conference for the Families of the Seminarians in the afternoon.  Therefore not only the parents are encouraged to attend but your entire family.  It is now seen that your presence to these Prayer Sessions are very important for the vocations of your seminarian-sons.

Coming up this November is the “Blessed John Paul II Philosophy Week” from November 29-30.  More than 8 college seminaries from Northern Luzon are converging in Bonuan Seminary for this very important academic event.

Finally as your seminarian-sons go home, let me again remind you to spend quality time with them and accompany them especially in their prayers and attendance at Holy Masses.  I also repeat that medical and dental check-ups are to be scheduled during the semestral break.  Your children are seminarians and they should not be encouraged to live in too much comfort and care.  The spirit of sacrifice must always be inculcated in their hearts in view of their future ministry especially to the poor.  Nonetheless, the vacation should truly be a time for rest, relaxation and recreation for them so that they may be ready to face another challenge this coming second semester.
May Mary, Help of Christians, always pray for us.

Very truly yours in Christ,

Fr. Mario Dominic C. Sanchez