Friday, September 28, 2012

Rector's Circular 5-2012

Feast of San Lorenzo Ruiz
28 September 2012
Circular Letter 05-2012

Dear Fathers, Parents, Guardians, Seminarians and Friends,

“Ego Catholicus sum et animo prompto paratoque pro Deo mortem obibo.
Si mille vitas haberem, cunctas ei offerrem.”
Filipino Catechism has these words upon the death of San Lorenzo Ruiz, Filipino proto-martyr which can be translated as, “I am a Catholic and wholeheartedly do accept death for the Lord; If I had a thousand lives, all these I shall offer to Him.”  May the faith and martyrdom of the first Filipino Saint, whose feast we celebrate today, inspire us in following and serving the same Lord.
By happy coincidence, there is another good news.  On October 21, 2012, a second Saint who is also Filipino will be canonized, Blessed Pedro Calungsod – a sacristan and catechist!  He offered his life in order to save the life of a missionary priest, Blessed Diego Sanvitores in Guam.   Blessed John Paul II declared, “In a spirit of faith, marked by strong Eucharistic and Marian devotion, Pedro undertook the demanding work asked of him and bravely faced the many obstacles and difficulties he met. In the face of imminent danger, Pedro would not forsake Fr. Diego, but as a good soldier of Christ preferred to die at the missionary's side.”  St. Pedro Calungsod, pray for us!
Also today, we remember in a very special way our dear Archbishop, we fondly call Father Soc.  We thank God for the gift of a wonderful, fatherly and saintly shepherd of souls in our Archdiocese.  His great love for the seminarians is manifested by his very personal approach and knowledge of them.   He said that if we open his heart, the seminary will be in it.  Our seminary community prays for him and keep him very close to our hearts, too.
As a personal note, I end my 7 years at the Lay Formation Center also today.  I thank God for the gift of ministry to an important area in the life of the Church in the Archdiocese.  I shall now be a fulltime Rector of the College Seminary.  It is really difficult to maintain two houses, now I have only one and I shall work harder, with your cooperation, to make the seminary a better home.  Heaven is where God is – Where God is, is Heaven!  Help us make the seminary “God-ful…” heavenly.

The seminary aims at forming men of virtue, of human excellence and goodness
of character, founded on psycho-emotional integration, and modeled on Christ’s example
of authentic humanity. Seminary formation aims at forming men with a deep understanding of the mysteries of the faith, a capacity for ongoing theological reflection, and pastoral skills and competence, in the context of Church and society in the Philippines and Asia, for the sake of the mission of evangelization.
(From Pastores Dabo Vobis and the Updated Philippine Program for Priestly Formation).

The above mentioned description of seminary formation tells us that our future priests must be well-integrated and also knowledgeable.  All the aspects of seminary formation are important and it is necessary to maintain some balance.  While spiritual and human formation is very important, it does not mean that physical or academic formation is not important.  The last two weeks of the semester are crucial in our seminary program this year.  We shall have evaluations about our community life, but it is also the period for final examinations.  Let us please support and keep our seminarians in prayer.

Finally, as the Procurator of the seminary, I may be embarrassed to do this frequent reminder but I am obliged to.  Our accounts payable as of today is more than one million and ninety-four thousand pesos.  Since our seminary is non-profit, we cannot continue to provide for the needs of the seminarians without sufficient funds.  Please understand our situation for the common good of the community.  Pay in full immediately or at least one half of your remaining bill and the rest before the final exams.

On October 14, our seminarians will be home for their semestral vacation which will be until November 4.  During this period all medical and dental appointments must be scheduled, and if possible personal or family visits and trips done.  Our second semester will be short and filled with activities and programs which I am sure you and your seminarian-son would not want to miss.  This includes our Philosophy Week (November) and Musical-Drama on the Life of St. John the Evangelist (February).  We also anticipate your presence to our Prayer Sessions when there will be Family Recollections and Spiritual Conferences.  These are all upcoming and let us already at this point prepare and seek God’s graces for these events.

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

Very truly yours in Christ,

Fr. Mario Dominic C. Sanchez