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Circular 2018-9: Canonical Coronation of Mary Help of Christians


April 26, 2018

Circular 2018-9

RE: Canonical Coronation of Mary Help of Christians

My dear people of God:

By the grace of God and favor of His Holiness Pope Francis, the image of Mary Help of Christians, venerated in our archdiocesan seminary, has been granted the honor of receiving papal coronation.  This is a clear message of affirmation from the Holy Father that this image of the Mother of God with the Child Jesus has contributed to the growth of the Catholic faith in Pangasinan for the past ninety years. The image was a gift of the then Apostolic Delegate Archbishop Guglielmo Piani to Bishop Cesar Maria Guerrero, the first Bishop of Lingayen. This gift caused the naming of our archdiocesan seminary as Mary Help of Christians Seminary.

This papal decree authorizing the coronation of the image gives the Archdiocese of Lingayen Dagupan the unique honor of having two images canonically crowned, the first image being Our Lady of the Rosary of Manaoag crowned on April 22, 1926.

The liturgical rites of crowning the venerated image will be held on August 22, 2018 at the Cathedral of Saint John the Evangelist in Dagupan City at nine o’clock in the morning presided by the Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Gabriele Caccia.

The next four months leading to the historic ecclesial event will be a period of intense catechesis, acts of piety and works of mercy in honor of Mary Help of Christians.

I call on you our brothers and sisters to consider this blessing as a challenge to love the Lord even more and seek ways to grow in holiness.

Sincerely yours,


Archbishop of Lingayen Dagupan



April 26, 2018

Circular 2018-9

RE: Say Pankorona ed say Imahen di Maria, Tulong Daray Cristiano

Pinablik iran Totoo’y Dios:

Lapud say grasya na Dios tan say panangaro na Santo Papa Francisco, say imahen nen Maria, Tulong Daray Cristiano (Mary Help of Christians), ya papagalangan diad saray seminario tayod arkidiosis, so naitday kagalangan diad say pangawat toy korona a manlapud Santo Papa. Sakey iyan malinew a pakabat a nanlapud say Santo Papa ya sayan imahen na Ina na Dios a kaibay Anak ton Jesus so akapangiter na inpamabaleg na pananisia Catoliko ed Pangasinan diad apalabas ya siam a pulon taon. Sayan imahen so inpangaro nen saman ya Apostolic Delegate Archbishop Guglielmo Piani ed si Bishop Cesar Maria Guerrero, say unaan ya Obispo na Lingayen. Sayan regalo so rason no akin et atawag ya Mary Help of Christians Seminary so seminario tayod arkidiosis.

Sayan decree ya nanlapud Santo Papa ya mangigagangan ed say pankorona na sayan imahen so mangiiter ed say Arkidiosis na Lingayen-Dagupan ya niduman kagalangan lapud say dwaran imahen ya akoronaan na ganggan na Santo Papa. Say unaan et say Inan Birhen na Santo Rosario na Manaoag ya akoronaan nen Abril 22, 1926.

Say rito ya pankorona na sayan gagalangen ya imahen so nagawa no Agosto 22, 2018 diad Katedral na San Juan Ibanghelista ed Dagupan City ed oras na alas nueve ed kabwasan. Saya so ipangulo na say Apostolic Nuncio Arsobispo Gabriele Caccia.

Diad sarayan apat a bulan ya mamaarap ed sayan maawaran ya nagawad simbaan so panaon na naspot ya katekismo, panagdasal tan panagaway kimey na panangasi a pamagalang ed say Ina, Tulong Daray Cristiano.

Tatawagen ko so imano yon amin, agagik ira, ya akoen iyan bendision a sakey a ayatan ya mas aroen so Katawan tan anapen iray dalan a mamabaleg ed panagbilay na kinasanto.

Say matoor ed sikayo,


Arsobispo na Lingayen Dagupan


Circular 2018-8: Northern Luzon Clergy Retreat

April 25, 2018

Feast of Saint Mark, Apostle

Circular 2018-8

RE: Northern Luzon Clergy Retreat

Reverend Fathers:

In order to more fittingly observe the 2018 Year of the Clergy and Consecrated Persons, as desired by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, the diocesan and religious clergy of the Metropolitan Provinces of Nueva Segovia, Tuguegarao and Lingayen Dagupan and the suffragan dioceses will have a joint Northern Luzon Clergy Retreat from July 16 midday until July 20 midmorning at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Heart in Baguio City. The retreat preacher will be Father Michael Gaitley, MIC who is known worldwide for the Marian campaign “33 Days to Marian Consecration”.

The obligation to make a yearly spiritual retreat is imposed upon all ordained ministers as indicated in the Code of Canon Law # 276 par4. The annual spiritual retreat is not optional.

Kindly contact the Chancery to indicate your chasuble size so that you can receive the token vestment for the event.

We will leave from Saint John the Evangelist Cathedral together on July 16 at 10 am. We will be lodged at the Betania Retreat House in Baguio and will be shuttled by bus daily to the Baguio Cathedral for all the conferences and liturgical acts. All the meals will be in the retreat house.

I trust that you value the importance of such an event not for just for our spiritual renewal but in order to foment sacramental brotherhood with the priests from the other dioceses.

Thank you.

Sincerely yours,


Archbishop of Lingayen Dagupan




Homily of Archbishop Socrates B. Villegas during the Chrism Mass held at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist, Dagupan City, 29 March 2018.

Today around this altar, we gather again to celebrate the memory of our priesthood. We bring together yesterday, today and tomorrow in one single action—the Chrism Mass. This Chrism Mass is memory. This Chrism Mass is Presence. This Chrism Mass is our hope for even greater things than we have right now.

We gather as a ninety year old Church in Lingayen Dagupan looking forward to the year 2028, our one hundredth anniversary as a particle of that one holy Catholic and apostolic Church. We know that Bishop Cesar Maria Guerrero is not just a personality in our Church history book as our first bishop. His memory endures time.

This year 2018, the first year in our decade of communio leading to our centennial, our hearts are invited to ponder over the mystery of our priesthood as taoir; a legacy that is forever; an inheritance that only God can give and no one else.  We are the legacy of God. We are the memory of God. We are taoir.

We are the legacy of the Lord. You my brother priests are the enduring signs of God’s faithfulness to His people “I will be with you always”. Today, in the presence of our flock, we declare “The Lord is my inheritance, I will not be forsaken”.

We want to be remembered and remembered for a long time. To be ignored and forgotten gives us an unpleasant feeling of uselessness. Priests and bishops are usually given grand funerals in gleaming coffins surrounded by large wreaths, but after a few years, we eventually become just a part of the collective past and our bones are exhumed and reburied and our memories fade away steadily. We are not even a footnote in a research paper. Occasionally they remember us when they print baptismal certificates.

Is that all about our priesthood? To work hard? To preach well? To beautify churches and build grand parish halls? To send scholars to school? To build hospitals? To build schools and then just fade away eaten up by the worms of amnesia? No children to carry our names? No endowment funds to be named after us? Is that all about us?

No. We are the memory of God. We are the legacy of God. We are the inheritance of God for His people. The memory of governors and mayors is a fragile gift of this world. Political memory can be easily deleted and erased. Our names as priests are not just written in the memory of history books. God is a God of the living and our memories are eternally safe in the heart of the Lord! We are the memory of God and our life is the fulfillment of His promise to His people “I will be with you unto the end of the ages”.

The death of God’s faithful priests is not only remembered but is precious in His sight. How beautiful is the life of a priest who labors quietly without broadcast or publicity, without recognition or awards. How beautiful is the hidden and quiet labor of a priest known only to God and kept secret from society!

The priest is the legacy of the Lord. The priest is God’s enduring inheritance.

But the question still needs to be answered? What will be your legacy when you leave? If they still remember us, how will the people talk about us? What will they say about us? What is the taoir we will leave behind? May they remember us when they remember the Lord! May they remember the Lord when they remember us!

What do you stand for, priest of God? Who are you? You are the battle frontiers of God. Your action is the action of God and the action of the Church always. You are a gift. The more you give yourself the more you become who you really are. The higher you go, the lower you must stoop. Everything you do is touched with glory because you are Christ, not only at the altar but even at games, at recreation, at rest or in vacation. You are Christs!

You, brother priests, are God’s gift to His people. When they see us, do they really thank the Lord? Does our giftedness lead our parishioners to say “Salamat sa Diyos”? Are they happy to see us? Are they inspired to be with us? All of them? All of us? Always?

Let our giftedness lead our people to gratitude. When they remember us, may they give thanks!

Growth is easier when gratitude is abundant. When the people of God are grateful, they also become holier, more generous and more courageous.  A heart that always complains will not grow. Our duty as priests is remind our parishioners that they are blessed; that they have so much to be grateful for. Gratitude makes us saints.

When they see us, do they hide for fear of another fund raising? For fear of being scolded? For fear of being openly rebuked or ignored? For being of being humiliated in front of the rest? Mukhang masungit? Mukhang galit? Mukhang suplado? Mukhang pera? Mukhang pilyo? Mukhang may itinatago? Amoy alak? This is not us. This is not what God sent us to be. Say no! Wish to be remembered as a good priest. Paring pari. Laging pari!

Taoir na pananisia. If we truly are a gift of legacy, then we must be the reason for the parish or the school to be a constantly grateful people. Gratitude sanctifies.

May the GIFT that we are lead others to GRATITUDE! May the gratitude we sow lead them to GENEROSITY and may that generosity we inspire open the paths to endless GROWTH! May the gift of our priesthood make our people holy!

My dear people of God, look at us your priests. We are the gifts of God to you in spite of us. Pasensiya na kayo sa amin! You are the gifts of God to us. With you we give thanks. With you we want to grow. People of God, your priests love you. Let us be grateful and generous and faithful saints together.

Holy Week Thoughts 2018

Holy Week Thoughts 2018

Archbishop Socrates B. Villegas

Saint Mark retells the last hours of Jesus on the cross by simply telling us that a few minutes before Jesus breathed His last, the Lord said “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?” Saint Mark’s story of the passion and death is brief, direct and forthright. It was as human as can be.

In this passion and death story written by Saint Mark, the last question of Jesus was “Why”. He was begging for reasons.

My God my God…I obeyed, you abandoned me. I proclaimed your greatness, you allowed me to be shamed. Father…I healed them in your name, you now leave me in great pain. I loved them as you loved me, now you leave me alone. I trusted them with the secrets of heaven, now you leave me naked, mocked and laughed at. I called them friends not slaves, now I look like not even as slave but like a wretched worm.

Why Father?

He heard no answer. He received no reason. He got no explanation. Jesus asked “Why” and his question was met with silence. No reply but just silence. This is the mystery of the Father’s love.

Centuries later, Blaise Pascal will say “The heart has reasons that reason does not know”. Indeed that was what happened at Calvary. The logic of human reason failed the grasp the logic of the Father’s love.

Love is a mystery. Love is not illogical. Love is beyond logic. There was no reply even if there was much love.

Nineteen years before Calvary, when Jesus was only twelve years old, Saint Luke recorded the first word of Jesus recorded in the Bible “Why were you looking for me?”

His first word was “Why” like His last word was also “Why”.

Why were you looking for me? Were you afraid you lost me? Were you afraid to be punished for being negligent parents? Were you afraid I could have fallen into criminals’ hands? Were you looking for me so I can give you the joy of having a child? When children lose parents they are called orphans; when parents lose an only child like me, there is no word to describe the loss. Were you afraid?

As at Calvary, so was it in the temple when the Lord was twelve. He received no answer from Mary and Joseph. His question was met with silence. Mary and Joseph could not understand.

Circular 2018-3: Prayer for the Year of the Clergy and Consecrated Persons

February 19, 2018

Circular 2018-3

Re: Prayer for the Year of the Clergy and Consecrated Persons

My dear brothers and sisters in Christ:

In communion with the other members of Christ’s faithful in the Philippines celebrating 2018 as the Year of the Clergy and Consecrated Persons, the enclosed prayer issued by the Catholic Bishop’s Conference of the Philippines must be prayed BEFORE the Mass in all the churches and public oratories in the Archdiocese of Lingayen Dagupan fromFebruary 22, Feast of the Chair of Peter until March 28, Holy Wednesday.

Let us also avail of this prayer opportunity to beg the Lord to send the Archdiocese more vocations to the priesthood and consecrated life.

Thank you for your usual diligent and conscientious cooperation.

Sincerely yours,


Archbishop of Lingayen Dagupan



O God Most Loving Father, with your priests and those who consecrated their lives to you, may we be fully and ever united to Christ. May they be our constant guides in this oneness with you through prayer, the Eucharist and personal conversion.

We have sinned and we have failed in so many ways. There are many brothers and sisters in our midst who continue to suffer. They hunger for truth and justice, for charity and solidarity. We pray that we may become bearers of the Gospel that transforms lives as we reach out to our suffering brethren. We pray that the Gospel may urge us to action, to witness to charity and compassionate service.

Together may we all be renewed and learn how to be Servant-Leaders for the Gospel of Christ. Like him who rose from the table to wash the disciples’ feet, may we too rise up to the challenge to take care of the poor and the weak, to be always approachable rather than untouchable, and “to imbibe the odor of the sheep.” May our young people who are discerning the gentle call of the Lord to serve, be filled with courage and determination to follow you in service with humility and love. With Mary, Star of the New Evangelization, may we continue to be instruments of the Gospel in our country and in the world.  Amen.



O Dios ya  sankamapangaroan ya Ama,

sikami komun so nagnap tan lawas ya mikasakey ed si Cristo,

a kaiba mi ray clero tan saray angisaklang na bilay ed Sika.

Sikara komun so matoor ya manangiwanwan ed sikamid  pikakasakey ed Sika diad panamegley na dasal, Eukaristia tan say pangoman na dili.

Nankasalanan kami tan nankulang ed nanduroman pamaakaran.

Dakerakel iray agagi min maniirap ed kapegleyan mi.

Sikaray manpirpirawat na katwaan tan katunongan, panangaro tan pikakasakey.

Manpipikasi kami ya magmaliw kamin manangawit na Ibanghilyon manpasimbalo na bilay diad pananap mid saray agagi min maniirap.

Manpipikasi kami ya say Ibanghilyo so mantanguyor ed sikami ya ongalaw, mantasi ed aro tan ed maabagey ya panaglinkur.

Sikamin amin komun so napasimbalo tan naamtaan mi no panon kamin magmaliw ya Aripen-ya-Manangipangulo para say Ibanghilyo nen Cristo.

A singa si Cristo ya inmalagey a nanlapud lamisaan pian urasan toy sali na saray disipulo To, ontan met ya onalagey kami komun ed sayan pakaayatan ya asikasoen iray doruka tan saray makapoy, magmaliw ya lanang naasingeran, nen say ag nadiwidiwit,  tan ed “pakagemtan  mi so angob na saray karniro.”

Komon saray kalangweran ya mamipilid say maoyamon tawag na Katawan ya manlinkur, so naitday biskeg tan ingenap ya ontumbok ed Sika diad panaglinkur a ketekep toy panagpaabeba tan panangaro.

Kaibay Maria, Bitewen na Balon Panangibawag na Ibanghilyo, lawas magmaliw kamin dalan na Ibanghilyo ed bansa mi tan ed mundo.



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