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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.



Circular 2018-2: Seminar on Parish Finance System

January 16, 2018

ALD Circular 2018-2

RE: Seminar on Parish Finance System

My dear Reverend Parish Priests and Parochial Vicars:

As decided during our monthly clergy meeting last week, we shall have a seminar for parish priests and parochial vicars regarding the ARCHDIOCESAN PARISH FINANCE SYSTEM to be held on February 9, 2018, Friday, from 8:30 am until 4:00 pm at the Second Floor Kapilya de San Juan within the compound of Saint John the Evangelist Cathedral.

On the recommendation of the seminar facilitator, the seminar will be open to the parish cashiers or bookkeepers for the first part of the morning, that is, from 8:30 am until 10:00 am. From 10:00 am until 4:00 pm there will be two parallel workshops. The priests will stay in the Kapilya while the lay cashiers and bookkeepers will continue at the Msgr. Magno Hall of the cathedral parish.

The Cathedral parish priest will host the meals for the whole day seminar while the Chancery will take care of the honoraria for the facilitators.

There will be no seminar fees but all the priests are required to bring their laptop computers to better follow the discussions and activities.



Sincerely yours,


Archbishop of Lingayen Dagupan


Circular 2018-1: Decade of Communio

Opening our Decade of Communio for our One Hundredth Year

We are men and woman of communio. We are men and women of faith. We are Christians of hope. When we reach the year 2028, the Archdiocese of Lingayen Dagupan will celebrate our centennial jubilee as a diocese. The Diocese of Lingayen was declared on May 19, 1928 by Pope Pius XI. The diocese was renamed Lingayen Dagupan on February 11, 1954 by Pope Pius XII and was raised as a metropolitan archdiocese on February 16, 1963 by Blessed John XXIII. Our first Bishop was Bishop Cesar Maria Guerero.

We look forward to the Year 2028 with great hope, firm faith and steadfast love and hopefully a stronger communio.

In order to celebrate fittingly this centenary of our Church, we shall observe a DECADE of COMMUNIO starting the year 2018 until 2027. The Year 2028 will be our CENTENNIAL JUBILEE OF COMMUNIO. This Decade of Communio we pray will be the fitting time to implement the declarations and decrees of the Second Synod of Lingayen Dagupan.

Here are the themes for every year in our Decade of Communio:

2018 Tawir na Pananisia (CBCP Year of Priests and Religious), 2019 Tabin (CBCP Year of the Youth), 2020 Pandurungo (CBCP Year of Ecumenical Dialogue), 2021 Dayew tan Pisasalamat (CBCP 500th anniversary of the first Mass and first baptism), 2022 Panaabetan, 2023 Aro tan Panangasi, 2024 Panangasikaso tan Panaglingkor, 2025 Panagpaabeba, 2026 Pasimbalo, 2027 Sipanan.

Today, the first day of January and the first day of our Decade of Communio leading to our centennial, we entrust the See of Lingayen Dagupan to Mary, Mother of God.

True devotion to Mary must lead us to Jesus. If our Marian devotion does not lead to the imitation of Jesus her Son, this devotion is a dead end road. Mary’s path leads to Jesus and the road of Jesus is our way to the Kingdom. We open our ten year preparation under the guidance of Mary.

How shall we imitate Mother Mary as the Mother of Communio? Three words in Latin describe her pilgrimage of faith.

The first is FIAT. It is her obedience, loving and faithful obedience that opened new paths of hope for humankind. Her willingness to be part of the plan of the Father by allowing her body to be the vessel of the Son of God for nine months reversed the disobedience of Eve. Mary the new Eve gave her total unconditional YES, her FIAT. The root of all discipleship is obedience.  Love is obedient.

The second word is MAGNIFICAT.  In proclaiming the greatness of the Lord, Mary shows us that an obedient heart is ever grateful and always happy. We are known as Catholic in the celebration of the Eucharist. Eucharist is thanksgiving. Every Eucharist is a magnificat offering to the Father. Imitate Mary in her joyful and humble thanksgiving every day.

The last word is STABAT.  Mary standing beneath the cross is the woman of courage. The test of love is sacrifice. The proof of faith is martyrdom. At the foot of the cross, Mary is Queen of Martyrs and Lady of Sorrows. Follow Jesus all the way to the cross and beyond the cross to the empty tomb. Look at Mary. With Mary, look at Jesus. Fix your gaze on Jesus.

The Gospel today laid it out quite clearly. Mary treasured all of these in her heart. At the annunciation or at the visitation; on the way of the cross or at calvary; Mary was the contemplative disciple. Ten years from now, may we become a Church in contemplation ready for the mission!

From the Cathedral of Saint John the Evangelist, Dagupan City, January 1, 2018


Archbishop of Lingayen Dagupan


Sikatayo so totoo’y communio. Sikatayo so totoon mananisia. Sikatayo so Cristiano na ilalo. No nasabi tayo so taon 2028, mansilibra so Arkidiosis na Lingayen-Dagupan na centennial jubilee ya sakey a diosesis. Say Diocesis na Lingayen-Dagupan so inletneg nen Mayo 18, 1928  di Papa Pius XI. Saya so tinawag na Lingayen-Dagupan nen Pebrero 11, 1954 di Papa Pius XII tan saya so nagmaliw ya metropolitan archdiocese nen Pebrero 16, 1963 lapud si Beato Juan XXIII. Say unaan ya Obispo tayo et si Obispo Cesar Maria Guerrero.

Maliket tayon alagaren so taon 2028 ed baleg ya ilalo, malet ya pananisia tan matoor ya panangaro tan mas mabiskeg ya communio.

Pian makana so pansilibra tayo na say kuma-sanlasus na Simbaan tayo, silibraan tayo so DECADE of COMMUNIO odino, DEKADA na COMMUNIO manlapud  2018 ya anggad 2027. Say taon 2028 so CENTENNIAL JUBILEE of COMMUNIO (SANALASUS TAON NA JUBILEO NA COMMUNIO). Sayan Dekada na Communio so dugan panaon ya panangipasumpal na saray bangat tan ley na Kumadwan Sinodo na Lingayen-Dagupan.

Saraya so onguendan ya tema kada taon ed Dekada na Communio:

2018 Tawir na Pananisia (Taon na Pari tan Religioso na CBCP), 2019 Tabin (Taon na Kalangweran na CBCP), 2020 Pandurongo (Taon na Pantotongtong Ekumenikal na CBCP), 2021 Dayew tan Pisasalamat (500 Aniversario na unaan a Misa tan Binyag na CBCP), 2022 Panaabetan, 2023 Aro tan Panangasi, 2024 Panangasikaso tan Panaglinkor, 2025 Panagpaabeba, 2026 Pasimbalo, 2027 Sipanan.

Natan, ed sayan unaan ya agew na Enero tan unaan ya agew na Dekada na Communio ya mamaarap ed say kuma-sanlasus tayo, imamatalek tayoy Simbaan na Lingayen-Dagupan ed si Maria, Ina na Dios.

Say twan dibosyon ed si Maria so mantanguyor ed sikatayod si Jesus. No say dibosyon tayod si Maria et agto mantanguyor ed sikatayon tumboken si Jesus, ya Anak to, anggapoy kakanaan to yan dibosyon. Say dalan nen Maria et mamaarap ed si Jesus tan say dalan nen Jesus et dalan ya mamaarap ed say Panarian. Lukasan tayo yan samploy taon ya panagparaan ed silong na panangiwanwan nen Maria.

Panon ya oliran tayo si Inan Maria, ya Inan na Communio? Taloran Latin a salita so mangipaliwawa na sayan panagakar ed pananisia.

Say unaan et FIAT. Ed say inkatulok nen Maria, maaro tan matoor ya panagtulok, so angilukas na balo ran dalan na ilalo para say too. Say mabolos ya magmaliw ya kabiangan ed say plano na Ama diad say inpanabuloy ton magmaliw ya iyanan na Anak na Dios so laman to na siam bulan, so amaliktar ed say andi-inkatolok nen Eba. Si Maria ya balon Eba so angiter na nagnap tan anggapoy kondisyon ya ON, say FIAT to. Say lamot na amin ya inkadisipulo et say panagtolok. Say aro et panagtolok.

Say kumadwan salita ed MAGNIFICAT. Diad inpangitanduro nen Ina so Katawan, inpanengneng nen Maria ed sikatayo ya say matoor a puso so lawas misalamat tan maliket. Kabat itayo ya Catoliko diad panag-silibra tayo na Eukaristia. Say Eukaristia et pisasalamat. Kada Eukaristia, sakey ya bagat ya magnificat ed say Ama. Tumboken si Maria diad say maliket tan mapaabeban pisasalamat tod inagew-agew.

Say kaunoran ya salita et STABAT. Si Maria so akaalagey ed silong na krus; sikato so biin masibeg. Say subok na panangaro et sakripisyo. Say pakapatnagan na pananisia et martiria. Diad salien na krus, si Maria so Reyna na saray Martires tan Ina na Kaermenan. Tumboken si Jesus ya anggad krus tan anggad lampas na krus diad anggapoy iyan ya lubok. Nengnengen si Maria. Nengnengen si Jesus ya kaibay Maria. Say mata so ineng-neng ed si Jesus.

Saya so inpalapag a malinew na Ibanghilyo natan. Insinop nen Maria ed puso  to irayan amin. Diad Inpangikabat odino diad Inpanbisita; diad dalan na krus odino diad Kalbaryo: si Maria so disipulon mamomotektek. Diad arapey samploy taon, magmaliw tayo komon a Simbaan ya manmomotektek, akaparaan para misyon!

Diad Katedral na San Juan Ibanghelista, Dagupan City, January 1, 2018.


Archbishop of Lingayen Dagupan



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