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Circular 2018-13: Coronation of Mary Help of Christians

June 29, 2018 Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul

Circular 2018-13 RE: Coronation of Mary Help of Christians

My dear Reverend Fathers, brothers and sisters in Christ:

As we approach the year 2028, the one hundredth anniversary of the creation of the Diocese of Lingayen, we are blessed that this year 2018 at the opening of our DECADE OF COMMUNIO the image of Mary Help of Christians will receive canonical coronation on the mandate of His Holiness Pope Francis. This image, a gift from the Apostolic Nuncio to our first bishop, is as old as our diocese.

For nine decades now, Mary Help of Christians has guided us, inspired our minds and ignited our hearts to love the Lord.

The coronation of the image will take place on August 22 this year at the Cathedral of Saint John the Evangelist at nine o’clock in the morning.

This milestone event of grace stand on three legs, namely FORMATION, CELEBRATION and LEGACY.

On Formation

  1. You will find enclosed herewith the Question and Answer Catechism on the Coronation of Mary Help of Christians in English, Pangasinan and Tagalog. Please use all the means to instruct our Catholic faithful on the pastoral theological significance of this event. You may print them together with the misalettes, project them on the video screen in church, post them on social media and other similar means. Please start the extensive catechesis as soon as you receive this letter.
  2. You will receive Sunday homilies for July 29, August 5, 12 and 19 relating the Sunday readings to the forthcoming Marian coronation. Please be creative and passionate on teaching the parishioners specially the youth about Mary Help of Christians.ARCHBISHOP’S HOUSE Jovellanos Street, Dagupan city Pangasinan, Philippines Telephone: 075 523 5357 * Telefax: 075 522 1878

On Celebration

  1. We shall hold an archdiocesan wide Triduum of Prayers on August 19, 20 and 21 in all our parishes, chaplaincies, pastoral stations and Catholic
  2. schools. The liturgy for this triduum will be released to you at the appropriate time.
  3. Parishes, chaplaincies, pastoral stations and Catholic schools must organize delegations to attend the Coronation Mass on August 22. The Cathedral as well as the cathedral parking area will be prepared to accommodate the pilgrims and our Catholic faithful. This is a historic event that everybody must be able to witness and celebrate.
  4. After the Coronation Mass, the Olupan na Layko (ONLA) will organize vicariate delegations to pray the rosary continuously until five o’clock in the morning of August 23 interrupted only by the Mass and the grand procession in the evening of August 22.
  5. After the 5:30pm regular Mass at the Cathedral on August 22, the Virgen Coronada will be brought out of the Cathedral for the first time in a grand Marian procession. Please encourage the parishioners to attend this grand procession as an expression of gratitude to the holy Mother of God. Upon the return of the procession to the Cathedral, the continuous rosary praying will resume until 5:00 am the next day.
  6. The Virgen Coronada will be brought by motorcade to Palapad, San Fabian at 6:30 am on August 23. At the foot of Bishop Cesar Guerrero Street in Palapad, San Fabian, the seminarians will lead the Catholic faithful in a procession to the Beso Manto Chapel inside the Mary Help of Christians Theology Seminary where the Virgen Coronada will be permanently enshrined.

The Legacy

While the core of the event is the coronation of Mary Help of Christians with a golden crown with diadems, more important that the crown of gold and precious stones on the image is the CROWN OF LOVE that we want to offer Mary Help of Christians beyond August 22.

As crowning legacy to Our Lady, we will launch a perpetual ALAY PARA KAY INAY in the Archdiocese of Lingayen Dagupan envisioning it to spread to the other dioceses where there are alumni priests of the Mary Help of Christians Seminary.

We will request our Catholic faithful, led by the parish priests, to be regular donors of prayers and funds to the Alay Para kay Inay through a Libro na Panangaro. The fund offerings will be remitted to the Chancery periodically.

  1. The Alay Para kay Inay will be used for the scholarship of our seminarians, the post ordination studies of our priests and the health care of our elderly and sick priests. Every seminarian and every priest is a gift of Mary Help of Christians to the Church. Let us thank Our Lady in return by caring for her seminarians and priest sons.
  2. As we have been devotedly joining our parishioners in the Misa de Gracia at the Basilica of Our Lady of Manaoag, let us now begin a pious tradition of organizing parish and school pilgrimages to the Beso Manto Chapel in Palapad, Pangasinan. A pilgrimage to Mary Help of Christians to beg Our Lady to help us preserve the Catholic faith in Pangasinan will be truly meritorious.
  3. Beginning next year, we will observe the traslacion of the Virgen Coronada from her Beso Manto Chapel in Palapad to the Cathedral of Saint John the Evangelist on August 21 to 22. The Mass and the Marian procession will be the most important acts of devotion during the traslacion that we must do year by year.

De Maria nunquam satis.

Let us teach about Our Lady with one voice and with one message. Let us celebrate Our Lady with singular joy and eminent love. Let us carry this love of Mary into the future so that the words of the Scriptures may ring all over our land that all generations will call her blessed!

Sincerely yours,


Archbishop of Lingayen Dagupan

God is Love

Fatherly Message to the Youth and Children of the Archdiocese of Lingayen Dagupan

My dear children of God in the Archdiocese of Lingayen Dagupan:

Through social media, you have been sadly exposed to the cursing, threats and shaming by the President of our country. Choose to love him nevertheless, but stay in the truth of our faith. Be firm in faith.

He must have received so much rejection and hurts in the past that he blurts out so much hatred and angst now. If he had been loved much, he would be giving so much of that love too. He could be a victim of his scarred past and his wounded background. Pray for him with compassion. We pray for his healing and for God’s forgiveness on him but we must rebuke his errors about our Christian faith. He is a person in authority and some of you might get confused when you hear him. To pray for him is not enough. We must serve you the truth as we pray for him.

I am writing this to defend you from the gross errors that you have been hearing. If I keep quiet you might be misled. God gave you to us, your priests in Lingayen Dagupan, as our children. It is our duty to teach you. Some of you might ignore me or even rebuke me; but that will not stop me from teaching those among you who sincerely ask for guidance. I cannot stop serving you the truth.

You have heard the President attack our Christian beliefs. The story of creation is being taunted repeatedly. You have been hearing him curse God. God has been called insulting names–words we always told you not to say or even write. You are even being challenged to leave this Church of your birth, the Church of your grandparents.

Here are some questions and the right answers from the YouCat (Young Catechism of the Catholic Church) and I encourage you to read it.

Why did God create us?

God created us out of love. God is love. God is mercy. Never forget or doubt that.

What is religion?

Religion is man’s natural longing for God. God has placed in our hearts a certain kind of restlessness that can only be cured if we rest in God.

What do we mean when we say “God created the world”?

It does not mean that God himself by His direct action created the world all at once, completed in six days, as if the Book of Genesis were an eye witness account. This error is called “creationism”. (YouCat 41)

Creationism naively interprets biblical data literally. This a wrong interpretation of the teaching “God created the world”.

The creation account is not a scientific model to explain how the world began. When we say God created the world, we mean God willed the world. It means the world is not a product of chance.

Each of us is a result of a thought of God, each of us is loved, each of us is necessary. (Pope Benedict XVI).

Does God want us to suffer and die?

God does not want us to suffer and die. Listen to what the saints say.

We have lost paradise but have received heaven; the gain is greater than the loss (Saint John Chrysostom).

Human weakness cannot upset the plans of God. A divine master builder can work even with falling stones (Cardinal Michael Von Faulhaber).

O God, to turn away from you is to fall. To turn to you is to stand up. To remain in you is to have sure support (Saint Augustine)

Is that not beautiful and wise of God to do? Only a beautiful and wise God can turn sin into a great blessing. The devil is opposed to this kind of love. The devil cannot understand or refuses to accept what is so clear. The devil is blinded by pride so he cannot love like God.

What is original sin?

Although sin implies guilt for which one is responsible, original sin is not like that.

Pope Benedict XVI explained it this way. Human beings were born with a drop of poisonous thinking of “not trusting God”. Human beings look at God as a “rival” who curtails our freedom. Human beings harbor a “suspicion against God”. Human beings think that we can be fully human if God is cast aside. Human beings trust deceit rather than truth. Because of this tendency, human beings sink to emptiness and death. That is what original sin is. Jesus came to lift us out of that emptiness and death.

What does “Church” mean?

The Church is all of us called forth by God. The Church is not just bishops and priests, deacons and nuns. The Church is people, the people called by God together. God wants to redeem us, not individually, but together. The Church continues what Jesus started.

Is the Church a sinful institution?

Viewed from outside, the Church is only a historical institution perhaps with historical achievements but also faults.  In its history, the Church had made mistakes and even crimes—a Church of sinners indeed.

But that view is quite shallow and incomplete.

Christ is so involved with us sinners that he never abandons his Church even if the Church betrays him every day.

The Church is an embroidery of sin and grace. In the Church, sinful humanity and holy godliness are one. The holiness of God never leaves the Church.

Is it time to stop believing in God?

Said Pope Benedict XVI, “When God disappears, men and women do not become greater. They lose their dignity and splendor and eventually end up abused and used”.

This is what our present national situation is showing us. When we cast God aside and curse his name, killing becomes easier. Stealing is normalized. Vulgarity becomes funny. Adultery is applauded. All because we want God to disappear in our lives.

What is the second Commandment?

You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.

What does the second Commandment require?

It is a terrible offense to blaspheme God, to curse using God’s name. Places, things, names and people who have been touched by God are “holy”. Sensitivity to what is holy is called “reverence”.

“Reverence is the pole on which the world turns,” said Johann Wolfgang Van Goethe. We lose reverence for the sacred and we ruin the world.

What duties do citizens have toward the State?

A Christian must love his homeland. We must defend our nation in time of need, serve the institutions, pay taxes, vote and even run for office if needed. Every Christian has a right to offer constructive criticism of the State and its organs. The State is there for the people, not the individual for the State (YouCat 376)

When must we refuse to obey the State?

If a State should establish laws and procedures that are racist, sexist or destructive of human life, a Christian is obliged in conscience to refuse to obey, to refrain from participation and offer resistance. (YouCat 377).


My dear children in the Archdiocese of Lingayen Dagupan, please pray the rosary, go to confession and receive Holy Communion frequently. We are in a spiritual warfare against error and sin. Shield yourselves from error and guide your fellow youth in godliness. Read more about the faith. Study the true teaching of the Church.

Harbor no grudge but be critical and discerning. Be respectful of your parents and those in authority and choose good manners all the time even if you hear and see the opposite. Do not bash back at those who bash you in social media. Fill social media with kindness and truth. Take courage but be loving all the time. Be firm in the faith. Bawal ang duwag pero huwag makipag-away. Conquer evil with good (Romans 12:21)

From the Cathedral of Saint John the Evangelist, Dagupan City, June 25, 2018 Memorial of Santo Domingo Henares, a missionary who served in Pangasinan and died a martyr in Vietnam.


Archbishop of Lingayen Dagupan



Makaamang Pahatid sa mga Kabataan at Anak ng Arsidiosesis ng Lingayen Dagupan

Minamahal kong mga anak ng Diyos Arsidiosesis ng Lingayen Dagupan:

Sa social media, nakalulungkot na nalantad kayo sa pagmumura, pagbabanta at panghihiya ng Pangulo ng ating bansa. Piliin ninyong mahalin pa rin siya, ngunit manatili sa katotohanan ng ating pananampalataya. Magpakatatag kayo sa pananampalataya.

Marahil ay nakatanggap siya ng labis-labis na pagtanggi at sakit sa nakaraan, kayat nagsasabog siya ngayon ng labis na poot at ngitngit. Kung sana’y busog siya sa pagmamahal, makapag-aalay din sana siya ng pagmamahal. Baka biktima siya ng may pilat na nakaraan at sugatang pinanggalingan.

Ipagdasal natin siyang may malasakit. Ipanalangin natin ang kanyang paggaling at ang pagpapatawad ng Diyos, subalit dapat pa rin natin ituwid  ang kanyang mga kamalian tungkol sa ating pananampalatayang Kristiyano. Isang tao siyang may kapangyarihan at baka may ilan sa inyo ang malito kapag siya’y naririnig ninyo. Hindi sapat ang ipagdasal siya. Dapat nating ialay ang katotohanan kasabay ng pananalangin para sa kanya.

Isinusulat ko ito upang ipagtanggol kayo laban sa mabigat na kamalian na inyong naririnig. Kung tatahimik lang ako, baka kayo ay malinlang. Ipinagkaloob kayo ng Diyos sa amin, kaming inyong kaparian sa Lingayen Dagupan, bilang aming mga anak. Tungkulin naming magturo sa inyo. Maaaring may ilan sa inyo na hindi ako papansinin o kaya’y sawayin ako; ngunit hindi niyan ako mapatitigil na turuan ang mga tapat na naghahanap ng paggabay. Hindi ako maaaring huminto sa pag-aalay sa inyo ng katotohanan.

Narinig naman ninyo kung paanong tinuligsa na Pangulo ang ating mga Kristiyanong paniniwala. Paulit-ulit na pinagtatawanan ang salaysay ng paglikha. Narinig din ninyo na sinusumpa niya ang Diyos. Tinawag ang Diyos sa kung anu-anong nakaiinsultong pangalan—mga salitang sinasabi naming huwag ninyong sasambitin o kahit pa nga isusulat. Hinahamon pa kayo na tumiwalag sa Simbahan na inyong kiagisnan, ang Simbahan ng inyong mga lolo at lola.

Narito ang ilang tanong at tamang sagot mula sa YouCat (Young Catechism of the Catholic Church) at hinikayat ko kayong basahin ito.

Bakit tayo nilikha ng Diyos?

Nilikha tayo ng Diyos mula sa pag-ibig. Diyos ay pag-ibig. Huwag na huwag ninyo itong pagduduhan.

Ano ang relihiyon?

Ang relihiyon ay ang likas na paghahanap ng tao sa Diyos. Inilagay ng Diyos sa ating kalooban ang isang uri ng kawalang-kapanatagan na matutugunan lamang kapag nanahan tayo sa Diyos.

Ano ang ibig nating sabihin kapag sinasabi nating “Nilikha ng Diyos ang daigdig?”

Hindi nangangahulugan na mismong ang Diyos ang tuwirang nilikha ang buong mundo ng sabay-sabay, at nabuo na sa anim na araw, na para bagang nag Aklat ng Genesis ay isang kuwento ng pagsaksi. “Creationism” ang tawag sa kamalian ito. (YouCat 41)

Napakaliteral ng interpretasyon ng “creationism” sa Biblia. Mali ang ganitong pag-unawa sa turo na “Nilikha ng Diyos ang daigdig.”

Ang salaysay ng paglikha ay hindi isang siyentipikong modelo upang ipaliwanag kung paano nagsimula ang mundo. Kapag sinasabi nating  Nilikha ng Diyos ang daigdig, sinasabi nating niloob ng Diyos ang mundo. Nangangahulugan na ang daigdig ay hindi lang basta lumitaw.

Bawat isa sa atin ay bunga ng diwa ng Diyos, bawat isa ay minamahal, bawat isa ay kailangan. (Papa Benedicto XVI)

Nais ba ng Diyos na tayo’y magdusa at mamatay?

Hindi gusto ng Diyos ng tayo’y magdusa at mamatay. Pakinggan ang sinasabi ng mga banal.

Nawala sa atin ang Paraiso, ngunit tinanggap natin ay langit; ang gantimpala ay higit sa nawala. (San Juan Crisostomo)

Hindi nasisira ng kahinaan ng tao ang mga balak ng Diyos. Nakakapagtrabaho ang maestro karpintero kahit sa nahuhulog na mga bato. (Cardinal Michael Von Faulhaber)

O Diyos, pagbagsak ang tumalikod sa iyo. Pagtindig ang pagbaling sa iyo. Tiyak nap ag-alalay ang manataili sa iyo (San Agustin)

Hindi ba tanda ito ng kagandahan at karunungan ng Diyos? Tanging ang maganda at magaling na Diyos ang may kakayahang gawing dakilang biyaya ang pagkakasala. Ayaw ng demonyo ang ganitong uri ng pag-ibig. Hindi maunawaan o ayaw tanggapin ng demonyo ang napakalinaw. Nabubulagan ng kapalaluan ang demonyo kaya hindi siya makapagmahal tulad ng Diyos.

Ano ang kasalanang orihinal?

Bagamat ipinahihiwatig ng kasalanan ang pananagutan tao sa kanyang nagawa, hindi ganyan ang kasalanang orihinal.

Ganito ang paliwanag ni Papa Benedicto XVI. Isinilang ang tao na may patak ng nakalalasong pag-iisip ng “di pagtitiwala sa Diyos”. Ang tingin ng tao sa Diyos ay bilang “karibal” o “kalaban” na sumisikil sa ating kalayaan. May dalang “pagduda sa Diyos” ang tao. Inaakala ng tao na magiging ganap na tao tayo kung isasantabi natin ang Diyos. Nagtitiwala pa ang tao sa daya kaysa katotohanan. Dahil sa ganitong hilig, nahuhulog ang tao sa kahungkagan at kamatayan. Ganyan ang kasalanang orihinal. Dumating si Jesus upang iahon tayo sa Ganyang kahungkagan at kamatayan.

Ano ang kahulugan ng “Simbahan”?

Ang Simbahan ay tayong lahat na tinawag ng Diyos. Ang Simbahan ay hindi lang mga Obispo at pari, diakono at madre. Ang Simbahan ay sambayanan, ang mga taong sama-samang tinawag ng Diyos. Nais ng Diyos na iligtas tayo, hindi bilang indibiduwal, kundi bilang magkakasama. Itinutuloy ng Simbahan ang sinimulan ni Jesus.

Makasalanang institusyon ba ang Simbahan?

Kung tingnan sa labas, ang Simbahan ay isa lamang institusyon lumitaw sa kasaysayan, masasabing may mga kagitingan at mga kahinaan. Sa kasaysayan nito, marami siyang nagawang kamalian–at krimen pa nga—totoong Simbahan ng mga makasalanan.

Ngunit ang ganyang pananaw ay mababaw at kulang.

Sangkot na sangkot si Kristo sa ating mga makasalanan, kayat hindi niya pinababayaan ang kanyang Simbahan, kahit ipinagkakanulo siya nito araw-araw.

Ang Simbahan ay isang burda ng sala at biyaya. Sa Simbahan, ang makasalanang pagkatao at banal na pagkadiyos ay iisa. Hindi iniiwan ng kabanalan ng Diyos ang Simbahan.

Panahon na bang huminto sa paniniwala sa Diyos?

Sabi ni Papa Benedicto XVI, “Kapag naglalaho ang Diyos, hindi bumubuti ang mga tao. Nawawala ang kanilang dangal at kaluwalhatian at sa bandang huli ay naaabuso at nagagamit.”

Ito ang ipinakikita ngayon ng pambansang kalagayan. Kapag binabale-wala natin ang Diyos at minumura ang kanyang ngalan, mas madali na ang pagpatay. Naging normal na ang magnakaw. Tinatawanan ang kabastusan. Pinapalakpakan ang pangangalunya. Dahil gusto lang nating maalis ang Diyos sa ating buhay.

Ano ang ikalawang utos?

Huwag mong lapastangin ang pangalan ng Panginoon mong Diyos.

Ano ang hinihingi ng ikalawang utos?

Napakalaking kasalanan ang lapastanganin ang Diyos, ang magmura na gamit ang ngalan ng Diyos. Ang mga pook, bagay, ngalan at tao na nadantayan ng Diyos ay “banal”. Ang pagiging “sensitibo” sa banal ay tinatawag na “pitagan”.

“Pitagan ang haliging iniikutang ng daigdig,” ani  Johann Wolfgang Van Goethe. Kapag tinatabig natin ang pitagan sa banal, sinisira natin ang sandaigdigan.

Ano ang tungkulin ng mga mamamayan sa Estado?

Dapat mahalin ng Kristiyano ang kanyang bayan. Dapat nating ipagtanggol ang ating bansa sa panahon ng pangangailangan, paglingkuran ang mga institusyon nito, magbayad ng buwis, bumoto at kung kailangan ay tumakbo para sa posisyon sa gobierno. Bawat Kristiyano ay may karapatan na magbigay ng konstruktibong puna sa Estado at sa mga galamay nito. Ang Estado ay nariyan para sa tao, hindi ang indibiduwal para sa Estado (YouCat 376).

Kailan tayo dapat sumuway sa Estado?

Kapag ang Estado ay nagtatakda ng mga batas at patakaran na racista, sexista o mapanira sa buhay ng tao, ang isang Kristiyano ay inuudyukan ng budhi na sumuway sa Estado, tumangging makilahok, at magpahayag ng pagtutol.

Panawagan at Paalala

Minamahal kong mga anak sa Arsidiosesis ng Lingayen Dagupan, magdasal tayo ng rosaryo, magkumpisal at madalas na tumanggap ng Banal na Pakinabang. Nasa digmaan tayo ngayon laban sa kamalian at kasalanan. Protektahan ninyo ang inyong sarili laban sa mali at gabayan ang inyong kapwa kabataan tungo sa kabanalan. Magbasa pa tungkol sa pananampalataya. Pag-aralan ang tunay na turo ng Simbahan.

Huwag magtanim ng galit, ngunit maging mapanuri at mapangilatis. Maging magalang sa inyong mga magulang at sa mga may katungkulan at piliin ang mabuting asal sa lahat ng sandali, kahit kabaligtaran ang inyong naririnig at nakikita. Lakasan ninyo ang inyong loob, ngunit manatiling mapagmahal sa lahat ng oras. Maging matatag sa pananampalataya. Bawal ang duwag, ngunit huwag makipag-away. Gapiin ang kasamaan sa pamamagitan ng kabutihan (Roma 12:21)

Mula sa Katedral ni San Juan Ebangelista, Lungsod ng Dagupan, Junio 25, 2018. Banal na Kapistahan ni Santo Domingo Henares, isang misyonerong naglingkod sa Pangasinan at namatay bilang martir sa Vietnam.





Summary of the Prayer Reflection Session of the Clergy of the Archdiocese of Lingayen Dagupan held last June 15, 2018

As our brother priest Father Richmond Nilo was being interred in Cabanatuan last Friday, the clergy of the Archdiocese of Lingayen Dagupan gathered in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament, to atone for the sins of blasphemy, sacrilege and murder that our blessed Lord and His Church are being subjected to these days.

We shared with one another our doubts and confusions, our frustrations and heart aches, our anger and our afflictions, our tears and our hopes. We shared our faith. We shared from the heart. We do feel the pain of persecution but we also know we are not forsaken. The consoling assurance of the Lord was overwhelming too.

Searching Our Hearts

We allowed our hearts to be disturbed by the noise of blasphemy, sacrilege and murder. We are not quiet. Our souls are ready to be disturbed for conversion.

In what ways have we contributed to the erosion of moral values so much relished by Catholic Filipinos for centuries? Is there anything of what we do or how we live or how we preach that make those who ridicule the Church and curse God sound right?

Have we failed the Lord and failed in our mission to be credible teachers? Is not the ignorance of our people about moral values an indication that we have failed in our mission to teach? Are we really being persecuted or are we just being shaken from stupor?

We recalled how Shimei threw stones and cursed David but David refused to stop the cursing. Perhaps the LORD will look upon my affliction and repay me with good for the curses he is uttering this day. (2Sam 16:12).

Is this the time to live the Lord’s command Bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. (Luke 6:28)?

We prayed and searched for answers in grief but with hope, with anger but with tenderness.

The Authority of Experience

There is an authority that we churchmen hold, or at least, believe we hold. That authority comes from the faith transmitted to us from the first companions of Jesus. We teach that the Church stands on solid rock with Jesus as the cornerstone. We are keepers of tradition. Tradition has its authority.

There is another authority that universities hold. Schools of learning keep safe the authority of truth. They hold the wisdom than men and women down the ages have handed down to us. Experts and masters are holders of this authority.

But there is yet another source of authority that is growing in credibility amongst us–the authority of experience. It is neither divinely revealed truth nor a researched or invented learning. It is the glorification of experience as the best teacher. How can we refute experience?

These times perhaps demand from us not just to guard and teach the Truth that we have received or look at new expressions to teach those truths. Our countrymen need to experience us as friends not as moralizing guardians. Our countrymen need to experience kindness from us before we give a homily on compassion. Our countrymen need to experience us as one of them. We can preach to empty stomachs if the stomach of the parish priest is as empty as the stomach of his parishioners. We must let go of our entitlements.

The growing importance of experience as teacher also prompts us priests to see and believe that God is at work among our people; that it is not just books that teach but ordinary people as well. Each person has a lesson to teach. If we are to continue our mission as teachers, we must not forget our need to be taught all the time. This calls for much humility from us. It needs patience. It needs an open mind.

We Have Met the Enemy and He is Us

We must not keep quiet but neither do we forget that we preach best not by talking but by example.

We admit: we need to improve our homilies. This is the perennial complaint against us. The people crave for relevant, nourishing and refreshing preaching. We need to make the sacraments and sacramentals memorable experiences in faith. Sloppy vestments and careless gestures at the altar do not inspire. We must avoid being too casual with sacred things lest the sacred events become disdainful.

There are days of fasting and days of abstinence. We should fast more. Let us go farther and fast on our own beyond the required laws of fasting. Let us move deeper than where we are and return to ascetic practices. If our nation seems possessed by evil, let us not forget that some evils can only be cast out by prayer and fasting (cfr.Mark 9:29).

We recognize that the best place to change society is in the confessional; unfortunately, we hardly sit there. The confessional increases our capacity for love. Conversions that happen in confession are the enduring conversions that change society. We need to take time to be visible again in the confessional waiting patiently for every penitent. True love waits. Mercy is not in hurry.

But We Cannot Keep Quiet

How can we keep quiet when the blood of the killed is crying from the ground? How can we keep quiet when the majesty of God is being pounced? How can we keep quiet when the noise of vulgarity is all over the air? How can we keep quiet when fake news seems more credible than truth?

Yes we are dirty and filthy, dirtier than our detractors can imagine, but the Lord has looked kindly upon us. We are not here as holier than the flock. We are here as the most miserable among sinners but we have been raised to this dignity by the sheer kindness of the Almighty. We have no illusions of sanctity. But not even our sins can stop us from teaching the Gospel. Woe to us if we do not preach. We cannot keep quiet. We would be judged by the Word made flesh for keeping quiet. Not even our sins can stop us from proclaiming the Gospel because the power of the Gospel is not from us but from God. We are earthen vessels (2Cor 4:7)

From deeper prayer, we will refute error. From more fasting, we will share our love. From longer silence, we will teach right. From being forgiven, we will forgive. From being broken, we will heal. From our loneliness, we will console. From our dirt, we will rise with our people to return to the house of the Father.

It is not in our nature as priests to keep quiet. We are men of the Word. We cannot keep quiet; but we are not noise makers. We break our silence in order to be teachers by example ready even for martyrdom. We will keep teaching. Kill us if they wish but our blood will speak louder than our voices. There is a message that only martyrdom can teach. We will not be threatened.

Our only fear is to fail the Lord. We are not afraid. We trust in the Lord. For us life is Christ and death is gain! (Phil 1:21)

From the Archbishop’s House, Jovellanos Street, Dagupan City, June 18, 2018


Archbishop of Lingayen Dagupan


Message to the People of God by the Clergy of the Archdiocese of Lingayen Dagupan on June 12, 2018

Our dear people of God:

They are killing our flock. They are killing us the shepherds. They are killing our faith. They are cursing our Church. They are killing God again as they did in Calvary.

Killing is the solution. Killing is the language. Killing is the way. Killing is the answer. Killing is encouraged. Killing is their job. Killers are rewarded. Killers boast of their murders.

They kill in the streets. They kill inside homes. They kill in tricycles and jeeps. They kill in plazas. They kill in the malls. They kill in the chapels. The nation is a killing field. They kill everywhere. They are happy to kill. But we are not a nation of killers.

Are you still clapping? Are you still laughing? You still find it funny? You still think “Dapat lang”? Are you still saying “Pagbigyan natin”? Are you still saying our people feel safer now? Are you still saying this is the best government we ever had? Is this the change you want? Are these the changes you dream of? Are you still saying “There are some good things happening! Focus on the good”? If they curse us again for speaking up, we will not be surprised.

Are you afraid to talk? You think silence is a virtue? You think we your shepherds should sow unity by being like the monkeys who see and speak and hear no evil? You think we can be the next target if we speak? Do you still care? Where is your faith? You talk in whispers. You are afraid to be heard? Have we become numb and dumb?

“Who will rid me of this meddlesome priest?” said King Henry II about Saint Thomas Becket. Like blind fanatics, the knights of the King went to the Cathedral, searched for the Archbishop, hacked him and split his skull to make the King happy but the king was unnerved instead. The King became penitent and offered penance. The murderers were disgraced.

Today, the murderers are commended and the king is undisturbed.

We your Archbishop, the Bishop Elect of Bayombong and the clergy of the Archdiocese of Lingayen Dagupan, represented by our Vicars Forane, say together:

We are not afraid. We trust in the Lord. We are ready to battle for God’s honor. They want to bury us priests. But they forget that we priests are seeds. When you bury us, we will grow more and flourish. You cannot stop the Gospel from growing. You cannot stop God from being God. You cannot muzzle the voice of Truth.

Killing is a sin. It is all wrong. This is not Filipino. This is not Christian. This is not how our parents taught us. The earth, soiled by the blood of Father Mark Ventura, Father Tito Paez and Father Richmond Nilo, is crying.

The bloodied soil is crying to heaven for justice. God’s justice be upon those who kill the Lord’s anointed ones. There is a special place in hell for killers. There is a worse place for those who kill priests.

We declare a Day of Reparation in the Archdiocese of Lingayen Dagupan on June 18th, the ninth day of the death of Father Richmond Nilo.

  1. All the Masses in the Archdiocese of Lingayen Dagupan will be offered as reparation for the sins of blasphemy against God, the sins of sacrilege and calumny hurled against our priests and bishops; the murders that continue without relent. The Mass presiders are to wear the penitential color of violet. It will be a day of fasting and abstinence for the priests, religious and lay faithful of our Church.
  2. The parish priests should expose the Blessed Sacrament for one hour at a time most convenient for the parishioners to adore and make reparation. The priests must go to confession and in turn, hear the confessions of the faithful on this day too.
  3. All the parish church bells should ring for fifteen minutes at six o’ clock in the evening on June 18th to commemorate the time when Father Richmond Nilo was killed.
  4. The image of the Santo Entierro or the Black Nazarene should be brought out in procession in the evening of June 18th to close the Day of Reparation.
  5. The seminarians of Mary Help Christians Seminaries will lead a dawn penitential pilgrimage on foot from San Jacinto Parish Church at 4:30am to the Basilica of Manaoag. We encourage the youth to join.

We call on you brother priests from the other dioceses and religious congregations to join us if your bishops and religious superiors so agree.

Let us implore the grace of God to touch the heart of the President of the Philippines to stop the verbal persecution of the Catholic Church because such attacks can unwittingly embolden more crimes against priests.

We seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit that our leaders in government may arrest the further erosion of law and order in the country and restore respect for human life and human dignity, keeping in mind that they are “the king’s good servants but God’s first” (Saint Thomas More).

We beg the Lord to wake up our people, now walking in darkness and numbed by fear, to stand up for the Lord and courageously correct error and sin. May we find among our lay people the readiness to work actively for social and political changes grounded in Catholic moral teachings and Christian social ethics.

By the rosaries at EDSA 1986, we cast the dictator from his throne. Courage is contagious. Cowardice stinks. Prayer heals. Penance revives the dead.

If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7:14).

From the Cathedral of Saint John the Evangelist, Dagupan City, June 12, 2018

+SOCRATES B. VILLEGAS                                +JOSE ELMER I. MANGALINAO

Archbishop of Lingayen Dagupan                      Bishop-Elect of Bayombong


Father Alvin Gerald Platon, Vicar General and Chancellor

Msgr. Oliver Mendoza, Moderator Curiae and Economus

Msgr. Manuel Bravo, Minister for Evangelization, Vicar Forane of Saint Vincent Ferrer

Father Allan Lopez, OP, Episcopal Vicar for Religious

Father Winston Estrada, Vicar Forane of Saints Peter and Paul

Father Hernan Caronongan. Vicar Forane of Epiphany of the Lord

Father Estephen Mark Espinoza, Vicar Forane of Saint Thomas, Minister for Social Action

Father Antonio Ray Quintans, Vicar Forane of Saint Dominic

Father Kristoffer Allan Soriano, Judicial Vicar and Vice Chancellor

Father Eric Galivo, Minister for Worship



Mensahe ed Totoo’y Dios nanlapud saray Papari na Arkidiosis na Lingayen-Dagupan ed Hunyo 12, 2018

Pinabli mi ran Too’y Dios:

Papateyen da ray papastolan mi. Papateyen da kami ran pumapastol. Papateyen day pananisia tayo. Inaayew day Simbaan tayo. Papateyen day Dios lamet a singa inpamatey dad Kalbaryo nen saman.

Panagpatey so solusyon. Panagpatey so lingwahe. Panagpatey so pamaakaran. Panagpatey so ebat. Panagpatey so panilaloan. Panagpatey so kimey da. Walay tumang daray managpatey. Ilalastog na saray managpatey no pigaray  napapatey da.

Mamapatey irad lansangan. Mapapatey irad dalem na abong. Mamapatey irad tricycle tan jeep. Mamapatey irad plaza. Mamapatey irad malls. Mamapatey iran kapilya. Kaomaan na pateyan so bansa tayo. Mamapatey ira anggan iner. Maliket iran mamatey. Balet, aliwa tayon bansan managpatey.

Siansian ta nin manitipak kayo? Manelelek kayo ta ni? Makapalek ta ni raya? Say walad kanunutan yo ta ni et “Nepeg labat?” Siansian ibabaga yo ta nin, “Pagbigyan natin?” Siansia ta nin ibabaga yo mas ligtas so totoo natan? Siansia ta nin ibabaga yon sayan gobierno et sankamaongan? Saya kasi so panagsalat ya labay yo? Sikaraya kasi so kogkogipen yon pamasimbalo? Siansia ta nin ibabaga yon, “Wala ray mararakep ya nagagawa! Nengnengen labat iraya kamaungan”? Agkami la mankelaw no ayewen da kami la lamet lapud sayan pansasalita mi.

Natatakot kayon tan mansalita? Say amta yo ta et kamaungan so mandeen? Say amta yo ta ed sikami ran pumapastol yo et nepeg ya mantanem na pankakasakey a singa aliling mi balet ray bakes ya anggapoy nanenengneng tan ibabaga tan narerengel? Say amta yo sikami la so onsublay no mansalita kami? Wala ni kasi panagtalima yo? Kawalaay pananisia yo? Esaes kayon mansasalita. Akin, antakot kayon walay makarengel ed sikayo? Nagmaliw tayo la kasin emel tan anggapoy pililikna?

Siopa so makapangekal para siak ed sayan mibabalin  pari?” Saya so inmbaga nen King Henry II nipaakar ed si Santo Tomas Becket. A singa bulag iran panatiko, saray sondalo na Ari so linmad Katedral, inanap day Arsobispo, sinigbat tan pinankadwa so lapis-lapis na ulo to pian napaliket day ari ra. Balet, say ari so ataktakot. Nanbabawi tan nanpataoli. Apabaingan iray may managpatey.

Natan, saray managpatey so napapalaboan tan say ari so ag nagogonigon.

Sikamin Arsobispo, say balon apilin-Obispo na Bayombong tan saray papari yo na Arkidiosis na Lingayen-Dagupan ya mangilalaman na saray Vicars Forane tayo, so saksakey a mangibabaga:

Agkami antakot. Manmamatalek kamid Katawan. Sipaparaan kamin mibakal para Dios. Labay ya ikotkot da kami ran papari yo. Balet, nalilingwanan da ya sikami ran papari so bokel. No ikotkot yo kami, sikami so mas ontubo tan ombolaslas. Agyo napatonday ikayat na Ibanghilyo. Agyo napatonday Dios ed inka-Dios to. Agyo naerep so bosis na Katwaan.

Kasalanan so panagpatey. Maoges iya. Aliwa yan kagagaway Fiipino. Aliwa yan kagagaway Cristiano. Aliwan saya so inbangat na atateng tayo. Say dalin, ya aterteran na dala di Father Mark Ventura, Father Tito Paez tan Father Richmon Nilo, so manannangis.

Say kadadalan dalin so manangis ed tawen para katonongan. Say katonongan na Dios so walad saray mamapatey ed saray apili na Dios. Walay niduman pasen ed impierno para saray managpatey. Walay mas makapataktakot ya pasen ed impierno so para saray mamapatey na papari.

Walay ipapalapag min nagawan AGEW NA PANAGBAYAR NA KASALANAN (DAY OF REPARATION) no Hunyo 18, diad kumasiam ya agew na inpatey nen Father Richmond Nilo.

  1. Amin ya misa ed Arkdiosis na Lingayen-Dagupan so ibagat para say panagbayar na kasalanan ya panag-ayew sumlang ed Dios, para saray kasalanan na sakriligeo tan panagderal na kagalangan laban ed saray papari tan Obispo; para saray panagpatey ya mansiansian ag ontotonda. Saray papari ed misa so mansulong na violet, say kolor na panagbabawi. Saya et agew na panag-ayuno tan panag-ngilin para saray papari, religioso tan laiko na Simbaan tayo.
  2. Ipaway na Cura Paroko so Santissima na sakey oras unong ed panaon ya maleem para saray parokiano ya mangigalang tan manbabawi. Saray papari so nepeg ya mankompisar tan kasumpal, sikara so ondengel na kompisar na saray mananisia ed sayan agew met.
  3. Amin ya kampanad simbaan so batangtangen ya labin liman minuto ed oras na alas seis ed labi na Hunyo 18 ya pakanudnunotan ed say oras na impatey nen Father Richmon Nilo.
  4. Say imahe na Santo Entierro odino Black Nazarene so ipaway ed prosisyon ed labi met na Hunyo 18 a pangisampot ed say Agew na Panagbayar na Kasalanan (Day of Reparation).
  5. Saray seminarista na saray seminaro na Mary Help of Christians so manunan manakar ed palbangon para panagbabawi manlapud Simbaan na San Jacinto ya anggad Basilica na Manaoag ed oras na 4,30 ed kabwasan. Tatanguyoren mi ray kalangweran ya mila ed saya.

Tatawagen mi ray agagi min papari ed arum ya diosisis tan religious congregations ya milan mikasakey ed sikami, no onabuloy iray Obispo tan superiors yo.

Kekerewen mi so grasya na Dios ya tenyegen toy puso na Presidente na Pilipinas ya patondaen lay salitan panag-pairap ed say Simbaan Catoliko lapud sarayan panag-atake so ampan mangiter na kabiskegan ya mas ondakel so krimen ya gawaen laban ed saray papari.

Kekerewen mi so panangiwanwan na Ispiritu Santo pian saray mangipapangulod gobierno tayo et napatunda so pakakabalang na ley tan oksoy ed bansa, tan nipawil so panag-galang ed bilay tan dignidad na too, ya aglilingwanan ya sikara so “maong ya aripen na ari balet manunaan ni so Dios.” (Santo Tomas More)

Kekerewen mid Katawan ya liingen to ray totoo, ya manaakar natan ed kabilongetan tan nanaandiy liknaan lapud takot, pian sikaray onalagey para say Katawan tan masibeg ya sustoen iray lingo tan kasalanan. Naalmo tayo komon ed saray laiko so sipaparaan ya aktibon mankimey para say social tan political ya pamasimbalo unong ed say Catholic moral teachings  tan Christian social ethics.

Diad saray rosaryo ed EDSA 1986, apaekal tayo so diktador ed trono to. Say inkasibeg so makalanor. Say kintakyot so ambanget. Manpaabig so dasal. Diad panagbabawi, nabilay iray inaatey.

“No mampikasi ra tan magbabawi rad kasalanan da, tan ibeneg da ray kaogsan a gagawaen da, dengelen ko rad satan ed tawen, pirdonaen ko ray kasalanan da tan paaligwasen ko lamet so dalin da.” (2 Awaran 7,14).

Diad Katedral na San Juan Ibangelista, Dagupan City, Hunyo 12, 1018.



Mensahe para sa Sambayanan ng Diyos Mula sa mga Kaparian ng Arsidyosesis ng Lingayen-Dagupan June 12, 2018

Minamahal naming Sambayanan ng Diyos:

Pinapatay nila ang ating kawan.  Pinapatay nila kaming mga pastol.  Pinapatay nila ang ating pananampalataya.  Sinusumpa nila ang ating Simbahan.  Muli nilang pinapatay ang Diyos katulad nang nangyari sa Kalbaryo.

Ang pagpatay ang solusyon.  Ang pagpatay ang linggwahe.  Ang pagpatay ang paraan.  Ang pagpatay ang kasagutan.  Ang pagpatay ay hinihikayat.  Ang pagpatay ay ginagawang hanap-buhay.  Ang pumapatay ay ginagantimpalaan.  Ang pumapatay ay nagmamalaki sa kanilang pagpatay.

Pumapatay sila sa lansangan.  Pumapatay sila sa loob ng tahanan. Pumapatay sila sa mga tricycle at jeep.  Pumapatay sila sa mga plaza.  Pumapatay sila sa mga mall.  Pumapatay sila sa mga kapilya.  Ang ating bansa ay naging lugar ng patayan.  Pumapatay sila kahit saan.  Sila ay masaya na pumatay.  Subalit hindi tayo bansang mamamatay-tao.

Ikaw ba ay pumapalakpak pa rin? Ikaw ba ay tumatawa pa rin?  Katawa-tawa pa rin ba ito sa iyo?  Para sa iyo, ito ba ay “Dapat lang”?  Sinasabi pa rin ba nating “Sige, pagbigyan natin”?  Sinasabi mo pa rin ba na mas ligtas ngayon ang mga tao?  Sinasabi mo pa rin ba na ito ang pinakamahusay pamahalaan na ating naranasan?  Ito ba ang pagbabagong gusto mo?  Ito ba ang pagbabagong pinangarap mo?  Sinasabi mo pa rin ba, “May magandang nangyayari?  Bigyang pansin ang magaganda”?  Kung muli kaming isusumpa at mumurahin dahil kami ay nagsalita, hindi na kami mabibigla.

Natatakot ka bang magsalita?  Ang iniisip mo ba na ang katahimikan ay isang kabutihan?  Ang iniisip nio ba ay kaming mga pastol ay dapat maghasik ng pagkakaisa na tila walang nakikita, walang nagsasalita at hindi nakaririnig ng masama?  Iniisip mo ba na kami ang susunod kapag kami ay nagsalita?  May malasakit ka pa ba?  Nasaan na ang iyong pananampalataya?  Nagsasalita kayo pero pabulong.  Natatakot ka ba na mapakinggan?  Tayo ba ay naging manhid na at naging mga pipi?

“Sino ang magsasagip sa akin laban sa panghihimasok ng paring ito?” Ang tinuran ni Haring Henry II tungkol kay St. Thomas Becket.  Katulad ng mga bulag na panatiko, ang mga kawal ng hari ay nagpunta sa Katedral, hinanap ang Arsobispo, tinaga at hinati ang kanyang bungo upang mapasaya ang kanilang hari ngunit nanlumo ang hari.  Ang hari ay nagsisi at naghandog ng penitensya.  Ang mga mamamatay-tao ay napahiya.

Ngayon, ang mga mamamatay-tao ay pinupuri at ang hari ay hindi nakokonsensya.

Kami, ang inyong Arsobispo, ang itinalagang maging obispo ng Bayombong, lahat ng mga kapariang lingkod sa Arsidyosesis ng Lingayen-Dagupan na pinamumunuan ng mga Vacario-Foraño, ay sama-samang sinasabi:

Hindi kami natatakot.  Nagtitiwala kami sa Diyos.  Handa kaming ipaglaban ang karangalan ng Diyos.  Gusto nila kaming mga pari ay ilibing.  Ngunit kanilang nakalimutan na kaming mga pari ay mga binhi.  Kapag kami ay ibinaon sa lupa, lalo kaming lumalago at umuunlad.  Hindi mapipigilan ang Mabuting Balita na lumago.  Hindi mapipigilan ang Diyos na maging Diyos.  Hindi kayang busalan ang tinig ng Katotohanan.

Ang pagpatay ay kasalanan.  Ito ay maling-mali.  Hindi ito pagiging Pilipino.  Hindi ito pagiging Kristyano.  Hindi ito ang itinuro ng ating mga ninuno.  Ang lupa na nabahiran ng dugo nina Fr. Mark Ventura, Fr. Tito Paez, at Fr. Richmond Nilo ay umiiyak.

Ang lupang nabahiran ng dugo ay umiiyak at humihingi sa kalangitan ng hustisya.  Maghari nawa ang hustisya ng Diyos sa mga pumatay sa mga hirang ng Diyos.  May lugar sa impyerno para sa mga pumapatay.  May masahol na lugar para sa mga pumapatay sa kaparian.

Ipinapahayag namin na may DAY OF REPARATION  (ARAW NG PAGBABAYAD) sa Arsidyosesis ng Lingayen-Dagupan sa darating na ika-18 ng Hunyo, ika-siyam na araw ng pagkamatay ni Fr. Richmond Nilo.

  1. Ang lahat ng mga misa sa nasasakupan ng Arsidyosesis ng Lingayen-Dagupan ay iaalay para sa pagbabayad ng kasalanan sa kalapastanganan sa Diyos, kalapastanganan at kasamaan laban sa mga pari at obispo; ang mga pagpatay na nagpapatuloy at walang pagsisisi.  Ang mga magmimisa ay susuotin ang kulay ng pagsisisi o violet.  Ang araw na ito ay araw ng pag-aayuno at pangingilin para sa mga kaparian, mga relihiyoso at relihiyosa at sa lahat ng mananampalataya ng ating Simbahan.
  2. Ang Kura Paroko ay inaatasang i-expose ang Banal na Santisimo ng isang oras sa oras na makakapagtanod ang mga mananampalataya upang sambahin at magbayad-puri.  Dapat mangumpisal ang pari at gayun din ang mananampalataya sa araw na ito.
  3. Ang lahat ng kampanilya ng simbahan ay patutugtugin sa loob ng labing limang minuto sa ika-6 ng gabi sa ika-18 ng Hunyo para sa paggunita sa oras kung kailan pinatay si Fr. Richmond Nilo.
  4. Ang imahe ng Santo Entierro o ang Itim na Nazareno ay ilalabas upang iprusisyon sa gabi ng ika-18 ng Hunyo upang maging hudyat ng pagsasara ng ARAW NG PAGBABAYAD (DAY OF REPARATION)
  5. Ang mga seminarista ng Mary Help of Christian Seminaries ay mangunguna sa penitential pilrimage na maglalakad mula sa San Jacinto Parish Church papunta sa Basilica ng Manaoag sa ika-4:30 ng umaga.  Hinihimok ang mga kabataan na sumama.

Tinatawagan namin ang mga kaparian sa iba’t ibang diyosesis at mga kasapi ng mga kongregasyon ng relihiyoso at relihiyosa na samahan kami sa ganitong gawain kung pahihintulutan ng inyong mga obispo at mga namumuno.

Sama-sama nating ipamanhik ang grasya ng ating Panginoon na hipuin ang puso ng Pangulo ng Republika ng Pilipinas na itigil niya ang mga salitang mapang-usig laban sa Simbahang Katolika dahil ang ganitong gawain ay maaaring pagmulan ng lakas ng loob na hindi pinag-iisipang krimen laban sa mga kaparian.

Tawagan natin ang patnubay ng Banal na Espiritu upang ang ating mga pinuno sa pamahalaan ay masupil ang pagguho ng batas at kaayusan sa ating bansa at muling maibalik ang paggalang sa buhay at dignidad ng tao na laging nasa isip na sila ay “mga mabubuting lingkod ng hari ngunit ang una ay Diyos” (Saint Thomas More).

Makiusap tayo sa Diyos na gisingin ang mga tao na patuloy na namumuhay sa kadiliman at pinamamanhid ng takot na manindigan para sa Panginoon at buong tapang na itama ang kamalian at kasalanan.  Sana ay makita natin na ang mga mananampalataya ay may kahandaan upang makisangkot sa panlipunan at politikal na pagbabago na nakaugat sa Catholic Moral Teachings at Christian Social Ethics.

Sa pamamagitan ng pagdarasal ng Santo Rosaryo sa EDSA noong 1986 ay napatalsik natin ang diktador mula sa kanyang trono.  Ang lakas ng loob ay nakahahawa.  Ang pagkaduwag ay nakabubulok.  Ang panalangin ay nakapaghihilom.  Ang pagsisisi ay nakabubuhay ng mga patay.

“Ngunit kung ang bayang ito na nagtataglay ng aking karangalan ay magpapakumbaba, manalangin, hanapin ako at talikuran ang kasamaan, papakinggan ko sila mula sa langit. Patatawarin ko sila sa kanilang mga kasalanan at muli kong pasasaganain ang kanilang lupain.” (2 Cronica 7:14)

Mula sa Katedral ng San Juan Ebanghelista, Dagupan City, ika-12 ng Hunyo, 2018.


Circular 2018-12: Post Synod Commissions

May 31, 2018

Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Circular 2018-12

RE: Post Synod Commissions

My dear people of God:

After months of consultation and coordination meetings resulting from the promulgation of the Acts and Decrees of the Second Synod of Lingayen Dagupan, we are now ready to make another step forward in constituting the archdiocesan membership of the three Post Synodal Commissions that will become the implementing agents of the spirit and vision of the Synod.

The three Post Synodal Commissions are WORSHIP, EVANGELIZATION and SOCIAL SERVICES.

By now, it is imperative and necessary that every parish must have these three commissions constituted in the parish level.


On July 14, Saturday, from 8:30 am until 11:30 am at the Lay Formation Center in Bonuan Gueset, we shall have the General Assembly of the parish leaders for the Commission on Worship. Every parish must send TWO LEADERS who are the Worship Minister who heads the lay liturgical ministries and the Liturgical Music Minister who coordinates the parish choirs. I will facilitate the flow of the General Assembly assisted by Father Eric Galivo, the Commission Chairman. We will start promptly so please advise your parish leaders to come on time.

On the same day July 14, Saturday, from 2:00 pm until 5:00 pm in the same venue LFC, we shall have the General Assembly of the Commission for Social Services. Every parish must send THREE LEADERS who are involved in the Ministry of Social Action, Ministry with the Poor, Ministry of Mercy, Ministry for Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People, Prison Apostolate, Health Care Apostolate and Aid to the Church in Need. Like the morning assembly, I will facilitate the flow of the meeting assisted by Father Estephen Espinosa. These three parish leaders must be distinct and separate from the parish leaders for the Commission on Worship held earlier in the day. Parish Worship Ministers will not be allowed to join the afternoon assembly.

On August 4, Saturday from 8:30 am until 3:00 pm at the Lay Formation Center, the General Assembly of the Commission on Evangelization will be convoked. Every parish must send FIVE LEADERS who are engaged in the various evangelization programs indicated by the Synod namely, Ministry on the Clergy, Biblical Ministry, Family and Life Ministry, Catechesis, Ministry on the Youth, Ministry on Pananabangan, Social Communications, Ministry on Community Apostolate, Ministry on Vocations, Ecumenical and Inter-religious Dialogue, and Cultural Heritage of the Church. These five parish evangelization ministers must not be directly engaged in the Commission on Worship or the Commission on Social Services. Like the two past General Assemblies, I will facilitate the flow of the meeting assisted by Msgr. Manuel Bravo, the Commission Chairman.


In every General Assembly of each of the three Post Synodal Commissions, we will present briefly the Synod background and the event itself; followed by a presentation of the Commission pastoral plan. As a plenary assembly, we will review all the Synodal articles that pertain to the Commission, draft implementing rules and policies and propose the needed parish pastoral action including the timetable, budget, personnel, etc.


The Parish Commission members, i.e. two for Worship, three for Social Services and five for Evangelization, must be diligently selected avoiding duplication of Commission membership although they can be in two ministries under the same Commission. A Commission is composed of various ministries.

While it is meritorious to tap the old reliable parish leaders to insure pastoral efficiency, please prudently consider other unnoticed parish leaders particularly from the young and the young adults so that we can give birth to a new generation of Christian leaders. As the slogan says, please “Think outside the box”.


Depending on the results from the three part General Assembly, we hope to convoke an Archdiocesan Pastoral Assembly where all the three Commission members will be present during which we can present the consolidated pastoral plan, own the pastoral plan and commit together to pursue the same pastoral plan.

God willing, we hope to see these ten parish Commission members cascade down to the parish and barangay communities the spirit of the Synod. In time, we can consider these ten parish Commission leaders as the members of the Parish Pastoral Council. We can veer away from the traditional paradigm of PPC members and make our parish lay leadership more ministry oriented rather than “position” based. This is work in progress needing discernment and consultation.

In every step we take, let prayer be our armament, the Holy Spirit be our guidepost and the pastoral welfare of the people of God be our singular purpose. I trust that you share the vision of the Synod and you appreciate the importance of these assemblies to pursue our goals. I plead for your cooperation.

May the Lord help me to thank you more!

Sincerely yours,


Archbishop of Lingayen Dagupan


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