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Circular 2019-1: Young Jesus with the Young

YOUNG JESUS WITH THE YOUNG

Pastoral Letter for the 2019 Year of the Youth in the Archdiocese of Lingayen Dagupan looking forward to the 100th anniversary of the Diocese of Lingayen in 2028

My dear people of God:

We all need companions all the time. In infancy and childhood, from puberty to adulthood, in our career paths and life choices, in sickness unto our deathbed–we all need to be accompanied. Life would be impossible if we went through it alone. The Year 2019 is TABIN Year for the Archdiocese of Lingayen Dagupan. As Catholic Philippines observes 2019 as Year of the Youth looking forward to the five hundredth anniversary of the first baptism and first Mass in the Philippines, we in Lingayen Dagupan offer to our youth the Church as companion, kalakbay. TABIN.

Walking TOGETHER

It happened that while they were conversing and debating, Jesus himself drew near and walked with them but their eyes were prevented from recognizing him. (Luke 24:15-16)

In this walking together with the youth, it is important to renew our appreciation for three very important interlinked institutions—the family, the school and the parish. The youth must be given avenues to participate in the mission of evangelization in the parish. It has been said that the face of God is mercy. Today we say that at the forefront of the Church of mercy are the faces of the young. Let us give the Church a young face. Let us give the youth a space to be heard because true love listens. The first step to walking with the youth is listening to them.

There is a healthy kind of restlessness among the youth which we cannot just dismiss in the parishes, schools and families. This restlessness can inject greater dynamism to our parishes that oftentimes favor the status quo more than the missionary passion. I encourage our priests and educators, parents and guardians to allow the youth to express this creative restlessness with an encouraging welcome and a respectful accompaniment. Oftentimes, we Church elders engender impatience among the youth because of our slow, domineering and dragging pastoral approaches.

In 2019, we dream of the Church in Lingayen Dagupan as young Jesus among the young.

Learning TOGETHER

Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them what referred to him in all the scriptures. (Luke 24:27)

In 2018, I invite my fellow pastors and parents to adopt an attitude of learning WITH the youth and FROM the youth. When the educated and the academically titled start to recognize that Jesus is the only lesson we need to learn and the only weapon we have against evil, then we have started the journey of renewal. Some youth are students but all youth are our teachers. They teach us new zeal and missionary passion. The questions that young people ask us priests challenge us to be better. When the young criticize us priests, I encourage you my brother priests to listen to their young voices as the voice of Christ himself calling us to conversion and renewal. All young people are in God’s heart even if some of them do not share our visions of life. An attitude of humility and willingness to listen will open new avenues of renewal for us.

Our youth need to teach us the power of the cyberspace digital world while we their elders in turn must accompany them in this daily reality of their young lives. The youth can be at the forefront of using the power of the worldwide web to spread true information, to promote socio-political engagement according to the Gospel values and to be good citizens of the nation. In entering cyberspace with the young, we their elders can protect them from the dark web of isolation, manipulation, exploitation, cyberbullying and pornography.

Young Jesus with the young teaching the teachers!

Proclaiming TOGETHER

Then the two recounted what had taken place on the way and how he was made known to them in the breaking of the bread. (Luke 24: 35)

The compass of youth ministry is a missionary spirit. We envision 2019 as year of young Jesus with the young telling the world of His love. Youth ministry cannot be confined to a handful of youth in the parish hall or the campus ministry office. We must serve and teach those who do not feel welcome in the Church.

Let us be reminded that people turn to the Lord not because of eloquent preaching but through inspiring life examples. Saint Paul VI put it most eloquently “Modern man listens more willingly to witnesses than to teachers, and if he does listen to teachers, it is because they are witnesses. It is primarily by her conduct and by her life that the Church will evangelize the world (EV,41).

The Church has been severely hurt and wounded by the sins of her priests against the youth and against the Church. Despite the limitations of us their elders in the Church, we have not been lacking in heroic young leaders in our parishes and schools who serve without pay or recognition. We their spiritual shepherds are humbled by the sterling enthusiastic love of our youth.

2019 Year of the Lord

Every day is the Lord’s. All ages and seasons belong to Him. Every year is year of the Lord. In celebrating 2019 as Tabin Year of the Youth, may we recognize in the youth the face of the Lord.

To the parents, teachers and priests: The young Jesus is among the young. Let the young teach us as we teach them. Let the young show us the face of Jesus as we keep on trying to love them like Jesus.

To the young: Show us Jesus and be our guide to see Him more clearly, to love Him more dearly, to follow Him more nearly.

Amen.

From the Cathedral of Saint John the Evangelist, Dagupan City, January 1, 2019

+SOCRATES B. VILLEGAS

Archbishop of Lingayen Dagupan

Be Careful against Many Anti-Christs

BE CAREFUL AGAINST MANY ANTICHRISTS

An open letter to Seth my godson on New Year’s Eve

December 31, 2018Be

Dear Seth,

Nothing is easy these days when it comes to rearing children like you. You are subjected to so much vulgarity and violence that I fear you might catch the wrong values which can ruin your future as a good Filipino and as a good child of God.

My first advice to you is pray constantly and go to Mass as frequently as you can, if possible even daily. Do not listen to him who tells you it is useless to go to Church and attend Mass. Whoever teaches you that is antiChrist and there are many of them, including those who look at it is a joke. They are not for Christ. They are against Christ.

Inaanak, the name of God is sacred. Promise me never ever to disrespect the name of God. You might not be able to understand God always. Our minds are too limited. Do not force the infinite God to fit into our limited minds. They who call God stupid is antiChrist. Pray for these people but do not imitate them. Respect them as elders but do not follow their bad example.

You have a godly father who respects your titas and your Mama. Treat all women and girls with respect, in fact, even with reverence. Do not laugh when older men make fun of women. That is vulgar and if you laugh or imitate them, you become vulgar yourself. Rape is not a joke. Immodesty is not laughing matter. Respect girls and women always. You have no excuse to abuse women specially the poor women.

Never call people names nor use cuss words even as expressions. Dirty words that come out of your mouth—foul language, lies, gossips, slander, malicious jokes—make you crass and ungentlemanly. Shameless crass people use such dirty words. Do not imitate. They are antiGod; they cannot be honorable. God wants you to be refined and honorable. I have great dreams for you.

Do not ever try drugs. Say no to friends who might offer you drugs. You kill yourself slowly by doing that. Drug users and drug addicts are sick. They need treatment and help in order to be well again. Do not believe those who offer killing as a solution. People who kill and people who coax others to kill are antiGod. They are antiChrist. Christ came to give us new life, eternal life.

Finally Seth, respect the Pope and my fellow priests and bishops because we are signs of God’s love for you. We are not spotless like angels but in our weaknesses, God still uses us for His mission. Walang silbi? Yes we are but if we are able to do anything good at all, all is because of God’s mercy. In mocking priests and bishops, you do what antiChrists do. Be a loyal son of the Catholic Church.

Keep the rosary in your pocket each time you leave the house; your mother’s name is Mary. Carry a handkerchief in your other pocket. That is a mark of good manners.

Don’t play with firecrackers tonight. Keep safe. Happy new year!

Ninong Father Soc

Stand up for the Newborn Jesus: Christmas Message 2018

STAND UP FOR THE NEWBORN JESUS!

Message of Archbishop Socrates B Villegas to the People of God in the Archdiocese of Lingayen Dagupan on the occasion of Christmas December 25, 2018

It is Christmas. It means that God has become like us in all things except sin. God has embraced our hunger and poverty. God has joined us in our aches and adversities.  God is not far. He is near. He has emptied himself of glory and wrapped himself with our human dirt and ugliness so that we may be wrapped by his robe of mercy. It was so courageous of God to allow himself to born like us.

It is Christmas. We are happy and we have hope in spite of the darkness we see. This darkness is not godly. This is the same darkness that rejected Christ when he was born two thousand years ago.

There is violence against political opponents. The statistics of unsolved murders continues to rise. There are more drugs to buy. There are more criminals set free and the opponents are threatened with imprisonment. Everything is turned into a bad joke. The poor are poorer and the rich are getting poor. We scold children who bully their fellow children but we laugh at elderly bullies who flaunt vulgar humor. We your bishops are called “walang silbi” and you have been encouraged to kill us. You are admonished to stay home and not go to the Church because you will just see hypocrites at Mass who worship a stupid God. Accusations are hurled at innocent people without any basis at all. Fake news is unrelenting and the bashers against the truthful are shameless. Where are the true believers of Christ?

How long must we endure these? What is Christmas for? Is this what we have become as a Catholic nation? The answer must be NO! We must resist the spread of vulgarity and the contagion of violence. There is no Christmas hope for the cowards and the timid. Christmas demands that we stand up bravely for the Lord!

Christmas is about the courage of God to defeat evil by the power of love. The greater enemy to fight is cowardice and timidity. Tolerance is not a virtue. Tolerance of evil makes us accomplices. It is vulgar to laugh at vulgarity!

Christmas proclaims that the “walang silbi” are cared for not killed. The infants and the sick, the handicapped and the elderly, they seem walang silbi, but they are our treasures as a nation. This is what the angels taught when they announced Christ’s birth. How we treat the weak shows our real character. Let us resist the culture of abuse with the mercy and tenderness of Christ.

Christmas teaches us that the killing people who kill people is not human. Killing is the solution offered by jungle justice not by civilized societies. Herod wanted to kill Goodness and Love. We must be like the angel who led the Child and his parents into safety away from murder. In solving problems by killing, we side with Herod not with Christ.

Christmas invites us to return to childlike innocence and resist the erosion of good manners. There is joy in being innocent like the Child in the manger. When we hear vulgarity, stand up and proclaim the greater power of the innocence of a child. When we hear children curse, turn them away from the bad examples they see and bring them to the Child in the crib. Vulgarity is contrary to Christmas.

When women are taunted for being women, let us confront this violence against womanhood through the nobility of the Virgin Mary. When violent words are thrown at women and indecent gestures are offered to them, speak up and defend. The spirit of Christmas is contrary to the indecencies that our women are being subjected to.

Christmas is a feast of joy. It must also be a feast of courage—courage to stand up for Jesus and defend what He taught us through the Christmas story. Let us stand up against vulgarity with the powerful innocence of the Christ Child. Let us defend human life by siding with Jesus and not applauding Herod. Let us stand up for womanhood best taught us by the purity of the Virgin Mary.

Jesus took the courage to become like us. Let us now take fullest courage to stand up for what he taught us. Christmas is not a shabu to make us forget for few moments our aches and woes. The greatest story ever told must be retold with greatest courage. Stand up for life. Stand up for purity. Stand up for human dignity. We cannot find Christmas joy in timidity and cowardice. Stand up and choose the Lord!

Take courage so that your Christmas may be truly merry!

From the Cathedral of Saint John the Evangelist, Dagupan City, December 24, 2018

+SOCRATES B. VILLEGAS

Archbishop of Lingayen Dagupan

———————–

PANGASINAN TRANSLATION

IYAGEL SO KAPANYANAK A JESUS!

Message of Archbishop Socrates B Villegas to the People of God in the Archdiocese of Lingayen Dagupan on the occasion of Christmas December 25, 2018

Christmas la. Say kabaliksan to ya et say Dios so nagmaliw a singa sikatayo likud ed kasalanan. Nilakap na Dios ingen so kairapan tan eras tayo. Akikasakey so Dios ed saray likliknaen tan saray segsegang tayo. Aliwan arawi so Dios. Say Dios so asingger ed sikatayo. Nilakseb To so kagalangan tan binalkot Toy Dili To na dutak tan kakapoyan na too pian nabalkot tayo na Kawes Toy Panangasi. Ontan lay inkabiskeg na linawa’y Dios diad inpanabuloy Toy Dili ton niyanak a singa sikatayo.

Christmas la. Maliket tan walay ilalo tayo anggaman say nanenengneng tayo et kabilongetan. Sayan kabilongetan et aliwan maka-Dios. Sayan kabilongetan et nan-waklit ed si Cristo nen Sikato so inyanak dwan libon taon la so apalabas.

Walay panag-paoges ed saray kalaban ed politika. Ondadakel iray bilang na panag-patey ya anggapo’y kalinewan. Ondarakel so drogan sasaliwen. Ondarakel iray kriminal ya makakapaway tan saray kalaban so tataktakoten ya ipa-priso. Amin la et pagmamaliwen ya makapoy a panag-paelek. Mas mani-irap iray walad kairapan tan saray mayaman so nanairapan met la. Pamapasnokan tayo ray mamo-bully ya ogogaw balet elekan tayo labat iray matatakken ya mamo-bully tan manlalastog ed say bastos ya panag-paelek.

Sikami ran Obispo yo so tinawag ya “walang silbi” o “anggapoy kakanaan”. Tan sikayo so iinganyoen ya pateyen kami. Babagaan ton sikayo so manayam et abong tan ag onlad Simbaan lapud wala ray naneng-neng yon hipokrito ed Misa ya mangidadayew ed Dios ya tinawag a “istupido”. Wala ray palsa ed inosenten totoo ya anggapoy balot a katunongan. Fake news so ag-ontonda tan saray bashers so anggapoy kababaingan da ed saray walad katwaan. Kawalaan daray twan mananisia nen Cristo?

Anggan kapigan tayon tepelan iraya? Anto so kabaliksan na Christmas? Onya la kasi so nagmaliwan tayo lan bansan sakey a Katoliko? Say nepeg ya ebat et ANDI! Nepeg ya labanan so ikakayat na kinabastos tan violence. Anggapoy ilalo na Christmas para saray matakot tan inkatalaw. Kaukolan na Christmas ya sikatayo so masebeg ya onalagey para say Katawan!

Say Christmas et nipakaar ed say kabiskegan na linawa na Dios ya taloen so kaogsan na pakapanyari na panangaro. Say mas baleg ya kalabanen et say pakatatakot tan inkatalaw. Say panag-paolian ed say kaogsan et pagmamaliwen ton minononong tayod kaogsan. Bastos so onelek ed kabastosan!

Ibebelyaw na Christmas ya saray “walang silbi” so asikasoen, aliwan pateyen. Saray ogogaw tan mansasakit, saray matakken ya bibirbiren ya “walang silbi, so kayamanan na bansa tayo. Saya so inbangat na saray anghel nen ipaamta day inkianank nen Cristo. No panon so panag-asikaso tayo rad saray “walang silbi” so mangibabalikas na twan walna tayo. Labanan tayo so kultura na panag-abuso diad panamegley na panangasi tan panag-abagey nen Cristo.

Ibabangat na Christmas ya say panagpatey na toon managpatey et  kagagaway aliwan too. Say panagpatey so solusyon na say katongan diad takel, aliwan sibilisadon totoo. Labay nen Herodes ya pateyen so Kamaungan tan Panangaro. Nepeg ya singa tayo anghel ya angiwanwan tan mangiyagel ed say Ogaw tan say ateng To ed pakarisgo’d panagpatey. Pipilaan tayo si Herodes aliwan si Cristo no say solusyon tayod saray problema et panagpatey.

Tatangoyoren itayo na Christmas ya ompawil ed say inka-inosente na ogaw tan labanan so pakadederal na maong ya ogali. Walay liket ed say inka-inosente a singa samay Ogaw ed atotong. No walay narengel tayon kabastosan, labanan tan ibawag so mas mabiskeg a pakapanyari na inka-inosente na ogaw. No walay narengel tayon ogogaw ya manaayew, iyarawi rad makapoy ya oliran ya naneneng-neng da tan awiten irad say Ogaw ya walad atotong. Say panag-ayew tan inkabastos so sumlang ed Christmas.

No saray bibii so babalawen lapud say inka-bii ra, arapen iyan makapoy ya gawan laban ed saray bibii diad panamegley na inkaoyamo nen Birhen Maria. No wala ray makasinagem ya salita so ibabagad saray bibii tan aliwaliwan kiwas so ipapanengneng ed sikara, mansalita tan ilaban ira. Say ispirito na Christmas et sumlang ed say panag-bastos ed saray bibii tayo.

Say Christmas et fiesta na liket. Saya met komon et fiesta na kabiskegan na linawa — masibeg ya onalagey para si Jesus tan ilaban iray bangat To diad pananamegley na istorya na Christmas. Labanan tayo so kabastosan diad panamegley na pakapanyari na inka-inosente nen Niño Jesus. Iyagel tayo’y inkabii unong ed say bangat na inkalimgas nen Birhen Maria.

Masibeg ya nagmaliw a too si Jesus. Walad sikatayo so kagnapan a biskeg na linawa ya mangiyagel ed saray inbangat Tod sikatayo. Say Christmas et aliwan shabu pian nalingwanan tayo iray sakit tan pagpaga tayo. Say sankamaongan ya istoryan insalaysay so nepeg ya uliten lamet ed sankabalegan a biskeg na linawa. Iyagel so bilay. Iyagel so kalimgasan. Iyagel so dignidad. Ag naalmo so liket na Christmas ed takot tan inkatalaw. Mangiyagel tan pilien so Katawan!

Ag ontatakot pian say Christmas yo et twan maliket!

Diad Katedral na San Juan Ibanghelista, Dagupan City, Disiembre 24, 2018.

+SOCRATES B. VILLEGAS

Arsobispo na Lingayen Dagupan

Circular 2018-20: Confraternity of Mary Help of Christians

November 22, 2018

Circular 2018-20 RE: Confraternity of Mary Help of Christians

My dear Reverend Fathers:

It has been three months since we celebrated the momentous canonical coronation of the ninety year old image of Mary Help of Christians as old as the See of Lingayen. The Beso Manto Chapel at the theology seminary in San Fabian continues to draw pilgrims and devotees from many different parts of Pangasinan. The Mother who calls in Manaoag is the same Mother who helps in Palapad.

I am inviting you to organize visits of the image of Mary Help of Christians to our parish and school communities. There are three pilgrim images that are available for community visitations and veneration. You can coordinate with our Chancery staff for possible schedules when you can borrow the pilgrim statues to your parishes or schools.

In order to institutionalize the promotion of the devotion, we now constitute an association of the lay faithful in the Archdiocese of Lingayen Dagupan to be called CONFRATERNITY OF MARY HELP OF CHRISTIANS. The launching and organizational meeting will be held on December 8, 2018 at the Mary Help of Christians College Seminary in Bonuan Gueset, Dagupan City from 8:30am until 12:00 noon.

From the parishes, I request the parish priests to send5 lay members and the school directors to send 2 members from the student leadership, to the launching meeting. Please choose leaders who are ready to collaborate with our vocation ministry in the promotion of vocations. Being a holiday of obligation, the meeting will close with a Eucharistic celebration.

Our Lady cares for us as her Son whispered to her before He died. Our Lord at Calvary asked us also to take care of her. His mother is ours too. De Maria numquam satis.

Sincerely yours,

+SOCRATES B. VILLEGAS

Archbishop of Lingayen Dagupan

 

Circular 2018-18: Pananabangan Month

October 22, 2018

Memorial of Saint John Paul II

Circular 2018-18

RE: Pananabangan Month

My dear people of God:

The core message of the Second Vatican Council and the Second Plenary Council of the Philippines is that the Church is communio. In the Archdiocese of Lingayen Dagupan, we have adopted communio, which is PANANABANGAN in Pangasinan, as our nature, our mission and our vision. Without communio our faith in God cannot be proclaimed; that same faith cannot be lived and our identity will be lost. PANANABANGAN is our spirituality–it is our way of knowing God, serving Him and being with Him. Pananabangan is our way to God.

The month of November is Pananabangan Month in the Archdiocese of Lingayen Dagupan. Although Pananabangan is a yearlong and daily commitment, in November we highlight it, study it more and celebrate its beauty.

  1. We shall have an ARCHDIOCESAN PANANABANGAN ASSEMBLY on November 10, Saturday, in the Parish Church of Saint Dominic in San Carlos City from 8:30 am until 4:00 pm. The parishes and Catholic schools are kindly advised to send their Pananabangan Team Members and five youth leaders. This assembly will also be the occasion to launch the Year 2019 as Pananabangan na Kalengweran as part of the Decade of Communio for the centennial year of the See of Lingayen in 2028. The CBCP will also observe 2019 as Year of the Youth. There will be no registration fees but the assembly participants are kindly requested to bring their food for sharing.
  2. The parish priests, team ministry moderators and school directors are to set aside a date to observe a school or parish Pananabangan Day within the month of November. This local Pananabangan observance can include a shortened renewal seminar on the values of stewardship and a reporting of the current status of the Pananabangan ministry in the school or community. In the spirit of the Filipino fiesta, please have an agape within the parish or school Pananabangan Day.
  3. The Credo of Stewardship should be prayed in all Masses from November 1 to 30 after the Post Communion Prayer before the final blessing.  A copy is enclosed.
  4. There will be a SECOND Collection in all the Sunday Masses of November for the Archdiocesan ICTHUS Pastoral Fund which must be remitted to the Chancery before December 8, 2018. This fund is used to finance the pastoral programs of the archdiocese as well as the support of the financially challenged new parish communities.
  5. You will receive HOMILETIC Guides for all the Sundays of November in order to help our Catholic faithful renew their passion for Pananabangan.

I plead with you to renew your commitment to Pananabangan.

Pananabangan is who we are. Pananabangan is what the Church is. God is Pananabangan of Father and Son and Holy Spirit. Pananabangan is the cure to the social and ecclesial maladies of our age.

Set your heart on Pananabangan. Thank you.

Sincerely yours,

+SOCRATES B. VILLEGAS

Archbishop of Lingayen Dagupan

 

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