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Posts Tagged ‘Circular Letters’

Circular 2012-13: Readings on the Age of First Holy Communion

March 26, 2012

Solemnity of the Annunciation

My dear brother priests:

In response to your request for assistance on the pastoral matter of determining the age for the reception of First Holy Communion for children, I am enclosing with this letter some  from church laws, church tradition, statements from some officials of the Holy See and the Popes on the said issue.

The general disposition of the Holy See is that First Communion must not be delayed and that as soon as the age of reason is reached the child must be prepared for First Communion. The age of reason is generally understood as seven years old. Considering that child education begins at six years old in kindergarten, let us consider starting catechesis earlier, before our children are taken over by secularism.

I entrust these reading  materials to you for your pastoral consideration. Let us allow the children to go to the Lord and do not hinder them.

Thank you for your fraternal attention.

 

Sincerely yours,

+SOCRATES B. VILLEGAS

Archbishop of Lingayen  Dagupan

 

To read the readings, kindly click HERE.

Circular 2012-5: On the Sacrament of Baptism

February 14, 2012

Memorial of Saints Cyril and Methodius

My dear brothers and sisters  in Christ:

In the spirit of pastoral concern and as an act of vigilance for the preservation of our Catholic faith and tradition, I address these instructions to you about the sacrament of baptism. Baptism is the door that opens Christian life for us consequently paving the way for the other sacraments of the Church. We have sadly noticed a diminishment in the proper understanding of this very important sacrament.

First, we wish to stress emphatically that the baptisms of infants must be scheduled a few weeks but not later than three months after birth. Ideally, as soon as the mother has recovered her strength after the child’s delivery, the baby must be rushed to the Church for baptism.

Secondly, we must bring back the primacy of baptism as a spiritual birth of a child into the family of  God. It must not be reduced to a mere social event necessitating a party or banquet.

Thirdly, the proper color for baptism is white. It is advisable for parent and godparents to be dressed in white in order to signify the cleansing from original sin that they seek fro the infant in their arms.

Lastly, please be reminded of the admonition of Pope Benedict XVI about giving names to our children. The Pope urges parents not to give their children names that are not included in the Christian martyrology and to refrain from choosing different names, even if these are in fashion. “Every baptized person acquires the character of ‘child’ starting with their Christian name, an unmistakable sign that the Holy Spirit gives birth ‘anew’ to infant from the womb of the Church.”

I am requiring our priests to have these instruction read after the Post Communion Prayer during all Masses for the First Sunday of Lent this year. Please accept my cordial assurances of pastoral esteem and affection.

Sincerely yours,

+SOCRATES B. VILLEGAS

Circular 2012-2: Opening of the Jubilee Year

January 15, 2012

Feast of the Sto. Nino

My dear brother priests, religious sisters and parish lay leaders:

In order to get the Catholic faithful spiritually ready for the fiftieth anniversary of the elevation of Lingayen-Dagupan as a Metropolitan See, we shall open a year long preparatory period for this milestone ecclesial event. The opening of our Year of Jubilee due to take place on February 16, 2012 will have the following schedule of activities:

  1. Concelebrated Mass for the Groundbreaking for the Mary Help of Christians Theology Seminary to be held at eight o’clock in the morning at the Parish Church of San Fabian. The officers of the parish pastoral council with the parish youth leaders and representative teachers and students from all the Catholic Schools are expected to attend.
  2. A motorcade from the San Fabian Parish Church to the site of the future seminary in Barangay Palapad will be held right after the Mass. The construction site will be blessed and the names in the Libro na Panangaro Para Seminario will be laid on the site of the future altar of the seminary chapel. The deadline for the submission of the Libro na Panangaro will be on February 8, 2012 in order to qualify for the inclusion in the ground breaking rites.
  3. The Rite of Opening of the Jubilee Door will start at half past four in the afternoon at the Cathedral of Saint John the Evangelist in the presence of all the parish lay leaders, members of lay associations and movements and all male fourth year students of all Catholic schools. All the catechists and Catholic school teachers are likewise expected to attend.
  4. Having opened the Jubilee Door, the Photo Exhibit for the Jubilee Year will be formally opened too inside the Metropolitan Cathedral. This photo exhibit is due to go around the five vicariates for the whole year. A half hour video presentation on priestly vocation will be shown before the Concelebrated Mass at half past five in the afternoon.
  5. There will be a barrio fiesta reception at the church patio immediately after the Mass open to everybody.

I entrust these activities to you with a request for your gracious presence and usual wholehearted participation. Thank you even now.

Sincerely yours,

+SOCRATES B. VILLEGAS

Archbishop of Lingayen-Dagupan

Circular 2012-1: Our Personal Life of Piety

January 5, 2012

First Thursday of the Year

Circular 2012-1

RE: Our Personal Life of Piety

My  dear brothers in the priesthood:

On this first Thursday of the year, I write to you as brother and father and friend in our holy priesthood to remind you of the primordial importance of piety in our personal and public lives as ordained ministers. Thursday holds a special meaning for us because it was on a Thursday that the Lord instituted the sacrament of holy priesthood together with the holy Eucharist.

Among the many spiritual aids to our personal and public piety as priests, I want to point to the three most important—the daily Mass, the daily Liturgy of the Hours and monthly confession. Please do not allow any day of this year 2012 to pass without celebrating Mass even if it is only the altar server with you, even if there are no intentions offered by the Catholic faithful or even if you are on your vacation or weekly day off. Your fidelity to the Liturgy of the Hours is a promise we made at our ordination. It is a serious matter that deserves our diligent observance. As priests our first duty is to be intercessors for the people of God. Finally, the monthly confession will surely keep our feet on the ground acknowledging our sins yet gazing on the face of the Lord who is rich in mercy. A good penitent will also become a good confessor.

The great need of the Church is for more saints. Let us be holy priests together. Holy men can change the destinies of peoples. Humbly, please ask the parishioners to pray for the sanctification of priests this year. Oremus pro invicem.

Sincerely yours,

+SOCRATES B. VILLEGAS

Archbishop of Lingayen Dagupan

Circular 2011/39: New English Translation of Our Father

December 27,  2011

Feast of Saint John the Apostle

Circular 2011-39

RE: New English Translation of Our Father

My dear fellow workers in the vineyard:

Following our pastoral decision to slowly implement the changes in the English translation of the Roman Missal of 2010, so as not to overwhelm our Catholic faithful with too many changes in the liturgy of the Church by the first Sunday of Advent this year, we shall proceed with our catechesis on the changes in the formula of the Lord’s Prayer using the enclosed catechesis from Father Anscar Chupungco, OSB.

By Ash Wednesday, February 22, 2012, we shall start using the new English version of the Lord’s Prayer as follows:

Our Father who art in heaven

Hallowed be thy name

Thy kingdom come

Thy will be done

on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread,

and forgive us our trespasses

as we forgive those who trespass against us;

and lead us not into temptation

but deliver us from evil.

This same version of the Lord’s Prayer must be used in prayers outside the Mass like the rosary, invocations and similar situations. I request you to guide our Catholic faithful in the proper understanding and implementation of these changes. Once we have settled down with this new version, we shall proceed with the other parts of the Missal.

Oremus pro invicem.

Sincerely yours,

+SOCRATES B. VILLEGAS

Archbishop of Lingayen-Dagupan

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