Posts Tagged ‘Golden Jubilee of Archdiocese’
Franklin Q. de Guzman
16 February2012 – Dagupan City. The Jubilee Door of the St. John the Evangelist Metropolitan Cathedral of the Archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan (ALD) was opened on Thursday afternoon marking the start of the Golden Jubilee Year celebrations of the archdiocese.
Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas led the opening of the Jubilee door to launch the year-long celebration of the Archdiocese to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of its elevation as Metropolitan See next year. The Archbishop knocked on the Jubilee three times using a wooden mallet before the doors were opened. The Archbishop was the first to enter the jubilee, followed by the clergy and the laity. He knelt and prayed after he opened and entered the Jubilee Door.
The Archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan was elevated as a Metropolitan See on February 16, 1963.
For the poor, the youth and the lapsed Catholics
During his homily in a Con-celebrated Mass which followed after the opening rites of the Jubilee Door, Archbishop Villegas addressed the more than a thousand faithful present that the Golden Jubilee Year is not only a year of praise and thanksgiving but a mainly a year of reaching out especially to the “to the poor, the youth and the lax Catholics.”
“If the Jubilee Year is only dedicated to dayew tan pisasalamat (praise and thanksgiving, which is the theme of the year-long celebration) and nothing more, then we will waste our Jubilee Year. Our praise and thanksgiving must be translated into action,” the prelate said. “The Jubilee Door that we opened with the approval of the Holy See is a reminder that the door of the church must always be open to three very special class of people (pertaining to the poor, the youth, and the lost) who for Villegas are the people “who have not entered the cathedral for so long and who do not believe in the cathedral anymore.”
The prelate emphasized that the Jubilee year is primarily for the poor (a word he passionately mentioned more than ten times in his homily) and he challenged the faithful to bring the poor inside the church. “We must bring the poor to Jesus and we must bring Jesus to the poor,” he said. “The Jubilee Door must be primarily open for them first and foremost. We must not only live, we must live for the poor,” he added.
Secondly, he turned to the young people present saying that the church is for them and the jubilee is for them.
“Come, serve in the church; come, read the word of God. come, teach the doctrines of the church; come, be teachers of your fellow youth. Let the youth serve their fellow youth,” he invited them.
He turned again to the congregation and said, “The true teachers of the church are our young people yet their voices are not heard… their voices are not given opportunity to be proclaimed in the church. They must be heard… The youth are up there in the streets and bridges intoxicated by alcohol, neglected. This jubilee year is for them and if we won’t not reach out to the youth, we would waste our jubilee year.”
Lastly, he said that the jubilee year is for the lapsed Catholics. “This year is for those people who left the church… who do not believe in the (Catholic) church anymore. Ours is not to argue with them; our is not to kick them out… ours is to open the Jubilee Door for them and invite them.They are members of our family. This Jubilee is for them because the jubilee is a year of renewal,” he said.
He ended his homily with a challenge to everyone present, “ Please do not reach February 16, 2013, without bringing one more youth, one more poor brother, one more lapsed Catholic through the Jubilee Door of this Cathedral.
He encouraged the people to share their blessings. “ All blessings from God are not for us to keep alone. They belong to others. If we keep them only to ourselves, and refuse to share them, we are not selfish, we are not greedy; we are a thief! For a thief takes what does not belong to him.”
Within the mass, Most Rev. Renato P. Mayugba, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan, read the announcement of the special bond of spiritual affinity granted to the St. John the Evangelist Metropolitan Cathedral with the Papal Basilica of St. Paul Outside of the Walls.
The decree of special bond from Rome, dated February 15, 2012, was also read in Latin and English respectively by Msgr. Rafael S. Magno, Jr, Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan, and Fr. Alvin Platon of the St. John the Evangelist Cathedral.
The papal basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls may be found the stone coffin containing the bones of the Saint Paul the Apostle.
The Apostolic Penitentiary through the Major Penitentiary His Excellency Most Reverend Emmanuel Monteiro de Castro, has also granted all pilgrims visiting the Metropolitan Cathedral of Saint John the Evangelist in Dagupan City papal blessings and plenary indulgence under the usual conditions laid down by Church laws. This means that all the Catholic faithful who visit and pray in the Cathedral of Saint John gain the spiritual benefits of the Church as if they actually visited in the papal basilica in Rome.
At the beginning of his homily, Villegas expressed his joy for the said favor granted to the cathedral. “It is a grace of God to those people who come to this cathedral,” he said.
The Second Church
The Cathedral of Saint John in Dagupan City is the second church in the Archdiocese of Lingayen Dagupan to be granted the title “special bond of spiritual affinity” with one of the four papal basilicas worldwide. The first church to be granted this special title and privilege is the Shrine of Our Lady of the Rosary in Manaoag bestowed by the papal basilica of Saint Mary Major.
Asked for the reason on how did the cathedral receive such an honor, he said that he honestly didn’t know at first. However, “eventually, I think the Holy See granted the favor because the Catholics of Lingayen-Dagupan are the best in the world,” he added. His statement gain a resounding applaud from the faithful.
He hopes that because of such grant, more people will visit and pray in the cathedral.
Just before the end of the mass, a photo exhibit was launched depicting the different parishes of ALD.
Villegas, Mayugba and Most Rev. Jesus Cabrera, Bishop Emeritus of the Diocese of Alaminos, led the unveiling the said photos which the faithfuls enjoyed looking at after the mass.
The said exhibit will go around the five vicariates of ALD all through out the year-long celebration so that more faithful will have the chance to see it. Fr. Reynaldo Romero, the chairman of the Jubilee Exhibits, invited the faithful to look at the photos from three points: historically, on the role of the churches in the foundation of the Pangasinan towns and the hand of God in their existence.
Jubilee of Priestly Vocation
In the calendar of activities, February 2012 is intended for the Jubilee of Priestly Vocation.
In line with this, fourth year male high school students from the different catholic schools of ALD were especially invited to attend the Opening of the Jubilee Year in the hope of gathering more priestly vocation.
Before the the start of the mass, Rev. Fr. Mario Morales, Rector of the Mary Help of Christians College Seminary, invited these young men to watch a short movie clip depicting the life of a college seminarian. After the film viewing, the faithful recited the Prayer for Vocation as one community.
Fr. Morales said that he hopes that there would be an increase of priestly vocations and asked the congregation to continue praying for more vocations in the archdiocese.
The opening day of the jubilee year was ended with a barrio fiesta and a fireworks display outside the cathedral, accompanied by the joyful band music of the Univeristy of Luzon Band. #
Pastoral letter on the occasion of the opening of the jubilee year marking the fiftieth anniversary of the elevation of the Metropolitan Archdiocese of Lingayen Dagupan in the year 2013
Beloved people of God:
The Church of Lingayen Dagupan is rich and wealthy in the golden graces of God! Indeed the true treasure of the Church is the Lord who is always present amongst His people. And God has always been with us. The Diocese of Lingayen was created on May 19, 1928 with Bishop Cesar Maria Guerrero as the first bishop. It was renamed Diocese of Lingayen Dagupan on February 11, 1954 due to the destruction of the Lingayen Cathedral caused by the Second World War. On February 16, 1963, it was elevated to the rank of a metropolitan archdiocese with the late Archbishop Mariano Madriaga as the first archbishop. It is now the time of grace to prepare ourselves for the golden year of the Metropolitan Archdiocese in 2013.
This jubilee year is a year for remembering and beholding the greatness of the Lord. Indeed, every year, month and day since we were made a diocese is an epiphany of his goodness and bounty. Our thoughts return to the crib where the mother and her child were visited by the wise men: “They came into the house and saw the young child with Mary, his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Opening their treasures, they offered to him gifts: gold, frankincense, and myrrh. (Mt.2:11).
GIFTS OF GOLD
We offer the Lord our gift of golden thanksgiving for blessing us with pious and fervent bishops since we were made a diocese. Our first bishop, Bishop Cesar Maria Guerrero died in the sweet odor of wisdom and sanctity, as acclaimed by one Franciscan priest, at the time of his death. Archbishop Mariano Madriaga, our wartime shepherd, led the diocese during its most trying times—the Commonwealth period, the hostilities of the Japanese occupation, the destruction during the liberation unto the years of the Second Vatican Council reforms—as a faithful sentinel and guardian of the faith. Archbishop Federico Limon, SVD guided our Church to give birth to two new daughters—the Dioceses of Alaminos and Urdaneta. Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz gave a new kind of fire to the call for the Church for social engagement and transformation. With his characteristic passion, he gave his best to bring the Gospel of Christ to every aspect of human reality.
The golden years behind us were blessed years in the company of the missionaries of the Society of the Divine Word and the Order of Preachers. The Mary Help of Christians Minor Seminary in Binmaley and the Mary Help of Christians College Seminary in Bonuan have been bringing forth holy and zealous pastors for the Church indeed more precious than silver or gold. These seminaries have contributed numerous pastors for the people of God faithful to the mandate of the Lord of the harvest: “Don’t take any gold, nor silver, nor brass in your money belts” (Mt. 10:9). The “woman clothed with the sun with the moon under her feet (Rev. 12:1), whom we know in Pangasinan as Our Lady of the Rosary of Manaoag, has guided us through the years leading us to the heart of Jesus her Son. We cannot forget the innumerable lay leaders of our Catholic organizations and basic ecclesial communities who form another array of soldiers for Christ ready for battle, faithful and loyal, courageous light and salt for the world. The laity of Lingayen Dagupan are golden gifts from God!
SCARLET AND GOLD
And yet our golden year as an archdiocese is not purely lustrous gold for indeed “the mother church dressed in purple and scarlet, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, has in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and impurities” ( cfr. Rev. 17:4).
This jubilee is also a time for repentance. It is time for contrition for blessings wasted, for opportunities squandered, for allowing the powers of malice and sin to prevail among us. We admit as we strike our breasts that we, pastors and flock, are responsible for the endless crosses on which the Good Shepherd continues to be crucified even until now in Pangasinan. The blasphemies, to which our Lord and the Church are constantly subjected to, need to be confessed, healed and forgiven. The neglect of the Sunday duties and laziness to pray; the irreverence shown toward the Mother of God; the calumnies and slanders we throw against one another; the sacrilege thrown against the spiritual treasures of the Church. The Church our mother is in agony and travail as she holds in her hands the abominable crimes of her children.
During this jubilee year we kneel in contrition before the poor whose cries for help we have often ignored. We kiss mother earth and caress with our bloodied hands our dead rivers and ripped sea beds and say “We are sorry!” We have raped our forests and leveled our hills with relentless logging and quarrying blinded by our greed and avarice. Mother Earth is in travail and in agony and we have caused it on her.
We shake our heads with shame and guilt at the scandals caused by the men of the Church upon the Church they were called to serve. When the priests’ lifestyle is inconsistent with his vocation, the Church is hurt. When priests act more like hirelings than shepherds who must be willing to die for the sheep, the lambs leave the herd confused and puzzled. When celibacy is violated, when human respect is not observed, when basic courtesies are laid aside, when revenge is allowed to prevail over forgiveness, when service is always linked to the returning benefit, the Lord is crucified again and again. Our golden chalice is filled with our sins, in fact overflowing. Our golden robes are stained by the blood of our iniquity. Let us lay aside our gold and put on ashes. We beg pardon from the Lord. Let this jubilee renew us. Let this golden year make us new.
GOLD WE HAVE NONE
And Peter said, "Silver and gold have I none, but what I have, that I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, get up and walk!" (Acts 3:6). The jubilee is a time for mission. Celebration without contrition is triumphalism. Contrition without courage is lame. Let this jubilee year be a year of courage for the mission of the Lord. We will not be afraid to have neither silver nor gold.
Gold and silver we have none! I hope we will be able to say that with conviction. Our first and only power is the Lord and our first and only way to the Lord is love. We must pray but it is not enough to pray. Our prayer must make us think and talk and listen and act and be like Jesus—that is the apostolic action that we need in the Church. Any pastoral action or assembly that does not come from prayer will fail. Any prayer that does not lead us to apostolic charity will wither. Love without service is mere sentimentalism. Service without prayer is social activism.
We have a dream. We dream of a church renewed. Gold and silver we have none but we are a people who believe profoundly in the love of Almighty God. We are a people poor in the things of the world but courageous in the faith we profess. We stammer when we speak but we pray fervently from the heart and we teach with zeal and conviction. We are ourselves are a people in need but we serve generously disinterested in rewards. We are more than a million Catholic faithful but we are close to all and each one is friend of everyone. Our real gold is God. Our gift of gold is our love.
YEAR OF GRACE
We are opening a year of grace. It is a blessed time to celebrate and blow our trumpets for the Lord. This is a time of grace to seek forgiveness and share forgiveness with hearts humble and contrite. The year of grace is a year of hope. We look beyond our horizon and see beyond the rainbow a renewed and revitalized Church courageously and boldly proclaiming God’s love and joy.
We entrust this year to Mary Help of Christians whose guiding hand has brought many of our young men to the altar as priests of her Son. As we now break the ground for the construction of the theology seminary, may our Mother guide us, give us courage and bring us to live for Jesus her Son.
From the Cathedral of Saint John the Evangelist, February 16, 2012
+SOCRATES B. VILLEGAS
Archbishop of Lingayen Dagupan
October 28, 2011
Feast of Saints Simon and Jude, Apostles
Golden Jubilee of the Archdiocese
My dear brother priests and religious sisters:
I am pleased to announce to you that we have started our preparations to open a Jubilee Year for the Archdiocese of Lingayen Dagupan on February 16, 2012 culminating the year after on the same date. The Diocese of Lingayen was created on May 19, 1928 with Bishop Cesar Maria Guerrero as the first bishop. It was renamed Diocese of Lingayen Dagupan on February 11, 1954 due to the destruction of the Lingayen Cathedral caused by the Second World War. On February 16, 1963, it was elevated to the rank of a metropolitan archdiocese with the late Archbishop Mariano Madriaga as the first archbishop.
We are blessed and we want to celebrate the greatness of the Lord. Please be informed that the following activities have been lined up to prepare for the Golden Jubilee in 2013:
- February 2012 Jubilee of Vocations
- March 2012 Jubilee of Fathers
- April 2012 Jubilee of Freedom and Mercy
- May 2012 Jubilee of the Youth
- June 2012 Jubilee of Mothers
- July 2012 Jubilee of the Laity
- August 2012 Jubilee of Farmers, Fishermen and Laborers
- September 2012 Jubilee of the Poor
- October 2012 Jubilee of Consecrated Life
- November 2012 Jubilee of Government and Business
- December 2012 Jubilee of Migrants and Immigrants
- January 2013 Jubilee of Children
- February 2013 Jubilee of Age and Wisdom
Please expect a pastoral letter to be issued to commemorate this happy occasion. I encourage our parishes, schools and Catholic institutions to align all their pastoral and apostolic programs to the jubilee program herein presented.
I entrust this jubilee year to the blessings of God through the hands of Our Lady of Manaoag. Let us work together for the spiritual success of this undertaking and the steady renewal of our Church.
+SOCRATES B. VILLEGAS
Archbishop of Lingayen Dagupan