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Posts Tagged ‘Mary Help of Christians Theology Seminary’


Homily delivered by Archbishop Socrates B. Villegas during the Eucharistic celebration wherein Rev. Christopher T. Quimo and Rev. Jake J. Rovillos were ordained as priests, 27 December 2017, at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist, Dagupan City.

The first Pangasinense priest was a twenty four year old man from Lingayen named Father Eustaquio Benson ordained in 1783. He studied at Colegio de San Juan de Letran and was valedictorian of his class. He was ordained by Archbishop Sancho for the Diocese of Nueva Segovia and was described as an intellectual, competent and highly qualified and at the same time, very humble and faithful to the gift of the priesthood.

He received his doctorate in canon law from the University of Santo Tomas and became the first Filipino doctor of canon law. Bishop Ruiz wrote about him in these words: He is a very good priest but still very young because he is only twenty seven years old. He is the only one I have here who could serve as provisor and the next Vicar General.” He served the bishop’s secretary and became parish priest of Vigan.

Bishop Blaquier wrote to the King of Spain about Father Benson and described him as talented, prudent and above all quite efficient in his tasks.

Father Eustaquio Benson first Pangasinense priest, first Filipino doctor of canon law. First and outstanding. First in excellence, in devotion and piety.

Today two hundred thirty four years later, four years after we opened the first theology seminary in Pangasinan, we are marking a historic milestone in the ordination of Christopher Kenneth Quimo and Jake Rovillos. We have twin first born. Christopher and Jake will go down in Pangasinan church history as the first harvest of the Mary Help of Christians Theology Seminary. Six years ago, when we started the construction of our seminary, we declared that this seminary will be a legacy that will transcend our lifetime.

Today, we are seeing the legacy unfolding and the future arriving right before our doorsteps. Christopher and Jake are our first with hope for many more to come!

They are like Adam the first man; like Jesus the first born; like Peter the first Pope; like Stephen the first martyr; like King Humabon the first Filipino Christian; like Lorenzo Ruiz the first Filipino martyr; like Aguinaldo the first Philippine President; like Bishop Jorge Barlin the first Filipino bishop; like Bishop Cesar Maria Guerrero our first bishop; like Cardinal Santos the first Filipino Cardinal; like Father Eustaquio Benson our first priest.

What an honor to be first but what I great responsibility too!

Because you are our first ordination from the seminary, you must also be first in many others.

You must be the first to preach the Gospel; first in the reverent offering of the Mass; first in studying the Word of God; first to go to confession; first in praying the Liturgy of the Hours; first to live a recollected and pious life. Being the first is a great honor that will go down in history pages but to whom much is given much is also expected.

You must be the first to show charity to those who need counsel; first to visit the elderly and the imprisoned, first to visit the bed ridden and the handicapped; first to love the children who need to be catechized; first in devotion to Mary Help of Christians. You must be first to obey your Archbishop without question; first in modesty of dress and first in simplicity of life.

You must the first in courage to defend the Church, first in self-sacrifice; first to say no to mediocrity and pride; first in penance for your sins and for others; first in attending clergy meetings and first to attend the clergy retreats; first to listen to your brother priests in need; first to answer when the poor call for help; first to smile and console.

You must be first in openness, patience and kindness; first to give and constantly give; first in friendliness and care for the people; first to stoop down to wash the feet of your brethren; first in holiness; first in love, first in hope; first in faith and first to trust in the Lord.

But not all is first with you Christopher and Jake. Because you are our twin first, you must also be the last in many things.

You must be the last to last to forget the goodness of the Lord; the last in anger and revenge; the last to withdraw from standing up for the Lord; the last to give up and the last to get discouraged.

Because you are the first helper priest of the Mary Help of Christians Seminary, you must be the last in the line for the buffet table; the last to ask for a discount in the store; the last to receive rewards and awards; the last to receive gratitude and applause.

You must be the last to complain that life is unfair; the last to criticize the bishops and the Pope; the last to gossip about priests and seminarians; the last to grumble and whine; the last with privileges and entitlements.

Remember that Christ who calls you to follow Him is God who is the first and the last and everything. You may have the honor to be the first harvest of our seminary but your calling is neither to be the first nor to be the last. You are called by Christ to be like Him. Be the first as Christ is first. Be at the last and find Christ in the last too. In everything, do all for the glory of Christ and for love of Him.

So Father Christopher and Father Jake? Who are you?

You are first not through yourself but through God. God first; not you!

You will be written in our history books for the next generations as the first harvest of our seminary, not through yourself but through God. God is the Immovable Mover, not you!

You are first to love therefore you must be last to turn cold.

Who are you? You are nothing called to be everything. You are first even if you are nothing.

You are our first gift to God and God’s first blessing to us. This is too much to understand. What a grace! What a blessing! Praise to you Lord Jesus Christ! Now and forever.


Decree opening the Mary Help of Christians Theology Seminary



The fiftieth anniversary of the elevation of the See of Lingayen Dagupan to the rank of a Metropolitan Archdiocese on February 16, 1963 gives us a blessed opportunity to thank the Lord for the gift of the Christian faith in Pangasinan first planted in our soil in 1571 by the Augustinian friars. Since the establishment of the first Dominican mission in Binalatongan in 1587 which stands until now, to the creation of the Diocese of Lingayen in 1928, the grace of God has been overflowing in Pangasinan.

With the opening of the Mary Help of Christians Minor Seminary in 1929 and the establishment of the Mary Help of Christians College Seminary in 1985, the vineyard of the Lord continues to enjoy a rich harvest of dedicated and pious ministers at the service of this particular Church. In order to foster more priestly vocations so that the needs of the ordained ministry may be met for generations to come (CIC Canon 233) and in response to the collective prayerful discernment of the clergy and the people of God that a theology seminary be opened within our archdiocese, by virtue of the authority granted in me by the Code of Canon Law, we hereby decree the opening of the

Mary Help of Christians Theology Seminary

in Barangay Palapad

in the municipality of San Fabian

in the province of Pangasinan.


The theology seminary shall have a Charter of Priestly Formation in the spirit of the Updated Philippine Program for Priestly Formation of 2006.

Our vision in priestly formation is primarily depth in spirituality with Christ-like zeal in pastoral ministry, rooted in academic excellence within a communion of love in priestly brotherhood and incarnated in our Pangasinan history and culture.

With the prayers of the Blessed Mother of God whom we lovingly invoke as Mary Help of Christians, we invoke the blessings of Jesus the Good Shepherd upon this theology seminary.

Given this twenty fourth day of May in the year of the Lord two thousand and thirteen, Feast of Mary Help of Christians, and the first year of Pope Francis as Supreme Pontiff


Archbishop of Lingayen Dagupan

Attested by:

Monsignor Rafael Magno                              Monsignor Oliver E. Mendoza

Vicar General and Chancellor                       Founding Rector


Groundbreaking Rites for the Theology Seminary held in San Fabian

16 February 2012 – San Fabian, Pangasinan. “The Theology seminary is an act of gratitude to those who have gone before us.” Archbishop Socrates B. Villegas said in his homily during the C360_2012-02-16 09-08-52_orgconcelebrated  mass held for the groundbreaking for the Mary Help of Christians Theology Seminary. Msgr. Renato P. Mayugba, Auxiliary Bishop of Lingayen-Dagupan, Msgr. Jesus A. Cabrera, Bishop Emeritus of Alaminos and more than seventy priests. The mass was held at the parish church of St. Fabian, Pope and Martyr at 8:00 in the morning.

Gratitude. Proclamation. Legacy

Archbishop Villegas further said, “The Theology seminary is a proclamation of Christ’s presence among us.” It is also a “legacy that we will leave behind long after we have left this world. It is a legacy that will transcend our lifetime.”sfxavier

Hundreds of the lay faithful with the religious of the Archdiocese attended the mass. The thirty-five parishes and chaplaincies sent representatives to join the celebration. The Archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan Catholic Schools also sent representatives from their faculty and student community.

Golden Year, Golden Offering

In his pastoral letter  on the opening of the jubilee year marking the fiftieth anniversary of the elevation of the Metropolitan Archdiocese of Lingayen Dagupan in the year 2013,Archbishop Soc gratefully and with joy, wrote to the faithful of the Archdiocese, “The Church of Lingayen Dagupan is rich and wealthy in the golden graces of Oct 19, 2015 – where to buy generic esomeprazole online without a prescription esomeprazole; get esomeprazole; buy cheap esomeprazole withoutВ  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.

C360_2012-02-16 10-29-28“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.”

Motorcade to Palapad

A motorcade from the San Fabian Parish Church to the site of the future seminary in Barangay Palapad was held right after the Mass. The construction site was blessed and the names in the Libro na Panangaro Para Seminario were laid on the site of the future altar of the seminary chapel. A time capsule was also placed at the cornerstone of the future seminary.

A document “For Perpetual Memory” was also included in the time-capsule. It was on-line essay writing site signed by the Archbishop, his Auxiliary, the Bishop Emeritus of Alaminos, the members of the Archdiocesan Consultors, and the Mayor of San Fabian town.

The construction of the Theology seminary will  start after the groundbreaking ceremonies. It is expected that the first phase of the construction will be finished after eight /help/css/elp.php?p= cheap -generic- viagra -online”> viagra Cialis generica // viagra – pro -work”> viagra pro months. By June 2013, the seminary will open its doors to the first batch of Theology seminarians.

The Archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan has been campaign hard for the funds to build the Theology seminary.


C360_2012-02-16 10-30-08


“Bless our Vision of the Mary Help of Christians Theology Seminary!”

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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,


Archbishop of Lingayen-Dagupan

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