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Golden Year, Golden Offering

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 buy esomeprazole online consultation us get esomeprazole generic free shipping cheap esomeprazole generic south africa get esomeprazole price uk. 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 Buy cheap sildenafil generic viagra professional sale lowest price for online cheapest 100mg discount. Viagra Cialis cheap without buy prescription onlineВ  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 professional essay writers 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

Circular 2011/40: Blessing of Poor Clare Monastery of Saint James the Apostle

December 28, 2011

Feast of the Holy Innocents

Circular 2011-40

RE: Blessing of Poor Clare Monastery of Saint James the Apostle

My dear brother priests and religious sisters:

I am pleased and honored to invite you to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and blessing of the Poor Clare Monastery of Saint James the Apostle in Barangay Nancapian, Malasiqui, Pangasinan on January 21, 2012, Saturday, at ten o’clock in the morning.

This is the first and only contemplative monastery of nuns in the Archdiocese of Lingayen Dagupan. When I was appointed to the Archbishopric of Lingayen Dagupan in 2009, one of the very first concerns I attended to was to insure that a community of contemplative nuns be present in our midst to pray for the sanctification of priests and to offer their hidden sacrifices to sustain our mission in the world. The monastery in the archdiocese is the powerhouse of our active ministry.

The blessing of the monastery will be the only opportunity for you to see the interior of the monastery which our Catholic faithful in Pangasinan so kindly helped to build. After the blessing, the monastery will be closed perpetually and the life of sacrifice of the nuns will hence begin inside the cloister. It would really mean so much for me if you can join us in this historic Church event in the archdiocese at the dawn of our jubilee year.

Thank you even now. Oremus pro invicem.

Sincerely yours,

+SOCRATES B. VILLEGAS

Archbishop of Lingayen Dagupan

Ponderings for the New Year

January 1, 2011

The first day of the year is a good occasion for us to make a pilgrimage into our hearts in order to ordering essay truly meet our God. If we cannot find God in our hearts, we will not be able to find him anywhere. What values do I treasure in my heart? Are the treasures of my heart the treasures of God too? If God is truly my treasure, I must hold dear what God holds precious.

What makes you happy? Did having all your Christmas wish-list make you happy this week? Look at what makes most of us happy. Among all the gifts you received which one made you happiest? Most of us look for happiness from what we get, from what we receive, from what others give. Is Buy viagra professional online . Generic Viagra is exactly as effective as its brand- named counterpart because it contains the drug, Sildenafil. Cialis Viagra God happy? What makes God happy? Giving Himself to us is the joy of God. Do not peg your happiness on anyone or anything. Find happiness within you. You do not need anything or anybody to be happy. You are already happy but you are just unaware that you have happiness because you are distracted by the wrappings and the decors and the lights. In your heart, there lies your happiness. When we lose the capacity to live within our hearts, then we start to think that happiness is getting more and getting the most. You are gravely mistaken. What makes you really happy? Ponder your answers in your heart…

What do you fear? What are you afraid of? Is the past haunting you with its skeletons and ghosts? Is it the uncertainty of buy Nexium from a secure online pharmacy. Viamedic.com offers a convenient way to treat Acid Reflux Heartburn (GERD) with Nexium. the future and having nothing when the need comes? Are you afraid to have nothing? Are you afraid of the new? Because God is always with us, there is really nothing we should be afraid of except sin. Sin separates us from Him. Nothing else can separate us from the love of God. Fear nothing. Was God ever afraid? He was afraid in the garden of agony. He was afraid of what people would do to Him and He saw that such acts could harm them even before they hurt Him. He was afraid that His tormentors would be separated from the love of the Father. He loved all including His persecutors and He dreaded their separation from God. Love removes all fears. What are you afraid of? Ponder your answers in your heart …

What do you want? What do you really want? God wants to be with you that is why He became man. Do you always want to be with God, always with God, only in God? God alone is sufficient for us to be happy. God wants you. How much do you really want God? Ponder your honest answers in your heart. Be true to your heart.

Beyond the fireworks and the clinking of glasses and rich tasty food on the table, pause and reflect on these timeless questions and like Mary, ponder these things in your heart. Unless you allow Jesus to renew your heart, this year will just be like the old year. Only you can judge whether 2012 is indeed new.

From the Cathedral of Saint John the Evangelist, Dagupan City

+SOCRATES B. VILLEGAS

Archbishop of Lingayen Dagupan

Spend less, Give More!

Christmas Message 2011

Everybody dreams of a meaningful Christmas. We want a Christmas that is different from previous Christmases we have had. But the wave of Christmas traditions, practices and customs just overwhelms us. We just get carried away by a tornado called Christmas, leaving us tired like helpless victims of an irreversible tradition. The pressure of Christmas practices is like typhoon signal number three in December. They There is no more need for you to wonder and ask yourself “where can I buy Nexium 40 mg cheap”? There is a perfectly good solution: to visit our reliable onlineВ  leave us devastated. There is a Christmas compulsion for organizing parties, exchanging gifts, sending out cards, putting up decorations, shopping and wrapping and caroling. This kind of Christmas makes money so necessary. The Christmas bonus can make or unmake the Christmas of so many.

This is pagan. This is a godless Christmas. This Christmas is tiring, isn’t it?

Christmas is about God giving his dearly beloved Son to the world. He entered our world, walked our earth, breathed our air, laughed at our happy stories and cried our tears. He did not shop. He hosted no parties. He sent no cards. He did not put up any glitters. He did not demand any bonus. He just loved us and gave us his time and his presence.

I know friends and loved ones will give me gifts again this Christmas. Many of them I do not need. Many more of them I cannot use. Much of the food gifts I cannot eat. Truth to tell, all gifts I receive I give away. It is this giving away and keeping nothing for me that makes me happy at Christmas.

In order to be happy at Christmas, you do not need more money. You only need to have and to give more love. Spend less on gifts and give more for the poor. Spend less on that Christmas party and give food to the undernourished children in our public schools. Spend less on those toys and buy a book for the toddlers in the barangay day care center. Spend less on Christmas decorations and sustain a TB patient with medicines for six months. Spend less on that ham and dessert and help a child with cancer with his chemotherapy. If you really want to worship the Child in the manger as the wise men did, worship him wisely by bringing your gifts to the poor instead of the Christmas tree or the buffet on-line writing essay services table. The poor are the favorites of our birthday Baby Boy!

Christian Christmas is about self giving not spending. It is presence not just sending token gifts. It is about love not money, Cialis 30 pills x 40 mg : 68.85 $ Buy Tadalafil 10 mg Online Legally Free Viagra Samples in diabetes over the past 10 – 20 years Colchicine Without Prescription In Australia Cheap. Cialis 5 mg Online No Prescription Needed Discounts only about love, only love, selfless love.

+SOCRATES B. VILLEGAS

Archbishop of Lingayen Dagupan

Making Sense out of the Confusion

We are a nation that seems to thrive in crisis. We live from crisis to crisis and somehow we seem to manage to make the best in us come forth in each crisis.

Among the most recent crisis that we have been faced with Can you write an essay for me on-line in the past weeks is the issue of allowing the predecessor of our present President to travel abroad considering the criminal charges being prepared against her and the resulting animosity between the Chief Executive and the Supreme Court which experts say could lead to more serious political crisis.

It is not for me as your archbishop to pass a judgment on this present state of affairs among our national public servants. I choose to keep my buy Nexium Online from Canada Drug Pharmacy. Nexium 40 mg is used to treat ulcers. Nexium decreases the amount of acid produced in the stomach. opinion about these matters to myself. I am a churchman not a politician. But inasmuch as you have asked me to help you see through the current events, let me offer these aids to help you reflect on the current events from the light of our Christian faith. I seek peace. Let me help you seek peace.

The primary question is: Is it the truth? Are the protagonists always candid and forthright with the whole truth? Truth must always be laid out in full. Truth is hurt by partial honesty. It is our duty as responsible citizens to seek the truth ourselves and arrive at our own moral judgment. Do not just parrot what the opposing parties say. Seek the truth. Tell the truth. Defend the truth always. Be open. Resist half truths and lies.

Secondly, is it just? Is it fair to the accused whose innocence we must presume until proven guilty? Is the common good always kept in mind? Is the process just? Is the law observed without fear or favor? Is due process used in pursuit of justice or to cover up an injustice? The goal of due process is not to protect the guilty but to insure that the rule of law is maintained.

Is it respectful of institutions? The institutions in society are there for the common good. We must distinguish between the person in office and the position he holds. Is the Supreme Court respectful of the President and is the President respectful of the Supreme Court regardless of personal differences? We must never be wanting in respect and civility without giving in to hypocrisy and niceties of protocol. Be respectful but do no withdraw from a chance to stand up for the truth.

Is it the most loving thing to do? Would Jesus do what we are doing or say what we are saying? At the end of all of these we will all be judged in the weighing scale of love. Is it compassionate and merciful? Is it kind and charitable? In the conflict between being right and being loving, let us choose to be more loving always. One who loves is always on the side of God who is love himself.

My dear people of God, it is time to take a critical look at the discordant Buy Cialis Online Cheap Free Viagra Samples, Tadalafil In Miami Usa Cheap No Prescription Uk Cialis Shipped From Canada, Cheap Cialis 5 mg Here Cialis 5 20 Shipped From Canada, No Prescription Medicine Buy Cialis 2.5 mg pills By Mail Order, Cheap Cialis Sydney Australia Discount Prices, Tadalafil 10 mg opinions we hear and use the teachings of the Lord to make your own assessment of the current situation. Is it the truth? Is it just? Is it respectful of institutions? Is it most loving?

Pray for guidance to see as Jesus sees. To act as Jesus would act. Take courage. Bawal ang duwag. Manindigan.

+SOCRATES B. VILLEGAS

Archbishop of Lingayen Dagupan, 6 December 2011

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