I attended the "chrism mass " at 7:30 this morning held at the San Pedro Cathedral. Over a hundred priests (diocesan and religious) concelebrated with Archbishop Fernando Capalla. Today is regarded as the day when the sacrament of holy orders was instituted by Christ. So all of us renewed our commitment to priestly service during the mass.
In his homily, Archbishop Capalla reminded us that we were ordained in the three-fold ministry of priest, prophet and pastor. Our ministry therefore includes the sacramental/liturgical ministry, the prophetic ministry, and the pastoral ministry. The archbishop gave special emphasis to the prophetic ministry in the light of the situation of the Davao - a situation where there is so much violence and injustice. I presumed that he was referring to the unabated killings in the city carried out by the Davao Death Squad. He said that he was glad that there were priests, religious and lay people who were not afraid to exercise their prophetic mission.
After communion, the olive oils used for baptism and for the sick were blessed. This was followed by the reading of the Oratio Imperata.
After the mass, I had a long conversation with Archbishop Capalla and Fr. Rico (Social Action Director) about the CHR public inquiry and the HRW report on the DDS. We will meet soon with several priests to discuss our next move.