Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Conducting the Clergy Retreat of the Archdiocese of Manila

Several months ago, Cardinal Tagle asked me to conduct the annual preached retreat for his priests. Since the top priority of the archdiocese of Manila is the promotion and formation of Basic Ecclesial Communities, he saw it fit that I would be the one to facilitate the retreat.
So last week from July 21-25, the retreat was held in St. Paul Center of Renewal in Alfonso, Cavite. The theme of the retreat: "The Ordained Ministry vis-a-vis The BECs: A New Way of Being Priest for a New Way of Being Church." This was an opportunity for the clergy to reflect on their own life and ministry, based on the Vatican II and PCP II vision of the priesthood and on the priority of the Philippine Church, which is the formation of BECs.
This is the ninth retreat that I have given to priests so far. Last year, around this time, I was conducting the retreat for the clergy of Romblon. I expect to be giving more clergy retreat in the years to come. I feel happy and honored to be doing this. I am fulfilling my life's special mission: promoting the growth of BEC all over the country and at the same time, assisting in the renewal of the clergy. I am convinced that the renewal of the Church as promoted by Vatican II and PCP II can only become a reality with the spread of BECs and with the renewal of the clergy. This, I believe, is my contribution to the Church in the Philippines. This is what energizes me and what gives my life meaning and purpose. I don't mind doing this for the rest of my life - for as long as I am still physically and mentally fit to do this.

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