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Archdiocese Recognizes Parents of Priests

Ang Pari natin kung paano noon sa simula hanggang sa katapusan, kailangan nila ang sa kanila’y aalalay, magmamahal at sa kanila’y tutulong,” said  Msgr. Sabino A. Vengco, during his reflections at the Holy Hour of the Day of Parents and Siblings of Priests held on May 17, 2010 at the Manila Cathedral. The Day was one of the activities leading up to the closing of the Year for Priests in the Archdiocese of Manila.

Msgr. Vengco who heads the Kadiwa sa Pagkapari Foundation, Inc. that helps and cares for retired priests pointed to the important role that parents continue to play in the life of priests and in how they are able to minister to their flock.

The celebration at the Manila Cathedral drew more than 100 people among them priests, their parents and other members of their family and friends.  Manila Archbishop Gaudencio B. Cardinal Rosales presided at the celebration of the Holy Eucharist that followed the Holy Hour, and in his homily, expressed gratitude towards the parents of priests. “You return to God what really belongs to Him,” Cardinal Rosales said. “Above all you return to God a young man whom God may freely use in order to reach out to others, and bring them the goodness and love of a caring Divinity.”

The Cardinal recounted touching stories about parents and the children they offer to God for the priestly or religious life, including his own tale. He recalled a conversation he had with his aging parents who said that when he entered the seminary they cried all the time because they were afraid they would not see him as much as they would want to. Later on, to their surprise, and joy, they were proven wrong, because unlike his married siblings, Cardinal Rosales could make more time to visit his parents. (Please read Homily). Mrs. Perla Bandoco, one of the participants,  encouraged people to “support our priests with prayers.” Among the parents was the 91-year old mother of Fr. Celso Alcantara and the 82-year old mother of Fr. Jade Licuanan.

Dinner and fellowship for the parents and siblings of priests were held at the Villa Immaculada  after the Mass. Priest-emcees Fathers Hans Magdurulang, Benjie Jugueta and Leo Ignacio perked up the audience with their lively hosting of the program which included a raffle of appliances and gift checks, and song numbers from the indomitable Mabuhay Singers. – By  Adrian B. Tambuyat, O.P.