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Books for Spiritual Offerings for Priests Open in Parishes, Communities

Lay faithful can participate meaningfully in the celebration of the Year of Priests from June 29, 2009 to June 2010 by registering their spiritual offerings for priests in a book that can be found in all parishes and some Christian communities in the Archdiocese of Manila.

The Books of Spiritual Offerings were symbolically presented at the Mass to open the Year of Priests and coinciding with the celebration of Pope’s Day on June 29, 2009 at the Manila Cathedral. Manila Archbishop Gaudencio B. Cardinal Rosales was presider, while Archbishop Edward Joseph Adams, Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines was homilist. The concelebrants included Cebu Archbishop Ricardo J. Cardinal Vidal, archbishops and bishops and priests of the Ecclesiastical Province of Manila.

Ambassador Leonida Vera, former envoy to the Vatican and now Ambassador of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, and the heads of the Society of St. John Mary Vianney, presented the giant books to Cardinal Rosales, Cardinal Vidal and Archbishop Adams for the first signatures.

Signing in the books means that the faithful commit themselves to pray for priests, especially on this special year. In his circular announcing the Spiritual Offerings for Priests, Cardinal Rosales acknowledges “our (the priests’) own need for their (the faithful’s) prayers and spiritual support,” even if “it is our responsibility, virtue of our ordination, to pray for the People of God.”

The Cardinal encourages all those in the archdiocese’s parishes and Christian communities to sign up and indicate their commitment and spiritual pledges for priests.

All the Spiritual Offerings from the whole archdiocese will be gathered and presented at the closing celebration for the Year of Priests.

The Year of Priests was declared by the Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI to commemorate the 150th anniversary of death of St. John Mary Vianney, the Cure of Ars and the patron saint of the clergy.

Activities are being lined up in the archdiocese to celebrate the year. The Cardinal says that “these activities, however, will mean nothing if they will remain external celebrations devoid of spiritual content.”

The Year of Priests in the Philippines is also the Year of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary and involves entrusting the priests in the country to Jesus and Mary.