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Cardinal Rosales and Auxiliary Bishops hold pastoral visitation of archdiocesan seminaries By Sem. Marion Noel Bayaras

Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales led the pastoral visitation of the four major archdiocesan seminaries of Manila namely, San Carlos Seminary, Lorenzo Mission Institute, Holy Apostles Senior Seminary and Redemptoris Mater Mission Seminary. He was joined by his auxiliaries, Bishops Bernardino Cortez and Broderick Pabillo.

The pastoral visitation commenced with the celebration of the Holy Eucharist at the Lay Formation Center Chapel at 8 a.m. on Feb. 16, 2009 with Cardinal Rosales as presider and the auxiliary bishops and the seminary fathers as co-celebrants. Soon after the mass the Cardinal and the bishops began the individual interviews of the seminarians and priest-formators from the different houses of formation. The support staff was met as a group by Bishops Cortez and Pabillo.

The visit lasted one week and ended on Feb. 20, 2009 with the celebration of the Holy Eucharist at the San Carlos Seminary Main Chapel at 3p.m..

In his homily the Cardinal referred to the pastoral visitation as a “first” and a rare event. The last visitation in the seminary was an apostolic visitation on all seminaries called for by the Vatican to check on the formation of the seminarians and the status of the different major seminaries in the Philippines. The Cardinal, as then chair of the CBCP Commission on Seminaries, implemented the directive. The visitation on the Manila Archdiocesan seminaries was conducted by Archbishop Angel Lagdameo in 1992.  The Cardinal expressed his gratitude to the members of the seminary communities in the complex for their cooperation and support in making the pastoral visitation a fulfilling undertaking. He reminded the priests and seminarians of their mission in the church because, he said, it will be the seminaries which would be the last institutions of the church that could be brought down. For as long as there are seminaries, there would be priests. He exhorted the priests and seminarians to always be good, holy and zealous men of God.