January 20, 2011

Memorial of Saint Fabian, Pope and Martyr

 

Circular Number 1/2011

Re: PHASE OUT OF THE ARANCEL SYSTEM

 

My brothers in this priestly ministry:

 

Our collective discernment to gradually phase out the obligatory table of offerings for the administration of the sacraments and sacramentals is a positive step in the right direction. Our target date for the full phase out of the arancel system and our active engagement in the spirituality of stewardship is the golden jubilee of the Archdiocese of Lingayen Dagupan on February 16, 2013.

 

We cannot pursue this pastoral goal without catechesis. We cannot reach our stated goal without a process of conversion and a change of pastoral paradigms. The phase out of the arancel is not a money issue. It is a deeply spiritual matter. We need to change our understanding of the Church from being a stone building or a service agency to a community of disciples called by Jesus, formed by Jesus and sent by Jesus. The Church is communio. We must liberate our religious experiences from individualism and narrow mindedness. We are saved not by justice but by the immeasurable mercy of God.

 

Whatever we do, good or bad, affects not only the home or parish but the entire cosmos creation of God. Whatever we do--good or bad-- will affect countless generations after us. Whatever we do will have effects on the cosmos and human history beyond the limits of space and time.

 

If we are to live out this communio, we must make love the over-all guiding principle of our daily lives. Love is best shown by an attitude of sharing. The greatest act of love is the giving up of life for the loved one. We must imbibe the attitude of giving without expecting anything in return. Giving must be like breathing or eating. We die if we stop giving. The pastors must freely administer the mysteries of God and the flock must give and share unmindful of any reward.

 

Keeping this initial preparatory catechesis in mind, we now issue the enclosed revised table of offerings for the sacraments and sacramentals. I encourage you to explore the possibility of phasing out some the fees voluntarily in your parish before the target date. Accompanied by catechesis and prayer for conversion, we can achieve our goal.

 

May we all learn to live and love like the Lord!

 

Sincerely yours,

 

 

 

+SOCRATES B. VILLEGAS

Archbishop of Lingayen Dagupan

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