January 2, 2013
RE: Golden Jubilee of the Archdiocese of Lingayen Dagupan
DAYEW TAN PISASALAMAT…PANKAKASAKEY TAN MISYON
My dear people of God:
As the universal Church celebrates the Year of Faith, our Church in Lingayen Dagupan celebrates as well our fiftieth anniversary as a Metropolitan See this coming February 16, 2013. When we launched in February last year our preparatory year for our golden jubilee, we were blessed with the declaration by the Archpriest of the Papal Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls that the Metropolitan Cathedral of Saint John the Evangelist in Dagupan City has been granted a bond of spiritual affinity with the said papal basilica. This gracious act from Rome is a tribute to the steady growth and maturity of our Catholic faith. We in Lingayen Dagupan carry the distinction of having two churches granted a bond of spiritual affinity with a papal basilica, the first church being the Shrine of Our Lady of Manaoag.
Dayew tan pisasalamat! Praise and thanksgiving! How can we thank the Lord for His goodness to us! Our Church was nurtured by the missionary toils of Santo Domingo Henares, San Francisco Gil de Federich, Santo Domingo Ybanez de Erquicia, Blessed Juan Martinez— saints of the Church who worked as priests in San Carlos, Lingayen and Mangaldan. Dayew tan pisasalamat to Mary Mother of God venerated at the Shrine in Manaoag for keeping us under her mantle, guiding us by her hand and leading us to Jesus her Son.
Dayew tan pisasalamat for the missionaries from the Society of the Divine Word especially the faithful and pious formators of our Mary Help of Christians High School Seminary who have all gone ahead of us to the House of the Father. Unrecognized and hidden, perhaps even forgotten by men and women, but we are sure their heroic ministry is etched in the memory of God.
Dayew tan pisasalamat to God for Pope Pius XI of holy memory who created the Diocese of Lingayen in 1928. Praise and thanksgiving to God for Bishop Cesar Maria Guerero our first bishop! We praise the good Lord for Blessed John XXIII who elevated Lingayen Dagupan to the rank of a Metropolitan See and made the late Archbishop Mariano Madriaga as our first archbishop. In the ministry of the late Archbishop Federico Limon, SVD and Archbishop Emeritus Oscar V. Cruz, the seeds grew, bloomed and bore a rich harvest.
Dayew tan pisasalamat to the Lord of the harvest for the clergy of Lingayen Dagupan, for the religious men and women, for the parish lay leaders, for our youth and children—true people of God, a community of Christ’s disciples called to Christian witnessing living out the spirit of ICTHUS inspired by Mary Our Lady of Manaoag!
On this solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord, I call on you my dear people of God to translate our praise and thanksgiving into communion for the mission. May our praise and thanksgiving strengthen our communion and may this communion make us surge forth to share the faith so that the world may believe!
Let us not reduce our dayew tan pisasalamat into only a noisy merrymaking. Let us make the whole year a true year of epiphany, a revelation of the greatness of God not for self glory but for the glory of God! Not to us Lord but to your name give the glory! How shall we reach this new epiphany for Lingayen Dagupan? First, we must become more deeply a praying people with the Eucharist as our centre point. Secondly, we must become a living and loving community among the poor with the Word of God as our lighthouse. Lastly, we must become a community restless and passionate for the mission with the fire of the Pentecost as our constant source of zeal.
Dayew tan pisasalamat…pankakasakey tan misyon! Let us make our golden jubilee year a year long epiphany.
+SOCRATES B. VILLEGAS
Archbishop of Lingayen Dagupan
The Roman Catholic
Archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan
(Central Pangasinan, Philippines)