ALD launches Fund Drive for the Theology Seminary
(From the RCALD Blogsite)
9 December 2011 – Dagupan City. “We need priests because we need Christ.” Hundreds of parishioners from the different parishes of the Archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan listened to the homily of Archbishop Socrates B. Villegas in a holy mass to launch the fund raising project for the construction of the theology seminary of the Archdiocese. The launching of the fund raising project was one of the three events celebrated by the whole archdiocese.
Libro na Panangaro para Seminario
The Fund Raising drive will provide for the initial fund for the construction of the Theology seminary. It will focus on the “Libro na Panangaro para Seminario”. The initial drive is also an awareness drive regarding the construction of the new Theologate. It will tap the majority of the faithful of ALL the parishes, chaplaincies, pastoral stations and schools of the Archdiocese.
Each parish/chaplaincy/pastoral station/school shall be given a common “book”, “Libro na Panangaro para Seminario”. The book will contain the names, address, amount given and signature of the donor. The book after the campaign will be placed in the cornerstone of the new building. There is no fixed amount to be donated. The book will be offered during the 16 February 2012 Eucharistic Celebration opening the Golden Jubilee celebration of ALD. The archdiocese will celebrate its golden jubilee on 16 February 2013.
It is an appeal to history and posterity: that each one with their donation shall become part of the history of the seminary. The donors will be enshrined in the cornerstone.
“It is not the amount that matters. It is the love we have for God, for the church that matters the most”, Archbishop Soc further said in his homily.
A further more widespread fund drive will follow after the initial drive, “Libro na Panangaro para Seminario”.
Why Theology Seminary?
Archbishop Soc said we need priests because we need Christ. We need the seminary to form priests who will give us Christ!
The Archbishop mentioned that 400 hundreds after the first Augustinian friars came to Pangasinan, the Archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan will build the first theology seminary in Pangasinan. “We need to form priests from Pangasinan, for Pangasinan, in the culture of Pangasinan. We need to form priest with the clergy of Pangasinan, among the people of Pangasinan”.
A Legacy that will transcend our lifetime.
The Archbishop encouraged the people to share and to help build the theology seminary. “It is an opportunity given to you today to become part of the construction of the seminary. It is not always that we are given this opportunity. It is a legacy that will transcend our lifetime. We will all pass away, but the seminary will remain beyond our lifetime, forming priests of Pangasinan who will be ever ready to give Christ to you!”
Palapad, San Fabian, Pangasinan
The Archdiocese of Lingayen Dagupan has assigned a lot in Barangay Palapad, San Fabian, Pangasinan measuring twenty seven thousand square meters as the future site of the theology seminary.
A pious lady architect who has been a recipient of the papal award Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice, Architect Susana Castillo, has made the design for the future seminary. Once completed, it will be able to accommodate eighty seminarians who can also take their classes in theology within the same compound.
The Archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan has already two formation houses for future priests: the Mary Help of Christians High School Seminary in Binmaley, Pangasinan and the Mary Help of Christians College Seminary in Bonuan Gueset, Dagupan City.
The Archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan comprises sixteen municipalities and two cities including the capital town of the Province of Pangasinan. It has a Catholic population of one million two hundred thousand composed of thirty three parishes. There are only fifty nine diocesan priests and twelve religious priests ministering to the huge Catholic population.
As of the year 2011, there are one hundred three high school seminarians, thirty-two seminarians in philosophy and eighteen seminarians in theology. The nearest theology seminary is three hundred kilometers away from the archdiocese in Vigan City, the Immaculate Conception School of Theology.
Blessing of patronal statues
The blessing of the statues of the patron saints of the different parishes of the Archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan took place before the eucharistic celebration. The slight drizzle could not hold back the enthusiasm of the parishioners from the different parishes to witness the blessing of the statues of their patron saints. The statues were put on the perimeter fence of the St John Cathedral. The Archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan has 36 parishes, chaplainces and pastoral stations.
Launching of Archbishop Soc’s Book
After the mass, the book of Archbishop Soc entitled “Stewards of Jesus” was launched. The book is a collection of homilies, talks and conferences he has given since he arrived in the Archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan in 2009. The Archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan has embarked on a Stewardship Program since then involving the different parishes, chaplainces, pastoral stations and schools of the archdiocese. Archbishop Soc has consistently been giving stewardship talks to groups of lay leaders who were formed to become the “School of Lay Leaders”. These lay leaders have been attending lectures and conferences given by Archbishop Soc himself since 2010.
Archbishop Soc personally signed the books bought after the mass. The sale of the books will go to the construction of the theology seminary.
Target Cost: PhP 50 Million
The Archdiocese is raising the seed funds necessary for the start of the seminary construction project from the Catholic lay faithful and clergy of the Archdiocese of Lingayen Dagupan. There is a remarkable enthusiasm among of the Catholic faithful with regard to the project. The fund drive hopes to raise five million pesos (PhP5M) from the Catholic faithful as the initial fund for the project. Obviously and understandably, this seed money will not be enough. The fund drive will need to raise fifty million pesos (PhP50M) for the completion of the project. Archbishop Soc said, “Every donation no matter how small is a gift for the future of the Church. “
To kick off the fund drive, the clergy of the Archdiocese led by the Archbishop were the first to sign the “Libro na Panangaro para Seminario”. The Olupan na Laiko na Arkidiosis na Lingayen-Dagupan (ONLA) facilitated the initial signing and collection of donations after the mass.
The Roman Catholic
Archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan
(Central Pangasinan, Philippines)