GUIGUINTO, BULACAN – Last November 17, Saturday, the Immaculate Conception Major Seminary – Graduate School of Theology (ICMAS-GST) held the annual Theology for the Modern Age (TMA) lecture for parish lay organizations and religious communities. Held at the Immaculate Conception Minor Seminary Chapel, the morning conference was led by Dominican preacher Fr. Enrico D. Gonzales.
Priests as Servants of God and His People
In discussing the Year for the Clergy and Consecrated Persons, Gonzales reflected on this year’s conference theme, “Ang Pari: ‘Pinili mula sa mga tao, upang maglingkod sa Diyos para sa mga Tao” (Heb. 5:1). Here he noted that, “Among the many things we need to understand about the priesthood is that a great responsibility is held by priests because they are first and foremost chosen among us.” He added that, “In this process, God is the one who chooses his priests. He does not choose perfect priests. He also wishes for each priest being chosen to be holy and an inspiration for the people.”
Focusing on some key points to the integral renewal of life among priests, the lay people were reminded that a number of things were needed to help priests in living out their ministry. He said they are, “prayer, which we really need to become more alive in serving the Church; atonement, that reconciliation may be present in mistakes among priests and the people; and charity, which would build up a community of servant leaders.”
The Seminary’s Contribution to Formation
In his thanksgiving speech for the event, ICMAS-GST Dean Fr. Enrico C. Crisostomo recognized the continuous role of the seminary in its efforts not only to form seminarians, but to be a helping hand to religious and lay people in discussing topics on the life of the Church. He said, “Since 1996, the Theology for the Modern Age has been one of the seminary’s ways to deepen the faith of the laity and religious as we journey together as one Church.”
Fr. Expedito E. Caleon, Parish Priest of St. Joseph the Worker Parish, Panginay, Balagtas, who accompanied his parishioners to the event said, “Truly, TMA is one of our seminary’s good opportunities to give quality formation to parishioners, especially on different topics which are in line with the mind and heart of the Church.”
TMA through the Years
TMA began as Tertio Millenio Adveniente, a series of monthly talks held in the seminary based on Pope John Paul II’s document in preparation for the Great Jubilee Year 2000. From there, former ICMAS-GST Dean and current seminary Rector Fr. Emmanuel I. Cruz developed as Theology for the Modern Age. This now aimed to discuss to lay and religious, especially engaging those from the parish formation and catechetical ministries in tackling different theological topics in reading the signs of the times for the Church in the Third Millenium.
This year’s TMA was attended by 250 participants from nine of 10 vicariates of the Diocese of Malolos and a number of religious communities inside and outside the seminary. (Sem. Kendrick Ivan B. Panganiban | CBCP News/Malolos Diocesan Commission on Social Communications)