Published News of Claves
Pope names new bishop of Laguna;
2 bishops retire
MANILA, Jan. 25, 2013— Two Filipino
Catholic bishops have resigned before the mandated retirement age of 75.
Pope Benedict XVI has accepted the resignations of Bishops Deogracias Iņiguez,
72, of Kalookan and Leo Drona, 71, of San Pablo.
The information was relayed to the Media Office of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines
(CBCP) by Archbishop Guiseppe Pinto, Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines on Friday.
The two prelates’ resignation was made under Canon 401, par. 2 of
the Code of Canon Law which provides that a diocesan bishop who becomes unsuited for duties due to illness or other grave
reason is requested to tender his resignation from office.
Meantime, Benedict XVI has appointed current Gumaca
Bishop Buenaventura Famadico, 56, as successor of Drona.
Famadico was ordained a priest in 1983 and was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Lipa in July 2002. In
June 2003, the pontiff appointed him as the second bishop of Gumaca in Quezon province.
Currently, he is a member of the CBCP’s Episcopal Commission
on Family and Life.
the new bishop of San Pablo, Famadico will serve the more than two million Catholic population of the diocese.
Drona was ordained a priest on December
22, 1967 in Rome, Italy and was appointed bishop of San Jose, Nueva Ecija in July 1987 and served until 2004 until he was
transferred to San Pablo.
meanwhile, was the first bishop of Kalookan and had served the diocese since August 2003.
Born in Cotabato City in December 1940, Iņiguez was ordained
a priest in 1963. He served as Auxiliary Bishop of Malolos from 1985 to 1989 and bishop of Iba in Zambales
from 1990 to 2003.
currently the chairman of the CBCP’s Permanent Committee on Public Affairs. (CBCPNews)
Rt. Rev. Msgr.
Poblete dies at 88
After enduring health complications
due to old age, the Rt. Rev. Msgr. Elias, O. Poblete, JCD, MEd, PA, first rector of the St. Peter’s College Seminary,
finally commended his soul to the Lord in the morning of April 17, 2010, Saturday.
The prelate was admitted in
the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of Calamba Medical Center, Calamba City with high blood pressure, adding to his already worsening
situation. Most Rev. Leo M. Drona, SDB, DD, bishop of San Pablo, was able to administer the Sacrament of the Anointing of
the Sick to the ailing minister before he succumbed to cardiac arrest and respiratory failure at 1:00 a.m. on April 17. News
of Monsignor’s demise quickly reached his relatives, friends, and fellow priests in the diocese.
Arrangements for the funeral
wake were immediately prepared. Clad in full regalia befitting a monsignor of the highest papal award, protonotary apostolic
supernumerary, Msgr. Poblete’s remains were first laid in state at St. John the Baptist Parish, Calamba City, where
he served as pastor for almost two decades. His body was brought to the Cathedral Parish of St. Paul the First Hermit, San
Pablo City on April 19, 2010 for a funeral Mass attended by the clergy of San Pablo after their monthly assembly. He also
served as parish priest of San Pablo and was appointed the first vicar general of the Diocese during the time of Most Rev.
Pedro N. Bantigue, DD. On the same day, his remains were transferred to the St. Peter’s College Seminary where a funeral
Mass and necrological services were held. Rev. Fr. Jerry E. Gaela, rector and a former student of Msgr. Poblete, shared in
his homily two distinctive characteristics of the late rector. First was Monsignor’s emphasis on discipline matched
by his strong character. Fr. Jerry recalled how the seminarians would tremble before Monsignor’s presence. But as they
would fear Monsignor during their seminary days, they now just laugh at their past mistakes and thank him for instilling in
them such discipline which is indispensible for a fruitful priestly ministry. Second was his great thirst for knowledge which
he imparted to the seminarians through extensive reading. Fr. Jerry noted Monsignor’s great passion for reading, seen
in his collection of books of all sorts of topics.
As Msgr. Poblete’s remains
were laid in state in the seminary until April 22, 2010, more insights on his life were revealed. Former students of Monsignor,
priests and lay, came to pay their last respects for their great “Disciplinarian” and “Patriarch”
which brought smiles and laughter to the bereaved relatives in their times of sorrow.
Finally, Msgr. Poblete’s
remains were taken to his hometown, Mabitac, on April 22, 2010. Friends, former parishioners, and relatives arrived to express
their love for the great pastor of the Church through flowers, sharing of experiences, and prayers. A necrological service
at 9:00 a.m. followed by a Solemn Mass presided by Most. Rev. Leo M. Drona, SDB, DD, bishop of San Pablo, were held before
Monsignor’s remains were finally laid to rest.
In honor of Monsignor’s
tireless pastoral zeal, a local museum is being prepared by his relatives and friends which, in its completion, would house
the prelate’s personal belongings. It is also planned that the museum would be the final resting place of Monsignor’s
A Day of
life is a journey beset with many obstacles. One of them is having sickness
which makes a person physically weak, emotionally unstable, and spiritually
arid. But God never leaves us alone in our illnesses. He has His own “Healing
Team” ready to aid us. We
realized this when our community celebrated the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes
and the World Day for the Sick on February 11, 2010, a day of healing through
the intercessions of the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Padre Pio and thanksgiving
to our seminary doctors.
3:00 PM, Rev. Fr. Jerry E. Gaela commenced the celebration with an hour of
Eucharistic adoration followed by the exposition of St. Padre Pio’s relic. In a
short reflection, Fr. Jerry reminded everyone that it is only God Who grants
true healing, but He wills that His graces be poured out through the Blessed
Mother and the saints. With fervent trust in God’s loving mercy and Padre Pio’s
intercession, the devotees solemnly formed a queue to touch the holy relic. Fr.
Jerry anointed the people with the “infirmorum”,
holy oil used for the sick.
in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary took place at 6:00 PM. The seminary doctors
were invited to express the community’s gratitude for their selfless service. In
his homily, Fr. Geminiano Formeloza reminded the doctors that they are
instruments of God in showing His care for His people.
we continue to struggle in life, God’s Healing
Team – the Blessed Mother Mary, the
saints, and the doctors – are on standby to help us. All we need to do is to
ask for their help and entrust ourselves in their prayers and expertise. We
might not get well physically, but their emotional and spiritual support can be
ascertained until we come together before our Ultimate Healer.
The Seminary Commemorates
the Feast of the Chair of St. Peter
“I will give you the
keys of the Kingdom of God.” In granting him primacy over the apostles,
symbolized by the “keys of Heaven”, Jesus appointed St. Peter as the visible
head of the Church, His Mystical Body. As a commemoration of this great event
in St. Peter’s life and in the history of the Church, the Feast of the Chair of
St. Peter, the seminary patron, was celebrated on February 22, 2010. Pari: Gabay ng
Kabataan tungo sa Pag-ibig at
Pagkakaisa was the theme of this year’s celebration. Rev. Fr. Gomer B. Torres,
spiritual director, was the priest-in-charge of the occasion, with the
cooperation of selected seminarians who formed the Fiesta Ad Hoc Committee.
The Novena Masses and Activities
As traditionally done, guest
Mass presiders and different parish choirs graced the Novena Masses from
February 13 to 21. But this year’s celebration saw not only the seminary
community and usual Mass goers attending the Novena Masses. In line with the fiesta
theme, high school students and Church-based
youth ministries were also invited: St. Michael’s College from Biņan City;
Academia de San Ignacio de Loyola and MSC, San Pablo City; the Liceos of the
Diocesan School System; Canossa Schools from Calamba City and San Pablo City;
Lingkod ng Dambana; Parish Youth Commission; and Parish Vocation Commission. Before
the 5:30 p.m. Novena Mass, the young guests were toured around the seminary,
followed by a short Vocation Awareness Program in the auditorium, focusing on
the priestly and religious vocation.
A day of fun and
relaxation after many days of tiring preparation was set for the seminarians.
On Saturday, February 20, 2010, the traditional Palaro ng Lahi prepared by the Socio-Cultural Ministry was held in
which the seminarians were grouped into five: Pepeng, Reming, Santi, Tino, and Ondoy. The whole morning was filled with excitement as teams played
“Mary Went to Market”, “Amazing Race Food Relay”, and “Catching the Water”. Tino,
Santi, and Reming got the 1st, 2nd, 3rd
The Grand Finale: Fiesta!
The feast day began with the
Solemn Lauds in honor of the Chair of St. Peter presided by Rev. Fr. Marcelino
Ramos, Human Formation Director. In the afternoon, the seminary community with
Mass goers and sponsors held a procession around Villa Lozada, San Pablo City.
Upon returning, the people were welcomed by the amazing banduria band of Paaralan ng
Pag-ibig at Pag-asa (PPP), a
school for the physically and mentally handicapped, which is one of the apostolate
areas of the seminarians. Rev. Fr. Jerry E. Gaela, PhD presided at the 5:30
p.m. Solemn Mass with the seminary formators. The following priests of the
Missionaries of Faith also concelebrated: Fr. Boyet Asesor, rector and
oeconomous; Fr. Jesus Emmanuel Obias, spiritual director; Fr. Dante Almiņana,
chaplain of San Pablo Colleges; and Fr. Iņego Adona,
In his homily, Fr. Jerry explained that the Chair of
St. Peter is a sign of power, greatness, and unity of the Church that Jesus
established upon Peter. “Feed my sheep” (Jn 21:15-17), the Resurrected Lord’s summons
to Peter by the lake, clearly shows how Jesus gave not only the visible primacy
to Peter and his successor, the Pope, but the important responsibility of
keeping the flock of Christ in unity, symbolized by the Cathedra (bishop’s
chair) of the Pope in St. John Lateran Basilica, Vatican City. The Catholic
Church remains united because of the apostolic succession of the Pope, down to
Benedict XVI, the 265th successor of St. Peter.
Fr. Jerry also expounded on the infallibility of the
Pope with regards to teachings on Faith and morals, which is not the same with
impeccability, i.e. inclination to personal sin. The Pope’s infallibility,
solemnly proclaimed by the 1st Vatican Council, has always been a
part of the Church’s Sacred Tradition and rooted in Scriptures. It is God’s
assurance of His abiding Spirit so that no erroneous teachings may arise. Even
immoral popes throughout Church history never did pronounce any doctrine
contrary to the Faith – a clear proof of the Pope’s infallibility.
To conclude, Fr. Jerry encouraged the faithful to
pray always for the Pope who is given an overwhelming responsibility over the
Universal Church. Since the Chair of St. Peter symbolizes the unity of the
whole Church, Fr. Jerry also moved everyone to intercede for the unity of all
Christians, the respect for the right to religious expression, and for all
Catholics to submit themselves with filial trust and love to the admonitions of
the Pope, Christ’s Vicar on earth.
After the Mass, Fr.
Gomer expressed his deep gratitude to all the sponsors, priests, guests, and other
people who extended their help and generosity for the success of the
celebration. He said, “Ang Fiesta ay
hindi lamang dapat mabongga kundi mabunga.” (The Fiesta should not only be extravagant but also fruitful.) It is his
belief that the whole affair, from the Novena Masses to the Fiesta day, was truly
celebration of love and unity. Fr. Gomer would not accept the title Hermano Mayor
because for him, it stands
for those who in their God-given ways spiritually and financially supported the
success of the celebration.
thanksgiving, the community prepared a short dinner program at the Padre
Quirino Glorioso Auditorium emceed by Sems. Urayjan Borlaza and Joseph Dorado.
During dinner, the students from PPP presented another special banduria number.
Rev. Fr. Niņo Formeloza
and Ms. Leilanie Aninao, a student from Canossa San Pablo, serenaded the
visitors with their heartwarming voices. The seminary band, Crushed Bizkits, also
guests with contemporary songs.
It was a great event for the St. Peter’s College
Seminary community that tirelessly worked for the success of the feast. In
their simple contributions of talents and resources, the seminarians mirrored
the unity of the whole Church under St. Peter which Jesus earnestly prayed for.
Special Thanks to the Following:
Novena Mass Presiders (in chronological order): Rev.
Fr. Rico Villareal, parochial vicar of St. Paul the First Hermit Cathedral, San
Pablo City; Rev Msgr. Melchor Barcenas, VG, rector of St. Paul the First Hermit
Cathedral; Rev Frs. Tootsie Flores, SSP; Clifford Miras, parochial vicar of
Sto. Sepulcro Parish, Brgy. Landayan, San Pedro; Jayson Caballes, parochial
vicar, San Isidro Labrador, Calauan; Emil Urriquia, parish priest, San Vicente
Ferrer, Biņan City; Reine Eriga, parish priest, St. John the Baptist, Calamba
City; Mauricio Llarena, parish priest, Immaculate Conception, San Pablo City;
and Most. Rev. Leo M. Drona, SDB, DD, bishop of San Pablo.
Parish Choirs (in chronological order): Seraphim Choir, San Roque Parish; Sta. Isabel Choir,
Immaculate Conception Parish, San Pablo City; Canossian Youth Choir, Canossa
School; Grand Choir and Sancti Joannes Choir, St Paul the First Hermit
Cathedral; Ave Maria Chorale, Sto.
Rosario Parish, Pacita Complex; and Balibago Youth Choir, Chair of St, Peter
Parish, Sta. Rosa City.