The country’s newest cardinal, Jose Advincula, sent two priests as missionaries abroad, true to the spirit of the theme “gifted to give”, as the Philippine Church celebrates the 500 years of Christianity, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines said.
A solemn commissioning ceremony for Frs. Marc Raymund Besana and Taz Idyl Lasola was held at the Immaculate Conception Metropolitan Cathedral in Roxas City, Capiz, during a mass officiated by Advincula Sunday.
The ceremony on the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord also coincided with the archdiocese’s opening of the Year of “Missio Ad Gentes”, the Latin for “mission to the nations”.
Besana and Lasola will be both sent to the Diocese of Nottingham in England, and were given by the cardinal “the mandate of the Lord to proclaim the Gospel”.
The two are experienced missionary priests in Capiz, having been assigned in communities that can be considered as belong to the “peripheries”, the CBCP said.
Mission stations are church communities in either or both poor/distant locations, and these projects were initiated by Advincula as Capiz archbishop and as bishop of the Diocese of San Carlos in Negros.
Meanwhile, some Catholic prelates said yesterday that they would follow the procedure released by the Vatican on the distribution of ashes on Ash Wednesday this year.
Ash Wednesday, that falls on Feb. 17, marks the start of the Lenten season for Catholics.
“Actually (the) sprinkling of ashes on the head is the original way. This was already done last year,” Manila Apostolic Administrator, Bishop Broderick Pabillo, said in an interview.
Pabillo said they are waiting for the directive of the CBCP regarding the celebration.
“Last year, priests (had) a choice. We are waiting for CBCP instructions still,” he said.
Caloocan Bishop Pablo David said, “We actually did that already last Ash (Wednesday) 2020.”
Cubao Bishop Honesto Ongtioco also said he would follow the procedure. “We would just do the sprinkling, which goes back to ancient times,” he said.
In a note published on Jan. 12, the Vatican’s Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments directed priests to say the formula, “Repent, and believe in the Gospel”, or “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return”, once to everyone present, rather than to each person.
The note said the priest “cleanses his hands, puts on a face mask, and distributes ashes to those who come to him or, if appropriate, he goes to those who are standing in their places.” He then takes the ash and sprinkles it on the head of each one without saying anything.*PNA