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PASTORAL LETTER of His Grace MOST REV. ROLANDO J. TRIA TIRONA, OCD, DD Archbishop of Caceres for Clergy, Consecrated Persons and the faithful in the Archdiocese of Caceres on the Occasion of the Opening of the Year of the Clergy and Consecrated Persons to be read in all Masses on the First Sunday of Advent, December 3, 2017 “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.” John 15:9 Today, the first Sunday of Advent, the Archdiocese of Caceres in solidarity with Church in the Philippines, opens the Year of the Clergy and Consecrated Persons. This yearlong celebration is part of the solemn preparation for the 5th Centenary of the coming of Christianity in our land. The grand celebration will be in the year 2021. We in the Archdiocese of Caceres are blessed with an abundance of vocation to the Priesthood and Consecrated Life. We have 274 priests and deacons in the Archdiocese. We have 34 priests serving in mission in other local churches in USA, Jamaica, New Zealand, Australia and Caribbean Islands. Many men and women Religious of the Bicol region are on mission work in foreign lands and in our country. In the Archdiocese of Caceres we have 30 religious communities working in schools, orphanages, hospitals, welfare homes, seminaries, formation houses, in the parishes, among poor communities and among the indigenous peoples. We are grateful to God for the gifts of the Clergy and Consecrated persons laboring tirelessly for the sanctification, growth and strengthening of our Catholic communities. The Clergy and the Consecrated persons are constant reminders for our communities of the vitality and dynamism of the Church. They are gifts of the Holy Spirit that enrich the Church. They are witnesses of the Good News of our holy salvation. They are sent by Jesus Christ to be our Servant-leaders. From this Advent Season to the Solemnity of Christ the King in 2018, the Archdiocese of Caceres offers warmly to the Clergy and Consecrated Persons our gratitude and love, our prayers and support in their ministries for the good of our faithful. I enjoin our lay faithful to pray for our Clergy and Consecrated Persons that they may be ever faithful and persevering in their calling, and in living out the charisms of their Consecrated life. Let us encourage the clergy and consecrated persons to be steadfast in the face of numerous difficulties and trials they encounter. Let us appreciate their sacrifices and difficult efforts to proclaim the Good News of Jesus through their parish and social action ministries. Let us be forgiving of their weaknesses and failures to live up to their vocation. Let us make them feel a part of our families and communities by our welcome, kindness and generosity to them and their ministries. Above all, let us pray for their growth in holiness which is the universal call to the entire Church. May this celebration be an occasion for our community to remain in the love of the heart of Jesus, summit and font of priestly and consecrated life. We implore our Blessed Mother of Peñafrancia, our INA, to make fruitful and meaningful our celebration of the Year of the Clergy and Consecrated Persons. God bless us all! Viva la Virgen! MOST REV. ROLANDO J. TRIA TIRONA, OCD,DD Archbishop of Caceres

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