Archbishop Tirona giving his message to the Bicol priests during the general assembly.
The feast of Our Lady of Penafrancia is not only an occasion for Ina’s devotees to pay homage to her miraculous image and offer thanksgiving to her Son. For priests of the entire Bicol region, it is also a time to renew camaraderie and priestly collegiality in the Union of Bicol Clergy (UBC).
Three major activities were held on the annual reunion of Bicol priests during Penafrancia fiesta.
First is the spiritual dimension that is highlighted by the pontifical masses sponsored by every diocese with their respective bishop as main celebrant. It is practically a spiritual renewal for the priests as they come to their former home, the Holy Rosary Minor Seminary, to reminish their formation years with their former classmates and professors as they join together in spiritual activities, especially the mass.
Secondly, it is an occasion for physical activities and friendly competition as each diocese battle it out in different ballgames like basketball, volleyball, futsal, table and lawn tennis. Yes there is even a special event of cooking competition among bishops. Bishop Rex Alarcon of Daet won the said competition.
The third special event of the Bicol clergy is the general assembly of Bicol clergy as they discussed the Bicol Regional Priests Council and the Bikol Priests Security System.
The BRPC has its mission/ vision:
A communion of Bicol Bishops/Dioceses Wwitnessing to Christian faith, Responding in Love to pastoral concerns, Journeying in Hope towards the Fullness of the Kingdom, under the Manto of Ina.
It has its mission to promote unity and cooperation among Bicol Bishops, consecrated persons and Laity. Also to serve as instrument in the common exercise of pastoral office. serve as regional platform for pastoral consultations collaboration, coordination and resource sharing for bicol dioceses. Intensify common endeavours for the promotion of the new evangelization and pursue PCP II dream of becoming a Church of the poor.
Indeed the annual Penafrancia Fiesta is a source of presbyteral unity and pastoral strength among the priests of the Bicol Region who always draw inspiration from our beloved Ina, Our Lady of Penafrancia. -CCCom News