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Caceres completes synodal consultations

By Julma M. Narvadez

“I congratulate our Archdiocese, our parishes, our parish priests, our lay faithful for their cooperation, their participation, as we are one of the first (diocese) to have submitted a report to the Catholic Bishop’s Conference of the Philippines (CBCP),” says Caceres Archbishop Rolando J. Tria Tirona, OCD, DD during the Mass on Ascension Sunday at the Metropolitan Cathedral on May 31.

The report refers to the consultations in preparation for the Bishop’s Synod of Synodality in October 2023. In 2021, Pope Francis invited the Universal Church to undertake the two-year process.

In the first year, dioceses around the globe are asked to listen and dialogue. This year, the CBCP is expected to come up with a national synthesis, for submission to the Vatican.

Caceres Archbishop Rolando J. Tria Tirona, OCD, DD celebrates mass at the Naga Metropolitan Cathedral (Caceres FB screen shot)

In the manual published by the Archdiocese of Caceres, synodality is defined as “journeying together on the same path.”

Consultations began in October 2021. Parish representatives were consulted and equipped to conduct similar consultations. They were asked to dialogue with the various sectors in their respective parishes. Among the sectors consulted were the indigenous peoples, the youth, the transport sector, the senior citizens and many others.

Aside from the laity, the clergy, religious congregations and seminarians also participated in the consultations.

The consultations focused on the pillars of synodality, namely, communion, participation and mission. The archdiocesan synthesis noted that many respondents were grateful for the dialogue.

“We continue to pray that the synodal consultations bear much fruit in our Archdiocese and in the entire Church,” the Archbishop urged the people. “Synodality could be achieved through listening and intimate relationship with God and one another,” he said

“Last week, we had a regional assembly where the seven dioceses presented the fruits of their labor,” the Archbishop revealed. “The regional results will be consolidated, to be presented during a national gathering,” he added. The assembly was held on May 13 in Legazpi City.

In Bikol, the ecclesiastical province is composed of the Archdiocese of Caceres and the suffragan dioceses of Legazpi, Sorsogon, Virac, Masbate, Daet and Libmanan.

Before the final blessing, the Archbishop acknowledged the archdiocesan synodal team composed of Fr. Joey Gonzaga, chair; Geraldine C. Alvina, co-chair; Fr. Philip Francis Bersabe; Fr. Francis A. Tordilla; and Julma M. Narvadez. Alvina read the aspirations of the local Church, as lifted from the synthesis.


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