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Caceres faithful revisits SPARC

By Julma M. Narvadez

“Stewardship is part and parcel of basic ecclesial communities (BEC). Stewardship is the soul of BECs,” Caceres Archbishop Rolando J. Tria Tirona, OCD, DD, explains to almost 300 priests and lay participants during the seminar titled “Revisiting SPARC, in the Spirit of a Synodal Parish,” held on February 2 and 3 at the Holy Rosary Major Seminary, Naga City.

SPARC stands for Stewardship Program of the Archdiocese of Caceres. “If you want to glorify the Father, live the disciple’s way of life and stewardship is the disciple’s way of life,” the Archbishop continues. He also explained that stewardship is not limited to tithing, a common misconception about SPARC.

In his opening remarks, Fr. Wilfred Almoneda recalled SPARC was introduced in Caceres in 2009 with 10 pilot parishes. To date, 23 parishes implement the program. He added that now, with BECs as a pastoral thrust of the Archdiocese and Pope Francis’ call for synodality in the Church, a deeper appreciation for stewardship can take root.

Resource speaker Mila Garcia Glodava, co-author of “Making Stewardship a Way of Life: A Complete Guide for Catholic Parishes,” brings the seminar to various dioceses in the Philippines. Topics include the Basics of Stewardship; Sustainability of the Church of the Poor; Building a Stewardship Parish; Stewardship of the Earth, Vocations, Faith and Treasure; and Stewardship and Evangelization.

She shared best practices in stewardship, particularly the Thomas More Parish Stewardship Model which she and Fr. Andrew Kemberling developed during her years as parish worker. A video about the stewardship program in General Nakar, Quezon Province was also presented. She said the video convinced the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines to intensify the formation on the spirituality of stewardship.

Aside from the comprehensive presentations, the participants were asked to reflect on their understanding of stewardship and how it can sustain the Church of the Poor, among other thought-provoking questions raised by the speaker. The final workshop required the participants to design commitment cards on the stewardship of prayer, time and talent, treasure, vocations, earth and faith.

“Two years after Pope Francis started the synod on synodality, majority of us still do not have a good grasp on how to bring about a true synodal Church. This 2-day seminar on stewardship teaches us to get there,” says Grace Dulce Tordilla of Our Lady of La Porteria Parish, Calabanga, Camarines Sur.

Meanwhile, in his sharing, Fr. Anthony “Toto” Cerada, Parochial Vicar of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish, Naga City identified certain qualities of a steward, namely: mindfulness, intentional, loving and action-oriented, or MILA, in an apparent tribute to the speaker.

Glodava concluded the seminar with the reminder that the end goal of stewardship is evangelization.

Archbishop Rolando J. Tria Tirona , OCD, shares on Caceres Missionary Priests at the International Conference for Ongoing Formation of Priests on 9 February. The conference was held at the Vatican on February 6-10, which was sponsored by the Vatican’s Dicasteries for the Clergy, Evangelisation, and Eastern Churches. (Photo: Fr.Andrew Recepcion)


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