The Diocese of Daet begins its preparation for its Golden Jubilee
By Fr Philip Ibasco
September 1, 2021 was a grace-filled day for the Diocese of Daet. The clergy, religious and lay representatives gathered at the Most Holy Trinity Cathedral on that day for the Solemn Pontifical Concelebrated Mass which was the highlight of the three-in-one occasion. The diocese celebrated its 47th Anniversary as a diocese, the 47th Anniversary of the Dedication of the Cathedral, and the Opening of the three-year Preparation for its Diocesan Golden Jubilee in 2024.
The Holy Mass was preceded by a parade of the logos of the seven vicariates of the diocese. During the Introductory Rite of the Mass, a video presentation played on TV monitors gave the rationale of the Golden Jubilee: in 2024, the diocese will celebrate fifty years of blessings since it was erected on September 1, 1974 by virtue of the Apostolic Constitution “Requirit Maximopere” issued on May 27, 1974 by Pope Paul VI. This was also explained by the decree formally launching the three-year Preparation for the Diocesan Golden Jubilee that was read by the Rev. Fr. Ronald Anthony P. Timoner, the Vicar-General and Chancellor of the diocese. After the Most Rev. Rex Andrew Clement Alarcon, D.D., Bishop of Daet, confirmed the decree, he unveiled the official logo of the Golden Jubilee Celebration, assisted by Sis. Merle Cereno-Fontanilla, the President of the Diocesan Council of the Laity, Sr. Aquilina de Rueda, OSA, the Coordinator of Women Religious of Daet, and Rodora Sanchez, the Youth representative.
The Bishop began his enlightening and enlivening homily with the scriptural inspiration of the Golden Jubilee celebration: “Walk, rooted and being built up in the Lord, abounding in thanksgiving” (Col 6b-7). He said that the diocesan community of the clergy, religious and the laity, which he described as “isang bayan na lumilingon, gumugunita, nag-aalala, nagbabalik-tanaw”, walks ahead as it looks back with gratitude at the roots of its faith and moves forward to grow and bear fruit even more in the faith. He emphasized the necessity and importance of this act of “remembering” in the first year of preparation for the Golden Jubilee: “Ang unang taon ng atingpaghahanda ay pagpapatalas ng ating alaala – the sharpening of our memory (anamnesis). Sinasabi natin: ‘For who we are is what we remember.’ Ano tayo kung wala na tayong maalala?”
The bishop challenged everyone: “Nawa sa ating pagbabalik-tanaway maging sariwa muli sa ating alaala ang kabutihan ng Diyos sa atin. Sana ay muli nating makita ang mga bakas ng pag-ibig ng Diyos saatin. Marami na rin tayong pinagdaanan bilang isang diyosesis, subalit sa lahat ng ito, ay nariyan ang Panginoon, sumusubaybay at nag-aalalay sa atin. Sana ang ating alaala ay mapuno ng pagpapasalamat, for gratitude is the memory of the heart.”
The bishop ended his homily with a prayer: “Ang aking dasal para saating lahat ay magkaroon sana tayo ng matalas na alaala – a strong and a sharp memory - ng pag-ibig at awa ng Diyos, na kahit sa gitnang matitinding unos sa ating paglalayag sa buhay ay huwag tayongmakalilimot sa kabutihan ng Diyos. Fidelity is strengthened by gratitude.”
After the Post Communion Prayer, there was another video presentation on the general direction of the activities of the diocese as it moves towards the Golden Jubilee celebration. The First Year of Preparation with its blue color motif is the Year of Faith and the Year of Jesus Christ, the Good Shepherd, with its catchword “WE Remember”. The Second Year with its red color motif is the Year of Charity and the Year of the Holy Spirit, with its catchword “WE Renew”. The Third Year of Preparation with its green color motif is the Year of Hope and the Year of the Father, with its catchword “WE Share”. The three years of preparation lead to the Diocesan Golden Jubilee in 2024, the Year of Joy and Gratitude, with its catchword “WE Rejoice”.
Before the Final Blessing, the Diocesan Family of faith, hope and charity prayed with one mind, one heart and one voice the Prayer for the First Year of Preparation: “Nawa ang mga alaala at aral ng amingpananampalataya ay gumabay at magpasigla sa aming paglilingkodhabang tinatahak naming ang daan patungo sa ika-50 taon ng aming[agiging isang diyosesis sa taong 2024… Amen.”