13th SCL Convocation | Launched in Sta. Cruz Laguna Cathedral

Some 188 clergy participants of the South-Central Luzon trooped to the Cathedral of the Birhen Maulawin to re-start the face-to-face activities of the annual 11th clergy Convocation; interrupted by the pandemic lockdown for two consecutive years. Hence, today, this resumed event is the 13th gathering of the clergy people for worship, fellowship, study, and recreation.

With its theme, "Ministry of Shepherding," the Primatial Mass at the Cathedral was celebrated with the Obispo Maximo Rhee Timbang as main celebrant and preacher. Concelebrating with him at the altar were the General Secretary, Bp. Joel Porlares, and the seven diocesan bishops.

The delegations from the various dioceses are led by their bishops, as follows: Rt. Rev. Rowel Arevalo, SCL chair, Laguna; Most Rev. Godofredo David, RizPam; Rt. Rev. Salvador Ballesteros, Greater Manila Area; Rt. Rev. Emiliano Domingo, Cavite; Rt. Rev. Joselito Cruz, BatBul; and Rt. Rev. Ronel Fabriqier, ROOM.

Rev. Angelito Magsico, Laguna, emcee, introduced the guests who graced the occasion: Hon. Ramil Hernandez, Laguna governor; Hon. Ronaldo Cosico, Paete Mayor; Hon. Edgar San Luis, Stay. Cruz mayor; Engr. Mario, Laguna Diocesan Council Vice-chair; Hon. Eric Fortaleza, RTC judge; Rt. Rev. Rowel Arevalo, Laguna diocesan bishop.

In his homily, the Most Rev. Rhee Millena Timbang, Obispo Maximo, exhorted the ordained -- Bishops, priests, deacons, and to-be-ordained -- to bind together as clergy for the whole Church just as Jesus is the head for the whole Church. The Good Shepherd who knew His flock, unlike the paid worker interested only on his own benefits, laid down His life for the flock. He knew the quantity and quality of His flock; transcending His own interests. Like us, our flock is Jesus' flock.

In today's context, the politician is a leader interested only in himself -- buying votes to ensure his election. The businessman, likewise, is after the profits from the people. In the Church, the "envelopes" are distributed for the projects of the parishioners; hopefully not spilling over to the pockets of the "managers".

As shepherds of God, we need to lead the flock like Jesus -- listening to the call to improve society. The IF I color is red -- the color of suffering, discomfort, or even offering our lives -- devoid of self-interest with the agenda of a liberating God. We must strive to become good shepherds -- give up all for Jesus as called by our God.

After lunch, the clergy participants joined the caravan en route to the venue site at the Villa Elena Mountain View Resort in Silangang Ilaya, Nagcarlan, Laguna. This evening's activity commences at 6pm.



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