MALAYBALAY CITY –– Amid the threat of the novel coronavirus, more than 700 clergymen have gathered here since Monday to “listen to one another” and also reflect on “what is happening in Mindanao and the country.”
The three-day 44th Diocesan Clergy of Mindanao (DCM) convention pushed through amid an advisory from the Department of Health to refrain from activities that draw large crowds.
Such advisory has led to the decision of the Bukidnon provincial government to cancel the much-awaited Kaamulan Festival for this year.
“When we are working for God, there’s nothing to fear. Although we are also working for the protection of our people,” said DCM president Monsignor Ruel Lasco from the Diocese of Butuan, when asked why they pushed through with the event.
The gathering carried the theme “Dialogue-Communion–Mission” and drew in the leaders of the 21 dioceses and prelatures in Mindanao. It was held here to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Diocese of Malaybalay.
“There’s nothing like this in the Philippines,” Archbishop of Davao Romulo Valles noted.
“Being in the company with one another certainly gives us more inspiration and zeal for our pastoral ministry as we share and listen to one another’s story,” said Malaybalay Bishop Jose Cabantan.
“All the themes in our gatherings reveal our pastoral sensitivity to what is happening in Mindanao and our country,” he added.
Bukidnon Governor Jose Maria Zubiri, Jr, graced the opening program.
Zubiri cited poverty and the communist insurgency as the major problems in the province needing community dialogue.
The clergymen were treated to cultural presentations, songs, and dances by students from the Bukidnon State University, and the San Isidro College at the opening program held at the Diocesan Formation Center.
Apart from talks and meetings, several activities in the three-day convention include a 1-km candle parade and a sports fest./lzb