GUIGUINTO, Bulacan – Aligning its program with this year’s celebration of the Year of the Clergy and Consecrated Persons, a network of seminarians asked for forgiveness for the sins of priests during the evening liturgy of Kapatiran 2018, an annual gathering of theology seminarians from all over the country, on Feb. 10.
“We wanted to have an evening liturgy wherein there would be a solemn veneration in preparation for the Lenten season as well as to highlight the forgiveness of sins in the light of the Year of the Clergy and Consecrated Persons,” explained Sem. Jan Brian Samson, the event’s overall coordinator.
According to him, the seven intentions of the Confessio Peccati rite, held at the Immaculate Conception Major Seminary – Graduate School of Theology (ICMAS-GST), included “the times of failing to touch, help, and nourish the poor in society; lacking the sincerity to protect the value of human life; … being apathetic towards our fellow countrymen and not speaking against the impunity of corruption.”
Samson also mentioned the clergy’s failure to spread the Good News, to “recognize the worth of the elderly; becoming more like instruments of discouragement and hopelessness and going against the practices of purity of life, obedience, simplicity that lead to mediocrity.”
ICMAS-GST Asst. Prefect of Discipline Fr. Kent Andrew Apeña presided over the Confessio Peccati et Laudis, which was first done by then Pope St. John Paul II during the “Day of Pardon” in the Great Jubilee Year 2000. According to Samson, during the rite, the Church “ask(s) for forgiveness for the times its members had failed to do their role in bringing Christ to the world.”
Representatives from the different seminary communities recited the intentions and lit candles “as lampposts for the Crucified Christ.”
According Samson, the moment of prayer and forgiveness was the organizers’ way to “respond to the call of Christ to be ever more faithful to Him by means of recognizing the faults of priests, seminarians, and religious alike.”
During the celebration of the Year for the Clergy and Consecrated Persons, the sixth in the nine-year novena for the fifth centenary of the arrival of Christianity in the country, he said, “the call to forgiveness for mistakes and misgivings is a beginning towards renewing the lives of the Church’s leaders in journeying together to holiness.”
Organized by the Seminarians’ Network of the Philippines (SEMNET), the event carried the theme “Banderitas: Sama-samang Tinawag, Sama-samang Mamamansag” (Banderitas: Called Together, Proclaiming Together), inspired by the message of St. Paul to be “Brothers and Co-workers in Proclaiming the Gospel” (1 Thes. 3:2).
SEMNET’s 21 seminary member-communities are (University of Santo Tomas Central Seminary, Manila; San Jose Seminary, Quezon City; San Carlos Seminary, Makati City; Holy Apostles Senior Seminary, Makati City; Lorenzo Mission Institute, Makati City; Tahanan ng Mabuting Pastol, Tagaytay; Holy Rosary Major Seminary, Naga City; Immaculate Conception School of Theology, Vigan City; Domus Josephi Formation Center, Pasay City; De Paul House, Quezon City; Mother of Good Counsel Seminary, San Fernando City, Pampanga; St. Francis de Sales Theological Seminary, Lipa City; San Pablo Theological Formation House, Tagaytay City; Eucharistic Healers of Mary, Quezon City; St. Augustine Major Seminary, Tagaytay City; Mary Help of Christians Theological Seminary, San Fabian, Pangasinan; St. Benedict Diocesan Seminary, San Fernando, Camarines Sur; Harong Kan Marhay nga Pastor; the Mission Society of the Philippines Seminary, Tagaytay City and ICMAS-GST.