BAGUIO CITY— “Grow where you are planted.”
With these words, Rev. Fr. Virgilio Calalang, Jr., greeted the seminarians during their thanksgiving mass which he is the main celebrant, last September 1, 2021, at the seminary’s chapel.
He is accompanied by Rev. Fr. Robin Ross Plata, OAR as the homilist.
Raised to the ranks of priesthood last August 28, 2021, Feast of St. Augustine, Rev. Fr. Virgilio Calalang, Jr., OAR, and Rev. Fr. Robin Ross Plata, OAR, shared the significance of Casiciaco Recoletos Seminary in their journey to the presbyterate.
“In this place I learned praying the breviary, had the devotion to Our Lady of the Pillar, became and postulant, and received my diploma,” said Fr. Plata in his homily. He graduated from Casiciaco Recoletos Seminary last 2008.
He also encouraged seminarians to emulate Jesus and always pray despite the strains they experience because of seminary formation.
“Even if the Lord was tired, he found time to pray. Let us not make our tiredness as an excuse; we should always pray,” he added in his sermon as an exhortation from the Gospel of Luke 4:38-44.
The Gift of Vocation
Joining the two in their thanksgiving mass are the resident OAR priests as mass concelebrants.
Rev. Fr. Bernard C. Amparado, OAR, seminary rector, invited the congregation to be grateful to God for the gift of vocations despite the current world crisis.
“Thank God. We are given two new priests despite the pandemic,” he said. “We thank also the priests because they do not forget their roots,” he said.
Fr. Amparado also shared that the newly-ordained ministers were his formands when he served his first two terms as seminary rector from 2003-2009.
In observance of the health protocols, the newly-ordained priests gave their blessing by imposition of hands over one’s head instead of the traditional kissing of the hands. Fr. Calalang is from Balagtas, Bulacan, and Fr. Plata is from Candelaria, Quezon.