BAGUIO CITY— Casiciaco Recoletos Seminary joined Most Rev. Victor Bendico, DD in celebrating the Dedication of the Altar of the Diocese of Baguio Cathedral last November 16, 2021.
Rev. Fr. Anthony Irineo, OAR, Vice-Rector of the seminary represented the formation team of Casiciaco Recoletos Seminary. He was accompanied by 3 fourth-year college seminarians who represented the formands of the seminary.
“I am interested to be part of the occasion witness because the seminary belongs to the Diocese of Baguio, which the Cathedral is the Mother Church. Our participation is also our participation in the unity of the Church of Baguio,” said Fr. Irineo.
Fr. Irineo concelebrated in the solemn eucharistic celebration together with the clergy of the diocese of Baguio and priests from different religious congregations and orders, who are part of the jurisdiction of the local ordinary.
Casiciaco Recoletos Seminary, located at Naguilian corner Asin roads in barangay San Roque, is within the territory of St. Vincent Parish which belongs to the jurisdiction of the Diocese of Baguio.
“Personally, I was touched with the gestures and the liturgy, which makes me appreciate better the priesthood,” added the Seminary Vice-Rector who also said that the event deepened his understanding of the dedication of the altar which happens very rarely.
“It (Dedication of An Altar) makes us recall the gestures practiced long-time ago in the Old Testament. Though in the present time there are differences in manner, everything has a meaning attached to the Sacrifice of Christ,” Fr. Irineo said.
Shepherd of Baguio’s Homily
Most Rev. Victor Bendico, DD is the main celebrant of the solemn eucharistic celebration.
In his homily, the Bishop emphasized that though the Cathedral is a structure, it also stands as the people’s proclamation of the oneness of the belief.
“The Cathedral Church, is a material building but there is something deeper to this. This Cathedral Church is a sign of the unity of believers in the faith that the bishop proclaims as the Lord’s Flock,” said Bp. Bendico, DD.
Before the homily, Bp. Victor also administered a series of blessings, on the Baptistry, the Sanctuary Bells, the Ambo, and the Faithful.
“The Blessings show the different expressions of our faith in God and reminds us of our Baptism and continuous conversion.”Most. Rev. Victor Bendico, DD
Reflecting on the Gospel of Luke 19:1-10, the local ordinary of Baguio also reiterates that there is a deeper meaning in the building which is a place wherein God meets his people.
He said that in the gospel, Jesus entered the house of Zacchaeus, and the first move; it was moment of conversion.
“A place is holy because Christ dwells there,” Bp. Bendico said.
Restoration of Baguio Cathedral
The Year of 2021 marks the 500th year of Christianity in the Philippines.
Baguio Cathedral is one of the Jubilee Churches chosen for the historical opening of the Jubilee Door, which according to the Bishop, paved the way for the restoration of the interior Baguio Cathedral.
Among the restored religious articles in the Cathedral are as follows:
Images of the Stations of the Cross
The dedication was also participated in by government officials of the city and the province of Benguet, and some ecumenical religious heads within the diocese.