By: Bro. Alvin C. Laserna Jr.
BAGUIO CITY— The Casiciaco Recoletos Seminary attended the Chrism Mass held at the Our Lady of the Atonement Cathedral last April 4, 2022.
The mass was presided by the bishop of the Diocese of Baguio, Most Rev. Victor B. Bendico, D.D. In his homily, Bishop Bendico connected the Chrism Mass to the Philippine elections which are to be held on May 9, 2022.
Preaching the Truth
Bishop Bendico addressed the first part of his homily to the priests by encouraging them to preach the Word of God like Jesus Christ did. “Preaching does not only include our homilies but also the pastoral letters that address concerns like voters’ education,” the bishop said.
In line with this, Bishop Bendico reminded the priests that it is Jesus whom they should teach and bear witness to the Truth. It is through this that they can bring Christ to others.
“As priests, all of us are called to bear witness to the Truth,” he said.
In relation to this, he encouraged the priests to fight against falsehood and lying.
Politics and Chrism Mass
Concerning truth, Bishop Bendico warned the Mass-goers that to lie means to speak against the truth. “These lies are what tear people apart,” he added.
The dichotomy between truth and falsehood is visible in the campaigns of the electoral candidates for this election.
To help in the voters’ education, he mentioned the two recent pastoral letters of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) — The Truth Will Set You Free and Be Concerned About the Welfare of Others.
As baptized persons who were anointed with Chrism oil, the Catholics are endowed with the power of Christ. Just as Christ witnessed the truth and has been the Truth in front of Pilate, the bishop urged everyone to be prophets of truth for the upcoming political elections.
The renewal of priests, prayer for the clergy, and the presentation of the Chrism oil followed after the homily. The blessing of the Chrism oil has been done after the communion.
First time since Covid Struck
It was the first time since the Covid pandemic infiltrated the country that all seminarians joined the Mass in the Cathedral together.
Bro. Jayson Solmayor, a third-year college seminarian, perceived the change of ambiance because of the renovations done in the cathedral. According to him, “The aesthetic improvement of the structure affected my spiritual experience in the Liturgy.”
Some brothers like Bro. Michael Zion Anthony Madrona who experienced Chrism mass for the first time said, “Seeing the numerous priests gathering to say the Mass together enflames the fire of my vocation more.”There were some instances that the community participated in the liturgical activities of the Cathedral like last November 16, 2021, for its dedication. However, this was the first time that all seminarians of Casiciaco Recoletos Seminary were able to hear Mass in the Cathedral as a community.
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