Cebu cathedral welcomes new shepherdsBy Ador Vincent S. Mayol
THE Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral yesterday welcomed its new five-member ministry team.
Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma presided over the Mass and installation of Msgr. Ruben Labajo, Msgr. Renato Beltran, Fr. Joseph Lareda, Fr. Macoy Villamor, and Fr. Val Gemelo to steer the Cebu Archdiocese’s mother church.
“Embarking in a team ministry is not a walk in the park. Changes may bring about complex issues. But remember, respect, sacrifice, dialogue and love can do wonders,” Palma said.
Labajo is the new moderator of the cathedral’s team of pastors.
Msgr. Roberto Alesna who served as rector of the cathedral for six years read the appointment letters of the five priests who began their pastoral ministry at the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral yesterday. He is now the parish priest of the Archdiocesan Shrine of St. Therese in Lahug, Cebu City.
In his homily, Palma said 20 parishes in Cebu have new team ministries. He encouraged them to serve with zeal and commitment.
“I thank you for accepting to embark in a new way of ministering. We are one fraternity in one archdiocese, believing in one Lord, one faith, one baptism. Through this team ministry, we would appreciate even more the gift of priesthood and ministry,” he said.
Palma reminded the new team ministries of their responsibilites towards the “parish community, parish workers and staff, as well as the archdiocese.” If a team ministry fails to carry out the growth of the church, he said, the archdiocese “will be obliged to re-assess their assignments.”
Labajo was the assistant parish priest of the National Shrine of St. Joseph in Mandaue City before he was assigned in a parish in Sta. Fe town, Bantayan Island and later became the parish priest of St. Joseph Parish in Tabunok, Talisay City.
Msgr. Esteban Binghay, episcopal vicar of the Archdiocese of Cebu, said Palma formed a special committee last year to decide on the reshuffling of priests in the archdiocese.
“The archbishop wanted to make sure that parish priests will serve a particular church for six years while coadjutors will only have two years in a parish,” he said, adding that the reshuffling of priests is beneficial both for priests and parishioners.
“This is done so parishes will have a taste of the abilities of other priests. On the other hand, priests will also have a glimpse of other parishes,” said Binghay who used to be a part of the group which determines the assignments of priests.
Msgr. Adelito Abella, the chancellor of the archdiocese, is appointed as the new parish priest of the Archdiocesan Shrine of San Nicolas in Cebu City. Msgr. Trinidad Silva is the team moderator of St. Joseph Parish in Tabunok, Talisay City while Msgr. Phil Tumulak is the team moderator of Santo Tomas de Villanueva Parish in Pardo, Cebu City with Msgrs. Raul Go and Agustin Ancajas.
Sto. Rosario Parish, on the other hand, is still waiting for the appointment of its new parish priest after Bishop Julito Cortes was appointed as the chief shepherd of Dumaguete City.
The parishes of Alliance of Two Hearts in Banawa, Archdiocesan Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Our Lady of the Sacred Heart (Capitol), and San Isidro Parish in Talamban retained the same parish priests.
In Mandaue City, Msgr. Daniel Sanico is the team moderator of the National Shrine of St. Joseph.