Lay people honor priests, let clergy feel their love

By: Ador Vincent S. Mayol August 05,2018 - 09:13 PM

Lay people honored all priests in the different parishes, seminaries, and other institutions in Cebu on Sunday as a way of giving back and reassuring them of their constant support amid the threats hurled against the Church.

In his 4 p.m. Mass at the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral, Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma expressed gratitude to the efforts of lay persons to make priests feel loved.

“Priesthood comes from the heart of God and are instruments of His love and forgiveness. We thank God for the gift of priests,” Palma said.

“In every age and place, attacks are against priests. Even Christ was not immune from those attacks. We thank the lay people, who instead of underlining our faults, recognizes the good things we’ve done,” he added.

The “Salamat Padre (Thank you, Father)” event was held on the feast of St. John Vianney, the patron of priests.

Fe Barino, chairperson of the Commission on the Laity of the Archdiocese of Cebu, said the event highlights the roles and significance of the clergy.

Despite their shortcomings and limitations, priests, she said, remained to be God’s chosen ministers who were sent forth to perpetuate the mission of saving souls throughout the world.

“In serving God and His people, priests too experience a handful of difficulties, sacrifices, and tests. It is but proper to let them feel our love and gratitude,” Barino said.

At present, Cebu is the home of about 400 diocesan priests, 200 others from various religious congregations, and around four million lay Catholics — the largest in the Philippines.

Barino condemned the killing priests in Luzon, saying it was uncalled for and inappropriate.

“Priests greatly contributes in our spiritual life. Their presence and service inspire us to grow in faith, and through them we received blessings from heaven,” said Barino.

“While there are people who hate some priests, it is not enough reason to kill them. Life is sacred whether it’s that of a priest or an ordinary person. No one, except God, has the right to take it away,” she added.

At least three priests in the country were killed by assailants over the past seven months. Two of them were gunned down in a time when the Catholic Church in the Philippines is celebrating the Year of the Clergy and Consecrated Persons.

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