By Lesley Caminade Vestil
Cebu City – At least 450 archbishops, priests, and formators coming from different parts of the country are now attending the National Conference of Seminary Formators on the Promotion of the New Ratio that will be held up to Friday at the IEC Pavilion in Cebu City.
Most Rev. Gerry Alminaza, D.D. Bishop of San Carlos, Negros Occidental and Chairman, CBCP Episcopal Commission on Seminaries told The Manila Bulletin the purpose of the conference was to exchange knowledge and ideas on how to mold seminarians and even priests to adopt the new generation, and maintain their purpose of being a priest.
Alminaza added the conference had three goals, namely, to promote and raise awareness, consciousness on the new ratio, to know what it is all about, and how they can appreciate it better.
The conference also provides opportunities for all those engaged in accompaniment from initial to ongoing formation, so that they can share experiences, insights, lessons, best practices, and implement it better.
After they gather all shared knowledge, the participants will be able to draft a “National Ratio Fundamentalis” in the Philippines based on the conference and workshops they had in consonance with the Universal Ratio Fundamentalis, according to Alminaza.
According to him, professors from different seminaries in the country are meeting to come up with a draft on how they would carry out the updated standards of seminary formation released by the Vatican in 2016.
“You have to invest on the formation, those who are training them to become a good priest. We need to have good spiritual directors. We need formators in the seminary who are equipped, who are well prepared to help our seminarians in their human nature, human maturity” Alminaza explained.
The Secretary of the Congregation of the Clergy from Rome Rev. Jorge Carlos Patron Wong said he was hoping that, through the conference, those who are destined to become priests will be given better opportunities and more open doors to serve the Lord.
Wong added becoming a priest comes with a lot of challenges, but emphasized they will always be there to help to give formation according to the humanity of the heart of Jesus.
According to him their visit was their gift to the Filipinos since they’ve notice that many Filipino men wanted to become priests.