The Holy Rosary Major Seminary is now 50 years old. The elation of the moment may conceal the complacency and contentment that ordinarily accrue to institutions over time. The call to celebrate comes face to face with the necessity to diversify the institutional operation. What comes next after the golden inauguration anniversary? The tendency is to fast track everything and fill up the gaps and spaces that are evident as a stepping stone to other noteworthy developments.
It will not be wise to project for the next 50 years or so. Varying circumstances and issues will make the institutional landscape hard to calculate. Making short-term goals in the first few years while preparing to visualize the long-term directional thrusts may be the most logical thing to do. For the next three years, the Major Seminary seeks to focus on three basic areas, namely, facilities, formation, and finances. The drive to upgrade the facilities—structures, equipments, and systems—aims to position the school closer to the other leading seminaries in the Philippines. For formation, subscribing to best practices in the training of priests while maintaining a particularly Bicolano dimension to it may produce priests who are relevant, effective and devoted to their ministry. In the financial side, intensifying resourcefulness while putting in place stable sources of funds may inevitably sustain the seminary’s operation in the future.
Definitely, developing linkages with other seminaries and educational entities is the key to survive, sustain, and establish a solid footing in the complexities of maintaining an institution. Valuable outputs produced in a short time and with minimal effort are derived from healthy partnerships with organizations, associations and agencies. A strong support system will most likely highlight the seminary’s openness and incorporation to the groups surrounding it. Without these necessary connections, the seminary goes against its very nature as an institution that takes men from the community, forms them to become genuine disciples of Jesus, and returns them to the people as their ordained ministers. “Forming pastors after the heart of Christ” is a joint venture of the seminary and the community. In fact, there is no break between these two stakeholders.
Moreover, the establishment of the Major Seminary five decades ago is a testament to the dedication of the men and women who became part of its working staff—the priests-formators, the guest professors, and the non-teaching personnel. Things are what they are now because of the efforts and sacrifices of people who were in the seminary. As agents of formation, their enthusiasm and self-donation have been remarkable based on the priests they have produced. In the end, the present team of formators and staff is privileged enough to be following the inspiration and example of those who came before them. Truly, 50 years of hard work is worth celebrating in a way that honors the main players who shaped the past.Rev. Fr. William M. Parde, Jr. Rector Please also see…