“Deeply joyful as we gather to celebrate the Eucharist together with 35 young men who finished college formation in preparation to the priesthood.” This was the opening message of Archbishop Romulo Valles, D.D. during his homily on March 17 for the candidates of the 55th Commencement Exercises and Baccalaureate Mass at St. Francis Xavier College Seminary in Catalunan Grande, Davao City.
Joy and excitement can be seen from the faces of parents and guardians who humbly accompanied the young seminarians during the Mass as part of the event marking their successful completion of the four-year college formation in the seminary as part of the preparation to the Priesthood.
“You are half-way into fulfilling your journey to serve the Church. Persevere and do not be afraid, for God will accompany you”, Archbishop Valles exhorted the seminarians.
He also thanked the generous parents, guardians and benefactors for allowing their sons to pursue their chosen vocation. “My Dear Parents, your desire for your sons is a great manifestation of your Catholic Faith. This is the hidden riches in Christ,” Valles added.
Of the 35 graduates, 21 were from the Archdiocese of Davao; 10 from Digos Diocese while the rest belongs to the priestly missionary congregation based in Davao City.
The Eucharistic celebration was concelebrated by Digos Bishop Guillermo D. Afable, D.D., parish priests and seminary formators. (Danny Escabarte | Volunteer)