Excerpts of the Homily at the 55th Graduation Exercises of XACOSE
Thirty four college seminarians received their diplomas as a mark of completing the first half of their priestly formation on March 17, 2017 at the St. Francis Xavier Regional Major Seminary- Dennis Uy gymnasium.
Abp. Valles at the 55th Commencement Exercises began his homily reminiscing their memories in 1972, when he and his classmate, Bishop Guillermo V. Afable of the Diocese of Digos, graduated in philosophy at the Regional Major Seminary.
He fondly remembered the theme that they had on that occasion: “God needs men”, and said that this was the reason of the day’s celebration- God chose and still chooses young men to follow him in the special vocation of priesthood.
Then he gave his reflections on the graduation theme which was chosen by the senior seminarians “Do not be afraid” (Mt. 28:10). He said that with the challenges that beset the Church and the priesthood in general, seminarians have to “be afraid” and work assiduously in their formation. But with that ‘fear’ comes the assurance of the Lord not to be afraid since it is He who holds the plan and the direction of the Church, especially in terms of their own priestly vocation.
He also noted the special character of the Baccalaureate Mass of the two seminaries (XACOSE and REMASE), where he observed its direct connections to the graduation rites. He said that it presents to the graduating seminarians how close he would be in achieving his goal to priesthood as he celebrates Eucharist.
Abp. Valles congratulated the graduates and their parents, relatives, parish priests and benefactors. They are hoped to proceed to the second part of priestly formation which is the theological studies. (Sem. Neil Christian Sator)