Saturday, February 11, 2012

Catholics pay Valentine tribute to retired priests

MANILA, Feb. 11, 2012— Various lay faithful have devised a noble way of celebrating Valentine’s Day and that is by spending time with a number of old and retired priests.

Around 40 retired bishops and priests attended today’s Valentine’s Day tribute organized for them by the Kadiwa sa Pagkapari Foundation, Inc. at the Villa San Miguel in Mandaluyong City.
It was a scene of old priests who can hardly walk and were using canes and some are already in wheelchairs.
Msgr. Sabino Vengco, Jr., who heads the Kadiwa sa Pagkapari Foundation, said the event was intended to express their concern for the old priests.
“While the world talks and dreams about love this Valentine’s Day, we focused on that love [that] is concretely expressed on our concern for the elderly… the retired ministers of the church,” he said.
“If only for a very short moment on this day we can make them feel loved and treasured,” the priest added.
He added that even ordinary Catholics have a “very special mission” that is to deliver to the old priests the message “that we treasure and we care for them.”
“We want to make this a day of love that makes a difference… that makes them feel lighter in their sufferings and pains more bearable,” added Vengco.
“So we just call on others to join us… let us love the elderly and the sick,” he said.
It was Vengco who founded the organization, until now manned by volunteers, 18 years ago to attend to the needs of retired priests.
“Every week we have our ‘dalaw-pari’ to reach out to the old ones and to break down the possible isolation… we also bring to them some things that they maybe in need of,” he said.
Msgr. Steve Mosuela from the Diocese of La Union was the oldest priest who attended the gathering. He is 95.
Also in attendance were retired bishops Nestor Cariño of Legazpi, Cirilo Almario of Malolos, Pedro Bantigue of San Pablo, Francisco San Diego of Pasig and Manuel Sobreviñas of Imus. [CBCPNews]


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