(Caption)aCardinal Jose Advincula leads the ceremony for the commissioning of two missionary priests during Mass at the Immaculate Conception Metropolitan Cathedral to launch the Year of Missio Ad Gentes in the Archdiocese of Capiz on January 10. SMMRS MEDIA MINISTRY

By CBCP News

Jan 16 2021

ROXAS CITY, Manila – True to the spirit of the theme “gifted to give” as the Philippine Church celebrates the 500 years of Christianity, the country’s newest cardinal sent two priests as missionaries abroad.

A solemn commissioning ceremony for the two missionary priests was held at the Immaculate Conception Metropolitan Cathedral on Jan. 10 during a Mass officiated by Cardinal Jose Advincula.

The ceremony on the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord also coincided with the archdiocese’s opening of the Year of “Missio Ad Gentes”, the Latin for “mission to the nations”.

Fr. Marc Raymund Besana and Fr. Taz Idyl Lasola will be both sent to the Diocese of Nottingham in England, and was given by the cardinal “the mandate of the Lord to proclaim the Gospel.”

Both Besana and Lasola are experienced missionary priests in Capiz, having been assigned in communities that can be considered as belong to the “peripheries.”

Mission stations are church communities in either or both poor or distant locations—projects initiated by Advincula as Capiz archbishop and previously as bishop of San Carlos.

In his homily, Fr. Ignacio Bercades, the local superior of the Missionary Servants of the Poor in Capiz, emphasized the Church’s missionary identity.

“Missionary work is no longer an optional activity of the Church,” Fr. Bercades said, adding that missions are “the expression of the very being of the Church and is not peripheral to its life.”

“Mission is not what we do, mission is who we are,” he said. – CBCP News