An Entire Nation's Catholic Clergy on Retreat Together Print
Written by Sherry   
Monday, 25 January 2010 18:37
Fascinating.

In this year of the priest - over 5,000 Filipino priests - more than 70% of the country's 7,000 Catholic clergy - are going to be on retreat this week together with Fr. Ranierio Cantalamessa as their main preacher. It is the Second National Congress of the Clergy.

I've heard absolutely glowing, rave reviews from seminarians who made a retreat with Fr. Cantalamessa. But with 5,000 fellow priests for 5 days! May the Holy Spirit descend upon and bless this gathering.

The goal:

“The basic objective of the Congress is to provide priests with a deep and religious experience that will hopefully lead to a spiritual conversion and greater commitment. In other words, NCC II is the retreat of priests, for priests and by priests. The aim of the retreat is to achieve the interior renewal of the clergy.”

I wish it was possible for American clergy to do something similar. But our numbers are so much larger that it would be impossible. Let's pray for those Filipino priests this week as they seek God together.

Of course, the impact on parish life for the laity is enormous.

" . . . services in many parishes—Masses, weddings and baptisms—are being suspended for a week or until after the NCC II closes on Jan. 29.

Rosales said an agreement had been reached for parishes in Metro Manila and nearby provinces to have their priests say Mass first in the early morning before going to the congress later in the day.

In other provinces, especially in the Visayas and Mindanao, lay ministers have been designated to attend to urgent cases, like the need to give communion or bless the dead, the cardinal added."