Thursday, July 12, 2007

The First Diocesan Synod of Daet



GRAFT and corruption in the government and its agencies are so endemic and extensive that socio-political integrity in governance has seemingly become a moral impossibility to achieve during the remaining three-year tenure of the present national leadership. While it cannot be denied that same curses upon the people were already existent during the past administrations, the present one made them its distinct flagship. That is why, shameful and painful though it may be, the country has been just recently declared as the most corrupt in Asia—with neither regret nor reservation. Poor infrastructures and deficient social service. Underdeveloped educational system and consequent illiteracy. Joblessness, poverty and hunger. Unrest and dissent. These and many other serious national maladies find their combined basic causal factor in graft and corruption.

No amount of glorious pronouncement and glowing predictions by the administration and its allies will make any real difference. No so-called positive approach by the national leadership could reverse the negative realities in the country. It made a big mess of the national socio- economic and political situation that no mere cute moves, big smiles and chosen embraces for media purposes could change the many existing national maladies.

How could the country move on when its serious questions on the truth and integrity about no less than the 2004 national elections remain unanswered? This is not to mention something about fertilizers or city and national roads, about the most expensive boulevard in the world, and a host of other unresolved mysteries in the handling of public funds.

How could the repeated calls of the administration for national unity be considered serious when it is precisely the worst and standing cause of disunity in the country? The extrajudicial killings and abductions go on. The nation is considered as one of the most dangerous places for media practitioners. The Philippines is listed as the 100th least peaceful country in the world.

How could but the envisioned change of some disfavored heads of government owned and controlled corporations really reverse the disturbing over-all national situation? This is but a concrete sample of administrative cosmetology—with the over-all reality of the administration remaining the same.

The national predicament ultimately caused by graft and corruption is so compound and complex that it rests beyond remedy by merely dear and endearing verbal resolves by the present administration.

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Bishop's Letter on Pornography Draws Attention

ARLINGTON, Virginia, JULY 12, 2007 ( Many among our youth crave protection from pornography, not access to it, says Bishop Paul Loverde.

Bishop Loverde of Arlington, Virginia, has received many letters responding to his recent pastoral letter, "Bought With a Price: Pornography and the Attack on the Living Temple of God."

"The mail I have received on this issue from Catholics and others around the country gives me hope, even as it confirms the gravity of the threat this scourge poses to us all," Bishop Loverde told the National Catholic Register.

He explained: "The scourge of pornography is an immense multi-billion dollar industry that annually pulls untold numbers of men, women and youth down in its undertow.

"Some letters have brought me to tears; others have filled me with anger at the pornography industry and sorrow at our own human condition, so prone to sin, with the result that we unfortunately even tolerate this evil."

"Still other letters have brought hope," the 66-year-old prelate continued, "as I have learned of the resolve of many to seek real change, the sacrament of confession, accountability and professional healing."

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

The Figure of the Chancellor

Msgr. Rey Manuel S. Monsanto, HP, JCD
Chancellor, Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro

Canon 482 of the CIC:

Practically there is only one canon in the Code that talks directly about the Chancellor: c. 482. It talks about his/her appointment, his/her principal office or work, and his/her work as notary and secretary of the diocesan curia. It also talks about an assistant to be called “vice-chancellor”. The canon states:

Par. 1: In each curia a chancellor is to be appointed, whose principal office, unless particular law states otherwise, is to ensure that the acts of the curia are drawn up and dispatched, and that they are kept safe in the archive of the curia.

Par. 2: If it is considered necessary, the chancellor may be given an assistant, who is to be called the vice-chancellor.

Par. 3: The chancellor and vice-chancellor are automatically notaries and secretaries of the curia.

The 1917 Code also allotted only one canon on the chancellor: c. 372, and more or less are repeated by the 1983 Code.

The Appointment:

The appointment of a person to the Office of Chancellor can be done only by the diocesan bishop, for c.470 states: The appointment of those who fulfill an office in the diocesan curia belongs to the diocesan bishop. (See also c.157.) This “appointment” seems to refer more to what is called in canon law as “free conferral” of an office to be done by “the competent ecclesiastical authority” (see: c.147). For appointment in the canons on the provision of an ecclesiastical office is a result of a prior presentation (see: c.147) to be made “by a person having the right of presentation” (c.158). Now nowhere in the Code is there a person, whether physical or juridical, who has been given the right to present a candidate for the Office of Chancellor. However, there is also no law, which positively prohibits a diocesan bishop from asking the presbyterium or a group of priests, like the presbyteral council or the college of consultors, or even individuals like the Moderator of the Curia, to present a person or persons from whom he can choose. But the diocesan bishop will still not be bound to the presentation made (cfr: c.127, par.2, no.2). He is still free to choose someone even if not presented.

The Term of Office:

The Code is silent about the term of office of the diocesan Chancellor. It seems therefore that his/her term is “ad nutum episcopi” (at the will of the bishop). Many commentators however suggest that there should be a term so that he/she can also be given the chance to assume other tasks or work, like parochial work especially if he is a priest. Some authors suggest 3 or 5 years or according to the term of the reshuffling of the priests of the diocese. Some bishops however have solved this by giving the Chancellor also a parish work albeit a small or easily manageable one. This is because the office of the Chancellor is not for every priest, as we shall in the qualifications and functions of a Chancellor.

And because freely appointed they can also be freely removed: “The chancellor and the other notaries can be freely removed by the diocesan bishop” (c.485). Although freely appointed by the diocesan Bishop and basically “ad nutum episcopi”, he/she cannot however be removed whimsically by the diocesan bishop. For c.193, par.3 clearly states he can only be removed “for a just reason”. The full canon says: “When in accordance with the provisions of law an office is conferred upon someone at the prudent discretion of the competent authority, that person may, upon the judgment of the same authority, removed from the office for a just reason (underlining ours).

The Chancellor is not “co-terminus” with the appointing bishop. Thus, when the appointing bishop resigns, retires, is transferred, or dies, the Chancellor remains. He can be changed by the next diocesan bishop but not by the Diocesan or Apostolic Administrator except with the consent of the diocesan consultors: “They can be removed by a diocesan (read also: apostolic) Administrator only with the consent of the college of consultors” (c.485).

If the Chancellor is a layperson then the laws of the land on employment and separation of workers and the rights of the diocesan Bishop have to be harmonized. And if a Religious then the laws of the Code on Religious working in the Diocese are to be observed (cfr. c.682).

The Functions:

In talking about the functions we will deal first with what Canon Law says are his/her functions as Chancellor and then as Notary, and then about the other tasks that can be combined with his/her being Chancellor and others he/she may be asked to do.

As Chancellor

C.482, par.1 states three main tasks of a Chancellor:

    1. to ensure that the acts of the Curia are drawn up

    2. to ensure that those acts to be dispatched are dispatched

    3. to keep those acts safe in the archive of the Curia

While the 1917 Code made the Chancellor simply as archivist or guardian of the acts of the Curia (i.e., to safeguard the acts in the archive, to put them in chronological order and to make a table of index of them – see c.372), the present Code makes his/her tasks correspond more to the tasks of a Notary; that is, he/she is also to draw up the acts of the Curia and then to see to it that they are properly transmitted to the persons for whom they are intended. This is the reason why the Chancellor as wells as the Vice-Chancellor are automatically Notaries and Secretaries of the Curia (see par.3of c.482). As secretary he/she has to do what every secretary of an association or organization is supposed to do.

According to the practice of the Church and good management, acts that are destined for persons should be dispatched or transmitted properly as soon as possible and in the safest way.

As Notary

The 1983 Code of Canon Law lists a number of tasks a Notary has to do. And because a Chancellor is automatically a Notary then he/she also assumes the same duties. They are:

    1. He/she authenticates public documents by his/her signature (c.483, par1). This is the reason is why the Chancellor always countersigns the public documents of the diocesan Bishop and of the Curia. The lack of his/her signature however does not invalidate an act unless it is required as a formality needed for validity (cfr. c.124, par.1). His/her signature only says that the document is truly or authentically issuing from the said source or authority.

    2. He/she is to write acts and documents concerning decrees, arrangements, obligations, and other matters which require their intervention (c.484, no.1);

    3. He/she is to faithfully record in writing what is done, and sign the document, with a note of the place, the day, the month and the year (c.484, no.2);

    4. He/she is to show acts and documents from the archives to those who lawfully request them, and verify that copies conform to the original (c.484, no.3). (See also c.487, par.2.)

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

History of the Diocese of Daet


Fr. Augusto Jesus Angeles

On September 1, 1974, the Diocese of Daet was formally established along with the installation of its first bishop, Most Rev. Celestino Rojo Enverga, a native of Jose Panganiban, Camarines Norte. The Diocese of Daet was entrusted to the care of St. Joseph the Worker.

Through the Apostolic Constitution “Requirit Maximopere,” Pope Paul VI separated Daet from the Archdiocese of Caceres, thereby creating Daet as a new Diocese which became a suffragan of the Archdiocese of Caceres.

Since the Augustinian missionaries, Frays Diego de Espinar and Francisco Merino had established Christian communities in Paracale in 1571; it took 393 years for Camarines Norte, the land of gold and pineapple, to be erected as a diocese.

Although, the seed of Christianity was planted by the Augustinians, the Franciscans were the ones who blazed the trail of apostolate in Camarines Norte. The cross triumphed in Camarines Norte without the use of sword. The religiosity of the people of this province could be the reason why, among the bikolanos, the gift of the priesthood was first received by a native from the town of Paracale. Ordained in 1706, Don Gregorio Cabalquinto was the first Bicolano priest.

The history of the diocese could be divided into three periods. The first period spans from 1974-1984.

In his foreword to a souvenir program published on the 10th anniversary of the erection of the Diocese of Daet, the late Bishop Celestino Enverga summed up the first period.

Barely two years after (referring to the canonical erection in 1974), a sprawling diocesan house complex provided him a decent place where to lay his head. A charity clinic for the indigents to boot, and a haven for those released from the hospitals but nowhere to go home…”

…”After four years of painful gestation, the Most Holy trinity Cathedral was born…”

“…A Public Library; a diocesan Museum and a printing press; statues of the four Evangelists and Saints Peter and Paul; six meter tall statues of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus…”

The first decade of the diocese had given birth to three parishes: the Parish of St. Roch, Batobalani in May 31, 1976; the Parish of San Lorenzo Ruiz in July 2, 1983; and the Parish of St. Nicholas of Tolentino, Colasi in July 23, 1983.

The first decade was characterized by construction of structures: the first phase of the Diocesan House was completed in 1977 and the Holy Trinity Cathedral was ready for its dedication by September 1, 1984.

The second period runs from 1985-1994.

This epoch opened with the foundation by Bishop Enverga of the Religious Order of Kolbean Sisters.

On October 16, 1990, the Diocese of Daet became a vacant see (sede vacante) because of the passing away of Bishop Enverga. Bishop Almoneda, then the Auxiliary Bishop of the Diocese of Daet, became the Diocesan Administrator and soon afterwards on July 6, 1991 he became the second Bishop of the Diocese of Daet.

The death of Bishop Celestino Enverga in 1990 and the appointment of Bishop Benjamin J. Almoneda as the second bishop of Daet in 1991 were the towering events of the second decade of the diocese.

However, it is equally important to note the following ecclesial events during this period: the nine barangays from the Diocese of Gumaca were annexed to the Parish of Sta. Elena; the Parish of the Most Holy Trinity was established in 1991, the Vision-Mission Statement of the diocese was formulated in 1991; the Holy Trinity Preparatory Seminary, the first seminary in the diocese, was opened in 1992, the first Diocesan Pastoral Assembly was held in 1992; the Bishop Enverga and the Carillon Halls were inaugurated in 1993; and the Second General Pastoral Assembly was convened in 1994.

True to the mandate given to him during his Episcopal ordination by the late John Paul II, Bishop Almoneda prioritized catechesis among his pastoral program. Just three years after his assumption into office, the Mater Vitae Catechetical Center was inaugurated in 1994.

The second decade of the diocese was not only a decade when there was a change of leadership; it was also the seminal stage of the shift of focus from structures to evangelization, from construction to formation. This shift, evidenced by the pastoral assemblies, and opening of formation houses for future priests and catechists, marched slowly until it reached it apex in the First Diocesan Synod of Daet.

The diocesan journey from 1995-2004 finds its climax in the convocation, celebration, and implementation of the First Diocesan Synod of Daet.

Worthy of mention, however, is the increase in the number of parishes: the Parishes of St. James the Great of Calabaca, Capalonga, Our Lady of Good Voyage of Calaguas, St. Philip of San Felipe of Basud, Holy Family of Talobatib, Our Lady of All Nations of Tabugon, and the Chaplaincy of St. Roch of Tabas. The latest additions to our parishes were the erection of the Quasi Parish of the Divine Mercy and the Parish of San Lorenzo, the Deacon.

Manifesting Bishop Almoneda’s love for the poor and his commitment to social issues, the inauguration of SPACFI also stands out as an important highlight of this period.

To accommodate the increasing number of priestly vocation, Bishop Benjamin Almoneda started one of the most important projects of his episcopate in 1997: the opening of the Holy Trinity College Seminary. The construction of the Holy Trinity College seminary compound started in 1999. Six years after, the whole compound is almost finished

Then the appointment of Bishop Nestor Carino as the Auxiliary Bishop of Daet came in 2003.

It is important to realize that the pastoral processes that started in the formulation of vision-mission statement in 1991 down to the convocation of pastoral assemblies from 1992-1994 were all parts of the preparatory stage of the First Diocesan Synod of Daet which was convoked by Bishop Almoneda in 2001. After parish consultations from 2001-2002, the Synodal sessions were held from 2002-2003. Four years of hard work were crowned by the following achievements: the decrees of the synod were promulgated in January 2004, a common pastoral direction of the diocese was defined, and the pastoral program for the next five years is about to be launched.

Now that we have reached 33 years old, there is indeed enough reason for us to sing: “Lord it is good to give thanks to you”. From fourteen parishes and three vicariates in 1974, we have grown to 24 canonically erected parishes, 5 quasi-parishes plus one chaplaincy and five vicariates. The number of priests, religious and especially of seminarians increases by leaps and bounds.

During this Pearl Jubilee Celebration, we thank God through the following activities: on December 2004, we opened our Pearl Jubille Celebration by launching the MSK in Labo; on April 11, 2005, on the occasion of the 75th Birth Anniversary of Bishop Almoneda, the Our Lady of Gudalupe Chapel was solemnly dedicated; On May 2005, the youth of the province chanted “we wish to see Jesus” during the Diocesan Youth Day in Panganiban, on the same month, the diocesan catechetical Day was celebrated; on May 28, the Pearl Jubilee Santacruzan was successfully staged earning less than a million for the social security of the priests. Today, we are celebrating the closing of the Pearl Jubilee and the opening of the Eucharistic Congress. Today, the pastoral plan is finally for launching.

Indeed, this year is a year of history and grace for our diocese. On the hand, as we celebrate our common past, we are graced with becoming more rooted on the common basis of our unity at present. We belong to one diocese. We are one presbyterium. We are one bread, one body, one people. On the other hand, as we look forward to our future, we join our hands together as we take our common direction towards our vision. Let us share our mission. Let us move towards one vision.

The New Bishop of Daet

His Excellency
Most Rev. Gilbert Armea Garcera, D.D.
Third Bishop of Daet

Appointed third Bishop of Daet on April 4, 2007 by His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI. Ordained Bishop on June 29, 2007, at the Basilica Minore of Our Lady of Pe├▒afrancia, Naga City. His Excellency, the Most Rev. Leonardo Z. Legaspi, O.P.,D.D., Metropolitan Archbishop of Caceres, was the main consecrator; the co-consecrators were His Excellency, the Most Rev. Benjamin J. Almoneda, D.D., Bishop Emeritus of Daet, and His Excellency, the Most Rev. Orlando Quevedo, OMI, D.D., Archbishop of Cotabato.

Bishop Gilbert Garcera was born on February 2, 1959 to Celestino Borja Garcera and Nenita Romero Armea in Magarao, Camarines Sur.

Ordained priest on May 29, 1983 at the Metropolitan Cathedral, Naga City. He graduated elementary education on 1971 at Naga Parochial School, Naga City; High School on 1975 at Holy Rosary Minor Seminary, Naga City. He obtained a Bachelor's Degree in Philosophy at the Holy Rosary Minor Seminary, Naga City on 1979; Bachelor of Sacred Theology at the Holy Rosary Major Seminary on 1983.

Post Graduate Studies:

M.A., Religious Studies (1992)
Thesis: “A Proposed Basic Catechetical Formation Program for the Deaf"
Ateneo de Manila University, Quezon City

Ph. D., Organization Development (OD) (2004)
Dissertation: “An OD Intervention in Evolving the Desired Organizational Culture of the Episcopal Commissions of the Catholic Bishop’s Conference of the Philippines (CBCP)”

SAIDI Southeast Asia Interdisciplinary Development Institute (SAIDI), Antipolo City


Assistant Parish Priest, Metropolitan Cathedral, Naga City - May 29, 1983 - 1991
Archdiocesan Director
Caceres Catechetical Ministry Archdiocese of Caceres - Dec. 17, 1987 – 1995

Member, Commission on Communications
Archdiocese of Caceres - Aug. 22, 1988 -1991

Member, Presbyteral Council of Caceres
Archdiocese of Caceres - July 18, 1985- 1998

Vice Rector, Penafrancia Basilica Minore
Balatas Road, Naga City - April 2, 1991- 1992

Administrative Director /Personnel Officer
Radio Veritas Asia
Buick St. Fairview, Quezon City - May 14, 1992- 1995

Member, Board of Trustees
Naga Parochial School, Naga City - Jan. 1, 1995-2001

Rector, San Francisco Church, Naga City - Dec. 1, 1997-1998

Parish Priest, Parish of San Francisco, Naga City - Feb. 20, 1998- 2001

Archbishop’s Delegate to the Auxiliaries
Archdiocese of Caceres - May 4, 2001-present

Executive Secretary, Jubilee Year
Archdiocese of Caceres - June 17, 1999-2001

Assistant Secretary General
Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP)
Manila - September 11, 2001-2003

Assistant Treasurer
Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines
Manila - September 11, 2001-2003

Managing Editor, CBCP Monitor
Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines
Manila - January, 2002-2003

Member, Catechism for Filipino Catholics (CFC)
Speakers’ Bureau
Episcopal Commission on Catechesis and Catholic Education (ECCCE)
Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines
Manila - January 2003 – present

National Director, Ad Interim
Pontifical Missionary Societies of the Philippines, Manila, August 15, 2002-Oct.2003

Executive Secretary, Ad Interim
Episcopal Commission on Mission
Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, Manila , August 15, 2002-Oct.2003

National Director
Pontifical Missionary Societies of the Philippines, Manila, October 1, 2004 - present

Superior Council Pontifical Missionary Societies, Rome, October 1, 2004 – present

Member – Asian Delegate, Restricted Council
Pontifical Missionary Societies, Rome May 7, 2004 – present

Chairman, Congress Program Committee
Member, Executive Council
Asian Mission Congress, Thailand January – October 2006

Member, Supreme Committee
Pontifical Missionary Societies, Rome
Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples December 1, 2005-2010

The Servant Chancellor

Director, Commission on Social Communication and Mass Media

Fr. Dohn was ordained to the priesthood on March 19, 2004. As Chancellor of the diocese, he is also acting as the official spokesperson of the diocese. As Media Director, he is hosting two radio programs -- Heart--Heart with Father, every Saturday, 1:00-3:00PM, DWEN-FM 100.5 Cool Radio; The New Bishop's Hour, every Saturday, 4:00-5:30PM.

He was the former Vocation Director of th diocese and Moderator of "Kapatiran"(Association of Daet Seminarians). After his ordination he was assigned at the Holy Trinity Preparatory Seminary as Spiritual Director and Dean of Studies.