The Annual Meeting of priests in Marbel was held on 3-6 November 2008 at Holy Cross Spiritual Center. Attendance: from low of 88% (60 of 68) to a high of 97% (66 of 68).
1.1 Follow up, Presbyterium 2007. Decisions:
• Two territorial Episcopal vicars were appointed effective 01 July 2008 – 30 June 2009. Fr. Reynaldo Mission, South Cotabato and Fr. Floro Litigio, Sarangani and General Santos (Sargen).
• Seminar on uniform Diocesan Accounting System was held on 22-23 September for South Cotabato and on 29-30 September for General Santos and Sarangani. Date of effectivity will start on 1 January 2009, to be reviewed after 5 years.
• Fr. Reynaldo Mission was appointed Chancellor for 5 years.
• Our Lady of Fatima Parish, General Santos City, was canonically erected on 15 July 2008. Fr. Joseph Benitez was installed as first parish priest on the same date.
• Fr. Ricardo Pajarillo was appointed in-charge of the Catholic Youth Ministry on 7 November 2008.
1.2 New Decisions ( 2008 Presbyterium)
1.2.1. To safeguard parish funds: (a) two signatories are required for each check; (b) an internal audit shall be conducted monthly by the Parish Economic Council’s Committee on Audit; (c) Quarterly audit shall be conducted by the Diocesan Finance Officer or his representative.
1.2.2. Bible Service Guide for Advent and Christmas (Year B) was approved “ad experimentum”.
1.2.3. CFC, DLC and DSAC will hold office from 8-12 am and 1-5pm, Mondays thru Fridays.
1.2.4. First Diocesan General Assembly of Altar Servers was approved.
1.2.5. Fr. Reynaldo Mission was appointed priest-in-charge of the Family and Life Ministry. Fr. Herminio Hongayo, Jr. was appointed priest-in-charge of the Catechetical Ministry. Fr. Elpidio Marintes, Jr. retains his office as Diocesan Director, Christian Formation Center.
1.2.6. Maximum amount for parish church workers’ travel allowances: lodging – 500/day; and 100 per meal, travel to Metro Manila; lodging – 400/day and 75 per meal, for travel to Davao, Cebu, etc. Guiding principles: generosity of parish priest and availability of funds.
1.2.7. “Loans over P5,000.00 should have the approval of the Bishop” (DPA. 22.214.171.124.2). The Bishop allows the maximum equivalent to the 3 months salary of the parish worker concerned. The parish priest will investigate whether such loan is justified. “Loans should be amortized in twelve (12) equal monthly installments” (DPA, 126.96.36.199.5).
1.2.8. Five per centum (5%) is levied on gross income from tuition fees. This amount goes to the office of the Diocesan Schools’ Superintendent.
1.2.9. Mindanao Week of Peace. November 27 – December 3, 2008. Theme: “Integrity of Mind and Heart, A Way of Reconciliation and Peace”. Culmination: December 03, 2008, 2pm, GSC.
1.2.10. No diocesan celebration of Christ the King, this year 2008.
1.2.11. Term of Office of Parish Coordinators.
a. Parishes that have regular parish coordinators may continue to have them.
b. Parishes that do not have regular parish coordinators may appoint volunteer coordinators (with allowance only) who shall be co-terminus with the appointing parish priests. Without prejudice to reappointment by the new parish priest.
c. Parishes who do not wish to have coordinators, regular (salaried) or volunteer (Allowance) are free to do so. Bishop reminds the priests that regular, salaried coordinators could be fired only with just cause and only by the Bishop.
1.2.12. New monthly recollection starts Monday evening to Tuesday after lunch. Budget: 100% from parish fund. Meals 100% from host parish. Other parishes are urged to contribute in kinds. January 12-13, 2009, Glan. Input: “Pauline Spirituality”, Theology, c/o Dominican priest.
1.2.13. Couples for Christ’s structure. CFC Chapters counterpart is Parish Pastoral Council. CFC Provincial Council’s Counterpart is the Diocesan Pastoral Council. Units shall be under the GKK Pastoral Council.
1.2.14. Redemptorist Itinerant Mission Team, RIMT. Parish obligations: a house as base of RIMT. Board and Lodging. Materials for mission, transportation. Stipend is negotiable. Duration per area is 5-6 months. Emphasis: BEC organizing and strengthening. Model of BEC is Marbel BEC.
1.2.15. On-going formation of clergy – to start preferably June 2009. Seven areas of formation.
1.2.16. Dominican Presence. Pastoral Plan for General Santos Mission, presented by Fr. Bien Trinilla, OP was approved.
Note. These were the decisions reported in the minutes of November 4 and 5. Minutes of November 6 are not available as of this writing – 10:45am, November 08th.
1.3 MISAGA STATEMENT
Fr. Romeo Catedral, Diocesan Social Action Director, read the “Misaga 2008 Statement” during his report.
We, the participants from the 20 dioceses of Mindanao, together with our six bishops gathered for the 3rd Mindanao Social Action General Assembly (MISAGA) held at Solar Beach Resort, Cantilan, Surigao del Sur, Diocese of Tandag from October 28 to 29, 2008, guided by the theme: “Panaghiusa sa Pag-amuma sa Kalinaw ug Kinaiyahan”, affirm that there is a widespread poverty among our people in Mindanao.
We condemn the dehumanizing poverty manifested in worsening food insecurity caused by landlessness and development aggression due to land use conversion, poor governance, ongoing mining, logging, monocropping, irreversible destruction of the environment contributing to global warming and climate change, as well as the further marginalization and displacement of communities, especially our IPs.
We further denounce the insatiable greed and corruption prevailing in levels of governance which drives to excessive violation of human rights thus obstruct the pursuit of the common good, genuine development and peace.
We affirm commitment to a liberating poverty rooted in Gospel values, which upholds simplicity of lifestyle, responsible stewardship of God’s Creation, solidarity, integrity and complete trust in Divine Providence. We call for the conscientious and progressive destruction of sinful social structures, advocacy for the equitable distribution of land, the active implementation and support of the sustainable agriculture program, protection and preservation of the watersheds, immediate cancellation of mining permits and disapproval of mining applications, promotions of IP rights, strengthening of the BUC and/or diocesan-led dialogues for peace in the BECs and with other faiths, and active participation in effecting electoral reforms.
We urge government to pursue effective mechanisms for attaining lasting peace as well as we continue to support the on-going peace process within the region based on justice, transparency and accountability, development and respect for self-determination of the tri-peoples.
In conclusion we thank God for this opportunity of gathering in His name as we invoke His continuing support and blessing.