One of the country’s oldest seminaries marked its 110th year with a scaled-down event last week because of the coronavirus pandemic.
With only a few in attendance, a Mass and an exhibit highlighted the gathering to celebrate the foundation of the Saint Vincent de Paul College Seminary on June 29.
“This event calls us to greater service,” said seminary rector Father Rodante Abegonia during the Mass attended by seminary priests, lay teachers, and seminarians.
Other features of the simple celebration included an exhibit of the archive issues of “Balangaw,” the official publication of the seminary.
The oldest seminary in the Eastern Visayas region was built in 1910 when the Diocese of Calbayog was erected and separated from the Cebu diocese.
Its first residential bishop, Monsignor Pablo Singzon, decreed the establishment of the seminary to produce native men for the priesthood.
Among its notable graduates was the second Filipino cardinal, Julio Rosales, of Cebu. He was part of the conclave that elected Pope John Paul II in 1978.
The seminary had also produced three archbishops including Lino Gonzaga, Cipriano Urgel, and Pedro Dean, and four bishops, namely, Miguel Acebedo, Ricardo Tancinco, Angel Hobayan, and Maximiano Cruz.