A Catholic bishop urged his new priests not to grow too confident about their ministry by constantly recognizing their “weaknesses and unworthiness.”
Speaking at an ordination at Malolos cathedral on Monday, July 13, Bishop Dennis Villarojo warned against the tendency for a “superior attitude” among priests.
“Oftentimes, overconfidence weighs us down. We become too confident that we are ready even if we are not. Let us instead acknowledge our weaknesses and unreadiness,” said Bishop Villarojo.
Four deacons were ordained to the priesthood on July 13 for the Diocese of Malolos, one of the country’s largest dioceses with about four million Catholics in more than a hundred parishes.
In his homily, the bishop thanked the people who have become “agents of formation” for the new priests.
Despite the long period of seminary formation, “no one can ever say that these men are really ready”.
He also encouraged priests to take up an important challenge in fulfilling their duties in the time of the coronavirus pandemic.
“Even in this pandemic, that is not all the challenges we have to face now, there will be more,” said the bishop.
“So my advice to all of the priests here, especially to the four ordinandi: let us not be charlatans,” Bishop Villarojo said.
He then identified at least three factors to overcome “over-self confidence”: humble trust in God; do not test God; and selfless love for people.
“It is only when we reach out to the Lord and say, ‘Lord, help me’, when we accept our weaknesses, our unreadiness to take up the priesthood, it is only then that the Lord will strengthen us through our weakness,” he said.
The diocese’s newly ordained priests were Fathers Prince Lenrick Pascual Marcelo, Christian Kim Cervantes Mariano, Ramon Bong Palisoc Sabangan and Cristian Tiburcio Sison.