The Archdiocese of Caceres in the Philippines has announced that it is sending missionary priests to the Archdiocese of Castries in the Caribbean and to the Diocese of Green Bay in the United States.
“It is the dream of the Philippine Church to send 500 lay, priests, and religious missionaries to the different parts of the world this 500th year of Christianity in the Philippines,” said Archbishop Rolando Tirona of Caceres.
The prelate said that since 1997 his archdiocese has been active in sending missionary priests to other parts of the country and abroad through its “Caceres Mission Aid Program.”
The program forms and invites priests to serve in mission areas outside of the archdiocese.
“It is our expression of our willingness to share the Gift of Faith received 500 years ago through the efforts of the early missionaries from Europe,” said Archbishop Tirona.
This year, the archdiocese will send four missionary priests — Albert Balderas, Rommel Dacoc, Ramel Pajenago, and Fermin Valiente — to the United States and the Caribbean.
“The archdiocese is now a missionary church,” said Archbishop Tirona.
“We send as our expression of our participation in the mission cooperation program of the universal Church,” he said.
He said that while the archdiocese helps other churches or dioceses, “our priests are also nourished by their experiences.”
“The program has been an effective instrument in the ongoing formation of our priests,” said Archbishop Tirona.
“We help strengthen the faith of people, but the people of the host dioceses of our missionaries also help us in strengthening our faith in Jesus,” he said.