My dear brothers and sisters in the Diocese of Balanga,
Greetings of Peace and Blessings to you all!
Praise and thanksgiving to God our Father.
Thank you to all of you. By the mercy of our Lord and with your precious support we have completed the construction of the Residencia Sacerdotal Diocesan Retirement Homes on Access Road, Taglesville, San Jose, Balanga City.
Drop by and visit sometime and see for yourselves how the place has turned out and reflect there on the care and importance you show to your priests. What we have built is the product of your love and good will for the Diocese of Balanga. This set of residences for our retired priests has been completed because of you. Glory and thanks to God for the grace that He has worked through you.
To continue on with our desire “to take care of the sowers of the Seed—from formation until they rest from their toil in the field of the Lord” we are also embarking on the construction of our Diocesan Seminary.
This seminary is our offering to our beloved Blessed Mother, the secondary patron of our province, and we will name it after her, Virgen Milagrosa del Rosario College Seminary. It will rise up on Bahay Puso Compound, Upper Tuyo, Balanga City. Our work towards the building of our seminary will be our preparation and offering for our diocese’s celebration of its 40th foundation anniversary (1975-2015).
We are aware that the realization of this goal will involve a long, sometimes even painstaking process and the committed support and generous assistance of well-meaning people. If we work together as one, peacefully and harmoniously, the task will be lightened and time will pass by quickly. If we give and serve with light-heartedness we will be produce good and pleasing results. We have seen this in the manner by which we were able to construct the Residencia Sacerdotal Diocesan Retirement Homes. We have shown how unity and cooperation work with the changes we brought about in the Diocesan Chancery and in the improvements on our Cathedral Surroundings. We can do it again with our Diocesan Seminary project. We did it before, we will do it again. This is the right time! The Seminary which is the heart of the diocese will make our Ruby Anniversary truly a celebration of love, love for our diocese, love for our flock, and love for our Church.
Through this letter I wish to express my gratitude to you for your openness and support. The diocese wish to recognize the magnanimity and generosity of the siblings, Baby, Nardy and Rose David who offered and made available the lot which used to be Munting Tahanan at the Bahay Puso compound, for the Virgen Milagrosa del Rosario College Seminary. We are also grateful for the kindness of the couple Virgilio and Estelita Ignacio of Seafront in Lucanin, Mariveles, who offered to underwrite the construction of the Seminary Chapel which is now underway.
My gratitude extends to everyone because in big and small ways you have helped and contributed. Your trust and cooperation have been our strength in pursuing and persevering in this project. Thank you to those who participated in the fund raising activities such as the Raffle for the College Seminary and the Dalaw-Pastoral ni San Jose for Bataeños outside the country. Your involvement gives us so much joy. As Saint Paul said to the Philippians, “I give thanks to my God at every rememebrance of you, praying always with joy in my every prayer for all of you, because of your partnership for the gospel from the first day until now” (Phil :3-5).
Let us offer all our prayers and hope through the intercession of our Blessed Mother whom we lovingly call our Virgen Milagrosa del Rosario, so that all our dreams and aspirations for our diocese will bear sweet and lasting fruits. Let us offer ourselves and all that we have to her Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, and promise to fulfil her words to the servers at the Wedding in Cana, “Do whatever he tells you” (Jn 2:5).
Thank you and God bless you.
+RUPERTO C. SANTOS, D.D.
Bishop of Balanga