Bishop F. Claver: 40th Anniversary as a Bishop

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Bishop F. Claver: 40th Anniversary as a Bishop

Post by yang-ew on Sun Aug 09, 2009 3:57 pm

AUGUST 8, 2009

In an email exchange with Bp. Claver, he shared his warm thoughts and great appreciation about the success of Tongtongan 2009 celebration that took place in Teng-ab, Bontoc at which he gave a talk. Coincide was the parish commemorating his 40th year as a bishop.

I expressed how thankful and blessed we are that he has reached that long years of service and that he remain to be puissant embracing God´s will. But he replied with emphasis, ¨Just one thing: I didn't reach the 40th year of being bishop--it reached me.¨


In his thanksgiving mass held at the Sta. Rita Cathedral the celebration went very well, as usual, and the bishop immensely enjoyed it. Attached in his e-mail, he forwarded his homily during the Mass.

40th Anniversary as A Bishop
Thansksgiving Mass, Bontoc



Misericordias Domini in Aeternum Cantabo. I saw this verse written on the jeep of a visiting priest in Baguio back in 1945. We were budding Latin scholars then in the minor seminary, so somehow from then on the verse has stuck in my memory even as remembrance of most other things dims with age! Its meaning: “I will sing forever of the mercies of the Lord.” I can’t think of any better way to put in a nutshell what we are doing right now.

The actual anniversary of my episcopal ordination is on August 22. I had a choice about where I should be on the day itself, whether here or in Malaybalay. I had to opt not for Bontoc but for Malaybalay for the sheer fact is that I had been ordained bishop for the latter as its first local ordinary—so no contest! Besides I spent 15 years there, only a little over eight here! Still, thanks for your persistence in having this celebration.

Just a little note which might satisfy your curiosity (if you are curious, that is!) on why August 22, forty years ago, was chosen as the day of my ordination. The 22nd of August used to be the feast day of the Immaculate Heart of Mary until it was changed, in the revision of the liturgical calendar that took place shortly after Vatican II, to where it is celebrated now, the day after the Feast of the Sacred Heart. It was thus the titular feast day of the CICM Fathers, at least from the time they first arrived in 1907 to the time shortly after the Council, a day that we joyfully celebrated with them as seminarians. Since I was the first native Igorot to be ordained bishop, the occasion was for them high recognition of their dedicated work among us. For the simple fact was my becoming a bishop would never have come about except for their success as effective instruments in the Christianization of our people. So from the very beginning then, thanksgiving—a deep sense of gratitude—has marked this day. And we are not doing anything new today in our celebration of the 40th commemoration of that day.

Giving thanks then is what we are about in today’s celebration.

Looking back over the forty years I have spent as a bishop, I see three powerful events that have shaped us as a Church and have had an enormous impact on my own work as a bishop, spanning as they do the 40 years I’ve been a member of the CBCP. These three are: Vatican II, Martial Law and the EDSA Revolution—all events which I know must have had an effect on each one of you too, variant as their effects may be. Let me briefly say what they have meant and done to me in those forty years and in the places I have worked as a bishop—in Bukidnon, Manila, and here in Bontoc-Lagawe.

Vatican II. The Council, in its thrust for renewal, brought in new ideas about the Church and its mission, and with those ideas new ways of being Church. A new evangelization different from what was practiced in the missionary era during which our mountain provinces were Christianized could be described thus, paraphrasing what Paul VI in Populorum Progressio said about integral development being the development of all men and the whole man. I think we can also say that Vatican II’s idea of evangelization is similarly the evangelization of all men and the whole man. This means then that the Gospel must affect all areas of human life, not just the spiritual but as well the economic, the political, the familial, the personal aspects of life. In the Church’s being defined anew as Communion, stress is now put in the participation in its life and mission, not just of the hierarchical/clerical members as before but especially of the laity. Hence the thrust towards empowering the laity more to do their part. And because Gaudium et Spes says the Church must make the joys and hopes, the griefs and anxieties of people, its own, the work of social action, among the poor especially, has strongly marked its preaching and doing of the Gospel since then. Hence now our present preoccupation in the Philippine Church with the creation and fostering of BECs where our poor mostly. These BECs also sum up much of what Vatican II sought to bring about in its renewing thrust.

Martial Law. Vatican II ended in 1965, and shortly after here in the Philippines, martial law—a dictatorial form of government—did away with what democratic institutions we had in the country. But because of its excesses and injustices and their impact on the life of our people, the new directions of Vatican II came into sharper relief. Thus with the injunction to be a Church with the people in their joys and hopes, their fears and anxieties, and under conditions in which it was government that was the main cause of their griefs and anxieties, the Church perforce had to enter into political questions. The New Society was a sham and that fact was one big reason for the rise of the Communist movement. But the promises of a fuller life for people that the Communists were trumpeting were not much different in their futility. These two combatants, Marcos and the Marxists, helped point us in the direction of a really new society which we saw had to come about only with the genuine participation of people—something that was being denied them by the two warring forces. Hence the beginnings of the BECs in many parts of the Philippine Church, in Mindanao especially.

EDSA. The Church, we all know, played a big role in bringing EDSA about. With the peaceful, non-violent, revolution that it was, new political possibilities—people power, the re-establishment of democratic institutions, etc.—appeared on our national horizon. But its rosy promises were soon followed by deep disappointments, the high hopes it generated dashed to nothingness. The return to the old society, which despite the rhetoric had become grossly emphasized by the excesses of martial law, was worse than ever. That has been our dismal history, unfortunately, since EDSA. But we see all the more, in all theses bleak developments, the pressing need for what has been developing in the Church: the advancement of lay involvement not only in the Church but in society at large as authentically Christian citizens. Again, we come back to the BECs: In the mere fact that they are, in their simplest essence, communities of faith-discernment and faith-action, they are seen most clearly to be the prime vehicle for the nation-building that the just-concluded Tongtongan 2009, whose delegates are all here, has been looking into.

My work and life as a bishop has been greatly formed and informed by the three events I have chosen to dwell on this morning. And through all of them, there has grown in me a very profound sense of thanksgiving and realization of the Lord’s fulfillment of his last promise: “Go, preach the Gospel. I will be with you till the end of the world.” Go, preach—trying to do just that in my weak, faltering ways as a bishop, I’ve become very conscious of that Lord’s being-with-us-till-the-end through his Spirit, and this quite tangibly in the work with BECs. As I’ve always said, the more we work for lay empowerment, the more we realize that there is indeed such a Person as the Holy Spirit—and this Spirit is the laity’s power as much as it is the hierarchy’s and the clergy’s.

The Lord has done as He promised. He still does. And my response, our response for I am sure you can all say the same for yourselves, is an ever deepening and heartfelt “thank you, Lord.” And in that gratitude is our salvation.

So join with me in saying with the psalmist: Misericordias Domini in aeternum cantabo—I will sing forever of the mercies of the Lord.



Francisco F. Claver, SJ.
Mass of Thanksgiving
Bontoc Cathedral Church

August 8, 2009


Last edited by yang-ew on Wed Sep 02, 2009 12:08 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Bishop F. Claver: 40th Anniversary as a Bishop

Post by coppergangsa on Thu Aug 13, 2009 11:53 pm

Thank you for sharing Bishop Francisco´s homily. My family and I are so much blessed with it. Reading it is like taking me back those years where he really played a very important role in the Philippine history. I wonder how old is Bishop Francisco Claver now? He has touched and inspired many peoples lives.


Last edited by coppergangsa on Fri Sep 04, 2009 10:58 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Bishop F. Claver: 40th Anniversary as a Bishop

Post by stela on Fri Aug 14, 2009 8:53 am






just posting some pix taken during Bp. Cisco Claver's 40th Episcopal Anniversary... Very Happy
cheers matakho takho ka Apo Cisco.... cheers


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Re: Bishop F. Claver: 40th Anniversary as a Bishop

Post by yang-ew on Fri Aug 14, 2009 12:11 pm

Stela, Wen ¨MAES-ESANG TAKO AY ENCHAYAW YA ENYAMAN¨ tay chinanun Obispo Ikoy nan 40 years si panaka obispo na. Yamanen tako ages tay waday kayo ay cha mangibingay sinan latest pictures/activities nan vicariate tako. Please carry on....

I noticed in the group picture 3 decons? I recognized one but the other two gwapings are new faces to me, hehehe... Can you please introduce them here? thanks!
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Re: Bishop F. Claver: 40th Anniversary as a Bishop

Post by stela on Sat Aug 15, 2009 6:45 am

halu anti!..apy adi masukatan ryan nan default color ay white or nan ny white background to black n lng?...mkaulaw ya..hehehe
nweis 4 dpt ung deacons han nki concelebrte jay maysa...jay mejo nangisit ket ni deacon ricky samonte-he's from quezon province taz nag pa-adopt d2y..adopted son of sadanga..hehehejay mejo curly hair n ket ni deacon allen basilio he's originally from d diocese of baguio ngem nag-alis d2y-his mom's from bayyo mtlng ngamin taz jay maysa nga napudaw ni deacon caster gonzadan from a. lista and kadaclan ni deacon den iddoba-kaanakan ni uncle marcy balaso han nki join...deacons allen and caster will b ordained as priest this comin sept.. sumaruno da deacon den kn deacon ricky..ayun...hehehe


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Re: Bishop F. Claver: 40th Anniversary as a Bishop

Post by Saint Vincent's School on Sat Aug 15, 2009 8:11 am

halu anti!..apy adi masukatan ryan nan default color ay white or nan ny white background to black n lng?...mkaulaw ya..hehehe

Anya diyay nga background?


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Re: Bishop F. Claver: 40th Anniversary as a Bishop

Post by yang-ew on Sat Aug 15, 2009 11:24 am

stela wrote:halu anti!..apy adi masukatan ryan nan default color ay white or nan ny white background to black n lng?...mkaulaw ya..hehehe

Ryan and all, I think what Stela is trying to say is the message board where in you type your reply to a post. I gave her a ring so I was able to ask where exactly it is. If we all noticed there is a white board below every posted message in the forum. If we reply on this white board the TEXT can not be seen ( it´s like invisible nga maka-ulaw, hehehe). What we best do to post a reply is click the button found at the left corner below- POST REPLY. A Blue message board will appear for us to type our message or reply.

Hehehe... Ryan, apay mubalbalin akun nga ag-tutor? hehehe... Guys com´on... keep on punching...

CHEERS!!! happy weekend to all Basketball Basketball Basketball
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Re: Bishop F. Claver: 40th Anniversary as a Bishop

Post by Saint Vincent's School on Sun Aug 16, 2009 3:00 am

Ohhh ok the Fast Reply Box Smile Can Everyone Switch to a Commetbird Browser it is most convenient to View the Board.

You will need the Following for Better View

Download Commetbird Here: http://www.cometbird.com/

Download Flashplayer Here:FLASHPLAYER


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Re: Bishop F. Claver: 40th Anniversary as a Bishop

Post by luz on Sat Aug 22, 2009 8:23 pm

Cho san(cantonese for good morning)! I happen to stumble upon your site, it's very nice. Asop nan papachi takho ya they'll emulate Apo Obispo. We pray that these papachi takho will remain priests forever. and lets pray for more priests. Congratulations again for this site. Smile sunny Luz Afidchao, Hong Kong(Batch 1976)
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Re: Bishop F. Claver: 40th Anniversary as a Bishop

Post by yang-ew on Sun Aug 23, 2009 3:23 pm

Hola mng. Luz! Como esta usted? Palaloy yaman that you found your way here? How´s life in Hong Kong? Asup ya through you ya machad-uman nan batch mo ay mitapi sina...

Wen tet-ewa nan kanam manang... asup ya nan papachi tako ya tun-uchen cha nan khawis ay fiag ya serbisyo nansi obispo Ikoy.
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Re: Bishop F. Claver: 40th Anniversary as a Bishop

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