ASIA/PHILIPPINES - Mission of dialogue and service for two new deacons in a mainly Muslim district of Mindanao

Thursday, 29 April 2004

Kidapawan (Fides Service) - Two new deacons are about to start a mission of service and dialogue in the diocese of Kidapawn, a mainly Muslim area near Cotabato, on the Island of Mindanao. The local Catholic community headed by Bishop Romulo Valles welcomed and celebrated the happy event on 26 April.
Deacon Maximo Lapaz and Deacon Roy Aguirre, will soon be joined by four more young men who will be made deacons at the end of this year, the Bishop said with enthusiasm in his homily during Mass in Kidapawan Cathedral dedicated to Our Lady mediatrix of all Graces.
The new deacons, who hope to be soon priests, will bring new lymph to the local community where they will undertake pastoral work, liturgical service, catechism and charitable activity.
Providing assistance for families including non Christian families will offer them an opportunity to engage in dialogue with the local Muslim community. They will also help in various parishes with the celebration of the Sacraments and the Christian Instruction of children and youth.
The Bishop urged them to “spread the Good News” especially among young people, and through their witness and example to draw other young people to the vocation of deacon or priest or the religious life.
“New vocations - he said - depend also on religious instructions in Catholic schools. This year 27 young men from our diocese have entered the seminary to study theology. A vocation is a gift of God- the Bishop said- It is God who calls people to serve the Church. We must pray that He will send more workers for the Harvest”.
(PA) (Agenzia Fides 29/4/2004 lines 26 words 274)