20 January 2010 – Dagupan City. The annual Lenten Formation Program for the Lay Liturgical Ministers, Convent and School personnel as well as the office staff of the different parishes of the Archdiocese has already been scheduled. In a letter addressed to the clergy, Archbishop Socrates B. Vilelgas, DD, outlined the need to “sustain the spirit of lay empowerment in the Church” by conducting the formation program for the different lay collaborators in the Church.
The lay collaborators referred to are the altar servers, greeters and ushers, collectors, choir directors, extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion, lectors and commentators.
All the seminar participants are to present letters of recommendation from their respective parish priests or school directors. This is to ensure that only lay workers in good standing in the schools or parishes receive commissioning or re-commissioning after the formation program.
All the formation program will be held at the Lay Formation Center. Fr. Mario Sanchez, the Director of LFC, has made the schedule for the formation program. He urged the priests to follow the schedule to facilitate the submission of the recommendation letters.
BEFORE January 31, 2010 (Sunday), the recommendation letter must contain the following:
i. ALTAR SERVERS – 9 to 15 years old, at least one year in serving the liturgy, must be regularly attending mass and receiving Holy Communion.
ii. COLLECTA TEAM MEMBERS, GREETERS, and USHERS.
iii. CONVENT WORKERS AND PARISH OFFICE SECRETARIES.
b. BEFORE February 17, 2010 (Ash Wednesday), the recommendation letter should contain the names of the Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion (EMHC) and the Lectors-Commentators.
c. BEFORE March 28, 2010 (Palm Sunday), the recommendation letter should contain the names of the Choir Directors and Instrumentalists, and the NEW Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion and Lectors-Commentators who are to attend the BASIC FORMATION.
Archbishop Villegas mandated that the rite of commissioning for lay liturgical ministers and social action ministers in the parishes will be done during the Holy Thursday Evening of the Lord’s Supper. The Archdiocesan Liturgical Ministry will prepare the rites.
This is the first time that the liturgical ministers and the social action minister will be commissioned on Holy Thursday. Msgr. Villegas said that “Holy Thursday commemorates not only the institution of the Holy Eucharist but the mandate to love; hence the commissioning of social action ministers must happen together with the lay liturgical ministers.
In the past, the commissioning of the lay liturgical ministers was done during the Chrism Mass celebrated at the St. John Parish Church in Dagupan City.
Msgr. Villegas emphasized in his letter that “formation is the real meaning of empowerment. True empowerment is only for ministry. Ministry is the sure path to sanctity”.
To view the schedule of the Formation Program, please click the image below or go the Lay Formation Center Website.