by Elizabeth Terte
18 June 2011 – Dagupan City. Ten lay leaders from the Parish of St. Fabian, Pope and Martyr, together with the other lay leaders from the different parishes of the Archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan,completed their modular studies given by Archbishop Socrates B. Villegas, Archbishop of Lingayen-Dagupan, last 18 June 2011.
The modular program centered on the Spirituality of Stewardship.
Fr. Oliver E. Mendoza, parish priest of San Fabian, was full of optimism for the lay leaders who had just completed the modular program.
“They will form the nucleus of the ‘Stewardship Committee’ of the parish”, he said.
Fr. Mendoza also said that the group will be responsible in bringing the Spirituality of the Stewardship to the parish. The group has been meeting several times to map out the parish stewardship program.
“The stewardship is a must in the parish especially with the planned phase-out of the arancel system in the Archdiocese”, Fr. Mendoza further said.
The ten lay leaders who completed the Stewardship modular program are: Sisters Rosalia P. Edic, Carmencita D. Chua, Julieta C Soliven, Violeta A. Omiles, Gloria Euslan, Fritzy M. Narvas, Bros. Antonito Supremido, Marvin Borja, Felipe Dagarag and Joey Estandarte.
Target Date: 16 February 2013
In a Circular Letter issued by Archbishop Socrates B. Villegas on 20 January 2011, the gradual phase out of the arancel system was laid out for the whole archdiocese. “Our collective discernment to gradually phase out the obligatory table of offerings for the administration of the sacraments and sacramentals is a positive step in the right direction. Our target date for the full phase out of the arancel system and our active engagement in the spirituality of stewardship is the golden jubilee of the Archdiocese of Lingayen Dagupan on February 16, 2013”, he wrote in his circular.
“We cannot pursue this pastoral goal without catechesis. We cannot reach our stated goal without a process of conversion and a change of pastoral paradigms. The phase out of the arancel is not a money issue. It is a deeply spiritual matter. We need to change our understanding of the Church from being a stone building or a service agency to a community of disciples called by Jesus, formed by Jesus and sent by Jesus”, the letter further said.
Stewardship as a Way of Life
The Arancel System is the traditional system of Church support. It follows a fixed amount from the faithful as their support for the church. This system centers on the sacramental services being offered by the church in which a fixed ‘fee’ is asked from the faithful. With the phase-out of the said system, there is a need to find a new way of supporting the church in her mission and apostolate that is not focused on the monetary amount, but more on stewardship as a way of life.
This new way of system of church support must flow from the generosity of the people as stewards of God and the Church. It must also provide for a structure by which the faithful can give their support regularly in an orderly, systematic and transparent way.
(Elizbeth Terte is a member of the Union of Prayers for Vocation (UPV)of the Parish of St. Fabian. She is also a member of the Parish PREX Secretariat. She is at present the Head Teacher of Palapad Elementary School. Pictures, courtesy of Sis. Fritzy Narvas, from her Facebook account)