Share |

Caceres Priests to go on Mission

NAGA CITY, Philippines (UCAN) - 8 April - The Archdiocese of Caceres is preparing to send three native priests to mission areas in May.

Fathers Maysar Herrera and Emmanuel Mojica will leave for the Caribbean Grenadine Islands in late May, the archdiocese's mission director, Father Andrew Recepcion, told UCA news.

A third priest, Father Edmundo Siguenza, will leave later for his mission in the Solomon Islands when his visa is approved.

Caceres Mission Aid Program (CMAP) prides itself on sending out screened and trained missioners and not overseas Filipino worker priests, "who go out of the country to earn money," Father Recepcion said.

"We don't want to send anybody who will be a liability to the receiving Church so we prepare them."

He said the archdiocese avoids areas where priests can make money.

"These places are not popular among overseas priests because there's no money involved. It's real mission work, a life of sacrifice," Father Recepcion said.

Dominican Archbishop Leonardo Legaspi of Caceres, a strong advocate for CMAP, presented Fathers Herrera and Mojica at a Holy Thursday Mass in Naga City, the center of Caceres archdiocese.

Under the CMAP program, priests ordained from between five and 20 years may apply to serve in places where Caceres has agreements with local Churches.

So far it has arrangements with Churches in Jamaica, Townsville in Australia, and Taiwan.

Aspiring missionary priests go through a strict screening process and are quizzed by both the bishop and the mission director. "I check out their motivations," Father Recepcion said.

Formation and training takes at least one year after selection, a program that has worked well.

"We have had no experience of scandals or any serious problems over the years." Only one priest has asked to be recalled. "It seemed he grew lonely or maybe had some psychological difficulty."

CMAP was started in 1997 as an integrated program that is part of the ongoing formation of clergy.