Apu Ceto at 75: Living the Saintly Life-A A +A
Sunday, March 11, 2012
CITY OF SAN FERNANDO --“Ano man ang mangyari, mabuti man o hindi maganda, we must never forget the Lord Jesus Christ. Our lives should be dedicated to Him.”
This was shared Archbishop Paciano Aniceto on Friday, as he celebrated his 75th birthday with a concelebrated Holy Mass at the Mother of Good Counsel Seminary.
Before opening an exhibit at Mater Boni dedicated to him, Apu Ceto -- as he is fondly called -- whispered to Sun.Star Pampanga his birthday wish: that every Kapampangan in his flock would pray to and emulate the ways of God.
“It is the only constant that we must maintain.
Faith, love, family and most importantly, life.
The Lord Jesus Christ is the only and very reason of history and us overcoming trials. My wish is for all Kapampangans to live in His ways,” he quipped and expressed in a gentle tone.
The exhibit itself -- “Caganapan ning Casuyuan” -- chronicles and celebrates his saintly life and ministry, and features a lot of memorabilia from his younger days until now, the time of his mandatory retirement. Aside from his 75th birthday, this year marks Apu Ceto’s 50th sacerdotal ordination on December 23 and his episcopate (as a bishop) of 33 years on May 27.
Born to a simple family in Barrio San Joaquin in Sta. Ana, Apu Ceto or the young Ciniong then was brought up piously, joining the acolytes to eventually grow up in the favor of God and pursue his priestly vocation.
He then stepped into the Mater Boni Minor Seminary which was located in those early years in Apalit in 1954, moving later to the Jesuit-run
San Jose Seminary in 1956 for his Philosophy studies, until finally being ordained to the Order of Melchisedec in December 23, 1962. He celebrated his first mass in Sta. Ana on March 23, 1963 and everything was divine history thereafter.
Since assuming the Archdiocese of San Fernando in 1989, Apu Ceto created new parishes to address the growing pastoral concerns of his flock. He carved more of these after the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo, particularly in resettlement sites to provide for the spiritual needs of displaced Kapampangans in diaspora who bonded in small communities.
“I have always liked to live in a community. A community with God at its center and in which, maybe like me, life is dedicated to our Creator,” concluded Apu Ceto.
Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on March 12, 2012.